Embodied Self and Other

Aug 12th, 2016 | By | Category: Feature

ApplebaumI am sharing the slides from my presentation at the 31st International Congress of Psychology, held this July in Yokohama, Japan–a Husserlian, phenomenological perspective on the intertwining of self and Other.  I draw primarily on Edmund Husserl’s genetic phenomenological account of the arising of the I in relation to a You, and I also dialogue with two founding figures in modern Japanese philosophy: Nishida Kitaro (1870-1945) and Nishitani Keiji (1900-1990).

This presentation also represents the intersection of my work in phenomenological psychology and the study of meditative practice, which in my case is a tradition in classical Sufism. Interestingly, Dorion Cairns (1976), one of Husserl’s students, reported one of their discussions of the relationship between phenomenology and mystical experience in the following way: “Whole pages of Meister Eckehart, Husserl said, could be taken over by him unchanged” (p. 91).  As I note in the presentation, the relationships of Husserl, Nishida, and Nishitani’s work to religious experience and meditative practice is complex: all three acknowledged both an important relatedness and a critical distinction between religious experience and philosophical or scientific practice. For those interested in this topic, I recommend Susi Ferrarello’s 2015 interview with Professor Ales Bello, and the following texts:

  • Ales Bello, The Divine in Husserl and Other Explorations (Analecta Husserliana Vol XCVIII, 2010, Springer)
  • Dorion Cairns, Conversations with Husserl and Fink (1976, Marinus Nijhoff)
  • James G. Hart, The Person and the Common Life: Studies in a Husserlian Social Ethics (1992, Kluwer)
  • Nishitani Keiji, Religion and Nothingness (1982, University of California Press)
  • Nishida Kitaro, Last Writings: Nothingness and the Religious Worldview (1987, University of Hawaii Press)

Embodied Self and Other–A Phenomenological Perspective from Marc Applebaum, PhD
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