Volume 9, Issue 2, 2012
Semiotics of World Cultures
Husserl’s Theory of Intersubjectivity
I am looking at a bird flying above my head and I barely see it; in the meantime I am talking to a friend of mine about my job. All these things: the bird, my friend, my job, even the ground beneath my feet, are outside of me. Yet, while I am living these objects, they are here, in my head. How can one explain this relationship,
where something that is completely different from my being becomes a part of me? If something transcends my own nature, how can it be immanent, within my lived experience? How can I relate to something that is completely other than me? How can it ‘in-exist’ in my mind? Is there an original ‘me’ or am I always the result of my social life? Is the world in which I am living objective, or is it just mine? In this paper I would like to answer all these questions, focusing on the theory of intersubjectivity as it has been displayed by Husserl’s phenomenological method. In several instances, this method was defined by Husserl himself as a “‘sociological’ transcendental philosophy” (Husserl, 1968: 539), or even as a “transcendental sociology” (Husserl, 1966: 220), for it looks into the lived experience of the subject as if the subject were a transcendental intersubjective unit. The Husserliana volumes we refer to throughout this work are: the Fifth Cartesian Meditation (Husserl, 1982), which implicitly sends us to volume 8 (First Philosophy, second part & other important additions), and volumes 13 to 15 of the Husserliana (Husserl, 1973), which are dedicated especially to the issue of intersubjectivity. In what follows, I will focus firstly on the notion of intentionality, secondly on the constitution of the otherness and its objectivity, thirdly on the idea of ego and its life-world.