209 THE EXISTENCE OF ALTER EGOS: JEAN-PAUL SARTRE AND MAURICE MERLEAU-PONTY Francois H. Lapointe From the critical viewpoint, the existence of alter egos is the fundamental problem facing a phenomenological psycho- logy. It is difficult to see how a philosophy grounded totally in experience could avoid eventuating in a position of solipsism or pure subjectivism. That this is a real and constant risk, amount- ing virtually to a "tendency" within phenomenology, is evi- denced in recurring interpretations like that of Quentin Lauer (Lauer, 1958). In this respect, intersubjectivity becomes a cru- cial distinguishing theme and a foundation-block for a pheno- menological psychology. The main purpose of this investigation is to clarify the ques- tion of how do we come to know another person according to Sartre and Merleau-Ponty. We will attempt to follow the ana- lyses which led each of them to the revelation of other human existents as such. For Sartre the problem amounts to the conversion into a subject of what might just as well, at first glance, be an object among other objects. He answers this question quite simply by stating that "It is not only conjectural but probable that this voice which I hear
Journal of Phenomenological Psychology – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 1976
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