Studies in Phenomenology



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THE CHALLENGES OF I-SPLITTING OR ICHSPALTUNG FOR THE PHENOMENOLOGY OF EDITH STEIN AND GERDA WALTHER

Title in the language of publication: THE CHALLENGES OF I-SPLITTING OR ICHSPALTUNG FOR THE PHENOMENOLOGY OF EDITH STEIN AND GERDA WALTHER
Author: ANTONIO CALCAGNO
Issue: HORIZON. Studies in Phenomenology.
Vol. 10, №2 (2021), 484-498
Language: English
Document type: Research Article
DOI : 10.21638/2226-5260-2021-10-2-484-498 PDF (Downloads: 675)

Abstract
The phenomenon of I-splitting or Ichspaltung poses many challenges for phenomenology. In particular, one wonders how one and the same I can perform different acts while preserving its disinterested autonomy and identity. Moreover, as the I moves from the natural attitude to the phenomenological one, phenomenologists like Husserl defend the purity of the transcendental I to grasp the sense of what its lives. How can the I move from one attitude to the next without being affected or conditioned by the acts carried out and content seized by the I in both attitudes? For example, one wonders how trauma or intense emotional experiences may affect the transcendental or phenomenological I, if at all. Edith Stein and Gerda Walther are read here as deepening the problem of I-splitting, for they introduce a form of it that is not merely defined by the undertaking of different acts of consciousness, for example, the move from the natural to the phenomenological attitude; rather, they describe lived experiences in which the very fundamental unity of the individual, personal I is challenged or negated through intense forms of sociality and intersubjectivity achieved in community and telepathy as well as ruptures in the constitutive unity of persons through soullessness. I argue here that these phenomena seriously challenge not only the unity of I experience but also phenomenology’s claim of the capacity of a pure and absolute ego to grasp philosophically and scientifically the objective sense of its investigations.

Keywords
I-splitting, Ichspaltung, unity of consciousness, fragmentation of the I, identity, person and personhood, soullessness.

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