chapter  4
25 Pages

Husserl

Perception, Judgment, Habit
WithCorijn van Mazijk

Husserl’s division of spaces, as discussed in the previous chapter, opens up new ways of considering our perceptual access to reality as well as the relation between perception and thought. In this chapter, I discuss the various layers of perception Husserl distinguishes, how they can bring a world in view for the subject independently of conceptual operations, and how they make conceptual thought possible. In the first half of this chapter, I distill from Husserl’s analyses three layers of perceptual activity as well as three types of thought contents. These levels of perception can all function, I argue, independently of functions of thought required to explicate the contents they make available. This means, as I argue at length, that concepts are not needed, on this account, to explain access to an external world. In the second part, I turn to Husserl’s work on the kinesthetic system. I argue, among others, that Husserl considers horizonal awareness and a pre-conceptual sense of self-movement to be foundational to the perception of three-dimensional objects. The rest of the chapter elaborates on the different ways in which acquired skill (habit) determines perception – from learning to control one’s body all the way up to cultural-linguistic upbringing.