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Philosophy of Cognition
In The Idea of Phenomenology Husserl in the fourth lecture aims at one point to understand the process of cognition and why we can within cognition distinguish between true knowledge and senseless data from the evidence provided by our senses. We as humans use our cognition to obtain knowledge and comprehend the external world through thought and experience provided to us by our senses. He goes on to discuss to what extent our senses give us an accurate depiction and conception of reality. Husserl explains his quest, as a part of phenomenology is an a priori endeavor,independent of experience. Husserl as he defines “seeing” in a phenomenological sense describes it as an ability to grasp and realize a concept readily before oneself. This process of “seeing”lends itself to understanding what makes up the phenomena of the natural world. By investigating the sources and constructs of reason, Husserl tries to under cover the essence of being, in the natural world and in the mind. To uncover this essence he points to seeing or being consciously aware of things evident in the mind.Husserl goes on to argue against empiricist epistemologists who argue that judging the difference between things, which are readily evident in the mind and those that are not, is a typeof feeling which allows the readily evident to appear distinct from the latter. Husserl believes this is a shallow exploration of the topic because the argument for feeling distinction validity provides no understanding or knowledge of into what allows us to trust such a feeling. Husserl gives a simple mathematical expression to explicate that while in once instance he has “luminous intuition” or actual understanding of the truth in a statement, in another instance he only understands the expression as a representation of symbols. Husserl is pointing to a concept similar to the difference between say understanding and speaking a language and manipulating symbols to communicate in an unknown language (Chinese Room Experiment). In both situations there is a feeling however in one there is a stronger assurance of the truth in meaning while in the other there is no understanding of the expression. Husserl notes the difference in intentionality as an important distinction between the two sense experiences to show a weakness in the argument for feeling distinction validity. Both expressions in this example have the same functional meaning but not intentional meaning and therefore their “self-givenness” feeling is not sufficient nor necessary as evidence of the essence of their validity. Husserl closes his argument against this argument with an idea of “pure seeing,” that only what we designate it to mean it will mean, then he believes the argument which he is contradicting could be warranted.
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