Intersubjectivity as Co-phenomenology: From the Holism of Meaning to the Being-in-the-world-with-others

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Abstract

I outline in this paper a pragmatical approach to meaning. Meaning is defined as a phenomenologically experienced construal. As such, it is a dynamic object whose first evidence comes from the first person rather than the third one. At the same time, the approach assumes that meaning is not an individual creation, but rather an intersubjective one. Origins of meaning are also to be founded not ‘in the head' of a cognitive system or subject, but in the intersubjective space contingently formed between a subject (S), an other (O) and a common object (R), which they talk about. Approaching this minimal communicative situation therefore requires realizing that the phenomenological dimension is always implied in any intersubjective encounter. The observed synchronized co-feeling among subjects, upon which language comprehension takes place, I call ‘co-phenomenology'. When analyzed in this way, intersubjectivity shows at the same time its social, phenomenological and biological dimensions.

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