Conversation with Husserl, 6/9/31
Husserl, instead of directly answering a question I asked about the evidence of recollection, began an exposition of the primitive phenomenological situation, the awareness of something, of the ego as attentive to something in a Gegenwart 〈present〉 with a certain doxic modus. The ego as actively attentive is anonymous, and we are aware of it only in reflection as not active but as objectified, still as the same as the active ego. The rays (Strahlen) of attention are multiple in time, but the ego is not thereby multiplied. Hence we speak of a single, anonymous Ego-pole behind the entire strömende Gegenwart 〈flowing present〉. In the Gegenwart we have, however, Attentionsstrahlen 〈rays of attention〉 which relate back to a "past". There are a variety of modi of attention, of which the simple immediate directedness to the present perceived is the Urmodus 〈primitive mode〉. Then there is not only a simple dropping from attention, but also phenomena such as the attention being called away by some other stimulus. Further, there is the abstractive focusing of attention upon a certain aspect of an attended object, whereby the latter is still attended, but in the modus of secondary attention. Again there is the paying attention still to a thing but holding it still in attention, and
Cairns Dorion (1976). Conversations with Husserl and Fink, Nijhoff, Den Haag.
Cairns Dorion (1976). Conversation with Husserl, 6/9/31, in Conversations with Husserl and Fink, Den Haag, Nijhoff, pp. 30-31.