Monthly Phenomenology Talks: Matt Bower ‘Against Inadequacy’ (Online)

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Announcement of the next online talk on recent work in phenomenology, from the Network for Phenomenological Research: 9 July 2021.

An online forum of discussion on recent work in phenomenology

Description: This series of talks gathers together scholars interested in phenomenology and its relation to contemporary issues in philosophy, especially in the philosophy of mind. It establishes a forum of discussion where people can meet on a regular basis and present their work-in-progress or recent publications. The topics addressed stretch from the history of early phenomenology to the systematic application of phenomenological insights to recent debates in analytic philosophy.

Schedule: The talks take place once a month on a Friday for 8 months (with a break in March). Time: 10:15am EST/EDT, 3:15pm GMT, 4:15pm CET. Talks last 90 minutes, including a 45 minutes Q&A.

Participation: Talks are held on zoom. To participate, please send an email to [email protected] with the heading “Registration Monthly Phenomenology”. You will be registered to our mailing list and a zoom link will be sent to you the day preceding each talk.

Matt Bower (Texas State University)
‘Against Inadequacy’
Friday, 9 July 2021
10:15am EDT, 3:15pm GMT, 4:15pm CET

Abstract: One of Husserl’s signature ideas is that perceptual experience is structured into fulfilled and empty components. To illustrate, consider that when visually inspecting a cup only some of its exterior and interior fall into your line of sight and to that extent are experienced in fulfillment. However, you are perceptually sensitive to the fact that the cup’s exterior and interior exceed what falls into your line of sight. The contents of that sort of awareness are experienced emptily, without fulfillment. Or so Husserl would characterize the experience. His view that perceptual experience is structured into fulfilled and empty components is the immediate consequence of his thesis that perceptual experience is inherently inadequate. That means, roughly, that a perceptual experience never presents things to us exactly as the experience itself takes them to be. There is always more to how things are perceptually taken to be than how they are given. Here I explicate the conceptual pair adequacy/inadequacy, locate it in Husserl’s larger philosophical vision, sketch his rationale for thinking perceptual experience is inherently inadequate, and then question this last thought by raising criticisms concerning both its rationale and the consequences it entails. I hope to show that Husserl’s conception of perceptual experience as inherently inadequate is untenable.

Guillaume Fréchette (University of Geneva)
Alessandro Salice (University College Cork)
Hamid Taieb (Humboldt University Berlin)
Íngrid Vendrell-Ferran (Goethe University Frankfurt)

Organized on behalf of the Network for Phenomenological Research