The Part Played by Value in the Modification
of Open into Attractive Possibilities

Robert Welsh Jordan
Colorado State University

<What follows reproduces, with one substantial correction and a few minor ones, the essay with the above title, which forms Chapter 5 of Phenomenology of Values and Valuing, ed. James G. Hart and Lester Embree (Dordrecht; Boston; London: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1997) 91-94. The page numbers of that publication are indicated in bold faced angle brackets "<>" within the text below by numbers. End notes are referred to within square brackets [] linked to the notes and these link back to the text loci. Text printed in sepia has been emended. The brief passage in the text that occurs in angle brackets and in the same color as this introductory note has been added to state more pointedly an important issue>

 

 

Moral value as it was understood by Nicolai Hartmann and by Max Scheler belongs uniquely to volitions or willings, to dispositions to will and to persons as beings capable of willing. Moreover, as understood in this paper as well as by Hartmann, Scheler, and Husserl, every volition necessarily involves if not actual valuings then reference to retained valuings and potential valuings as well as to cognitive mental phenomena. As used here, the terms 'volition' and 'willing' denote mental traits, such as lived experiences and habits insofar as they either do or can occur actively. A trait of a mind or "monad" can have moral value — in contrast to utility, for example — only (would belong) insofar as it is or can be or could have been engaged in and so performed by the person or ego to whose mind the trait belongs . The classification of lived experiences as voluntary or not voluntary cuts across the three-fold classification of mental processes as cognitive, affective, or conative. This seems to be the most appropriate way of distinguishing the voluntary from the involuntary. Voluntary mental phenomena are characterized by the engagement of the ego in some lived experience occurring in the flux of its lived experiences, i.e., by taking position.

Many sorts of mental processes can only occur actively or voluntarily, including all those which objectivate and so all those through which categorial forms are given to consciousness. Even though they can occur in the first place only voluntarily, they can become habitual so that they occur in what Husserl terms "secondary passivity" or a second nature. Some other sorts of lived experiences, however, — including all sensuous perceivings — begin <82> involuntarily and only then attract the ego to be concerned with some aspect pertaining to them either noetically or noematically. These may also continue when they no longer engage the ego's interest.

Even in the case of mental processes that can occur only voluntarily, the object of the activity must be there for the ego through experiences of a sort which can also occur involuntarily, otherwise the object could not attract the ego's concern. Lived experiences that are involuntary become voluntary insofar as the ego comes through them to be attentive to something.

…Attention is…mastering of the process whose flux itself is radically involuntary. In it arises the free or the voluntary; it is itself attentive, that is, not a distinct operation but the free mode of all cogitationes.
…Attention presents itself first as a mode of perception. By generalization we shall be able to extract from perceptive attention (or better from attention as a mode of perceiving) the universal characteristics which make it a kind of production of…thought in general, in the broad sense which Descartes gives to this word… attention in its affective or intellectual forms retains certain characteristics of perception and always remains a perceiving in a very broad sense…[1]

Affective and cognitive mental processes and not just conations can be voluntary, and they are, therefore, prima facie bearers of moral value and subjects of moral evaluation.

The moral worth of an action is, however to be distinguished from the worth it may have in the sense of utility, called by Hartmann "goods value." The action's moral worth depends upon — but by no means exclusively upon — its intended instrumental value, goods value, or utility. This appears to be in basic disagreement with Kant's formalism since an action's moral worth cannot vary independently of the value of, using Kant's terms, the "content" of the action. Nevertheless, the positions of <83> Scheler and of Hartmann may, perhaps, correctly be termed "deontological" since they agree with Kant's position that moral worth is entirely independent of whatever value — whether primary or instrumental — the action's immediate consequences would in fact possess.

Thus, moral value is founded upon the intended goods value; goods value is a more basic sort of worth than the "higher" moral value whose actualization is made possible only through the consciousness of worth of the more basic sort. How, more precisely, does the intended utility of the action enter into its constitution? In what sense or senses does its intended utility condition an action? An inquiry into the way the intended outcome is anticipated may help clarify what is at issue in these questions. As proposed here this inquiry leads to the pronounced difference between two different senses in which an ego may be conscious of possible future occurrences. The attentiveness which distinguishes volitions from other mental processes entails choice between possibilities. The possibilities they involve, however, are potentialities rather than merely fancied possibilities. Possibilities that confront the agent with a choice have a kind of unity which sets them apart from what Husserl called "open possibilities."[2] There is a consciousness of a projected possibility as attractive insofar as there is also a consciousness that it might not be fulfilled rather than there being simple certainty that it will be so. A modalization occurs through conflict between a requirement that was originally simply certain and counter-requirements.[3] Problematic possibilities are possibilities that are in question as to their factuality (not as to their possibility). Uncertainty is always a matter of being inclined one way or another; and, on that account, it always involves a consciousness <84> of attractive possibilities. Only problematic possibilities arise with varying weights: what attracts is always attractive comparatively.

Inclination and attractiveness arise only with conflict and the splitting of one consciousness into reciprocal inhibition. The accompanying phenomenon on the noematic side is a unity of opposition, the unity of the possibilities which are thus synthetically bound to one another.[4] Some or all of the possibilities which are thus unified through conflict must entail a requirement that [a] it is to — i.e., ought to — become actual at the relevant anticipated time. The members of the group are meant alternatives. As they are anticipated, each can occur during the relevant phase of the flux of consciousness; yet for each of them, its becoming actual would preclude the others' becoming actual. The conflict which unifies any group of attractive possibilities arises insofar as each, as anticipated, is possible while none are compossible.

A conflict of this sort can arise even when a single definite possibility enters into such a union with its negation as a counter-possibility. It may even happen that only one member stands out for the ego while the others are not awakened, (remain "unconscious").[5] When only one member of <85> such a unity "stands out," it is nevertheless uncertain, threatened;[6] the consciousness of the other members of the unity is empty in the sense that all of the counter-possibilities remain quite indeterminate. However, inhibition still occurs even when the counter-possibilities are not awakened.

Mutual inhibition and unity through conflict characterize all attractive possibilities, however manifold [vielfältig] the members of the conflict. Conflict, which is the splitting of one consciousness into reciprocal inhibition, also creates a unity which noematically is unity[8] of opposition, the unity of the possibilities that are thus bound to one another. Problematic (attractive) possibilities and only these possibilities arise with varied weights[7]

Noematically every such conflict generates a unity of opposition, the <86> unity of the possibilities that are thus bound to one another. There is, on the side of the objective sense, something like an ontic attraction, that issues from the object. Each of the antagonistic alternates in the unity through opposition attracts as being the object. The meanings themselves have inclination to be [Der Sinn selbst hat Neigung zu sein]. Considered apart from the ego what it is that thus attracts is called possible.[9] The inclination to be distinguishes attractive possibilities from open possibilities. Each of the conflicting possibilities attracts the ego to posit it; each requires that the ego take the position that it is the possibility which would be fulfilled. When the ego is simply certain about its possibilities, when it takes the fulfillment of its expectations for granted, then it is aware of them as open possibilities.

When actual things and their actual values are not the issue then there are no such demands and the possibilities imagined are open rather than attractive. When I am not projecting possibilities but merely fancying an act, I can chose as I please the constraints under which the act would occur. Hence, I am at liberty then to fancy its occurrence as being subject to limitations quite different from those by which I am myself limited in my actual choices.

In contrast, the limitations upon the acts I can at a given moment project are imposed by what Alfred Schutz termed "my world as taken for granted" and by my biographically determined situation. What I can succeed in doing, on the other hand, is subject to determinate limits other than those explicitly included in my world as taken for granted. Since I have in the past been frustrated in my efforts to carry out projects, the fact that there are likely to be further, as yet unknown and, in that sense, indeterminate limits will also be part of my world as taken for granted.[10]

In order to become projects rather than mere possibilities anticipated possibilities have to attract the person's attention. How does it come about that some possibilities rather than others attract attention as things which <87> the ego might do? For simplicity's sake, a relatively simple act of predicative judging may be made — following the precedent of Schutz and of Husserl before him — to serve as point of departure for exploring this question: any judgment of the form "S is p" will do. Even such a simple example of action reveals — as both Husserl and Heidegger emphasize in their accounts of judging — the phenomenon of choice or selection. Even when it is quite clearly true that the door is open, its being open is not a sufficient reason for a person's saying "The door is open." As it presents itself in an agent's experience, the door has many characteristics. It is open and has been manufactured and is rectangular and solid and has indefinitely many other characteristics as well. The interests a person has determine, in the person's biographically determined situation, whether the person will say anything at all about the door and what will be said about it if anything.[11] Certain characteristics of S are of no interest given the biographically determined situation. <Does the biographically determined situation by itself determine the person's interests? Even if it be a sufficient condition for having a certain interest, is it possible that interests arise which are not conditioned solely by the biographically determined situation?> Only certain interests are relevant to a certain situation. These will determine which characteristic of S is going to be selected for attention. Which interests the subject has in the biographically determined situation is co-determined by the systems of interests the subject has acquired. This system includes such enduring traits of the ego as its habitual beliefs, habitual emotional attitudes, ongoing actions, and habitual styles of acting — the person's character in something very like John Stuart Mill's sense of the word.

Following Bergson, Schutz emphasizes that the discussion of choice has often been embedded in ontological controversies over the relation between choice and free will. In these controversies, it has been, as a rule, naively assumed that the agent is confronted with pregiven sets of alternative mutually exclusive possibilities from which to choose.[12] Choice has been understood, as a rule, as if the alternatives simply were there, regardless of the potential agent's interests. This understanding of the matter may be correct; it may be that in constituting open possibilities as attractive and problematic, the ego is explicating conflicts already implicit <88> in the world as taken for granted. Even so, it appears that competing possibilities of this sort must arise for (be constituted for) the ego within a broader field of possibilities that are not projected as competing in such a way.[13] Action and choice do necessarily entail that there be a consciousness of groupings of competing possibilities. Schutz, however, emphasizes that groupings of this sort are not simply given; they are constituted for the ego. Schutz maintains that groupings of attractive or problematic possibilities arise only within a projected field of non-problematic, open possibilities. Schutz, who consistently uses the term "problematic" rather than "attractive" writes, "…strictly speaking, there are at the time of my projecting no problematic alternatives between which to choose."[14] Instead, there is, according to Schutz, only the field of open possibilities afforded by the agent's world as taken for granted. Open possibilities must become problematic ones through the agent, i.e., they must be constituted — through a variety of facts about the agent — as problematic.

Actions and their meanings are constituted within the agent's stream of consciousness. Actions are lived experiences, and an action that is not yet being done is not experienced and does not exist. Still, possible but not yet actual actions can and do have meaning for potential agents. To experience anticipating doing something is not to experience the doing but is rather to anticipate something of a certain kind, something belonging to an openly determinate class of things designated by the word 'action.' As it is thus anticipated, Schutz applies to this object the term 'act.' If and when the person is committed to carrying out the act, then the anticipated act does exist and is already either turning out to be as anticipated or to be different from what was anticipated. There must be something by virtue of which both the act and the action are 'the same' for this to be true. They are able to coincide, however, only in reference to the quite specific kind <89> to which both belong.[15] What is common to the act as well as to the action itself can only be a set of types of which both are examples. An action, or any other object such that if it exist it will take place in the time of the actual world, is something unique and individual. Only a single course of action can be what (all) I was doing on the way to today's session of the symposium.

On the other hand, kinds or types of things are not objects like actual things. Belonging to type T is something which can be "common " to many different actual objects, but type T cannot belong to type T in that case. Several different actions can be of the same kind. Every course of action is a thing of a wide variety of types or kinds. For each course of action there would be a set of types to which it belongs. The action belongs equally well to each of these types, and other courses of action may belong to (be examples of) the self-same type. But no action may be a type although it may rightly be said of every action that the realization or actualization of a type is <very> implicit in its intention. This common way of talking should, however, not be taken literally. If the action succeeds then actual entities come into being that are examples of the type of result or effect which constituted the in order to motive. What Schutz calls the act on the other hand may well be identical with a certain type, viz., a course of action type. The in order to motive, the type of result the act would seek, gives rise to a question as to what is to be done about it now and calls into question the relevance to the project of things in the agent's biographically determined situation.[16] What is involved here is the transformation of open possibilities belonging to the world as taken for granted into problematic possibilities. "The world as taken for granted is the general frame of open possibilities, none of them having its specific weight, none of them as long as believed beyond question, contesting the others. All are believed to be of empirical or presumptive certainty until further notice, that is, until counterproof."[17] It would be only in relation to choices already made by an <90> agent living in the world as taken for granted that certain "pure" possibilities come to stand out as problematic because their actualization would conflict or interfere in some way with that of other possibilities that also exert an attraction and so stand to choice.

The ego anticipates various, now problematic possibilities, that might affect in some way the course of events leading to the favored result.[18] In the process, the agent "grows older. " Having anticipated them, the person no longer is quite the same as when first predelineating them. The meaning of the several potentialities is now somewhat modified.[19] The modifications will be such that the ego decides for one of the problematic possibilities and so against the others. Decision requires the agent's fiat, and this is motivated by the in-order-to-motive of the project that stood to choice together with the weight or evaluation which the chosen course of action will have acquired relative to the other potentialities participating in the conflict.

In all of his many discussions of this topic, Schutz seems to have maintained that the decisive "weight " in the choice of the in order to motive and the course of action through which it is sought is entirely a function of a pre-existing hierarchy of projects: The weight of any such possibility "…its positive or negative character is positive or negative merely with reference to…" a system of projects of higher and lower orders within which "…all particular plans are subject to our plan for life as the most universal one which determines the subordinate ones even if the latter conflict with one another."[20] This system of priorities is a major player in determining what open possibilities will be relevant to the person. The person's stock of knowledge at hand together with what is given to the person in the present situation predelineates the range of open possibilities the person will anticipate. The system of priorities or of projects to which the person is committed determines, it seems, which possibilities within this range will become problematic for the person. There are standards or <91> priorities through which an open possibility comes to have weight for the person and so to attract the agent's attention. Through this attraction there arises an inclination for the agent toward adopting the now valued means for influencing the course of events in favor of the what has now been chosen.

There seem to be at least two distinct groupings of problematic possibilities involved in anyone's "biographically determined situation: " (1) conflicting "ends " or in-order-to-motives and (2) subordinate to each of these in-order-to-motives, a grouping of course of action types by which achievement of the relevant in order to motive might be promoted. Each of the problematic possibilities involved in these distinct unities attracts the ego to "take a position " toward it, to thematize it, in two distinct ways: (1) affectively by preferring it to its competitors and (2) conatively by striving for its occurrence and so against the occurrence of its competitors.

Acts must exert an attraction upon their potential agent. An act must be one toward which the person is inclined or else the person is no potential agent for such an act, will take no interest in it. An agent for an action will be a person who has given it his fiat, and this implies that the agent will have evaluated the projected act according to "a pre-existent frame of reference.. " Such a frame of reference will be afforded by positions which have been taken by the agent ego. These will be abiding traits of the ego, involving its stock of "knowledge " in a very broad sense of that word. Such traits are habitual ways of taking position. They are instituted through lived experiences of all kinds. If we follow Husserl's classification of lived experiences then there will be.

a. Habitual conations, i.e., habitual strivings for particular sorts of results under particular sorts of circumstances; these will include any strivings there may be for particular goals that persist under all circumstances.
b. Doxic habits

(1) These will include habitual beliefs about the courses of events that typically lead to certain sorts of outcomes: beliefs that seem clearly to be implicit in all habits of striving
(2) Doxic habits will have been instituted through such mental processes as believings, <92> disbelievings, anticipating, doubting, affirming, and denying

c. Habitual ways of taking up emotional or affective position with respect to all sorts of objects. These will include habitual styles of preferring, and habitual preferences will also be implicit in all habitual conations.

Schutz seems to have concluded that the valuations involved in choosing between projects for action must already have been acquired and so must already belong to the potential agent's stock of knowledge at hand if the agent is to be predisposed to the evaluation.[21] Nevertheless, 'already' in such eidetic descriptions must be understood to assert simply that the requisite valuations are necessary conditions for choice. The priority involved is logical rather than temporal and means only that the choice or the disposition to choose cannot precede the valuation that makes it possible. This lends no support whatsoever to nativist theories — whether naturalistic or transcendental — which would maintain that an ego can be attracted only by familiar sorts of value predicates. Schutz was quite right to suggest[22] that his analysis of choosing between attractive projects is neutral toward the questions whether some possibilities might be attractive of themselves and, if so, on what conditions it would be possible for someone to be attracted by them without a predisposition to be so attracted.

The valuings involved in constituting possibilities as problematic are necessarily empty in some ways. Reviewing a familiar example of empty awareness may help in distinguishing less familiar ways in which affective consciousness may also be empty. The unperceived side of a perceived table is apperceived as existing and existing with its texture and its color. These are apperceived as objects which would be given now in and through visual experience quite like that which is protended to occur in case certain things happen in my future mental life. Along with the apperceiving of the color and texture, there is an apperceiving of possible experiences through which the apperceived determinations of the table <93> would be given. Should these things happen then the givenness of the surface's color and texture will more or less completely either fulfill or cancel my expectations and will thereby more or less completely verify or falsify the beliefs I have now and will then retend about the color and texture. My consciousness of the apperceived color and texture is empty; so, too, is my consciousness of the co-apperceived experiences through which the color and texture would have been given now. Under most circumstances, intending something in this empty sort of way involves protending experiences through which what is now emptily intended would be given. Quite universally, however, such an empty consciousness refers back in time to retended experiences of the same kinds as those which are emptily intended along with the empty intending of the color and texture. This is a roughly phenomenological analog of the classical empiricist conception of the relation between simple ideas and simple impressions.

Quite the same sort of account could be given concerning any empty emotional or affective mental process and that which would be given in and through it. If I approve of an anticipated possibility for its goods-value and prefer it to the occurrence of its competitors within a unity through conflict, then my approval is empty. It is empty because the goods value of what I approve and prefer is not and cannot be given since it does not yet exist. The valuing is, therefore, empty even though it is serious, actual approval and preference and so constitutes the anticipated possibility as an in order to motive.[23] Necessarily, it points insofar as it is empty to a protended liking of the object for characteristics themselves protended as belonging to it when it will have come into being. This empty valuing necessarily refers back to a retended non-empty, intuitive valuing to which the same sort of value predicate was given. All empty liking of something as worthy of approval would indeed seem to refer to the ego's habits and "pre-existing interests ".

But this fact would have no pertinence to the question whether some egos might be open to new values. It shows rather that novel ways of valuing things are — if they are to occur at all — bound to be intuitive, <94> that is, are bound to be impressions of value rather than being empty valuings, however correct. Openness to novel value is still very far from established however. If it occurs at all disclosure of genuinely novel worth may be very rare indeed; novel valuations might occur when either of two conditions is fulfilled:

(a) value of the relevant kind has never before been given through lived experiences occurring in this person's stream of mental processes or else
(b) value of the novel kind has been given before but its ontic foundation has not previously been correctly understood — what the intuitively valued object(s) were valued for has previously always been misunderstood.

 

Notes

[a] The wording from this point to the second em dash corrects a serious misprint in the essay as published.

[1] Ricoeur, Paul. Freedom and Nature: The Voluntary and the Involuntary, translated with an introduction by Erazim V. Kohák (Evanston, Indiana: Northwestern University Press, 1966) 152 f.

[2] The German is anmutliche Möglichkeit which he sometimes called "problematic possibilities, " the term taken up by Schutz. The differentiation between the two sorts of possibilities is discussed in almost all of the works published in Husserl's name as well as in most of Schutz' works. Though ‘problematic' is the less arresting term, Husserl considers more appropriate the word anmutliche [Analysen zur passiven Synthesis aus Vorlesungs- und Forschungsmanuskripten 1918-1926, ed. Margot Fleischer (Husserliana, Vol XI) (The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1966); cited hereafter as Husserliana. 11 -- page 43]; indeed, he sometimes speaks of the possibilities he calls "problematic " as if they were a subset of, modes of "attractive " possibilities. The consciousness of such possibilities is a modalized positing, in contrast to positing with simple, naive certainty. Projected mental processes of all sorts -- whether cognitive, affective, or conative -- can be modalized in this way. Where moral worth is the topic, however, <conation> comes in for the most scrutiny, perhaps justifiably.

[3] Husserliana. 11 42 ff.

[4] Such a conflict [Widerstreit] involves the splitting [Spaltung] of one consciousness into reciprocal inhibition [Hemmung]. [Husserliana. 11 44] Ricoeur (op. cit. 137 ff.) appears to treat the phenomena involved in the awareness of problematic possibilities under the title 'hesitation': "...we speak of hesitation as an indecision. This imperfection of willing is often experienced as painful: I sense a self-loss in it. It is an anxiety of not being at all, since I fail to be one. In hesitation I am many, and so am not." On the other hand, the consciousness of the problematic is presented by Husserl as the origin of of all projects. Ricoeur does not mention the differentiation of attractive from open possibilities in Husserl and does not refer to Schutz' very thorough and stimulating treatment of the subject, neither in his discussion of possibilities (ibid. 53 ff.) nor in his discussion of the relation of projecting to deciding and his review of the literature (ibid. 37 ff. and 38 fn.1).

[5] Husserliana. 11 45 fn.

[6] The negation as counter-possibility seems here to imply possibility of cancellation through a now undetermined but nevertheless determinate possibility. The negation must nonetheless be relevant to the problematic possibility. What Husserl refers to as the Absurd, the givenness of nothing at all, would be the counter-possibility to there being anything given at all [Husserl, Edmund. Logische Untersuchungen (Husserliana, Edmund Husserl Gesammelte Werke, Volume 19/2), ed. Ursula Panzer (The Hague, Boston, Lancaster: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers: 1984) 655 ff. (Sixth Investigation § 39)]. Such a problematic possibility might be there for the ego yet be so repugnant that any alternative at all is to be preferred (though Schopenhauer and others, whom Nietzsche sometimes considers the true nihilists, would disagree). The strictly Absurd might be a possibility which the ego avoids adverting to or one toward which it takes up a resolute position. If there were nothing to be done to avert the Absurd then presumably a resolute ego would take an affective position against it. Still, taking such a position would be an indication that what the ego takes position against is (understood to be) possible. (Compare Ricoeur, op. cit. 137 f.)

[7] There is an important ambiguity here. Since the attraction is that "exerted" by the noematic sense, the object with its objective sense and its thetic qualities, it might be suggested that what weight it has, the attraction it exerts, is entirely dependent on its relation to the ego. It often seems as if Alfred Schutz, whose view will be presented in detail below, held that this is indeed the case; this is true especially of the posthumous works edited by T. Luckmann in which it also seems as if this were the way Schutz understood Husserl's position (see, for example, Alfred Schutz and Thomas Luckmann, Structures of the Life-World, translated by Richard M. Zaner and H. Tristram Engelhardt, Jr. (Evanston, Illinois: Northwestern University Press, 1973) 22 ff. and 186 ff]. This may very well not have been Schutz' actual opinion however [see below page 92 and Alfred Schutz, Reflections on the Problem of Relevance, edited, annotated, and with an introduction by Richard M. Zaner (New Haven, Connecticut and London: Yale University Press, 1970) 71]. In any event, the texts being examined and numerous other texts as well suggest very strongly that Husserl held no such opinion so that Schutz' opinion, if it was indeed at variance with Husserl's, is more likely to have been formed under the more naturalistic aegis of William James (Schutz and Luckmann, loc cit.).

[8] Husserliana. 11 44.

[9] Husserliana. 11 42 f.

[10]  Only for an omniscient ego would the world as taken for granted coincide with the world as such. For anyone whose beliefs about the world have ever been corrected by the course of experience, the world as taken for granted at a given time will not be simply identified with the world.

[11] Alfred Schutz, Collected Papers I, The Problem of Social Reality, edited and introduced by Maurice Natanson, preface by H.L. van Breda (The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1962) -- cited hereafter as Collected Papers I -- 76 f.

[12] Collected Papers I 83 f.

[13] Here, it seems to me that Heidegger is in agreement with Schutz and Husserl that there is 'present at hand' or implicit in the Bewandtniszusammenhang a field of open possibilities as a field of possible extensions of the world as taken for granted. In particular, see Sein und Zeit, Martin Heidegger Gesamtausgabe. I. Abteilung: Veröffentlichte Schriften 1914-1970. Band 2,, unaltered text with marginalia from Heidegger's "cottage copy," ed. by Friedrich-Wilhelm von Hermann (Frankfurt am Main: Vitorio Klostermann, 1977) 192 f. (145 f. in the pagination of earlier editions) and his discussion [205 f. (154 f.)] of assertion as indicative ("pointing-out")

[14] Collected Papers I 84.

[15] Indeed, it may be that what Schutz calls "the act" is the relevant specific kind, is an idea. In that case writers like Croce and Collingwoood would be correct in agreeing with Hegel that to comprehend an action is to understand an idea. However, with Hegel, they seem quite groundlessly to identify actions with such ideas.

[16] Collected Papers I 78, 82.

[17] Collected Papers I 82.

[18] It seems likely that an attractive possibility must, in order to stand to choice as an act, be of a kind that has acquired as part of its meaning for the ego that the ego can repeat it "at will". (Schutz Collected Papers I, 87 f.) It is crucially important to bear in mind that the required likeness in kind need only be generic.

[19] Collected Papers I, 84 f.

[20] Collected Papers I, 93 f.

[21] Collected Papers I, 93 and Life-Forms, 171

[22] ibid. "...the problem of positive and negative weights transcends the actual situation of a concrete choice and decision..." See also n. 7 above.

[23] Much as the belief in the apperceived color and texture of the table is an actual and serious belief rather than a protended, imagined, or retended one.