Annals of Ethics
Online ISSN : 2434-4699
The development of Husserl’s theory of communication since 1921
Takashi Suzuki
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2017 Volume 66 Pages 113-


  Edmund Husserl(1859─1938)conceived a theory of communication in Logical Investigations(1900/01). According to his conception, to initiate communication, one must express his/her wish to communicate, and another must receive this expression. Husserl calls such a function to express mental acts ‘indication(Kundgabe)’. Therefore, the main topics of his theory of communication should be ‘indication’ and ‘reception of indication(Kundnahme)’. Because of his interest in logic, however, this theory was scarcely dealt with in Logical Investigations. However, Husserl began to re-examine it when he planned his new systematic and comprehensive book in 1921. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to explain how Husserl’s theory of communication was developed since 1921. Because his plan for the new book was only partially realized, we use mainly manuscripts which were included in Phenomenology of Intersubjectivity II and III.
  We will clarify the process of this development as follows. First, we will explore Husserl’s manuscripts from 1921 and show that he regarded the ‘body’ and the ‘open world’ as the conditions of possibility to experience others. Second, we will examine further his manuscripts from 1924 and present his view that the experience of others can be classified into ‘empathy’ and ‘communication’. In empathy, the mental acts of another are indicated without his/her intention, while they are indicated intentionally in communication. Husserl tried to characterize communication by intentional indication and the reception thereof. Finally, we will deal with the theory of community in Cartesian Meditations(1931)and manuscripts written in the 1930s. According to this theory, the community of empathy can proceed to the community of communication if members thereof indicate their wish to communicate intentionally and receive it from each other. Then, they satisfy the conditions of possibility to experience others in a higher order; they regard other bodies as bodies for intentional indication and live in the cultural and social world, which is open to the community of communication. We can therefore present this theory of community from the 1930s as a developed form of the theory of communication of Logical Investigations.

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© 2017 The Japanese Society for Ethics
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