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Sketch for a Phenomenology of Dreaming

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Dreaming as lived experience qualifies as intentional life, despite its strangeness. Yet the dream-phenomena themselves receive little direct clarification consistent with Edmund Husserl's major work on conscious intentionality. With fundamental accomplishments of Husserlian phenomenology in play, how could a study of these neglected appearances begin? First it is necessary to describe the essential relevant Husserlian concepts. From Husserl's descriptions in his phenomenological psychology, his analysis of internal time-consciousness, and his theory of wholes and parts in Logical Investigations, the sense of intentionality as a streaming indivisible nexus, a double continuity of inseparable wholeness, becomes evident. Immersed in this self-awareness, we do not find it difficult to access dream-appearances and account for their connection in intentional life. A claim can be made for their presentational objectivity as well as for their "gnomonic" subjectivity. A systematic sketch of their typology or fundamental structure is thus possible without reducing dream-intentionality to something other than itself. Hence, a Husserlian sense of conscious lived experience is first presented. Dream evidence is then considered, despite possible bewilderment, in order to provide a clue to an extended sense of both subjectivity and objectivity. Lines toward a development of dream typicality are thereby indicated.

Affiliations: 1: University of Southern Maine


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