Electronic Theses and Dissertations




Matt Bower



Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



Committee Chair

Thomas Nenon

Committee Member

Kas Saghafi

Committee Member

Shaun Gallagher

Committee Member

Deborah Tollefsen


In this dissertation I provide an extensive interpretation of Husserl’s genetic phenomenology of the “world-horizon,” the sui generis form of intentionality that gives us a schematic awareness of what lies beyond our momentary present experience. Chapter 2 begins with an account of Husserl’s static analyses, taking advantage of recently published manuscripts in which Husserl uses the tools of his eidetic method to ground his concept of the world-horizon. What we find is a minimal conception of the world-horizon as a spatiotemporal form for experience. The chapter ends with a look at how this minimal conception is related to practical and intersubjective forms of the world-horizon.In Chapter 3 I provide motivation for a genetic analysis. It is spurred by the puzzle that intentional acts depend on extant horizons and horizons depend on previous intentional acts, generating an infinite regress. A genetic analysis of the world-horizon would resolve this paradox. Chapter 4 addresses some problems facing the project. First, I explain Husserl’s need to overcome the infinite regress because the subject is a being that is born and dies. Second, I confront the problem of genesis within the phenomenological reduction and I outline Husserl’s view of reconstruction of the immemorial past as latent in experience.Chapter 5 embarks on the genetic analysis. I emphasize Husserl’s integration of affection and association in the theory of instincts out of which our practical abilities enabling perceptual contact with reality arise, resolving the regress described in Chapter 3. In the Conclusion I show how this theory demands a reconsideration of Husserl’s early discussion of the “annihilation of the world,” leading to a reversal of criticisms of his understanding of subjectivity made by Heidegger. I also consider some difficulties with Husserl’s theory and suggest where improvements and clarifications need to be made, indicating some possibilities for extending Husserl’s theory that are in step with contemporary developments.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.