4/23 Maxime Doyon presents on phenomenology of perception


Phenomenologists generally agree that the body’s mobility participates actively in the constitution of perceptual reality. The body is not only our point of view on the world, but it also constitutes our point of departure to explore it in its various aspects. By analysing the body’s skillful coping with its environment, Edmund Husserl and more recently Alva Noë have tried to provide an answer to the problem of perceptual presence. This problem refers to the fact that there is a gap between our perceptual experience of objects and what we actually perceive, or, say, between the sensed content (which is always limited) and our awareness of objects. That is, perception furnishes us with a full object-consciousness, even though only part of the perceived object is intuitively given. In this paper, I argue that whereas Noë is absolutely right to insist on the fundamental importance of understanding the varying patterns of sensorimotor dependence holding between the perceiver and the world, his account nevertheless falls too short, as the more passive features of our perceptual experience also need to be accounted for. I will make my point by drawing on Husserl’s phenomenology.


4/16 Laurent Perreau presents on phenomenology of common sense


In this paper, I will examine the possibility and the limits of a phenomenological account of common sense. As a starting point, I will consider the philosophy of common sense that originated in the works of Moore and Wittgenstein and was developed by Oxford philosophers as a challenge to phenomenology.

If phenomenology is devoted to the analysis of the structures in subjective experience, what role in it can be accorded to common sense that is understood to be taken-for-granted knowledge as well as a social and moral phenomenon? Is it possible to conceive a phenomenology that is open to a larger subjectivity, giving access to common sense without desocializing or demoralizing it? It is in the Husserlian life-world theory, I will show, that we can identify the first steps taken toward a phenomenology of common sense. Finally, I will examine the consequences of the shift to common sense as it was accomplished by the social phenomenology of Alfred Schütz.