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Journal: Horizon. Studies in Phenomenology (Vol.8, No. 2)

Publication Date:

Authors : ;

Page : 409-441

Keywords : Phenomenological method; intersubjectivity; passive genesis; passive constitution; the Other; E. Husserl; proto-Self.;

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The problem of passive constitution in Edmund Husserl's phenomenology is worthy of particular attention, since it is passive constitution, rather than active conscious constitution, which can be considered to be one of the focal points of 20th century philosophy. Thematisation of the sphere of passivity is related to resolving the problem of intersubjectivity. The elaboration of the problem of intersubjectivity is not so much a response to an externally cast reproach ‘in solipsism' as an internal theme of phenomenology itself. Husserl aspired to establish phenomenological science as being of universal significance to everybody, but in order to make this discipline significant, i.e. in order to make it necessary for everyone else, it was primarily necessary to prove the existence of these other Selves or of the transcendental subjects. I will elaborate on the history of the consideration which Husserl gave to the problem of intersubjectivity, in order to clarify how his attempts to resolve the problem of intersubjectivity, based on the activity of the Self, led to an egocentric model, and in turn how the need to overcome this model led to the thematisation of the genesis of subjectivity, and the detection of passivity as the very basis of such genesis. According to my working hypothesis, it was largely the demand for thematisation of the genesis of the sense of ‘the Other' which influenced the modification of the phenomenological method. Finally, I will turn to the concept of primary subjectivity, or Ur-Ich, in order to bring into focus the methodological significance of distinguishing the proto-Self for the substantiation of intersubjectivity, since only in its ‘context' does the ultimate level of the foundation of the individual Self appear to be not merely a deeper level of consciousness, or the history of a universal subject, but the absolute subjectivity, as a field of intersubjective interaction in which the individual subject is awakened (individualized) to self-constitution in the world. Only then can we reconsider the constitution of the individual Self as being primarily passive, as being permeated by the primordial passive, independent from the Self, aiming for the co-constitution of the intersubjective world.

Last modified: 2020-01-30 05:24:26