Edmund Husserl’s theory of intersubjectivity is widely rejected even among phenomenologists. This is a crucial issue, since it is intersubjectivity that guarantees objectivity in Husserl’s philosophy. As many of his critics have pointed out, if Husserl’s account of intersubjectivity is inadequate, then his systematic transcendental phenomenology is jeopardized. But, is the case really settled? Kathleen M. Haney provides a daring and innovative analysis of Husserl’s fifth Cartesian Meditation, finding it not only persuasive but also capable of playing its role in transcendental phenomenology. The real other, the alter ego, can be the constitutive achievement of the monadic ego, since otherness can be constituted as absence of the immediate selfpresence that the originary ego enjoys. This originary constitutive ego is not the Cartesian ego split from its body. Rather, Husserl’s ego is always the incarnate ego, which can present the starting point for a rational post-modern philosophy.
The success of the Fifth Meditation puts into question the currently fashionable rejection of the possibility of foundational philosophy. In addition, Husserl’s theory of intersubjectivity provides an entry into phenomenological accounts of empathy and community as meanings that are derived from individual participation in their constitution.
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