Skip to main content

Edmund Husserl: Empathy and the Transcendental Constitution of the World

  • Chapter
  • 303 Accesses

Part of the Analecta Husserliana book series (ANHU,volume 79)

Abstract

A critical tension within Husserl’s thinking — that is, his attachment to the classical Greek Enlightenment and things apodictic on one hand, and his constantly returning to the world that is “constituted” and “in flux” on the other hand — saturates the Fifth Cartesian Meditation. Such ambivalence is manifest by Husserl’s controversial notion that empathy [Einfühlung] is a founding mode, a transcendental condition of the Objective world. Kathleen Haney notes that empathy is not only intrinsic to any life-world, but as well provides the unity of the sciences and the means for their proper ordering.1 Because empathy makes possible our objective knowledge of the natural [Naturwissenschaften] and social [Geisteswissenschaften] sciences, Husserl’s notion of empathy was met with derision by Martin Heidegger, who rejected outright any theory that assigned to empathy a founding mode. “This phenomenon,” Heidegger argues, “which is none too happily designated as ‘empathy,’ is then supposed, as it were, to provide the first ontological bridge from one’s own subject, which is given proximally as alone, to the other subject, which is proximally quite closed off.”2 If this were the case — that is, if empathy was a founding mode as Husserl proposed — then, Heidegger concludes, the Other would be reducible to a mere a duplicate of the Self, a non-differentiated reproduction cloned by “publicness” [die Offentlicheit], a mere Thing [Ding] in a world [Welt] in which “everyone is the other, and no one is himself.”3

Keywords

  • Objective World
  • Analogical Transference
  • Phenomenological Reduction
  • Conscious Life
  • Cartesian Meditation

These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Buying options

Chapter
USD   29.95
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • DOI: 10.1007/978-94-010-0047-5_14
  • Chapter length: 21 pages
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
eBook
USD   269.00
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • ISBN: 978-94-010-0047-5
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
Softcover Book
USD   349.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Hardcover Book
USD   349.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Notes

  1. Kathleen M. Haney, “Logos and the Empathic Life,” from Analecta Husserliana, Volume XL (Dordrecht: The Netherlands, Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1993), p. 320.

    Google Scholar 

  2. Martin Heidegger, Being and Time, trans. Macquarrie and Robinson (Oxford, UK: Blackwell Publishers, 1992), p. 162.

    Google Scholar 

  3. Ibid., p. 162.

    Google Scholar 

  4. Ibid., see p. 149–168.

    Google Scholar 

  5. Ibid., p. 166.

    Google Scholar 

  6. Ibid., p. 154.

    Google Scholar 

  7. Ibid. p. 163.

    Google Scholar 

  8. Ibid. p. 162.

    Google Scholar 

  9. Edmund Husserl, Cartesian Meditations, trans. Dorian Cairns (Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1995), p. 56. (Hence referred to as CM)

    Google Scholar 

  10. Maurice Natanson, The Journeying Self (Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley Publishing Company, 1970), p. 28.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Editor information

Editors and Affiliations

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

Copyright information

© 2004 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht

About this chapter

Cite this chapter

Andrews, M.F. (2004). Edmund Husserl: Empathy and the Transcendental Constitution of the World. In: Tymieniecka, AT. (eds) Does the World Exist?. Analecta Husserliana, vol 79. Springer, Dordrecht. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-010-0047-5_14

Download citation

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-010-0047-5_14

  • Publisher Name: Springer, Dordrecht

  • Print ISBN: 978-94-010-3988-8

  • Online ISBN: 978-94-010-0047-5

  • eBook Packages: Springer Book Archive