From ego to Alter ego: Husserl, Merleau-ponty and a layered approach to intersubjectivity

This article presents two different phenomenological paths leading from ego to alter ego: a Husserlian and a Merleau-Pontian way of thinking. These two phenomenological paths serve to disentangle the conceptual–philosophical underpinning of the mirror neurons system hypothesis, in which both ways of thinking are entwined. A Merleau-Pontian re-reading of the mirror neurons system theory is proposed, in which the characteristics of mirror neurons are effectively used in the explanation of action understanding and imitation. This proposal uncovers the remaining necessary presupposition of a minimalized version of the Husserlian concept of pairing and its recent and improved version in terms of the intermodal system. This leads to a layered approach to the constitution of intersubjectivity
Keywords Ego  Alter-ego  Mirror neurons  Husserl  Merleau-Ponty
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DOI 10.1007/s11097-007-9056-0
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Somogy Varga (2011). Winnicott, Symbolic Play, and Other Minds. Philosophical Psychology 24 (5):625 - 637.

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