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An Unsolved Question. Husserl’s Path toward Genetic Intersubjectivity


The problem of intersubjectivity has an ambiguous fate within phenomenology, since it is the object of a contradictory attitude: on the one hand, the question of intersubjectivity seems just to be an application of phenomenological theories and methods to a particular matter of fact. On the other hand, the issues related to intersubjectivity are loaded with high expectations due to their manifest practical, existential and personal meaning. This is what inspired the French tradition (J. P. Sartre, M. Merleau-Ponty, E. Levinas and today J.- L. Marion and J.-L. Nancy) to draw substantial existential consequences from the Husserlian epistemological analysis. In this paper I try to reconstruct Husserl’s path towards a theory of intersubjectivity that can be appropriately defined as “genetic.” To this end, I will consider two crucial textual moments within Husserl’s large body of work: a very early manuscript on intersubjectivity from 1905 and Husserl’s lectures in Paris, the Cartesian Meditations (1929).