This paper consists in a study of the development of Husserl’s thought on the notions of phantasy and image consciousness. It shows how, following a first phase in which he still identified phantasy with image consciousness, Husserl gradually began to distinguish the two and define what is proper to each in an increasingly precise manner.
The paper then shows how Husserl came to view pure phantasy as a modification of perception. Concerning image consciousness, it shows how the status of the image-object and the nature of its reference to the image subject evolved throughout Husserl’s thought. The problems raised by this model are also discussed, in particular when it comes to cases where there is no image subject, e.g. in theatre. Finally, the paper shows how the development of these concepts in Husserl’s work involves a new conception of the notion of “phantasm” – one that goes hand in hand with rejection of the ‘content of apprehension-apprehension’ scheme.