Encyclopedia of Psychology and Religion

2020 Edition
| Editors: David A. Leeming


  • Pamela Cooper-WhiteEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-24348-7_9182

Intersubjectivity, a term originally coined by the philosopher Edmund Husserl (1859–1938), is most simply stated as the interchange of thoughts and feelings, both conscious and unconscious, between two persons or “subjects,” as facilitated by empathy. To understand intersubjectivity, it is necessary first to define the term subjectivity – i.e., the perception or experience of reality from within one’s own perspective (both conscious and unconscious) and necessarily limited by the boundary or horizon of one’s own worldview. The term intersubjectivity has several usages in the social sciences (such as cognitive agreement between individuals or groups or, on the contrary, relating simultaneously to others out of two diverging subjective perspectives, as in the acts of lying or presenting oneself somewhat differently in different social situations); however, its deepest and most complex usage is related to the postmodern philosophical concept of constructivism or, in social psychology,...

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Union Theological SeminaryNew YorkUSA