The Role of Self-Movement in the Constitution of the Shared World

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date



I argue that Husserl’s manuscripts on intersubjectivity discover a decisive role for self-movement in the constitution of the shared world. I explore two complementary constitutive functions. The first enables empathetic apperception by closing the divergence in sense between the original ego, which does not find itself at a location, and the alter ego, which is found over there. By traversing distances with its organically articulated Leibkörper, the original ego establishes an analogy between self-movement and thing-movement that guides the recognition of another ego in space. The second accounts for the exchangeability of perspectives between differently located subjects. The restricted motility of the Leibkörper is discovered against the background of ideal but motivated possibilities of going to any distant perspective. These possibilities are rooted in the purely kinaesthetic potential of the Leib. To inhabit another perspective need not involve changing the world. This evidence underlies the Weltanschauung according to which what appears from the other’s perspective is a possible appearance for me. Taken together, these two constitutive functions show how self-movement discloses a definite but accidental location from which the ego shares the world.


Published online 22 January 2024.