Is there a phenomenological real time, for Husserl? I've read some relevant sections, I think in the Crisis of the European Sciences, but could not determine an answer from them.

If it isn't, must we infer that time itself ends with death (meaning the termination of all experience)? I believe Husserl thought that impossible.

  • Husserl specifically refrains from passing judgment on "reality" of phenomenological experiences, it is controversial whether he was a realist or an anti-realist. But to him phenomenological is not the same as subjective, those experiences, including time, are constituted by the abstracted "transcendental ego", for which mere possibility of experience is enough, and that is not subject to death. Dispensing with such abstractions is one of Heidegger's points of departure from him.
    – Conifold
    Apr 22, 2019 at 6:04
  • yes i'm aware that the transcendental ego doesn't die. what's unclear is whether that's because there's a real time @Conifold
    – user38026
    Apr 22, 2019 at 16:57
  • Then you can not infer that time ends with death regardless of whether it is "real" or not. In any case, questions about "reality" are bracketed in in phenomenology.
    – Conifold
    Apr 22, 2019 at 17:52
  • oh ok because it depends upon the transcendental ego alone @Conifold ?
    – user38026
    Apr 22, 2019 at 18:41
  • he does in some places talk about a real or at least global (i forget) time. rather than ask the above question i should find those sections and type them out (edit it)
    – user38026
    Apr 22, 2019 at 18:49

1 Answer 1


Husserlian concept of time and temporality is three-tiered:

  1. Internal time consciousness
  2. Subjective time
  3. Worldly-objective time

And contrary to what you might think they arise from each other in 1 to 2 to 3 fashion, where the fundamental base for a worldly/global time and all time is the internal time the consciousness of the individual.

It is described here, for example, https://www.iep.utm.edu/phe-time/

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