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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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Husserl on Type, Animal Life, and Cross-Species Morality

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Sam Cocks

Abstract

Husserl’s theories of type, association and analogical apperception serve to ground the basic form of community that arises between individual agents and other subjects, including other animals. The latter is because association and type are by nature inclusive, rather than exclusive, and do not function in the same manner as determinate concepts. Type is inclusive and indeterminate in the sense that it is not fixed, nor does it require exactitude. Rather it functions associatively in drawing out/together common resemblances and styles. I will argue that the cross-species relationships typification opens up contribute to the full constitution of the human monad, and that moral relationships with animals should follow the spirit of typification by being inclusive and open to indeterminacy. In this case, the term indeterminacy concerns moral decisions that do not require grounding in an exact understanding of what the animal may be thinking, desiring, etc. The essay will include a few remarks on the nature of analogy and description, as well as how my overall argument corresponds with similar deliberations in the study of animal cognition. All of the above concern interspecies and interpersonal interaction and how the formation of values and norms may occur.

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