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Intersubjectivity: Nursing's Contribution to the Explication of its Postmodern Meaning

Intersubjectivity: Nursing's Contribution to the Explication of its Postmodern Meaning


Theoretical Concerns Intersubjectivity: Nursing's Contribution to the Explication of Its Postmodern Meaning William K. Cody, RN; PhD* 'The logos is common to all, but people behave as if each had a private reason." -Heraclitus The notion of intersubjectivity has been used in many different ways in the discourse of the human sciences. Widely regarded as a fundamental attribute of human existence, it is also one of the great mysteries of human understanding. The definition of intersubjectivity according to the Oxford English Dictionary is "existing between two conscious minds." Commonly, intersub- jectivity refers to the shared understanding of meaning by two or more persons, either directly in relationship or over distance or time through language. Intersubjec- tivity can even be regarded as that which makes mean- ing possible. In science and scholarship, intersubjective agree- ment on the meaning of the language in use is essential to dialogue, collaboration, debate, and the work of elaborating and specifying theoretical traditions. Owens (1970) explored concepts of intersubjectivity, from Sartre's "phenomenology of loneliness" to von Hildebrand's "phenomenology of love." Buber (1992) regarded the intersubjective as "a primal category of human reality" (p. 39). Jacques (1991) examined the notion that "the originary and authentic
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