Artist Blog

Every week an artist whose single image was published by Der Greif is given a platform in which to blog about contemporary photography.

The Tree Perceived

Mar 29, 2021 - Michael Swann

“Let us suppose that in a garden we regard with pleasure a blossoming apple tree, the freshly green grass of the lawn, etc. It is obvious that the perception and the accompanying liking are not, at the same time, what is perceived and liked. In the natural attitude, the apple tree is fur us something existing in the transcendent realm of spatial actuality, and the perception, as well as the liking, is for us a psychical state belonging to real people. Between the one and the other real things, between the real person or the real perception, and the real apple tree, there exist real relations. In such situations characterising mental processes, it may be in certain cases that perception is “mere hallucination,” the perceived, this apple tree before us, does not exist in “actual” reality. Now the real relation, previously meant as actually existing, is destroyed. Only the perception remains, but there is nothing actual there to which it is related. […] Here, in the case of perception and also in the case of any progressive concatentation of perceptions whatever (as when we consider the blossoming tree ambulando), there is no question to be raised of the sort whether or not something corresponds to it in “the” actuality. This posited actuality is indeed not there for us in consequence of judging. And yet, so to speak, everything remains of old. Even the phenomenologically reduced perceptual mental process is a perceiving of “this blossoming apple tree, in this garden,” etc., and, likewise, the reduced liking is a liking of this same thing.”


Edmund Husserl – ‘Ideas I: General Introduction to Pure Phenomenology’