Knowledge of self, knowledge of others, error; and the place of consciousness

Continental Philosophy Review 33 (1):27-42 (2000)

Abstract
"Knowledge of self, knowledge of others, error and the place of consciousness" examines texts and problems from the phenomenological tradition to show that the other does not present her/himself as a consciousness enclosed in a merely material body. I discuss Merleau-Ponty''s attempt to supplant this view with the view that the other is always seen as an "incarnate consciousness" - a unity of mind and body in activity. This view faces a difficulty in that it seems to collapse the distinction between one''s own understanding of one''s behavior and the understanding which another might have of this same behavior. In response to this objection, I study how the meaning of people''s behaviors are settled in dialogue. I argue that the meanings that an actor gives to her or his behavior cannot rest entirely with that person, nor are they determined solely by the interpreter, but instead develop in the interaction between the actor and the interpreter.
Keywords Philosophy   Phenomenology   Philosophy of Man   Political Philosophy
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DOI 10.1023/A:1010014910582
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