Sunday, August 13, 2006

Transcendental Empathy

Marianne Sawicki, commenting on Edith Stein's phenomenology, says that Stein "demonstrates that empathy is not a constituted sense, one among others; rather, empathy is the prior condition of the possibility of any constitution at all." (ht Brandon.) More later.

Later: The empathic subject, thinker, ego. I can observe myself thinking, as it were, take note of habits of thought, influences, moods. Not everything that goes into a thinking event belongs to me--Is it the spontaneous that represenets the truest expression of ipseity? And yet habits of thought. reflections of the way I live from day to day, and over many years, are these not also true to who I am? It seems that I will be responsible for as much as I can comprehend and then some. But my existence is so thoroughly compromised. Were I starting from scratch, would I really chose to be a primate? A yak? A lion, or a lion for real? I have no expectation of justice. If I could content myself with poetry, I would have that at least.

If empathic thinking is allowed to take the place of the transcendental ego in phenomenological description, is there still a need for an ego? What is the entity that is able to observe its own thinking? Is it empathy that enables it to identify (with) itself? Then the empathic subject may be the only subject needed. Yet couldn't the relationship be more inimical? On what ground can we assume the oneness of the reflexive consciousness? Maya.

Just saw Deepa Mehta's Water. Squeezing my wife's hand. Did we cry at the same moments? For the same reasons? It wouldn't be my place to suggest an answer.

posted by Fido the Yak at 5:28 PM.


Anonymous John said...

Hi, Im from Melbourne Australia.

Please check out these related references.


August 20, 2006 1:17 AM  
Blogger Fido the Yak said...

Hi, John. My greetings to Melbourne.

Your links are certainly related to Stein's idea of emphathy, though I don't speak of God much, or of the divine. The way Adi Da Samraj describes the divine strikes me as being true to the essence of the divine. However, I am not one to believe that Samraj himself is any more or less divine than you or I or any other being.

Thanks for stopping by.


August 20, 2006 9:59 AM  

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