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The Givenness of Self and Others in Husserl's Transcendental Phenomenology

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Husserl's explication of "self" and "others" occurs within his founding science of pure possibilities or "bracketed" consciousness and experience. His analysis of self and others seeks, in part, to demonstrate that "personal" or "self-experience" is not the only possibility of immanent consciousness but that "other persons" are also given as possibilities. The possibility of others, though in a form of givenness different from that of self, provides a basis for inter-subjectivity. Thus, Husserl's phenomenological analysis can, if it does avoid solipsism and subjective idealism in general, establish inter-subjectivity as coextensive with subjectivity within the deepest possibilities of experience. Husserl's discussion of how the other as an external person or alien ego occurs as a given after all beliefs in an independently existing world are suspended (bracketed) shares some interesting parallels with psychological concepts and also suggests foundational possibilities for research on how the other is constituted as a separate "person" within our consciousness.

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