The definition of Intersubjectivity as developed in psychology and phenomenology, and accepted by academia (the Wikipedia page is pretty sparse but I'm too lazy to look further definitions at the moment) is limited to shared ideas or meanings.
The concept has however been developed in much greater detail by Transpersonal Psychologist Christian de Quincey, who describes three possible forms of intersubjectivity. These are the standard definition and two others:
de Quincey is highly critical of Ken Wilber, another philosopher of intersubjectivity, both regarding his excessively intellectual edifice and his more limited idea of intersubjectivity as limited to his Lower Left quadrant (= Intersubjectivity-1 and 2). However
Wilber uses the same term, "intersubjectivity," to refer to at least five different dimensions of intersubjectivity. Thus, when approaching Wilber on the topic of intersubjectivity one needs to be sensitive to the context, which is often the only indicator of which type of intersubjectivity is being explained. Though this presentation doesn't afford the space for a thorough explanation of these dimensions, let me briefly introduce them with terms I have generated:
1. Intersubjectivity-as-spirit: the transcendental quality of all relationships that allows for any dimension of intersubjectivity to manifest. The only reason that two subjectivities can touch simultaneously (co-presence) is that they are ultimately only one Subject. [MAK: Intersubjectivity as nonduality - this can be added to de Quincey's list, as Intersubjectivity-4.]
2. Intersubjectivity-as-context: the context created by multiple intersubjective structures (i.e., meshworks) which are constitutive of the subject and create the space in which both subjects and objects arise (e.g., physical laws, morphic fields, linguistic, moral, cultural, biological, and aesthetic structures). These cultural contexts, backgrounds, and practices are nondiscursive and inaccessible via direct experience. [MAK: This category would seem to combine de Quincey's ontological intersubjectivity (Intersubjectivity-3) with Wilber's standard Intersubjectivity as Lower Left quadrant]
3. Intersubjectivity-as-resonance: the occurrence of "mutual recognition" and "mutual understanding" between two holons of similar depth. Within this dimension there are Worldspaces and Worldviews.
- Worldspaces: ontological resonance between two subjects who share emergent domains (e.g., physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual). Here, mutual recognition is simple co-presence prior to reflection (precognitive). [MAK: Wilber's latest work rejects ontology, hence this category cannot be distinguished from the next, unless it's by quadrant]
- Worldviews: epistemological resonance between two subjects who share a level of psychological development (e.g., archaic, magic, mythic, rational, and centauric). Here mutual understanding is co-presence via cognition, which complexifies with development. This is the cognitive component of a shared worldspace. [MAK: perhaps these two categories could be called Intersubjectivity-1 1/2, or psychosocial intersubjectivity]
4. Intersubjectivity-as-relationship: the way we identify with and have relationship with other subjects and objects. Within this dimension there are at least three types of relationships.
- It-It relationships: an objective subject in relation with an objective object.
- I-It relationships: a subject in relationship with an object (or a subject seen as an object).
- I-I relationships: a subject in relationship with a subject. This last subdivision has two general forms, either solidarity or difference. [MAK: This is all about perspectives, which is very big in Wilber's post-metaphysics. Wilber only has three main perspectives, with otehrs being convoluted meta-views ("I know that you know that I know"...), whereas I have postulated further perspectives of nonduality and beyond. In any case, all these Wilberian perspectives can be pretty much reduced to subsets of Intersubjectivity-1 and 2]
- Relationship-as-solidarity: relating to another subject because they mirror your values, ethnicity, gender, or nationality etc.
- Relationship-as-difference: relating to another subject as a subject despite the fact that they are different from you in important ways. ( MAK: These two sub-categories can be considered variants of Intersubjectivity-1]
It is also helpful to keep in mind a related quality to intersubjectivity, namely:
5. Intersubjectivity-as-phenomenology: the felt-experience of different dimensions of intersubjectivity, including: spirit, resonance, and relationships. Note that intersubjectivity-as-context is not available as "felt-experience" by its very nature of constituting the subject prior to experience. [MAK: This category seems to combine Intersubjectivity-1 (phenomenology) and 3 (process philosophy)]
I have to admit, this Wilber stuff gives me a huge headache. In comparison, de Quincey (who is also quite tecyhnical) is simplicity itself! It is easy to understand why it is so difficult to criticise Wilber, one is confronted with a convoluted labyrinth. As for myself, I prefer to make esoteric and metaphysical ideas as simple as possible
At best Wilber adds one new category, possibly two. A further dimension of Intersubjectivity, curiously not mentioned by Wilber in view of hsi Mahayana Buddhist leanings, is Tu-shun's non-obstruction of Shih against Shih ( "Indra's Net")
Therefore the following dimensions of Intersubjectivity, from the most trivial to the most profound, can be listed:
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