Central and East European
Society for Phenomenology

Conference | Paper

The Encountering of Husserl and Plessner. A Reconsideration of Sociality

Jaroslava Vydrová

Thursday 2 December 2021

12:10 - 12:50

Zoom 1-2

The aim of the contribution is to follow the convergence of Edmund Husserl’s phenomenology and Helmuth Plessner’s philosophical anthropology with regard to the issue of intersubjectivity and sociality. Our approach is framed both historically and philosophically. While the main strategy of the phenomenological approach towards intersubjectivity is to uncover the relations and connections “I—the Other—World,” the Plessnerian view brings into play the configuration “organism—persons—culture.” Against this background, we try to find new challenges and new ways to tackle the social reality of the human being.

The advantage of this kind of an approach is, firstly, that it brings to focus the genealogy of the problem of sociality. It returns us to the roots of the research on intersubjectivity, which set the course for later philosophizing (subjectivity is intersubjectivity, the first-person perspective, living body). Secondly, thanks to the wide scope of Plessner’s work, we can find a thematically diverse and rich field of investigation—from eccentric positionality to political anthropology. Finally, we are able to develop several insights concerning human appearance in the public sphere, adoption of roles, relations to others, and the context of the agency and power as a reconsideration of sociality. Several phenomena, such as mask, face, armor, and examples of their manifestations in the philosophical context as well as in the context of art, may be better disclosed by these insights.