I just came across an interesting-looking paper proposal by a colleague of mine at JFKU.  I will see if I can locate the full paper.


Husserl, Schutz, and Collective Intentionality: A Transpersonal-Her..., by Sean M. Avila Saiter.

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That´s reminding me my college years of the 70ies. Sartre´existentialism and Phenomenology were more or less already "disclassified" by the growing structuralism of Levi-Strauss, Saussure and Jabokson in France.


Using KW terminology, if we are locating us in the ULQ in the interior of the first zone, then we can reconcile the two approches if we don´t fall back into husserlian speculations of a "trancendental subject", by being more empirically based like Shultz tries to do with his sociology, more in phase with Garfinkel´s ethnomethodology. It would be fine to bring back intentionality from its  "lit de parade".

What do you think?



Haven't seen the paper yet but can say that later on, Husserl followed Schutz along his notion that the 'life world' was a kind of "ground" for phenomenological enquiry, a kind of presupposition, and also along these lines, that intersubjectivity was also presupposed. So Husserl was not totally naive. Just a guess as to what is to come.
Ya, structuralism kinda exploded phenomenology. Foucault gives a gives a good account of this.

Hi kela

did you read his history do sexuality?

A great work of genealogy.

I remember you were interested in greco-roman philosophies, and that you read Pierre Hadot.


How much place take phenomenologicla methods in your "bricolage" research btw?

just curious

Kennilingam uses Foucault's geneaological method  to support his transcend-and-include progression of subjective consciousness, yet according to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy entry on Foucault "the point of a genealogical analysis is to show that a given system of thought...was the result of contingent turns of history, not the outcome of rationally inevitable trends." In this sense he is post-structural and also exploding structuralism, including the kennilinguist variety. Postruct seems itself to now be taking a U-turn (fold) back into a more  hermeneutic phenomenology, one not so "self" absorbed, one which sees the intersub/objective and unconscious ground in the lifeworld.

That said, I'm wondering to what degree Avila Saiter sees the collective as "intentional?"

That said, I'm wondering to what degree Avila Saiter sees the collective as "intentional?"


Sean has a blog where he discusses this.  Here's the abstract for one of his papers related to this topic:




What is the relationship between Husserl’s transcendental intersubjectivity and transpersonal theories of the collective, that is, collective trans-subjective experience “beyond the mask”? What are the ways in which transcendental phenomenology and social constructionism find congruence in theories of human transcendence inspired by the world’s wisdom traditions? Based upon these and other questions, I suggest ways that we can illuminate the complex relationship between self, other, and world in the context of the writings of Edmund Husserl and collective consciousness as emergent intentionality. My aim is to propose a preliminary framework for a more comprehensive and useful understanding of the relationship between Husserl’s transcendental intersubjectivity and the intersubjective aspects of transpersonal theory within the context of philosophical phenomenology, Habermas’ understanding of postmetaphysics, and consciousness studies, broadly construed. Such efforts aspire to clarify the tension between Husserl’s phenomenology and social constructionism (after Schütz) through theories of transcendence of the subjective self, e.g., the transpersonal. I pay particular attention to the exploration of the ways in which Husserl’s transcendental intersubjectivity can contribute to a greater understanding of how the collective interior evolves between human beings. From this, new avenues for consciousness research are explored.

Doesn't EH though accept the very kind of kennilingual structuralism which presupposes direct, conscious apprehension of the real through intentional methods (e.g. meditation, and "how the collective interior evolves"), a presupposition about intentionality that the polydoxae (including Foucault) question? (See Foucault excerpt above.)

PS: When you said Sean I assumed you meant Sean EH, and by the blog I see you meant the author of the thread paper. This Sean might even have the same criticisms of the other Sean? Never mind...

For example, this abstract of one of Saiter's papers:

This article is an inquiry into Ken Wilber's integral epistemology as applied to social systems, namely, through organizations and leadership. It explicates the constructionist component inherent in the universalist nature of AQAL theory (a framework covering all quadrants, all levels, all lines, all states, all types). The relationship between integral methodological pluralism and the AQAL model are explored in the context of a fundamental misunderstanding of phenomenology, transpersonal psychology, and the human sciences, not as a method among many but as an essential characteristic of Wilber's integral theory. This article aims to contribute to the further development of integral research and design methods through clarification and contextualization.

Xibalba:  It would be fine to bring back intentionality from its  "lit de parade".

What do you think?


Yes, I agree.  I have appreciated David Michael Levin's handling of intentionality in the context of his sociologically informed hermeneutic phenomenology.

I have invited Sean Saiter to join this conversation, so perhaps we can discuss some of these things with him.

Hi everyone,


It such a pleasure to have the chance to say that I am responsible for the abstract you are talking about. I wrote that abstract and presented as short paper version at a phenomenology and existentialism conference in 2009. However, I should mention that what may not be clear is that this was a previous version of my dissertation as it stood at the time. My dissertation has changed quite dramatically as I found that I was (typically) trying to cover too much. However, one thing that has come out of my interest in intersubjectivity in phenomenology is a new chapter for the upcoming True But Partial book where I discuss in more focus Husserl and Schutz in relation to Integral Theory. Yet, in this chapter that I am still working on I am not exclusively focusing on intersubjectivity but, rather, on what Schutz called the problem of relevance. But I digress from this thread...


There are few things I'd love to reply to here: One is that even though I don't agree with everything Husserl had to say and that I recognize that phenomenology has evolved and incorporated many insights since Husserl (e.g. hermeneutics, social constructionism, feminism, etc.) I feel I need to defend Husserl as being essentially misinterpreted. In fact, I feel that people like Foucault have actually chosen to focus on particular works by Husserl in their critiques (the earlier Husserl) and have failed to appreciate the fact that Husserl wrote more about intersubjectivity (among other themes) than any of the other phenomenologists after him (see Zahavi). Similarly, in an interesting turn of events, Schutz (who came after Husserl not before), directly inspired the introduction of social constructionism, ethnomethodology, and conversation analysis, all very influential in contemporary thought. So, what I found is that both Husserl and Schutz, if one were to take the time to read their original work and not the critiques through people like Derrida and Foucault (among many others) one would find many of these critiques to be questionable if not downright inaccurate (though, I must say, transcendentalism doesn't seem to be recoverable at this point). 


This is a point that I have spent so time with, especially as it seems that Wilber is basing much of his opinion of phenomenology and Husserl on other people's interpretations, namely, Foucault and Heidegger, which is problematic for a number of reasons. Yet, this is the essential limitation of making broad claims about a philosophy. Trying to read Husserl, much less Husserl and Schutz and the other phenomenologists to really understand what they were about is a very tall order. Husserl is notoriously difficult and cryptic. 


Balder, you mentioned David Michael Levin, whom I am fan of and I tend to agree with. Levin is faithful to Husserl without failing to recognize that there have been many improvements to phenomenology beyond him that necessarily have been added to the project. It is an evolving philosophy and one that I think is not dead. It depends on what one finds to be relevant and just because a trend moves in one direction or another doesn't mean that something is dead, just that the locus of attention has shifted for one reason or another. I find it's mostly about the "packaging." 


Okay, now I've gone of for too long! I'd love to hear some replies...


-Sean Avila Saiter

The short version of my view on Husserl: Reading Husserl is much different from reading about Husserl from his critics. Husserl was very concerned with the lifeworld (the term was coined by him in his last book and then used by Heidegger and from there it became a permanent part of philosophical language). Husserl still has much to say all these years from beyond the grave: the bulk of his work is in unpublished manuscripts that are still being translated and published even to this day. Recently, a work on intersubjectivity was published that dramatically changes what Heidegger and others claimed as being limitations of his philosophy. So, he is not an easy target though because of his stature at the time it became a thing to make a career off of critiquing him. Ah, the things we know with hindsight!



Hi, Sean, welcome, again, to the site.  I'm glad you could join us.  My views of Husserl have unfortunately mostly been formed via the criticisms of others, so I look forward to learning something here from you. 

Edit:  On first reading of your comment to me, I had misunderstood you to be saying that Levin was faithful to Husserl but had failed to recognize that phenomenology had moved beyond him in some regards.  I just caught my misreading and am editing this post.  Now, the quote below serves to complement what you are saying rather than serving as a counter example!  :-)


"In 'The Child's Relations with Others,' Merleau-Ponty reviews various philosophical attempts to understand our perception of other human beings.  He shows why Husserl, for example, unwilling to entrust his thinking to the wisdom of the body of feeling, utterly failed to resolve the 'problem of intersubjectivity.'  Eventually, as we know, Husserl began to recognize and approach the intercorporeality of an elemental flesh, introducing into his transcendental analysis an account of 'intentional transgression.'  But even this, together with an account of 'coupling' (Paarung), could not overcome the solipsism in his ego-centered transcendentalism.  The problem with Husserl's phenomenology of the intersubjective constitution of our social world is that it overlooks the dynamics of social interaction.  It does not see intersubjectivity in the making-- through social interactions.  And it persists in seeing intersubjectivity from the standpoint of the ego-logical monad, whose transcendental 'life' is essentially prior to, and independent of, all forms of participation in social dynamics.  (The Opening of Vision, p. 237)

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