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Alexandru Bejinariu, “On Husserl’s Theory of Alien Experience in the Logical Investigations”. In: Human Studies 2023

This paper tackles Husserl’s early analysis of alien experience and its relation to the methodological framework of the Logical Investigations (LI). Since intersubjectivity first becomes a central theme for Husserl in his writings of 1905 (Seefeld Blätter), less attention is usually paid to his analysis of our experience of other minds in the LI. In this context, I attempt to highlight both the fundamental insights gained by Husserl in this analysis that will also remain key for his later accounts of empathy, as well as the challenges alien experiences raises for the theoretical framework of LI. I begin by discussing the main relevant traits of the phenomenological project of LI as a preparatory endeavor for the elucidation of logical objectualities, and the radical way in which Husserl defines its domain, i.e., the sphere of immanent content. Then I analyse Husserl’s understanding of alien experience in terms of an indicative unity based on associative motivations. I argue that, in doing this, Husserl accounts for a non-inferential intuitive access to other minds and, at the same time, maintains their essential alienness. Finally, I show that this account rests on what I call an “intentional contamination” of Husserl’s reductive method of LI.