Introduction to Philosophy: The Person and Others Lesson 8

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How do existentialism and phenomenology relate to the concept of interpersonal relations?

They are the major philosophical branches that discuss interpersonal relations extensively.

How does the individual primarily perceive and relate to reality?

Through an egocentric perspective.

How does the existentialist perspective define interpersonal relations?

As the 'self' being aware of the 'other'.

In the context of philosophical discussions, what does 'the other' refer to?

Objects outside of personal experience.

How does the existentialist perspective view the concept of the 'other' in interpersonal relations?

As other individuals apart from the self.

What is the mental shortcut that relies on immediate examples when evaluating a specific topic?


What is the responsibility of Ethics of Care towards others?

Look at the needs of other people

How does Christianity define interpersonal relations?

By defining ideal relationships between individuals

Which type of society is based on producing and maintaining crops and farmland?

Agricultural Society

What did God establish in the Old Testament as the ideal relationship between man and woman?


What type of rule governs the interactions in society according to the text?

Written and unwritten rules

What does intersubjectivity refer to?

Awareness and understanding shared among individuals

Which of the following is NOT an example of intersubjectivity?

Being isolated and detached from society

At what level does intersubjectivity go beyond the simple awareness of the existence of others?

When you are aware of yourself as being seen by others

What sets human interactions apart from interactions of other species?

The unique phenomenon of the human gaze

Which concept is associated with one's capacity to understand others' situations?


What does alienation refer to?

The state of isolation due to a lack of interest in others

What is the primary characteristic of an industrial society?

Use of mass production technologies in factories

What do Enlightenment philosophers such as Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, and Jean Jacques Rousseau imagine as the natural state of humans?

Living in a state of nature, without civilization

What is the role of authority according to Thomas Hobbes' social contract theory?

To meet the needs of society and ensure its survival

What is the primary focus of social philosophy?

Understanding the relationship between society and the human person

What characterizes a virtual society?

Development of relationships without face-to-face interaction

What is modern society defined as?

People living together in current time

According to John Locke, what is the basis of society?

Consent of the governed

What is Jean Jacques Rousseau's concept that describes the collective will of the people?

General will

What is the primary role of government according to these philosophers?

To act on behalf of the people

What is the term for the process by which people adopt social norms and behaviors?


What is the term for the expected behaviors associated with a particular social position?

Social role

What is the perspective that considers a democratic society as morally desirable?

Normative democratic theory

Study Notes

Interpersonal Relations

  • Interpersonal relations refer to the way individuals relate with other persons
  • Existentialism and phenomenology are two philosophical branches that discuss interpersonal relations
  • The individual is primarily aware of himself, and it is the egocentric perspective that defines how he/she perceives and relates to reality

The Self and the Other

  • The "self" is aware of the "other" as an object outside of personal experience
  • Intersubjectivity refers to the interaction between the self and the other, involving shared awareness and understanding among persons
  • It is evident in everyday social interactions, shared knowledge, and emotions like grief, joy, and love

Levels of Self-Interaction

  • Simple awareness of the existence of the other
  • Deeper level: awareness of the self as being seen by others
  • Self-consciousness is a defining characteristic of the self-other relationship

Various Concepts in Interpersonal Relations

  • Familiarity: the unique phenomenon of the human gaze
  • Seeming: proposed by Martin Buber, refers to self-presentation
  • Dialogue: occurs when one person views another person as important
  • Alienation: the state of isolation that happens when we cease to look at other people as significant and authentic
  • Empathy: one's capacity to understand other people's situation

Social Contract Theorists

  • John Locke: man in his natural state is more cooperative and reasonable, and society is formed through the consent of the governed
  • Jean Jacques Rousseau: advocated the concept of the "general will" and that man is cooperative

Society and the Individual

  • Socialization: a person adopts a set of ideals and behavior considered appropriate within his society
  • Social institutions: social roles entail a set of expected behaviors that must be performed by a person
  • Normative democratic theory: a perspective that considers a democratic society as morally desirable

Types of Societies

  • Industrial society: uses technologies of mass production to make vast amounts of goods in factories
  • Modern society: defined as people living together in current time, based on expansion of education, technology, industry, and urban life
  • Virtual society: a social form where people do not have to live, meet, or work face-to-face to develop or maintain a significant relationship

Social Philosophy

  • Focuses on studying society and its influence on the human person
  • Topics include social ontology, social ethics, democracy, human rights, equality, and justice

Origins of Human Society

  • Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, and Jean Jacques Rousseau: prominent social theorists who tackled the origins of human society
  • Imagined humans as living in a so-called "natural state", removed from modernity and civilization

Explore how individuals relate to others in the context of existentialism and phenomenology. Discuss the significance of interpersonal relationships and their impact on personal meaning and fulfillment.

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