Bubbles and skulls: The phenomenological structure of self-consciousness in dutch still-life painting

In M. Wrathal & Hubert L. Dreyfus (eds.), The Blackwell Companion to Phenomenology and Existentialism. Blackwell (2005)
In this paper I investigate the representation of self-consciousness in the still life tradition in the Netherlands around the time of Descartes’ residence there. I treat the paintings of this tradition as both a phenomenological resource and as a phenomenological undertaking in their own right. I begin with an introductory overview of the still life tradition, with particular attention to semiotic structures characteristic of the vanitas still life. I then focus my analysis on the representation of self-consciousness in this tradition, identifying both a Cartesian mode of representation of self-consciousness but also a counter trend
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