‘Personalities of a Higher Order’

  • David Carr
Part of the Phaenomenologica book series (PHAE, volume 106)


When he reaches section 56 of the Fifth Cartesian Meditation, Husserl claims he has completed the clarification of the ‘first and lowest level’ of intersubjectivity, or of what he calls the communalization of monads, and can now proceed to ‘higher levels’ that, he says, present ‘relatively minor difficulties’.1 Discussing various forms of communahzation, Husserl mentions ‘the pre-eminent types that have the character of ‘personalities of a higher order’’.2 In using this phrase, Husserl is in effect attributing personal characteristics to certain kinds of social groups as well as to individuals. He does not follow up here on the precise manner in which such attribution is justified, and although the expression ‘personalities of a higher order’ makes its appearance in other works (e.g., The Crisis),3 they likewise lack any detailed justification of the use of such a phrase. We might thus suppose that Husserl is merely indulging in a façon de parler, buf if we consult the manuscripts on intersubjectivity, in particular those of volume 14 of Husserliana, dating from the 1920s,4 we find that Husserl takes this expression very seriously indeed.


Common Object Single System Social Unit Common Environment Common Focus 
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.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Edmund Husserl, Cartesian Meditations, trans. D. Cairns (The Hague: M. Nijhoff, 1960), pp. 128 f.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Ibid. p. 132.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    The Crisis of European Sciences and Transcendental Phenomenology, trans. D. Carr (Evanston: Nortwestern University Press, 1970) p. 188.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Husserliana, vol. 14, Zur Phänomenologie der Intersubjektivitat: Zweiter Teil, I. Kern ed. (The Hague: M. Nijhoff, 1973).Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Alfred Schutz, The Phenomenology of the Social World, trans. G. Walsh and F. Lehnert ( Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 1967 ), p. 199.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    See Wilhelm Dilthey, Der Aufbau der geschichtlichen Welt in den Geisteswissenschaften, ed. M. Riedel ( Frankfurt: Suhrkamp, 1970 ), pp. 351–355.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    The importance of the common world in this analysis reveals the limits and ultimately the inappropriateness, in my view, of the Leibnizian concept of monadology, which Husserl invokes in the Fifth Meditation and elsewhere.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Cf. Cartesian Meditations, pp. 115–116, 126 ff.; Crisis, p. 185; and Husserliana, vol. 14 pp. 199–200.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    The Phenomenology of the Social World, p. 165.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Ibid., p. 164.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    See Being and Time, trans. J. Macquarrie and E. Robinson (New York: Harper and Row, 1962), pp. 153 ff.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    G.W.F. Hegel, Phenomenology of Spirit, tr. A.V. Miller (Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1977),. 113.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Husserliana, vol. 14, p. 169.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Ibid., p. 403.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Ibid., p. 169.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
  17. 17.
    Phenomenology of Spirit, pp. 116 ff.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Husserliana, vol. 14, p. 193.Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Phenomenology of Spirit, p. 110.Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Though not, of course, a necessary condition: there can be common projects without a common language.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, Dordrecht 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Carr
    • 1
  1. 1.The University of OttawaCanada

Personalised recommendations