§13. Neglect: sense of being [161-162]

It has already been pointed out3 that Dilthey brought with him an original understanding of phenomenology, and that he himself influenced it in the direction of the question which concerns us. Dilthey's scientific work sought to secure that way of regarding man which, contrary to scientific psychology, does not take him for its object as a thing of nature, explaining and construing him by means of other universal laws of 'events,' but instead understands him as a living person actively involved in history and describes and analyzes him in this understanding. Here we find a recognizable trend toward a new psychology, a personalistic one. I have already pointed out that, after the appearance of Logical Investigations (1900-1901), as Husserl sought to develop his position further, Dilthey exerted a special influence upon him precisely in the direction of arriving at a new psychology. But in the horizon of our question there is also the attempt to determine the being of acts themselves strictly out of themselves, and to get away from the purely naturalistic objectifying regard of the acts and of the psychic. In view of the actual theme of phenomenology, this means that we need a reflection on the definition of the starting position in the further development of phenomenology, namely, the definition of the being of consciousness with regard to the way it is given in the natural attitude. This primary kind of experience, which provides the basis for every further characterization of consciousness, turns out to be a theoretical kind of experience and not a genuinely natural one, in which what is experienced could give itself in its original sense. Instead, the manner in which what is experienced gives itself here is defined by the feature of an objectivity for a theoretical consideration of nature, and nothing else. It thus follows that the starting point for the elaboration of pure consciousness is a theoretical one. At first, naturally, this in itself would not be an objection or a misfortune, but surely it is afterwards, when, on the basis of the pure consciousness derived from this theoretical basis, it is claimed that the entire field of comportments may also be determined, especially the practical. In the further course of development of phenomenology, of course, the influence of the new tendency we have mentioned comes into play, seeking to go beyond the specifically naturalistic attitude and to bring a personalistic attitude into its own.

It must be asked how human Dasein is given in specifically personal experience, and how this motivates the attempt to determine and found the being of acts and the being of man. To the extent that this attempt should succeed and provide the path upon which the being of the intentional, of acts, and of the concrete Dasein of man can be determined, the ground for our critique would be taken away. It remains

3. Cf. §4C above.