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Patricia Meindl

Patricia Meindl

PhD fellow

Member of:


    Project Title: “The I-Thou Relation. Phenomenological Perspectives”


    Traditionally associated with Martin Buber’s philosophy of dialogue, phenomenological accounts of the I-Thou relation have largely fallen into oblivion. My PhD project seeks to revive these phenomenological approaches to the I-Thou by systematically reconstructing the work of classical phenomenologists Edmund Husserl, Edith Stein, Gerda Walther, Max Scheler and Alfred Schütz. In contrast to Buber’s Ich und Du (1923), phenomenological accounts of the I-Thou are strongly rooted in a broader concern for the constitution of communities.

    This thematic orientation, which connects the second person singular (you/Thou) with the first person plural (we), informs the main research question guiding this study: To which extent, if at all, is an analysis of the intentional and affective structure of the I-Thou relation decisive for a more refined understanding of we-experiences?

    My investigation of the role of the I-Thou relation in the constitution of we-experiences shall further be guided by the following sub-questions:

    • Assuming there is a phenomenologically relevant difference between I-Thou relations and we-experiences, how does the former transform into the latter? Is the second person perspective preserved within we-experiences or is it merely functioning as a stepping stone?
    • What relevance bears the presence of a They in the constitution of the We?
    • What is the corporeal basis of an I-Thou relationship and could a perspective on mutual corporeal attunement offer a way into an analysis of paradigmatic we-experiences?


    This PhD project is part of the larger project "You and We: Second-Person Engagement and Collective Intentionality", directed by Dan Zahavi. 


    Fields of interest

    Areas of Specialisation:

    • Phenomenology
    • Social Philosophy
    • Philosophy of Perception

    Areas of Competence:

    • Ethics
    • Aesthetics
    • Epistemology


    ID: 187374167