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For-Me-Ness, For-Us-Ness, and the We-Relationship

Article

Abstract

This article investigates the relationship between for-me-ness and sociality. I start by pointing out some ambiguities in claims pursued by critics that have recently pressed on the relationship between the two notions. I next articulate a question concerning for-me-ness and sociality that builds on the idea that, occasionally at least, there is something it is like ‘for us’ to have an experience. This idea has been explored in recent literature on shared experiences and collective intentionality, and it gestures towards the question of the extent to which some social interactions make a difference in the phenomenal character of their participants’ experiences. Finally, I present a construal of for-us-ness that complements the received understanding of for-me-ness, by drawing on Alfred Schutz’ concept of the we-relationship, and on the idea of second-personal awareness, i.e. awareness of a ‘you’ (as distinguished from awareness of a ‘she’ or ‘he’). The current proposal provides a suitable account of some basic forms of phenomenally manifest social connectedness, in a way that is cognitively undemanding and without incurring the costs of a sui generis plural pre-reflective self-awareness.

Keywords

For-me-ness For-us-ness We-relationship Shared experiences Subjective character Second person Alfred Schutz 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The author thanks the Independent Research Fund Denmark for financial support to the project ‘You and We: Second-person Engagement and Collective Intentionality’, DFF—7013-00032).

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Media, Cognition and Communication, Center for Subjectivity ResearchUniversity of CopenhagenCopenhagen SDenmark

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