Phenomenological Reviews

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Time and oblivion

a phenomenological study on oblivion

Benjamin Draxlbauer

pp. 215-229


The following paper aims to offer a phenomenological analysis of the phenomenon of oblivion. For Husserl oblivion is a true limit-case emerging on the edge of time-consciousness. The paper elaborates two distinct views of Husserl on the topic of oblivion in conjunction with some broader considerations on the topic and its relationship to intentional consciousness. In his early view, the retentional modification of a past experience continues ad infinitum even when a totally forgotten experience bears no relationship to the current moment. In his later manuscripts Husserl rejects his early view and claims that the retentional modification itself ceases. It reaches its nil-value within the remote past. All past experiences remain preserved and sedimented within an ossified horizon. In the last part of the paper I draw the conclusion that Husserl's conception of a universal consciousness of the past bears no phenomenological evidence.

Publication details

Published in:

Apostolescu Iulian (2020) The subject(s) of phenomenology: rereading Husserl. Dordrecht, Springer.

Pages: 215-229

DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-29357-4_12

Full citation:

Draxlbauer Benjamin (2020) „Time and oblivion: a phenomenological study on oblivion“, In: I. Apostolescu (ed.), The subject(s) of phenomenology, Dordrecht, Springer, 215–229.