Social Phenomenology

Social Phenomenology : Husserl, Intersubjectivity, and Collective Intentionality

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Social Phenomenology brings together insights from the tradition of phenomenology and recent discussions of collective intentionality. In doing so, it offers a unique account of how consciousness is formative of the social world. That is, how our thinking things to be so can, in some cases, actually make them so. For instance, that the money one uses day in and day out is worth something is not because of its physical characteristics, but because we accept that those physical traits, printed by the right institutions make it so. The book argues for a position between atomism and collectivism. That is, the book denies there is any such thing as collective consciousness, while also denying the atomic conception of subjects which views subjects as islands unto themselves, free of relation to more

Product details

  • Hardback | 246 pages
  • 154 x 230 x 24mm | 521.63g
  • Lexington Books
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • 0739173081
  • 9780739173084
  • 1,337,291

Review quote

The question of intersubjectivity was perhaps one of the most debated and attended-to philosophical problems of the last century. But what is really interesting about it is the fact that the same question seems to play a pivotal role in both analytical and continental (phenomenological) traditions which otherwise appear to continually drift away from each other, or try to sever all connections to one another in their attempt to assert their self-sufficiency. And this alleged self-sufficiency is precisely what Eric Chelstrom is trying to overcome in his clear and well-argued work on intersubjectivity and collective intentionality, which attempts to develop a solid and productive dialogue between the two philosophical perspectives. ... By successfully using the compass of clear-cut Husserlian terminology, Chelstrom succeeds in finding his way through the dangerous and murky waters of social phenomenology, not only avoiding the hazards of the established analytical perspectives on the same matter, but also constructing a bridge between the two antagonistic traditions which invites other thinkers belonging to the said traditions of thought to cross it for the sake of "the things themselves". Metapsychology Online Reviews Social Phenomenology is a valuable addition to recent literature that juxtaposes the traditions of Phenomenology and Analytic philosophy. Chelstrom develops a Husserlian approach to issues of collective intentionality and social ontology, defending the view from critics within the Phenomenological tradition (such as Sartre and Heidegger) and presenting it as a viable alternative to prominent analytic accounts. The book provides a clear introduction to central elements of phenomenology while also showing how dialogue between different traditions can shed new light on shared problems. It will be of interest to scholars working on issues related to social ontology and collective intentionality, and also to those looking for an advanced introduction to phenomenology as it applies to the social domain. -- Andrew D. Spear, Grand Valley State University In this well-researched and clearly written book, Chelstom provides a model for showing how Continental philosophers can contribute to debates in analytic philosophy. Chelstom expertly walks the line between the irreducibility of we-intentions and the denial of plural subjects, presenting an account of collective intentionality more plausible than rival accounts. -- David Vessey, Grand Valley State Universityshow more

About Eric S. Chelstrom

Eric Chelstrom served as Visiting Assistant Professor in philosophy at Grand Valley State University from 2009-2012, and currently continues to teach in there and in Grand Rapids area. He completed his doctoral studies in philosophy at the University at Buffalo, State University of New York under the direction of Kah Kyung Cho. He has presented at number of international conferences on issues ranging from the ontology of music to social ontology. Dr. Chelstrom's current research includes work on the role of horizon intentionality in Aristotelian friendships, to be published in a forthcoming volume titled Phenomenology and Virtue Ethics; research in the history of phenomenology, including work on the analyses of evil in phenomenology prior to Paul Ricoeur's Symbolism of Evil and on the influence of Adolf Reinach's social ontology on Edith Stein's philosophy; finally, his research is beginning to turn to the implications of a theory of collective intentionality for our understanding of the nature of art, paying specific attention to arguments from Arthur Danto's essay, "The Artworld".show more

Table of contents

Table of Contents Acknowledgments Introduction Chapter 1: That Experience Does Not Motivate a Robust Claim for Collective Consciousness Chapter 2: A Metaphysical Critique of the Notion of Collective Consciousness Chapter 3: Plural Subjects: Phenomenology and Collective Intentionality Chapter 4: Responding to Criticisms: Phenomenological Evidence and Horizon Intentionality Chapter 5: The Phenomenology of the Social World and Gilbert's Plural Subject Theory Chapter 6: Responses to Two Criticisms Motivated by Realist Concerns Chapter 7: Responding to Sokolowski's Criticism of Husserlian Individualism Bibliography About the Authorshow more