Second-Person Engagement, Self-Alienation, and Group-Identification

Topoi 38 (1):251-260 (2019)
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One of the central questions within contemporary debates about collective intentionality concerns the notion and status of the we. The question, however, is by no means new. At the beginning of the last century, it was already intensively discussed in phenomenology. Whereas Heidegger argued that a focus on empathy is detrimental to a proper understanding of the we, and that the latter is more fundamental than any dyadic interaction, other phenomenologists, such as Stein, Walther and Husserl, insisted on the importance of empathy for proper we-experiences. In this paper, I will present some of the key moves in this debate and then discuss and assess Husserl’s specific proposal, according to which reciprocal empathy, second-person engagement and self-alienation are all important presuppositions for group-identification and we-identity.



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Dan Zahavi
University of Copenhagen

Citations of this work

Observation, Interaction, Communication: The Role of the Second Person.Dan Zahavi - 2023 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 97 (1):82-103.
We in Me or Me in We? Collective Intentionality and Selfhood.Dan Zahavi - 2021 - Journal of Social Ontology 7 (1):1-20.
Intercorporeity and the first-person plural in Merleau-Ponty.Philip J. Walsh - 2019 - Continental Philosophy Review 53 (1):21-47.

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References found in this work

The Phenomenological Mind.Shaun Gallagher & Dan Zahavi - 2008 - New York, NY: Routledge. Edited by Dan Zahavi.
The Nature of Sympathy.Max Scheler - 1954 - Transaction Publishers.

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