Monday, October 31, 2011

additional comments on the notion of 'Pairing'

Husserl explains the notion of 'Pairing' as follows:

Pairing is a primal form of that passive synthesis which we designate as "association", in contrast to passive synthesis of "identification". In a pairing association the characteristic feature is that, in the most primitive case, two data are given intuitionally, and with prominence, in the unity of a consciousness and that, on this basis --- essentially, already in pure passivity (regardless therefore of whether they are noticed or unnoticed) ---, as data appearing with mutual distinctness, they found phenomenologically a unity of similarity and thus are always constituted precisely as a pair. If there are more than two such data, then a phenomenally unitary group, a plurality, becomes constituted. On more precise analysis we find essentially present here an intentional overreaching, coming about genetically (and by essential necessity) as soon as the data that undergo pairing have become prominent and simultaneously intended; we find, more particularly, a living mutual awakening and overlaying of each with the objective sense of the other. This overlaying can bring a total or a partial coincidence, which in any particular instance has its degree, the limiting case being that of complete "likeness". As the result of this overlaying, there takes place in the paired data a mutual transfer of sense --- that is to say: an apperception of each according to the sense of the other, so far as / moments of sense actualized in what is experienced do not annul this transfer, with the consciousness of "different".
[Husserl, E (1950/1988). Cartesian Meditation. (trans.) D. Cairns. London: Kluwer Academic. p.113.]

My body and that of the other are not the same but they are enough similar to make 'a unity of similarity'. There is an 'intentional overreaching', which is 'a living mutual awakening and overlaying of each with the objective sense of the other'. Through this process, the other's body is recognized as a living body like mine.

The word "intentional overreaching" (original German is "intentionales Ubergreifen") was translated into French as "transgression intentionelle" and possibly had an influence on the Merleau-Pontian notion of "intercorporeality".