From Phenomenology to Metaphysics
Chapter 4: The Motivated Constitution of the State
The Motivated Constitution of the State
Stein’s Philosophy of Psychology and the Humanities, written immediately after Stein took her leave as Husserl’s assistant, were meant to complement Husserl’s Ideas II in respect of the constitution of the psyche and the spirit.1 Stein’s doctoral dissertation On the Problem of Empathy equipped her well for this task, as the complete constitution of both the psyche and the spirit depends on the mirror perspective offered by the other, accessed by means of empathy. The access to the experience of the other allows me to identify the world of values – the objects of motivation – as objective, and to understand myself as a being whose nature stands under the influence of the motivation which my I is subject to as a person, and also to identify myself as a sentient being in possession of a psyche. Her understanding of mental energy allows her to analyse the formation of the ‘we’ which arises from the sharing of motivational energy and gives rise to communal experience. With the understanding of the flexible formation of the communal subject a map of the dynamic structure of inter-subjectivity is achieved, and with it, as its correlate, an understanding of the inter-subjective constitution of the world; a model of what could be called its ‘social construction’.
It is the community-forming ability of values that make them of decisive importance for Stein’s concept of the state, as the state is a community or at...
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