Self and Other: Exploring Subjectivity, Empathy, and Shame

Paperback | November 18, 2016

byDan Zahavi

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Can you be a self on your own or only together with others? Is selfhood a built-in feature of experience or rather socially constructed? How do we at all come to understand others? Does empathy amount to and allow for a distinct experiential acquaintance with others, and if so, what does thattell us about the nature of selfhood and social cognition? Does a strong emphasis on the first-personal character of consciousness prohibit a satisfactory account of intersubjectivity or is the former rather a necessary requirement for the latter?Engaging with debates and findings in classical phenomenology, in philosophy of mind and in various empirical disciplines, Dan Zahavi's new book Self and Other offers answers to these questions. Discussing such diverse topics as self-consciousness, phenomenal externalism, mindless coping, mirrorself-recognition, autism, theory of mind, embodied simulation, joint attention, shame, time-consciousness, embodiment, narrativity, self-disorders, expressivity and Buddhist no-self accounts, Zahavi argues that any theory of consciousness that wishes to take the subjective dimension of ourexperiential life serious must endorse a minimalist notion of self. At the same time, however, he also contends that an adequate account of the self has to recognize its multifaceted character, and that various complementary accounts must be integrated, if we are to do justice to its complexity.Thus, while arguing that the most fundamental level of selfhood is not socially constructed and not constitutively dependent upon others, Zahavi also acknowledges that there are dimensions of the self and types of self-experience that are other-mediated. The final part of the book exemplifies thisclaim through a close analysis of shame.

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Can you be a self on your own or only together with others? Is selfhood a built-in feature of experience or rather socially constructed? How do we at all come to understand others? Does empathy amount to and allow for a distinct experiential acquaintance with others, and if so, what does thattell us about the nature of selfhood and soc...

Dan Zahavi is Professor of Philosophy and Director of Center for Subjectivity Research at the University of Copenhagen. He was elected member of Institut International de Philosophie in 2001 and of the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters in 2007. From 2001 to 2007 he served as president of the Nordic Society for Phenomenology,...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:296 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.01 inPublished:November 18, 2016Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198776675

ISBN - 13:9780198776673

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Table of Contents

AcknowledgementsIntroductionPart I: The Experiential Self1. Conflicting perspectives on self2. Consciousness, self-consciousness, and selfhood3. Transparency and anonymity4. Subjectivity or selfhood5. Self and diachronic unity6. Pure and poor7. A multidimensional accountPart II: Empathic Understanding8. Subjectivity and intersubjectivity9. Empathy and projection10. Phenomenology of empathy11. Empathy and social cognition12. Subjectivity and othernessPart II: The Interpersonal Self13. The self as social object14. Shame15. You, me, and weReferences

Editorial Reviews

"There are several impressive features of this book. First and foremost, it presents a coherent, cogent, and nuanced account of how we experience ourselves and others as minded, embodied, and embedded agents, as individuals and as members of groups and communities. Zahavi's positions are bothphenomenologically and textually very well-informed as he works through the contributions of key figures from the phenomenological tradition on the issues he addresses. Equally impressive is the range of figures from outside of phenomenology, be it from analytical and other traditions of philosophyor from empirical psychology it introduces and discusses." --Thomas Nenon, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews