Volume 7, 2015
Levels of Intersubjectivity
Scheler’s “Idea of Man” and Schutz’s Human Prejudice
One of the key insights of Scheler’s approach to the topic intersubjectivity is to recognise that the problem of intersubjectivity is in fact several problems. In The Nature of Sympathy, Scheler lays out an order of precedence in which these problems need to be addressed. One of his major criticisms against analogical arguments and theories of empathy is that they violate this order. Specifically, they provide accounts of what the Other is thinking (intersubjectivity as achievement), but treat this as a solution to how we recognise the Other as Other (intersubjectivity as possibility). In responding to Scheler, Schutz takes up this order of precedence but then makes the signifi cantly bolder claim that intersubjectivity as possibility is not problematic and does not require a solution. The purpose of this paper is to show that Schutz’s argument relies on a Husserlian reading of Scheler’s use of “transcendental psychology” and that rather than sidestepping the problem Schutz in fact tacitly presupposes a solution in the form of the human prejudice. Significantly, this solution radically overturns the aims of Scheler’s phenomenology and even that of the broader Phenomenological Movement.