Good morning little trolls,
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“The Physiology and Phenomenology of Action“
“Why use the word, givenness? The justification of this term givenness (outside its usage by Husserl) is that it now becomes necessary to situate ourselves at a level that not only interests the physiologist but also the physicist and even the anthropologist, the level of a general (non – specific) ontology devoted to “whatever is”. Givenness has to do with the way in which an object that exists in and for itself comes to be manifest for someone who gets to know it. Givenness also has to do with the organized totality of those constitutive operations thanks to which a subject is capable of giving itself an object. This terminology was introduced to resist the fixational temptations associated with the term sense data, which signifies that the object is simply what is there. However, a configuration in a visual field is not really data, far from it. For what are required so that is should exist are visual activities, the activity of gazing in order that some appearing thing acquire a stable form. So the word data is the end result of a process that has been brutally reified. The term givenness is more interesting on account of its progressive character, this active disbursing of sense data across a certain duration in the life of the subject, all of which is evoked by this nominalization of an action word (to give; givenness). Something is given on the basis of nothing or, more exactly, on the basis of a sort of pre-phenomenal retention of what is not yet manifest. So givenness refers us back to an altogether more primary level. It is a matter of appreciating that objects, is no far as they support properties, even sense data, are not there from the first. They have to be elaborated. Terms like elaborate, constitute, construct, and attribute designate this dynamic interaction between the subject and its world, a world which, for agents, is before all else their field of practical interaction. So these terms imply the same dynamic vocabulary.
Givenness saves us from a temptation inherent in transcendentalism: its excessive idealism. We are not talking about attributing to the subject the ability to create, from the ground up, an object that never existed before. What the subject contributes to the object is its sense. It has a sense for him, a sense that only emerges in relation to him, and this no matter what the nature of the object endowed with such a sense. Because any such object is the product of a living organism that has its habits, desires, needs, filters and hypotheses on the world in which it lives, and so attributes properties a priori or at least seeks to find such properties in the external world.”
Alain Berthoz & Jean – Luc Petit