The neurological discovery of mirror neurons is of eminent importance for the phenomenological theory of intersubjectivity. G. Rizzolatti and V. Gallese found in experiments with primates that a set of neurons in the premotor cortex represents the visually registered movements of another animal. The activity of these mirror neurons presents exactly the same pattern of activity as appears in the movement of one's own body. These findings may be extended to other cognitive and emotive functions in humans. I show (...) how these neurological findings might be “translated” phenomenologically into our own experienced sensations, feelings and volitions. (shrink)
I discuss Husserl’s account of intersubjectivity in the fifth Cartesian Meditation. I focus on the problem of perceived similarity. I argue that recent work in developmental psychology and neuroscience, concerning intermodal representation and the mirror neuron system, fails to constitute a naturalistic solution to the problem. This can be seen via a comparison between the Husserlian project on the one hand and Molyneux’s Question on the other.
The embodied, embedded, enactive, and extended approaches to cognition explicate many important details for a phenomenology of perception, and are consistent with some of the traditional phenomenological analyses. Theorists working in these areas, however, often fail to provide an account of how intersubjectivity might relate to perception. This paper suggests some ways in which intersubjectivity is important for an adequate account of perception.
This article draws in particular on existential-phenomenological notions of “witnessing.” Witnessing, often conceived in the context of testimony, obviously involves epistemological concerns, such as how we come to know through the experiences and reports of others. I shall argue, however, that witnessing as a mode of intersubjectivity offers understandings that involve questions about how people come to be. More specifically, I want to consider the positive potential of “witnessing” to disrupt intersubjective completeness or closure, particularly as this relates to (...) work on organizing subjectivities, as well as, in the field of organization studies. (shrink)
1. Introduction. The problems of other minds ; Body, mind and other minds ; The analogical theory ; The critical theory ; Functionalism and mental states as theoretical entities ; A brief outline of things to come -- 2. Functionalism and the nature of mental representations. Functionalism and cognitive psychology ; Folk psychology and the representational theory of mind -- 3. Theory theory and simulation theory. A very short introduction to the world of theory theory and simulation theory ; A (...) look at simulation theory ; A look at theory theory -- 4. Intentionality and the theory theory. The generic theory theory ; Cognitive and primordial intentionality ; Theory theorists and primordial intentionality ; Fodor's computational theory of primordial intentionality -- 5. The body schema. Historical notes on the notion of body schema ; An outline of a notion of body schema -- 6. On the notion of primordial intentionality. Concrete and abstracts movements ; Why primordial intentionality is not reducible to cognitive intentionality ; The intentionality of primordial intentionality -- 7. The irreducibility of primordial intentionality. The first argument against homuncular functionalism ; The second argument against homuncular functionalism -- 8. Transferring the body schema. Husserl's phenomenology of intersubjectivity ; Towards a primordial intentionality of intersubjectivity ; Some implications and a comparison to Husserl -- 9. Theory theory and simulation theory revisited. Attribution of primordial intentionality as cognitive simulation ; If homuncular functionalism were true ... ; Primordial intentionality and belief-desire psychology ; The theory of body schematic transfer and the simulation theory -- 10. Body schematic transfer and the conceptual problem of other minds. Strawson on the problem of other minds ; Disarming Strawson's objections ; Solving the conceptual problem -- 11. Concluding remarks -- Summary in Swedish -- References. (shrink)
Current theories of social cognition are mainly based on a representationalist view. Moreover, they focus on a rather sophisticated and limited aspect of understanding others, i.e. on how we predict and explain others’ behaviours through representing their mental states. Research into the ‘social brain’ has also favoured a third-person paradigm of social cognition as a passive observation of others’ behaviour, attributing it to an inferential, simulative or projective process in the individual brain. In this paper, we present a concept of (...) social understanding as an ongoing, dynamical process of participatory sense-making and mutual incorporation. This process may be described (1) from a dynamical agentive systems point of view as an interaction and coordination of two embodied agents; (2) from a phenomenological approach as a mutual incorporation, i.e. a process in which the lived bodies of both participants extend and form a common intercorporality. Intersubjectivity, it is argued, is not a solitary task of deciphering or simulating the movements of others but means entering a process of embodied interaction and generating common meaning through it. This approach will be further illustrated by an analysis of primary dyadic interaction in early childhood. (shrink)
Articulate and perceptive, Intersubjectivity is a text that explains the notions of intersubjectivity as a central concern of philosophy, sociology, psychology, and politics. Going beyond this broad-ranging introduction and explication, author Nick Crossley provides a critical discussion of intersubjectivity as an interdisciplinary concept to shed light on our understanding of selfhood, communication, citizenship, power, and community. The volume traces the contributions of key thinkers engaged within the intersubjectivist tradition, including Husserl, Buber, Kojeve, Merlau-Ponty, Mead, Wittgenstein, Schutz, and (...) Habermas. A clear, concise introduction to a range of difficult concepts and thinkers, Intersubjectivity demystifies this very interdisciplinary subject for advanced and graduate-level students of philosophy, sociology, social psychology, and social and political theory. (shrink)
As Husserl argues in the fifth Cartesian Meditation, the similarity of my Body (Leib) with the body (Körper) of another person is the founding moment of the experience of the other. This similarity is based on the previous objectivation of my Body. Husserl continuously worried to explicate this similarity-premise and by doing so, it appeared that this objectivation already presupposes intersubjectivity. By running into this problem, the Meditation actually fulfils its program by showing that the other is co-constitutive of (...) the world and more precisely of my existence as a worldly human being. At the same time he developed an alternative approach by identifying the original experience of the other as an expressive unity (Ausdruckseinheit) as the condition of possibility of intersubjective experience. By drawing on the relevant Forschungsmanuskripte in the volumes on Intersubjectivity and on Ideas II, it appears that the Meditation offers a naturalistic theory of intersubjectivity that results from the introduction of the reduction to primordiality. When one takes into account Husserl's analysis of the experience of an expressive unity, that is a defining characteristic of the personalistic attitude, one can clarify the derivative nature of this naturalistic approach. (shrink)
Psychotic and prodromal states are characterized by distortions of intersubjectivity, and a number of psychopathologists see in the concrete I-You frame of the clinical encounter the manifestation of such impairment. Rümke has coined the term of ‘praecox-feeling’, designated to describe a feeling of unease emanating in the interviewer that reflects the detachment of the patient and the failure of an ‘affective exchange.’ While the reliability of the praecox-feeling as a diagnostic tool has since been established, the explanation and theoretical (...) framing of the phenomena is still lacking. By drawing on enactivist approaches to social cognition, the paper will attempt to provide such an explanation. This is relevant, since such an explanation could contribute to a more precise understanding of the phenomena in question and possibly add to our knowledge regarding the link between experiential vulnerability to psychosis and disturbed I-Thou intersubjectivity. (shrink)
The paper aims to show that scepticism concerning the status of first-person reports of mental states and their use as evidence in scientific cognitive research is unfounded. Rather, principled arguments suggest that the conditions for the intersubjectivity of cognition and description of publicly observable things apply equally for our cognition and description of our mental or internal states. It is argued that on these conditions relies the possibility of developing well-defined scientific criteria for distinguishing between first-person and third-person cognition (...) and description. The paper concludes by outlining the consequences for cognitive research and for functional theories of mind. (shrink)
This article describes some of the main arguments for the existence of other minds, and intersubjectivity more generally, that depend upon a transcendental justification. This means that our focus will be largely on ‘continental’ philosophy, not only because of the abiding interest in this tradition in thematising intersubjectivity, but also because transcendental reasoning is close to ubiquitous in continental philosophy. Neither point holds for analytic philosophy. As such, this essay will introduce some of the important contributions of Edmund (...) Husserl, Martin Heidegger, Jean-Paul Sartre, Maurice Merleau-Ponty and Karl-Otto Apel, all of whom use transcendental reasoning as a key part of their analyses of intersubjectivity, and we also consider the work of Peter Strawson who does likewise in the analytic tradition. (shrink)
This article seeks to reconstruct the early writings of George Herbert Mead in order to explore the significance of his work for the development of an intersubjective conception of education. The reconstruction takes its point of departure in Mead's claim that reflective consciousness has a social situation as its precondition. In a mainly chronological account of Mead's writings on psychology and philosophy from the period 1900â1925, it is shown how Mead explains the social origin of conscious reflection and self-consciousness. It (...) is further shown, how Mead redefines the social in terms of meaningful, creative, radically undetermined, but not yet conscious, interaction. Mead's position thereby implies a reversal of the traditional way in which the relationship between subjectivity and intersubjectivity is conceived. The article ends with an outline of the main implications of this reversal for our understanding of education. (shrink)
The article connects a sociological perspective on violence to the problem of intersubjectivity. After an overview of sociological and cultural accounts of violence, we turn to a fundamental problem caused by the experience of violence. In dialogue with Frances Chaput Wakslers book on The New Orleans Sniper (2010) we discuss a case in which the problem of intersubjectivity figures prominently. The erratic nature of violent acts committed by an unseen sniper is experienced as existential crisis in which the (...) question of subjectivity loses its certainty for the social actors involved. As a consequence the problem of intersubjectivity but also questions of framing past events are opened up for sociological research. (shrink)
This article addresses the question how educational theory can overcome the assumptions of the tradition of the philosophy of consciousness, a tradition which can be seen as the foundation of the modern project of education. While twentieth century philosophy has seen several attempts to make a shift from consciousness to intersubjectivity (Dewey, Wittgenstein, Habermas) it is argued that this shift still remains within the humanistic tradition of modern thought in that it still tries to define, still tries to develop (...) a theory about the human subject. Foucault's thesis of the end of man is interpreted as an attempt to move beyond humanism, an attempt motivated by a sincere concern for the humanity of the subject. Starting from the question as to who comes after the subject, several answers to this question, which all share an interest in the question as to where the subject comes into presence, are discussed (referring to the writings of Tschumi, Arendt and Levinas). In the concluding section it is argued that one way to move beyond the humanistic tradition of modern thought is to conceive of the subject in terms of responsibility and ethics (Levinas) and to conceive of the very task of theory in terms of justice, and not in terms of truth. This, so it is argued, should be the final concern for educational theory and curriculum theory. (shrink)
My focus in this essay is Shoshone and Paiute arguments against the Yucca Mountain site that claim that because Yucca Mountain is a culturally significant sacred place it should not be used to store nuclear waste. Within this set of arguments for the cultural value of Yucca Mountain, I focus on arguments that claim that the proposed nuclear waste site will damage Yucca Mountain and its ecosystem—the mountain, plants, and animals themselves. These arguments assume that Yucca Mountain and its ecosystem (...) are animate and will suffer. An understanding of Western Shoshone and Southern Paiute perspectives on the human relationship to nature, particularly adherence to the concept of animist intersubjectivity, is crucial towards interpreting these arguments. As such, my purpose in this essay is an in-depth analysis of the relationship between the cultural presumption of animist intersubjectivity and Shoshone and Paiute arguments against the Yucca Mountain site. In order to explore this relationship, I begin the paper by discussing concept of animist intersubjectivity as a cultural presumption and its relationship to arguments. Then, I analyze Shoshone and Paiute arguments against the Yucca Mountain site to reveal how animist intersubjectivity influences these arguments. I conclude the essay by explaining the implications of this analysis. (shrink)
This article is about young children’s morality and their concern for others’ wellbeing. Questions of what the value of others’ wellbeing can signify, how this value becomes visible to children and how it is expressed in their interaction will be posed. In this analysis, children’s commitment to others’ wellbeing is discussed in terms of two theories, namely the philosopher Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s (1962, 1964) theory of intersubjectivity and the psychologist Martin Hoffman’s (1984, 1987, 2000) theory of empathy. The interaction between (...) children and adults in pre-school, drawn from different studies of morality (Johansson, 1999, 2001, 2002, 2003), constitutes the empirical basis. In the discussion, it is claimed that children’s care for others’ wellbeing can be understood in a fruitful way as experiences of, approaches to and ways of being involved in the other’s life-world rather than as expressions of empathy. (shrink)
The arguments advanced in this paper are the following. Firstly, that just as Trevarthen’s three subjective/intersubjective levels, primary, secondary, and tertiary, mapped out different modes of access, so too response is similarly structured, from direct primordial responsiveness, to that informed by shared pragmatic concerns and narrative contexts, to that which demands the distantiation afforded by representation. Secondly, I propose that empathy is an essential mode of intentionality, integral to the primary level of subjectivity/intersubjectivity, which is crucial to our survival (...) as individuals and as a species. Further to this last point, I argue that empathy is not derived on the basis of intersubjectivity, nor does it merely disclose intersubjectivity, rather it is constitutive of intersubjectivity at the primary level. Empathy is a direct, irreducible intentionality separable in thought from the other primary intentional modes of perception, rationality, memory and imagination, but co-arising with these. In regard to the inter-personal level, the concrete relations with others, primary empathy is both the ground for the possibility of the secondary manifestations—pity, sympathy, perspective taking, etc., and motivates them. Thirdly, it is the movement in the core of subjectivity initially generated by shifting attention between the ‘I’ and ‘we’ perspectives and later ‘solidified’ through affect to become shifting identification, which opens up the intersubjective domain. So we can affirm that we are not only born into sociality but our sociality goes to the roots of our being as Husserl, Heidegger and Merleau-Ponty have claimed. (shrink)
With his “discovery” of the phenomenological reduction, Husserl confronted the problem of intersubjectivity: How is the Other constituted? Gustav Shpet, a Russian student of Husserl’s in Göttingen, unlike many others accepted the reduction on some level but, unlike Husserl, did not dwell on the problem. In this essay, we look first at the Russian treatment of intersubjectivity in the immediately preceding years and see that the concern was over the possibility of proving our natural conviction in the Other. (...) We then turn to Husserl’s position circa 1912 with its embryonic conception of empathy as its vehicle into the sphere of the Other’s “ownness.” Finally, we turn to Shpet, who cautiously suggests that Husserl’s division of intuition into two sorts, experiencing and ideal, is insufficient. Affirming Husserl’s claim that each species of being has a correlative cognitive method, Shpet asserts that social being should also have its own method. Shpet recognizes that Husserl does not ascribe originary givenness to what empathy provides, but might Husserl have been wrong about this? Could it be that empathy, properly understood as a third form of intuition, “comprehension,” provides social being originarily and therefore functions in the constitution of the Other analogously to the way experiencing intuition functions in the constitution of physical things? However, comprehension is employed on what the Other presents, namely signs, be they in the form of bodily movements, speech or even writing. In this way, Shpet transforms Husserl’s transcendental phenomenology into a hermeneutic phenomenology. (shrink)
Although empathy is arguably an important factor to consider in moral education, the concept itself has consistently stood on tenuous ground. In this essay, I claim that our adherence to ontological dualism and discrete subjectivity have problematized our comprehension of empathy. I propose that our understanding is limited by our understanding of selfhood. If the self were defined as intersubjective, along the lines of Merleau-Ponty, then empathy’s ambiguities would dissipate. After reconceptualizing empathy in light of intersubjectivity, I call for (...) pedagogical relations that are aligned with developmental research, which provides further support for adhering to an alternative conception of the phenomenon. (shrink)
I propose a characterization of the dialectical dimension of argumentation by considering the activity of arguing as involving a “second order intersubjectivity”. I argue that argumentative communication enables this kind of intersubjectivity as a matter of the recursive nature of acts of arguing—both as justificatory and as persuasive devices. Calling attention to this feature is a way to underline that argumentative discourses represent the explicit part of a dynamic activity, “a mechanism of rational validation”, as Rescher (Dialectics. A (...) controversy oriented approach to the theory of knowledge. SUNY Press, Albany, 1977) showed, which is a practice that presupposes the possibility of attaining objectivity. (shrink)
On the distinction between static and genetic phenomenologies -- On time consciousness and its relationship to intersubjectivity -- On the question of intersubjectivity -- The Husserlian account of ethics -- Conclusion: The impact of genetic phenomenology.
The foundational status that Edmund Husserl envisages for phenomenology in relation to the sciences would seem to suggest that the successful unfolding of contemporary debates in the field of social cognition will be conditioned by progress in resolving certain central controversies in the phenomenology of intersubjectivity, notably in long-standing questions pertaining to the priority of subjectivity in relation to intersubjectivity, and the priority of empathy in relation to other forms of intersubjectivity. That such controversies are long-standing is (...) in no small part attributable to the fact that the debate surrounding Husserl’s seminal attempts to elucidate these problems has placed his account, and certainly his published position, under a certain amount of pressure, pressure which stems from the suspicion that intentionality toward others may be more deeply embedded in subjectivity than the Husserl of Cartesian Meditations seems prepared to admit. Is the primordinally reduced solipsistic subject of the Fifth Meditation really capable of discovering intersubjectivity in the way that Husserl describes, or is such putative discovery (indeed, subjective transformation) already conditioned by a more primitive form of intersubjectivity? This paper investigates two ways in which this kind of “circularity” objection might arise. Firstly, it might be argued that Husserl presupposes an external perspective on one’s own body, a perspective which rationally would have to be correlated with an indeterminate foreign subjectivity. Secondly, the view has been advanced (Zahavi in Husserl and transcendental intersubjectivity: a response to the linguistic-pragmatic critique. Ohio University Press, Athens, OH, 2001b) that horizonal perceptual awareness of another spatio-temporal entity turns out to be essentially intersubjective, on the grounds that awareness of some of an object’s averted aspects commits one to positing the possibility in principle of those averted aspects being available to an indeterminate foreign subjectivity. Objections such as these seem to place the phenomenological enquiry into the encounter with another person at something of a crossroads. On the one hand, they have led some to argue that basic empathy, as Husserl conceives it, must indeed be conditioned by the anonymous constituting influence of a more primitive form of intersubjectivity. On the other hand, the option remains open to seek to defend Husserl’s published position against the charges of circularity. This paper pursues the latter alternative, and argues that, with appropriate clarification, the objections from circularity can be convincingly answered. It will be argued that the key to understanding why the standard Husserlian position can be sustained lies in recognising the centrality of the activity of the imagination as a condition for the possibility of intersubjectivity. (shrink)
Abstract: In response to Arroyo, I explain my position on the concept of “natural goodness” and how my use of that concept compares to that of Geach and Foot. An Aristotelian or functional notion of goodness provides the material for Kantian endorsement in a theory of value that avoids a metaphysical commitment to intrinsic values. In response to Cummiskey, I review reasons for thinking Kantianism and consequentialism incompatible, especially those objections to aggregation that arise from the notion of the natural (...) good previously described. In response to Moland, I explain why I think Hegelian worries about the supposed emptiness of the Kantian self do not apply to my account. And in response to both Moland and Bird-Pollan, I argue that, contrary to the view of some Hegelians, the intersubjective normativity of reason is not something developed through actual social relations; rather, it is something essential to an individual's relations with himself or herself. (shrink)
This paper distinguishes between implicit self-related information and explicit self-representation and argues that the latter is required for self-consciousness. It is further argued that self-consciousness requires an awareness of other minds and that this awareness develops over the course of an increasingly complex perspectival differentiation, during which information about self and other that is implicit in early forms of social interaction becomes redescribed into an explicit format.
This article provides an introduction to a special issue of the journal Philosophy, Psychiatry and Psychology, On Understanding and Explaining Schizophrenia. The article identifies a common thread running through the different contributions to this special issue, inspired by Jaspers's (1963) suggestion that a profound impairment in the ability to engage in interpersonal and social relations is a key factor in psychiatric disorders. It is argued that this suggestion can help solve a central dilemma in psychopathology, which is to make intelligible (...) the emergence and nature of psychiatric phenomena involving disturbances of rationality, intentionality and self-consciousness, whilst at the same time accounting for a sense in which such phenomena resist understanding. (shrink)
Research indicates that upwards of 80% of our students experience the devastation of bullying during their school years. To date, research on bullying has mainly employed empirical methodologies, including quantitative and qualitative approaches. This research has largely concluded that bullying is situated in a lack of skill, understanding, or self-control and involves intentional action directed toward status dominance. Based upon these assumptions current anti-bullying strategies focus on training students toward more appropriate avenues of status acquisition and social interaction. Against the (...) backdrop of an actual bullying encounter this paper employs a psychoanalytic philosophical lens to offer a fresh perspective on this enduring educational issue. Employing the philosophical work of Adam Phillips, Jessica Benjamin, and Emmanuel Ghent I ask the question: What is the desire to bully a desire for? Here I consider what is sought and what is at stake in the typical bullying encounter. Through careful analysis I argue that the domination represented in bullying is not simply situated in a lack of social skills or in disregulated aggression––skill deficiencies that require training. Instead, or perhaps in addition to these possibilities, I contend that bullying is foundationally a move toward establishing identity, a self. On this view bullying becomes an activity of self construction through attempted omnipotence. I argue that the status dominance inherent in bullying should be seen not as an end (a tool to secure resources or privilege), but as a means to something more foundational. I conclude that status dominance becomes a means toward the end of providing a secure place for the self to stand. Hence, instead of advocating that we train students to get along better this paper outlines the futility, as well as the insatiability of bullying, opening up new territory focused upon a re-construction of the bully through the relational bonding and differentiation available in the concrete Other. (shrink)
A compelling new approach to the problem that has haunted twentieth century philosophy in both its analytical and continental shapes. No other book addresses as thoroughly the parallels between Wittgenstein and leading Continental philosophers such as Levinas, Husserl, and Heidegger.
We argue that theory-of-mind (ToM) approaches, such as “theory theory” and “simulation theory”, are both problematic and not needed. They account for neither our primary and pervasive way of engaging with others nor the true basis of our folk psychological understanding, even when narrowly construed. Developmental evidence shows that young infants are capable of grasping the purposeful intentions of others through the perception of bodily movements, gestures, facial expressions etc. Trevarthen’s notion of primary intersubjectivity can provide a theoretical framework (...) for understanding these capabilities and his notion of secondary intersubjectivity shows the importance of pragmatic contexts for infants starting around one year of age. The recent neuroscience of resonance systems (i.e., mirror neurons, shared representations) also supports this view. These ideas are worked out in the context of an embodied “Interaction Theory” of social cognition. Still, for more sophisticated intersubjective interactions in older children and adults, one might argue that some form of ToM is required. This thought is defused by appeal to narrative competency and the Narrative Practice Hypothesis (or NPH). We propose that repeated encounters with narratives of a distinctive kind is the normal route through which children acquire an understanding of the forms and norms that enable them to make sense of actions in terms of reasons. A potential objection to this hypothesis is that it presupposes ToM abilities. Interaction Theory is deployed once again to answer this by providing an alternative approach to understanding basic narrative competency and its development. (shrink)
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. (shrink)
Axel Honneth investigates an ambiguity in Gadamer's philosophical hermeneutics. In Truth and Method, Gadamer lays out key forms of reciprocal recognition. By means of them, he can subject historical transmission to normative appraisal. Gadamer makes the recognitional interaction relative only to an 'I' and 'Thou', omitting reference to an objective 'Third'. Honneth claims that Gadamer posits this restriction based on the influence of Heidegger's Mitwelt concept. Honneth claims, however, that Gadamer's model fails to explain the possibility of a hermeneutic openness (...) to agents who are not in close personal proximity to us. Instead, Honneth argues that the concrete other in I/Thou relations must be supplemented by a standpoint where the concrete and generalized other continually and reciprocally correct one another. Key Words: concrete other Gadamer generalized other Heidegger hermeneutics intersubjectivity recognition. (shrink)
Through an investigation of Husserl's concept of horizontal intentionality, the article basically argues that the horizon is intrinsically intersubjective, and that it entails an implicit reference to the intentions of possible Others. Against this background it is argued that our perceptual experience of an embodied Other, our factual encounter with the Other, is not the most basic and fundamental type of intersubjectivity. On the contrary, it presupposes a type of intersubjectivity which belongs a priori to the structure of (...) constituting subjectivity. (shrink)
Sartre’s analysis of intersubjectivity in the third part of Being and Nothingness is guided by two main motives1. First of all, Sartre is simply expanding his ontological investigation of the essential structure of and relation between the for-itself (pour-soi) and the in-itself (en-soi). For as he points out, I need the Other in order fully to understand the structure of my own being, since the for-itself refers to the for-others (EN 267/303, 260/298); moreover, as he later adds, a treatment (...) of the relation to the in-itself must necessarily include an analysis of the Other precisely because this relation is played out in the presence of the Other (EN 410/472). Secondly, Sartre wants to supply a concrete solution to the problem of solipsism (EN 289/329, 296/337). This problem was already preoccupying him in The Transcendence of the Ego, but at that time, Sartre argued that solipsism could be avoided by means of a non-egological theory of consciousness, since such a theory—which sees the transcendental field of consciousness as non-personal and the I as a product of reflection (TE 36/52-53, 63/80- 81)—would no longer confer a privileged status to the I vis-à-vis the Other (TE 85/104). In Being and Nothingness, however, Sartre concedes that this renunciation of the transcendental I has in fact been of no help in overcoming solipsism (EN 280/318). The problem remains and has to be solved. As he is quick to add, however, a proper solution will not involve any proof of the existence of Others; rather, it will be a question of revealing the foundation of our “pre-ontological” certainty with regard to the existence of the Other (EN.. (shrink)