Single Idea 22221

[catalogued under 15. Nature of Minds / A. Nature of Mind / 4. Other Minds / c. Knowing other minds]

Full Idea

Another person's consciousness is given to me through the expressive stratum of her body, which gives me access to her experience while making me realise that it is inaccessible to me. Empathy is a presentation of what is absent.

Gist of Idea

We know another's mind via bodily expression, while also knowing it is inaccessible


report of Edmund Husserl (Ideas: intro to pure phenomenology [1913]) by Rudolf Bernet - Husserl p.203

Book Reference

'A Companion to Continental Philosophy', ed/tr. Critchley,S/Schroeder,W [Blackwell 1999], p.203

A Reaction

This is the phenomenological approach to the problem of other minds, by examining the raw experience of encountering another person. It is true that we seem to both know and not know another person's mind when we encounter them.

Related Idea

Idea 22220 The phenomena of memory are given in the present, but as being past [Husserl, by Bernet]