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The Common Life and The Formation of “We”

  • James G. Hart
Chapter
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Part of the Phaenomenologica book series (PHAE, volume 126)

Abstract

The preceding discussions of personhood and the emergence of the quest for an ideal position-taking, i.e., one which would be maximally satisfying and unregrettable, are abstracted from the social-cultural weave into which each personal history is inserted. Position-takings typically build on the position-takings of Others and, in turn, call forth position-takings by Others which, in turn, etc. Indeed it is difficult to sort out what precisely are the exclusively individual aspects of a position-taking when one considers the extent to which individual agency is founded on the reciprocity of agency and the inherited traditions. The sense of individual personhood is inseparable from the cultivated common world, its interpersonal origins and the community of its agency and of its ideals. If this be true then it would seem that there is an essential life in common which may be teased out. This common life has various strata, some of which are pre-egological-instinctual, others of which are egological but the authorship is anonymous, others tacitly and implicitly affirm explicit achievements of their authors. In our view this functioning common life serves both as the ideal and basis of a critique of the life lived together by persons. This is not an abstract universal power, e.g., the state, which stands in opposition to the single individuals. Rather the common life is essential to each individual’s life as both its necessary condition as well as its completion. The alienated group and individual lives may be generally correlated with circumstances in which the essential and ideal common life exists in the form of a caricature.1 In this chapter we wish to begin a demonstration of how this common life is the fuller context for the discussion of the ideal position-taking which is the desideratum of the ethical epoché. We must keep in mind (see Chapter I) that the absolute ought emerges from the ethical epoché in conjunction with the attempt to survey one’s life in the light of what is best. We shall later study the categorical features of the absolute ought (in Chapter IV); in this chapter we point to these discussions and have occasion to remind ourselves that it is only from the standpoint of the transcendental reduction that the ultimate (“absolute”) sense of the absolute ought becomes evident (Chapter I).

Keywords

Primal Latent Primal Presencing Common Life Common World Identity Synthesis 
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Notes

  1. 1.
    This is the view of early Marx and much of this chapter is an explication of “das wahre Gemeinwesen.” See, e.g., Writings of the Young Marx on Philosophy and Society, ed. and trans. by L.D. Easton and K.H. Guddat (New York: Doubleday Anchor Books, 1967), 271–272.Google Scholar
  2. 3.
    J.N. Mohanty, in Husserl and Frege,(Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1982), 59–62, relates the two-tiered theories of Tyler Burge and J. Perry to that of Husserl. The two tiers are two senses of the referent of “I.” One is linguistic, communicable, and remains the same in each case; the other is incommunicable (i.e., not interchangeable) and unique in each case. Although Mohanty does not pursue here in what sense the “I” is transcendental he sees parallels with Husserl’s two senses. As we shall see (§4 below) the meaning of “uniqueness” is complicated by the equivocal sense of “I” at the ultimate level of the reduction. Here we may also note that the feature of self-consciousness disclosed by the quasi-indicator (“he himself”) discovered by Castaneda, is already in evidence as part of the addressed listener’s understanding the Other’s saying “I.” “You yourself” renders the attribution of self-consciousness to the one saying “I” because saying “I” is understood to be the self-reference by the speaker. See §17 below and the references to Castaneda given below in n. 8.Google Scholar
  3. 6.
    Ernst Tugendhat, Selbstbewusstsein and Selbstbestimmung (Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp, 1979), 73 ff.; Self-Consciousness and Self-Determination,trans. Paul Stern (Cambridge: MIT, 1986), 59 ff.Google Scholar
  4. 8.
    H.-N. Castaneda, “Indicators and Quasi-Indicators,” American Philosophical Quarterly IV (1967), 85–100; “On the Phenomeno-logic of the I,” Proceedings of the XIVth International Congress of Philosophy (Vienna: Herder, 1968), Vol. III: 260–266.Google Scholar
  5. 10.
    Theodor Lipps, Leitfaden der Psychologie (Leipzig: W. Engelmann, 1909), 48; see E. Marbach, Das Problem des Ich in der Phänomenologie Husserls (The Hague: Nijhoff, 1974), 228 and 221 ff. and Husserl, Hua XIII,245. Marbach (229) notes that for Husserl, in contrast to Lipps, there is a plurality of pure I’s. This would seem to mean a plurality of pure I’s as ego-poles of acts. Nevertheless Husserl, it would seem, draws close to Lipps in the discussion of the uniqueness of the pre-egological dimension of the Ur-ich. As my discussion in the body of the text makes clear, the Ur-ich,as primal presencing and as the ultimate goal of the transcendental reduction, is not a plurality. It must be distinguished from “primordiality” which does admit of a plurality. But neither is it a particular or single subjectivity. When the Others become a theme a plurality (of primordialities) surfaces; but the plurality is only ultimate vis-à-vis the constitution of the world; it is penultimate vis-à-vis the themes of primal presencing and the ultimate constitution or pluralization of consciousness.Google Scholar
  6. 11.
    Hua XVI, 40–41: “Is the thing therefore only the connection of my mental acts, my presentations, my perceptions, judgments, etc.? Who proffers this question has, of course, missed understanding everything. The phenomenological reduction is not the solipsistic reduction and the I itself is only something thingly in an intentional context and in its essential forms constituting themselves. Only in this (self-constituting through a self-contextualizing intentional life) is the I something manifest. Tying the formations of consciousness to an I or to this or that person is justified through objectifying thinking and must be grounded in its logic. And this justification finds its manifest sense in phenomenological analysis. But the thought about which phenomenological analysis speaks is the thought of no one. We do not abstract merely from I — as if the I was inserted there and as if we merely did not attend to it. Rather we disengage the transcendent positing of the I and stay with the absolute, with consciousness in the pure sense.” See E. Marbach, “Ichlose Phänomenologie bei Husserl,” Tijdschrift voor Filosofie 35 (1973), 518–519.Google Scholar
  7. 12.
    See Thomas Prufer’s wrestle with this problem in “Welt, Ich, Zeit in der Sprache,” Philosophische Rundschau,20 (1974); see also his “An Outline of Some Husserlian Distinctions and Strategies, especially in `The Crisis’,” Phänomenologische Forschungen 1 (1975), 97–97.Google Scholar
  8. 14.
    C 3 IV, 4–5. This point is made less directly in the text edited by A. Schutz in Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 3 (1946), 335. Our scare-quotes around “points” merely indicate that the possibility of identifying different times and places depends on one’s standpoint and interests.Google Scholar
  9. 15.
    See U. Claesges, Edmund Husserls Theorie der Raumkonstitution ( The Hague: Nijhoff, 1964 ), 82.Google Scholar
  10. 18.
    Josef Simon, Das Problem der Sprache bei Hegel (Stuttgart: Kohlhammer, 1966), 34; cited in the rich study of Husserl and Robert Reininger by Renate Christensen, Lebendige Gegenwart und Urerlebnis ( Vienna: Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, 1981 ), 30–31.Google Scholar
  11. 20.
    Cf. for this the work of Karl Löwith, Das Individuum in der Rolle des Mitmenschen (Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, 1969), pp. 20 ff.Google Scholar
  12. 22.
    See, e.g., B. Waldenfels, Das Zwischenreich des Dialogs (The Hague, Nijhoff, 1971 ), 45 et passim. Waldenfels’ student, Ichiro Yamaguchi, softens and somewhat balances Waldenfels’ reading of Husserl in his helpful Passive Synthesis und Intersubjektivität bei Edmund Husserl ( The Hague: Nijhoff, 1982 ).Google Scholar
  13. 23.
    Hua XV,586. These rich pages (586–589) must be compared with Hua VI (Krisis) §§54b and 57. The reference to the non-destructiveness is not clear, but perhaps it refers to Husserl’s theory of the unbegun and unending nature of the transcendental “I.” See my “Phenomenological Time: Its Religious Significance.”Google Scholar
  14. 24.
    See, e.g., Hua XIII, 6, 243–247; Hua XIV, 170–176, 416–423; Hua XV, 107, 204, 546, 551; Hua I, 137 and 157; Hua IV, 253. Cf. E III 10, 15b: “Fate: Humans for one another.”Google Scholar
  15. 25.
    Theodor Lipps, Leitfaden der Psychologie (1906), 34–36; Die ethischen Grundlagen (1899/1922), 14–19.Google Scholar
  16. 28.
    See Max Scheler, Wesen and Formen der Sympathie (Bonn: J. Cohen, 1931; first edition, 1913), 304; for his discussion of other minds, see pp. 244 ff. For my critical remarks I am indebted to Johannes Volkelt, Das ästhetische Bewusstsein (Munich: Beck, 1920), 137 ff.Google Scholar
  17. 31.
    M III 2 II 2, 16; see E. Holenstein, Husserls Phänomenologie der Assoziation (The Hague: Nijhoff, 1972), 77; see also 147–148 of this work for the relationship of apperception to passive synthetic association.Google Scholar
  18. 33.
    In its primal instinct each individual subject bear this entire development not solipsistically but rather as a development of humanity — as a development of the transcendental universal community, that of transcendental subjects. Therefore each bears implicitly all the Others whom he will meet, and all their achievements, the total world as humanized, as a cultural world.“ A VI 34, 59; also, e.g., Hua XV,608–610. This kind of speculation has received a new impetus in Rupert Sheldrake’s notion of ”morphic resonance.“ See his The Presence of the Past (New York: Vintage, 1988).Google Scholar
  19. 35.
    Clearly here “instinct” has a less acceptable sense in so far as it has to do with the formalities of sense-making as such or that through which “constitution of the world already `instinctually’ [is] predelineated for me” (Hua XXV, 669). Yet it is appropriate in so far as it fits the first reconstructive sense of instinct and in so far as it is part of the account of the initial irrepressible “ontologization” of the world which enables certain features to be highlighted and organized. (Here a comparison with Chomsky’s “innatism” would be fruitful.) Husserl on occasion was disposed to describe,not reconstruct, primal presencing’s élan toward being, i.e., toward the filling of protentions, as filling an elemental lack, as desire, and as curiosity. In this most elemental “happening” it establishes a founding pre-being prior to proper identity syntheses and predication. We also have here aspects of what we have elsewhere (see “A Précis…” and Ch. II) called transcendental self-trust, primary affirmation, and animal faith. I am indebted to Klaus Held, Lebendige Gegenwart,39–45, and 90 et passim for first calling my attention to this aspect of Husserl’s thought.Google Scholar
  20. 36.
    See A. Aguirre, Die Phänomenologie Husserls im Licht ihrer gegenwärtigen Interpretation and Kritik ( Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, 1982 ), 150–154.Google Scholar
  21. 39.
    Noam Chomsky has noted in passing that “it is possible that the theory of face perception resembles a generative grammar. Just as in language, if you suppose that there are base structures and transformed structures, then one might imagine a model which would generate the possible human faces, and the transformations would tell you what each face would look like from all angles. To be sure, the formal theories would be very different from those of language.” Language and Responsibility: Based on Conversations with Mitsou Ronat (New York: Pantheon, 1977), 52. Husserl would welcome the recent philosophical discussions of “quality-spaces” (Quine) and/or the proposal by Chomsky that there are apriori organizing principles which make language learning possible. For a beginning dialogue between phenomenology and Chomsky, see James Edie, Speaking and Meaning (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1976), Ch. II. In Edie’s rich discussion the voice of Merleau-Ponty is most pronounced. Apart from Edie’s well-aimed remarks directed at Chomsky’s biologistic tendencies, Husserl’s (undeveloped) notion of intellectus ipse (in A V 21) might find a most eloquent field of research in Chomsky’s wrestle with the apriori of language learning and generative grammar. Sokolowski (Presence and Absence) has made a splendid case for the fundamental apriori organizing principles of all forms of presencing, but he assigns them to a sense of “being” which is transcendent to the dative of manifestation (170). In our view Husserl would locate this apriori in the primordial streaming and would give it the analogous term of “instinct.”Google Scholar
  22. 40.
    Emmanuel Levinas, Collected Philosophical Papers, trans. Alphonso Lingis (The Hague, Dordrecht, 1987 ), 144.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 44.
    Fichte, Reden an die deutsche Nation (Berlin: Meiner, 1966), 162–163; SW VII, 414–416.Google Scholar
  24. 45.
    Heinz Kohut, The Restoration of the Self (New York: International University Press, 1977), 187–188; see also his The Analysis of the Self (New York: International University Press, 1971), 49–50. I have added to the text the bracketed “burgeoning personal.”Google Scholar
  25. 46.
    See Hua XIII,245 and the text cited from Lipps’ Leitfaden der Psychologie (1909, third edition, 48 ff.) See D 10 IV, 18, cited in Yamaguchi, 103: “I properly, as existing I with the Others, come to be only in the non-memorial re-presencing of empathy.” Iso Kern (in Hua XV,xlviii-1) has called attention to C 3 III, 44a-45b which might seem to place the Other as an inseparable co-presence of the primal presencing. Yet the text is about the parallel constitution of I as being-for-myself with my ap-presentation of the co-present Other as being-for-himself, enjoying me as being-for-myself. Here we are not at the most fundamental level of the so-called primal I or primal presencing. Perhaps some tenuous support for my reading of Husserl’s development is that a basic text (Hua XV,586 ff. written two years after the rich C III 3 text to which Kern calls attention), holds the primal presencing or primal Ito be the source for the plurality of I’s including the I tokened by the reflecting transcendental phenomenologist. If this is so then only the “instinctual” formation in the primal I can “account” for how the Other has its source in the primal I. The C III 3 theme of the parallel correlation is the “pairing” that builds on the “deep structure” pairing, which itself presupposes the original “instinctual” intention of the Other. The C III 3 text, with its insistence on the Other as co-present in one’s pasts and futures and always co-present in the presencing of the world, is an eloquent statement of what we shall call “the primal latent we.” But this, we have attempted to show, is founded in the empathic self-displacing of primal presencing and subsequent to the instinctual presence of the Other and the passive associative pairing.Google Scholar
  26. 48.
    Alfred Schutz, The Problem of the Social World (Evanston: Northwestern Univ. Press, 1967), 168. See also Karl Löwith, Das Individuum in der Rolle des Mitmenschen (Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, 1969, reprint of the 1928 edition), 55 and 83.Google Scholar
  27. 49.
    For this claim see S. Frank, “`Ich’ and `Wir’,” in Der russische Gedanke I, 1928; see also his The Spiritual Foundations of Society, Part One, Ch. I (Athens: Ohio Univ. Press, 1987), 3367. Frank’s view of sobornost as the original unity of I and you gets misty as do other aspects of his political philosophy. Nevertheless, a detailed comparison of the philosophical-theological themes would be fruitful. Cf. also the discussions of L. Binswanger and M. Buber by M. Theunissen, in Der Andere (Berlin: de Gruyter, 1965), 444 ff; and M. Natanson’s remarks in The Journeying Self ( Reading, Mass.: Addison Wesley, 1970 ), 47–50.Google Scholar
  28. 51.
    See Steven Lukes, “Some Problems about Rationality,” and Martin Hollis, “The Limits of Irrationality,” and “Reason and Ritual,” in Rationality, ed., Bryan R. Wilson (New York: Harper Torchbook, 1981), 194–239. See also Lothar Eley, Metakritik der formalen Logik (The Hague: Nijhoff, 1969) 260 ff.; and my “From Mythos to Logos…”Google Scholar
  29. 52.
    See Sokolowski, Husserlian Meditations,sect. 39. Husserl’s discussions of what body-things are, e.g., in what sense they require spatial-temporal contiguity, inserts him into the debate between Chomsky and Quine. Again, at issue is the question of whether the founding considerations are empirical or whether we must have recourse to some apriori form of reflection, e.g., on a universal grammar or linguistic universals. Cf. N. Chomsky, Reflections on Language (New York: Pantheon, 1975), 198–227. The basic issue perhaps between Husserl and Chomsky is the nature of the display of the necessary founding apriori principles; eidetic intuition of the forms of presencing (Sokolowski) would take precedence before postulating innate mechanisms in an entity which, Chomsky assumes, is a part of the world like every other physical object — apparently even in the displaying of itself as the principle of displaying.Google Scholar
  30. 53.
    See Thomas McCarthy, The Critical Theory of Jürgen Habermas (Cambridge, Mass.: M.I.T., 1981), Ch. IV and K.O. Apel, Die Transformation der Philosophie II (Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp), passim, especially the final chapter.Google Scholar
  31. 54.
    See, e.g., Hua XV, 154 n., 175–180, 181 n.; and, of course The Crisis as well as the Beilagen (in Hua VI); also my “From Mythos to Logos…” See also for this the rich essay by Klaus Held, “Le monde natal, le monde étranger, le monde un,” in Husserl-Ausgabe und Husserl-Forschung, ed. Samuel IJsseling (Dordrecht: Kluwer, 1989), 1 ff. which came to my attention after the above was written.Google Scholar
  32. 58.
    See, e.g., C.I. Lewis, Values and Imperatives (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1969), passim, especially, 62 ff. and 103 ff. Also The Good and Nature of the Right (New York: Columbia University Press, 1955), especially 91.Google Scholar
  33. 60.
    I. Kant, Metaphysik der Sitten: Tugendlehre,Meiner ed. (Berlin, 1966), Pt. II, pp. 33, 23, 25, and 37. See Dieter Henrich, “Ethik der Autonomie,” now in Selbstverhältnisse (Stuttgart: Reclam, 1982), 36. It is with a mixture of elation and chagrin that I came upon Paul Ricoeur’s complementary discussion of Husserl and Kant in regard to intersubjectivity when I had completed my own effort to integrate respect into empathic perception. See his Husserl: An Analysis of His Philosophy (Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 1967), 195–201. Ricoeur develops the thesis that the knowledge of other minds or “the existence of the Other” is an achievement of “respect as a practical determining.” Respect is the way to understand the sense of the existence of the Other which is announced in the appearing of Leib. Thus it is not true that the knowledge of the Other precedes the practical determination of respect, but rather the Other as such is only present in and through respect. The reason for my elation at the discovery of Ricoeur’s discussion is clear. I have, however, two quibbles: 1) How is the claim by Husserl that the presence of the person is an Einheit absoluter Bekundung,i.e., an announcing of the person’s own absolute existence, a destruction of Husserl’s idealism? — as if the announcing of the transcendent thing’s existence were an announcement of the existence merely of transcendental subjectivity? (See 197–198.) 2) The claim that the existence of the Other in respect is a result of a practical determining seems either to exclude respect from empathic perception and/or to assert that there is no epistemic or cognitive, but merely voluntary, aspect of respect (see 198–199). In the body of the text I suggest that this is neither the view of Kant nor need it be the appropriate phenomenological one.Google Scholar
  34. 62.
    For all of this see Grundlegung zur Metaphysik der Sitten,400–401 of the Akademieausgabe, especially 401, footnote. Cf. also Hans Reiner, Duty and Inclination (The Hague: Nijhoff, 1983), 23 ff. who studies in nice detail the relation between respect, feeling and duty without, however, being tempted, as we are, to see the issues of functioning proto-rationality and empathic perception as potential ingredients in Kant’s discussions.Google Scholar
  35. 63.
    Hua XV, 594; see also e.g., A VI 34, 38a—b; and Waldenfels, op. cit., 289–291. The earlier transcription by Marly Biemel appeared as an appendix to Enzo Paci, Tempo e verità nella fenomenologa di Husserl (Bari: Laterza e Figli, 1961 ).Google Scholar
  36. 64.
    W.Dilthey, Gesammelte Schriften V (Leipzig: Teubner, 1924), 110 ff.Google Scholar
  37. 65.
    From Vita Nuova,cited in Dorothy Sayers “Introduction to The Divine Comedy I” (Baltimore: Penguin, 1960), 28.Google Scholar
  38. 66.
    Cf. James G. Hart, “Mythic World as World,” International Philosophical Quarterly, XV (1975), 55–58. This article needs rewriting from a transcendental perspective. But that would be for the most part superfluous because a novel of Iris Murdoch presents us with an extraordinary disclosure of the eidetics of being-in-love, mythic world, love, and the horizon of the Good — all from a burgeoning transcendental perspective of a hapless and helpless middle-aged writer. See The Black Prince ( New York: Warner, 1974 ).Google Scholar
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    See E.H. Erickson, Gandhi’s Truth ( New York: Norton, 1969 ), 248–249.Google Scholar
  40. 69.
    See Hua XIV,174 and F I 22, 53. Max Scheler’s definition of normative love as a social-personal space-making is proximate to what Husserl calls ethical love: “Love is the motion in which each concrete individual object which bears value arrives at the highest possible value for it in accord with its ideal determination; or it is the motion in which it reaches the ideal value-essence proper to it.” See Wesen and Formen der Sympathie (Bonn: Fr. Cohen, 1931), 187. Doubtless Scheler’s writings were among the most important occasions for Husserl’s sharpening of his own theory of intersubjectivity. Ethical love (or the essential-normative love of Scheler) provides an angle for appreciating Heidegger’s concept of the most authentic mode of being human. This most proper existence permits things to come into their own by our being taken with that open space out of which all determination surfaces. For Husserl, the Ideal functions in a way analogous to Heidegger’s Clearing. Scheler and Husserl regard ethical love as effective facilitating and space-making (giving elbow room) which permits beings to come into their ownmost possibilities; Heidegger’s Denken and Anwesenlassen may be considered as ontological generalizations of this feature of love; and Husserl’s striving for a formulation for the absolute ought will be interpreted in this work to move toward such Heideggerian concerns. Cf. The Piety of Thinking: Essays by Martin Heidegger,Hart and Maraldo, 125–151.Google Scholar
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    Daniel Dennet, “Conditions of Personhood,” in The Identities of Persons, ed. A. Rorty (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1976), 186. See H. P. Grice, “Meaning,” Philosophical Review (July 1957) and “Utterer’s Meaning and Intentions,” Philosophical Review (April 1969).Google Scholar
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  46. 83.
    See Theodor Litt, Individuum and Gemeinschaft (Leipzig/Berlin: B.G. Teubner, 1926). Litt used creatively Husserl’s theory of wholes and parts as well as many other of his analyses, especially that of the reciprocity of perspectives, for an understanding of selfhood, community, world, and ideal meanings. The concept of die Persönlichkeit einer höheren Ordnung, Gesamtperson, Gemeingeist,etc., is entertained and discussed already in Hegel, Schleiermacher, Fichte, Gierke, and Scheler (to whom Litt makes a critical reference); I do not know whether Husserl was indebted to any of these authors on this matter. Clearly his view is closest to that of Scheler. The concept of a person of a higher order recalls Husserl’s and Meinong’s concept of higher-order objects.Google Scholar
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    R.B. Perry, A General Theory of Value (New York: Longmans, Green and Co., 1924), 434. For the discussion of whether society is a person of a higher order, see 426–459.Google Scholar
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  49. 88.
    See n. 8. This discussion of “we” first appeared in a somewhat different form as “I, We, and God,” in the volume of Phaenomenologica, Husserl-Ausgabe and Husserl-Forschung, Samuel IJsseling, ed. (Dordrecht: Kluwer, 1990), 127–133. In a richly instructive article (which I discovered after completing this essay) Herbert Spiegelberg holds that an authentic use of “we” is when the speaker addresses others whom he wants to include. “We,” therefore, tries to make the others listen and realize that they are appealed to as partners. This is its performative function. I hold this to be an improper use of “we” (see below in text). I owe the insight to the instruction of my eleven year old daughter, Jenni, on how this use of “we” is a form either of imperialism or disingenuous presumption of the fulfillment of conditions which are still unfulfilled. See Spiegelberg’s “On the Right to Say `We”’ in Phenomenological Sociology: Issues and Applications, ed. George Psathas (New York: John Wiley, 1973), 129–158. For an excellent essay which complements my study, see David Carr’s “Cogitamus Ergo Sumus: The Intentionality of the First-Person Plural,” in his Interpreting Husserl ( Dordrecht: Nijhoff, 1987 ), 281–298.Google Scholar
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    See Hua XXVII, 49. Karl Schuhmann, in his Husserls Staatsphilosophie,62 (see our discussion in Chapter V, §9), calls attention to R.C. Collingwood’s The New Leviathan (New York: Thomas Crowell, 1971), 139, where a self-consciousness of the community is espoused, in terms resembling that of Husserl, as a sharing of a common will. Collingwood spells this out as a resolve to assume the function of partnership in a common undertaking. This is perhaps a way of stating what Husserl means by a self-directed, self-forming will. For Husserl, as this work hopefully makes clear, this self-reflexivity is not only a possibility but an infinite task of universal human community (cf. Chapters IV—VI of this work). Social-cultural movements, by which smaller communities serve as leaven for the larger ones are exemplary. Here the self-formation and self-reflection of individuals actuate smaller communities whose self-actuation affects the whole human “community.” This is the way we should appreciate the world-historical significance of the Greek discovery of epistémé and philosophia.Google Scholar
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    L.T. Hobhouse, Elements of Social Justice (London: George Allen & Unwin, 1965), 30 and 108. For a theory of the common good, see Chapter VI.Google Scholar
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    See Nicolai Hartmann, Das Problem des geistigen Seins (Berlin: de Gruyter, 1922/1962), 186197, and especially, 302–310. Here we find a rich analysis of cultural being and ideality. Hartmann regards culture as a modus deficiens of spiritual or personal being; thereby he believes he is empowered to reject both the Hegelian objective spirit as well as Scheler’s personality of a higher order — which is proximate to Husserl’s view. Yet because Hartmann does not find occasion to undertake an analysis of “we” and community — it remains for him a collection or sum of individuals — he does not do justice to the theme of personality of a higher order. Nevertheless, Hartmann’s work is an eloquent study of the common good of culture, its communal function, and the Hegelian theme of objective spirit.Google Scholar
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    J.G. Fichte, in Sittenlehre (1812) in Nachgelassene Werke III (Bonn: Marcus, 1935; Berlin: de Gruyter, 1962), 70 ff.Google Scholar
  54. 97.
    David Carr, Time, Narrative, and History (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1986), 163. Carr’s discussion of the temporal and narrative nature of the person richly supplements my meager efforts — which were done before I came upon Carr’s work. He supports the central thesis that narrative enables a kind of self-consciousness for the person of a higher order or We on pp. 149–150. My only hesitation about Carr’s discussion is that “we” gets constituted for him perhaps too casually by passive acts of identification and representation. I agree that we do this, i.e., say, e.g., “We Americans mined the Nicaraguan harbors” etc., but as I hope this book makes clear, this sense of “we” might often be improper, alienated, etc.Google Scholar
  55. 99.
    Although I disagree with aspects of the sectarian drift of Stanley Hauerwas’ relativizing of character, community and narrative, I owe him much in my effort to get clear about these matters. I think that his commendable communitarian tendencies need not be tied to an anti-universalist or relativistic ethics. See his A Community of Character (South Bend: University of Notre Dame Press, 1981), especially Chapters VI—VII.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • James G. Hart
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Religious StudiesIndiana UniversityBloomingtonUSA

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