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Christian Ferencz-Flatz, “Gesten als Okkasionelle Bedeutungserfüllungen”, Husserl Studies, 2021

This paper addresses the question of occasional expressions, as discussed by Husserl in his First and Sixth Logical Investigation in relation to the problem of gestures. It aims to show that gestures are intimately related to the use of occasional expressions and have an indispensible contribution to their understanding. In doing so, the paper points out an important lack in Husserl’s early theory of signification, which has to do with its exclusion of all aspects related to intersubjective communication. The paper begins with a short presentation of Husserl’s interpretation of occasional expressions in the Logical Investigations. Further on it identifies the main source of Husserl’s difficulties in coming to terms with this issue in his problematic treatment of communication, and shows how the consideration of gestures can help overcome these difficulties. Finally, the paper considers some consequences which derive from such a treatment of the issue for Husserl’s theory of fulfillment (Bedeutungserfüllung).