The View From Somewhere - Investigations Pertaining to the Implications of the Impurity of the Third- and the First-Person-Perspective
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Continental Philosophy Review (forthcoming)
The old duality that eventually came to produce the mind/body-problem indicates the problem of transcendental subjectivity. The enduring significance of this problem shows itself in a provocation of any paradigm that has become too objectivistic, too naturalistic – even too idealistic in a certain sense – and too forgetful of its own departure from a perspective always presumed. Analytic philosophy bears a tendency towards such a ‘view from nowhere’ which denies a fundamental subjective connection. The rebuttal of this position entails accepting the interrelation between first- and third-person-perspective; we call this the ‘view from somewhere’. Tracing the tension between the subjective and the objective we find this “view” embraced in the phenomenological tradition. At the same time we find the mind/body-problem seemingly dissolved through, among other key concepts, the introduction of the ‘lived body’. We will see, however, that this is no thorough solution; a fundamental mind/world polarity escapes the phenomenological framework and ends up mounting a critical threat to its own stability. A demonstration is attempted of how both the process of objectification and the process of subjectification falls into regressive patterns. This is due to the interplay of the gaze and the source, the ‘from’ and the ‘towards’: Ajin. Later this argumentation calls for a discussion of the pre-reflective sphere of consciousness. Finally we show the alignment between conclusions driven forth in our own dialectic and the ones found in the philosophy of Nāgārjuna. The transcendental interconstitution of subjectivity and objectivity, perspective and world, has a name in emptiness.
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