Fichte, Sartre, and Levinas on the Problem with the Problem of Other Minds

  • Cynthia D. CoeEmail author
Part of the Palgrave Handbooks in German Idealism book series (PHGI)


In this chapter I argue that Sartre, Fichte, and Levinas all reject the traditional approach to the problem of other minds in favor of phenomenological accounts of intersubjectivity. With differing emphases, they claim that our normative and affective engagement with others precedes any epistemic question about the existence of conscious, self-determining, or morally considerable persons outside of ourselves. In doing so, they also transform our understanding of what it means to be a subject. Despite this convergence in their approaches, Levinas most radically repudiates the ideal of autonomous subjectivity at the core of the problem of other minds.

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© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Philosophy and Religious StudiesCentral Washington UniversityEllensburgUSA

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