Studia Phaenomenologica

Volume 22, 2022


Emanuele Caminada
Pages 347-369

Doubling the World
A Phenomenological Thought Experiment

In this paper, I offer an analysis of the thought experiment “Two worlds for one ego” in which Husserl imagines an ego that lives two alternated lives. The thought experiment is designed to question the apodicticity of the world’s singularity. If the ego of the thought experiment is a fully concrete social subject, then the world’s singularity proves to be apodictic. If we were to, conversely, conduct the same experiment with an abstract ego, then the counter‑scenario of a doubling of the world would be tenable if and only if this subject was the sole subject of both worlds. This means, in turn, that a more concrete phenomenological conduction of the experiment demonstrates the limits of methodological solipsism. The paper is tripartite. Firstly, I set out the experiment’s terminological terrain and discuss the systematic questions addressed as well as the phenomenological methods involved. In a second step, I analyse Husserl’s conduction of the thought experiment. Finally, I discuss some of the experiment’s possible applications to anthropology.