Shaun Gallagher: "Heidegger and social cognition - a critique"

"Mitsein, for Heidegger, was a concession that he had to make, but one that he never really got behind.... [It] is, in truth, a very weak idea of the other ..." (Gadamer 2004, 23). I attempt to explain precisely why Gadamer is right -- that the concept of Mitsein, which seems to be so basic in Heidegger -- he claims it to be equally primordial with being-in-the-world -- in fact involves a weak idea of the other. I do this by appealing to recent developmental psychology and showing that Heidegger's analysis of Mitsein is consistent with the notion of secondary intersubjectivity, but entirely misses primary intersubjectivity.

Shaun Gallagher is Professor of Philosophy and Cognitive Science at the University of Central Florida (USA); he has a secondary appointment at the University of Hertfordshire (UK), and is Honorary Professor at the University of Copenhagen. His recent books include The Phenomenological Mind (with Dan Zahavi), How the Body Shapes the Mind (OUP 2005). He is editor of the recently published Oxford Handbook of the Self, and co-editor-in-chief of the journal Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences.