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Controversy over the Existence of the World

Volume II

Series:

Roman Ingarden

Roman Ingarden (1893–1970), one of Husserl’s closest students and friends, ranks among the most eminent of the first generation of phenomenologists. His magisterial Controversy over the Existence of the World, written during the years of World War II in occupied Poland, consists of a fundamental defense of realism in phenomenology. Volume II, which follows the English translation of Volume I from 2013, provides fundamental analyses in the formal ontology of the world and consciousness as well as final arguments supporting the realist solution. Ingarden’s monumental work proves to be his greatest accomplishment, despite the fact that outside of Poland Ingarden is known rather as a theoretician of literature than an ontologist. The most important achievement of Ingarden’s ontology is an analysis of the modes of being of various types of objects – things, processes, events, purely intentional objects and ideas. The three-volume Controversy is perhaps the last great systematic work in the history of philosophy, and undoubtedly one of the most important works in 20th-century philosophical literature.

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§ 42. Restriction of the Concept of Property

§ 42.Restriction of the Concept of Property

Extract

5. Finally, some properties of one and the same object can be non-selfsufficient amongst each other: they then require each other one-sidedly or reciprocally, in an unequivocal or ambiguous fashion – depending on their matters. Their materially ←96 | 97→grounded non-selfsufficiency is then just a way of expressing that they all comprise an especially cohesive stratum of properties in the object, [a stratum] which differs to a greater or lesser extent from the remaining properties of the same object, provided the latter exist in the object at all. Whether that is always the case or never, or whether on some occasions things are one way and on others some other way – all of that depends on the relevant matters. This is the point on which the paths of the radical empiricists and the radical rationalists diverge in their conception of the existent in general. For according to the view of the radical rationalists there would exist no properties at all in the individual, autonomous objects that would be selfsufficient vis-à-vis the remaining properties that occur in it: everything in the object would be necessary, and in particular, unequivocally determined by the nature of the object – nothing would be “contingent.”67 The contrary, radically empiricist conception of the existent would deny the existence of properties in such an object that are non-selfsufficient vis-à-vis each other or vis-à-vis the object’s nature: everything in the object would then be “contingent,” and only the so-called “empirical” laws would govern, laws which are...

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