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The Yearbook on History and Interpretation of Phenomenology 2013

Person – Subject – Organism- An Overview of Interdisciplinary Insights

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Edited By Anton Vydra

The main topic of the volume encompasses three areas of phenomenological research: person, subject, and organism. These three topics are interrelated in various ways. On the one hand, the question is Husserlian phenomenology of personhood and subjectivity, and on the other hand, it is a broader problem including epistemological, ontological and biological approaches. Those great traditional and contemporary themes of subjectivitiy and intersubjectivity, concepts of person, community and interpersonality, questions of humanity, value and biological status of human beings all became part of Edmund Husserl’s focus. The contributors intend to show that a number of inspiring and unexplored questions arose from these thematic areas, questions which are related to various specific and interconnected fields of study.
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Operatively functioning subjectivity: Toward a history of the received interpretation

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Elizabeth A. Behnke

Abstract

Husserl’s notion of functioning subjectivity (functioning intentionality, functioning I, functioning Corporeality) was taken up by subsequent phenomenologists and transformed into a received interpretation still effective today. The present essay traces the trajectory of this historical development across works by Fink, Merleau-Ponty, Brand, Held, and Mohanty, concluding that the assumption of an operatively functioning anonymity at the heart of subjective life may be one of the motivations leading some phenomenologists to collaborate with the project of the naturalization of consciousness. I close by identifying some further investigations needed to pave the way for a comparison between Husserl’s own rich notion of functioning subjectivity and the received interpretation.

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