The Self-Other Relationship Between Transcendental and Ethical Inquiries

Symposion: Theoretical and Applied Inquiries in Philosophy and Social Sciences 3 (1):89-101 (2016)
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This paper discusses two approaches of the relationship between subjectivity and intersubjectivity. The Husserlian one, a transcendental phenomenological investigation of the possibility of subjectivity and intersubjectivity, and the Waldenfelsian one, an ethical phenomenological investigation of day to day intersubjective interactions. Both authors pretend to give account of the conditions of possibility of intersubjective interaction. However, Husserl starts with the investigation of the transcendental structure of subjectivity, that is, the fundamental conditions required for the appearance of consciousness. By contrast, Waldenfels looks first at practical interaction and draws conclusions on the deeper structure of subjectivity based on the traces he discovers to be characteristic for this interaction. Our interest lies in determining which of the two approaches should be given priority for the investigation of the constitution of intersubjectivity.

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