The we and its many forms: Kurt Stavenhagen's contribution to social phenomenology

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Salice, Alessandro
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'We' is said in many ways. This paper investigates Kurt Stavenhagen's neglected account of different kinds of 'we', which is maintained to be one of the most sophisticated within classical phenomenology. The paper starts by elaborating on the phenomenological distinction between mass, society, and community by claiming that individuals partake in episodes of experiential sharing only within communities. Stavenhagen conceptualizes experiential sharing as a meshing of conscious experiences infused by a feeling of us-ness. The remainder of the paper focuses on Stavenhagen's distinction of various senses of us: when individual share preferences, have mutual respect, or emotionally evaluate the world according to a cultural tradition, they elicit a sense of us of different kind and, thus, form communities of different kind. Within phenomenology, Stavenhagen should be credited with the merit of having unearthed the aggregative, we-generating force of preferences, of respect, and of (certain) emotions.
Experiential sharing , Communities , Social phenomenology , Kurt Stavenhagen , We-experiences
Salice, A. (2020) 'The we and its many forms: Kurt Stavenhagen's contribution to social phenomenology'. British Journal for the History of Philosophy. doi: 10.1080/09608788.2020.1737914
© 2020, British Society for the History of Philosophy. Published by Routledge – Taylor & Francis Group. All rights reserved. This is an Accepted Manuscript of an item published by Taylor & Francis in British Journal for the History of Philosophy on 30 March, 2020, available online: