A central question within contemporary debates about collective intentionality concerns the nature and status of the we. The question, however, is by no means new. In the first decades of the 20th century, it was already discussed by various phenomenologists. Whereas Heidegger argued that a focus on empathy is detrimental to a proper understanding of the we, and that the latter is more fundamental than any dyadic interaction, other phenomenologists, such as Husserl, Walther and Schutz insisted on the importance of empathy for proper we-experiences. In this paper, I will present some of the key moves in this debate and explore the suggestion that second-person engagement is important for group-identification and we-identity.
Post-Kantian European Philosophy Seminar Convenors: Dr Joseph Schear, Dr Manuel Dries, and Prof Mark Wrathall