Social Space and the Question of Objectivity / Der soziale Raum und die Frage nach der Objektivität

Open access


In speaking of the social dimensions of human experience, we inevitably become involved in the debate regarding how they are to be studied. Should we embrace the first-person perspective, which is that of the phenomenologists, and begin with the experiences composing our directly experienced lifeworld? Alternately, should we follow the lead of natural scientists and take up the third-person perspective? This is the perspective that asserts that we must begin with what is true for everyone, i.e., with what is available to both me and Others (the “they” that forms the grammatical third person). Both perspectives are one sided in that each presupposes the other for its intelligibility. The third-person perspective is Cartesian and, as I show, privileges space, while the first-person perspective is social in Levinas’s sense and presupposes time. Our reality, I argue, embraces both perspectives and is, in fact, set by their intertwining.

Dillon, M. C. (2004). Merleau-Ponty and the Reversibility Thesis. In L. Embree & M. Dermot (Eds.), Phenomenology, Critical Concepts in Philosophy (Vol. 2, pp. 294-315). New York: Routledge.

Freud, S. (1989). An Outline of Psycho-Analysis. (J. Strachey Ed., Trans.). New York: W. W. Norton & Company.

Hacker, P. M. S. (2013). The linguistic turn in analytic philosophy. In M. Beaney (Ed.), The Oxford Handbook for the History of Analytic Philosophy (926-947). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Husserl, E. (1963). Cartesianische Meditationen. S. Strasser (Ed.). The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff.

Kant, I. (2001). Prologomena zu einer jeden künftigen Metaphysik. Hamburg: Felix Meiner Verlag.

Kant, I. (1998). Kritik der reinen Vernunft. Hamburg: Felix Meiner Verlag.

Levinas, E. (1969). Totality and Infinity, An Essay on Exteriority. (A. Lingis, Trans). Pittsburgh: Duquesne University Press.

Levinas, E. (1993). Dieu, La Mort et le Temps. Jacques Rolland. Paris: Bernard Grasset.

Levinas, E. (2000). God, Death, and Time. (B. Bergo, Trans.). Stanford: Stanford University Press.

Merleau-Ponty, M. (1968). The Visible and the Invisible. (A. Lingis, Trans.). Evanston: Northwestern University Press.

Patočka, J. (1991). Der Subjektivismus der Husserlschen und die Möglichkeit einer asubjektiven’ Phänomenologie. In K. Nellen, J. Němec & I. Sruba (Eds.), Die Bewegung der menschlichen Existenz, Phänomenologishe Schriften II, pp. 267-285. Stuttgart: Klett-Cotta.

Schutz, A. (Ed.). (1966). Collected Papers. III. Studies in Phenomenological Philosophy (Phaenomenologica, No. 22). The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff.

Wittgenstein, L. (1971). Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul Ldt.

Wittgenstein, L. (1929). Some Remarks on Logical Form. In Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 9, pp. 162-171.

Gestalt Theory

An International Multidisciplinary Journal

Journal Information


All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 50 50 23
PDF Downloads 9 9 4