Volume 95, Issue 3, Summer 2021
Experiencing Others: Stein’s Critique of Scheler
“Experiencing others” in this paper stands for apprehending fellow human beings insofar as they express themselves and thus are or have been—on some level—alive and conscious. Contemporary scholars have increasingly paid attention to phenomenological approaches to explaining this phenomenon, whether under the rubric of knowing other minds, intersubjectivity, or empathy. In this connection, Max Scheler’s studies of sympathy and Edith Stein’s dissertation on empathy have stood out. Yet scholars often treat their views in tandem, paying little attention to their differences. This neglect is unfortunate since their disagreement harbors—at least prima facie—two radically different points of departure for understanding how we experience one another. The main objective of this paper is to identify their disagreement and to probe the possibility and necessity of resolving it.