What goes without saying: Husserl's concept of style
Meacham, D. (2013) What goes without saying: Husserl's concept of style. Research in Phenomenology, 43 (1). pp. 3-26. ISSN 0085-5553
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The idea of “style” emerges at several important points throughout Husserl’s oeuvre: in the second part of the Crisis of the European Sciences, the lectures on intersubjectivity published in Husserliana XV, and in the analyses of transcendental character and intersubjectivity in the second book of the Ideas. This paper argues that the idea of style, often overlooked, is in fact central to understanding Husserl’s conception of the person and intersubjective relations; its role in the latter captured in his odd turn of phrase, “intuitive flair.” Moreover, by showing the interdependence between the ideas of style and institution (Stiftung), I argue that institution also has a central role in Husserl’s account of constitution and personhood. The relevance of the relation between institution and style goes beyond Husserlian phenomenology. In his late writings, Merleau-Ponty makes this relation the centrepiece of his attempts at an “indirect-ontology.” Thus the investigation of Husserl’s concept of style that I carry out here becomes an important propaedutic for the study of style that Merleau-Ponty calls for in his later work. In brief, the concept of style has an important role to play in any phenomenological account of personhood and intersubjective relations.