Many have urged that the biggest obstacles to a physicalistic understanding of consciousness are the problems raised in connection with the subjectivity of consciousness. These problems are most acutely expressed in consideration of the knowledge argument against physicalism. I develop a novel account of the subjectivity of consciousness by explicating the ways in which mental representations may be perspectival. Crucial features of my account involve analogies between the representations involved in sensory experience and the ways in which pictorial (...) representations exhibit perspectives or points of view. I argue that the resultant account of subjectivity provides a basis for the strongest response physicalists can give to the knowledge argument. (shrink)
This new, completely revised and re-written edition of Aesthetics and subjectivity brings up to date the original book's account of the path of German philosophy from Kant, via Fichte and Holderlin, the early Romantis, Schelling, Hegel, Schleimacher, to Nietzsche, in view of recent historical research and contemporary arguments in philosophy and theory in the humanities.
This paper argues that it is possible for suffering to occur in the absence of phenomenal consciousness – in the absence of a certain sort of experiential subjectivity, that is. (Phenomenal consciousness is the property that some mental states possess, when it is like something to undergo them, or when they have subjective feels, or possess qualia.) So even if theories of phenomenal consciousness that would withhold such consciousness from most species of non-human animal are correct, this neednt mean (...) that those animals dont suffer, and arent appropriate objects of sympathy and concern. (shrink)
The phenomena of human consciousness and subjectivity are explored from the perspective of affect-logic, a comprehensive meta-theory of the interactions between emotion and cognition based mainly on cognitive and social psychology, psychopathology, neurobiology Piaget?s genetic epistemology, psychoanalysis, and evolutionary science. According to this theory, overt or covert affective-cognitive interactions are obligatorily present in all mental activity, seemingly ?neutral? thinking included. Emotions continually exert numerous so-called operator-effects, both linear and nonlinear, on attention, on memory and on comprehensive thought, or logic (...) in a broad sense. They deeply ?affect? also consciousness and subjectivity, as showed by the analysis of four crucially involved phenomena, namely (1) attention, (2) abstraction, (3) language, and (4) the prevailing affective state. The conclusion is that neither consciousness nor subjectiovity can be adequately understood without fully considering their emotional aspects. (shrink)
This is a brief and accessible English summary of the "Self-model Theory of Subjectivity" (SMT), which is only available as German book in this archive. It introduces two new theoretical entities, the "phenomenal self-model" (PSM) and the "phenomenal model of the intentionality-relation" PMIR. A representationalist analysis of the phenomenal first-person persepctive is offered. This is a revised version, including two pictures.
Some theorists approach the Gordian knot of consciousness by proclaiming its inherent tangle and mystery. Others draw out the sword of reduction and cut the knot to pieces. Philosopher Thomas Metzinger, in his important new book, Being No One: The Self-Model Theory of Subjectivity,1 instead attempts to disentangle the knot one careful strand at a time. The result is an extensive and complex work containing almost 700 pages of philosophical analysis, phenomenological reflection, and scientific data. The text offers a (...) sweeping and comprehensive tour through the entire landscape of consciousness studies, and it lays out Metzinger's rich and stimulating theory of the subjective mind. Metzinger's skilled integration of philosophy and neuroscience provides a valuable framework for interdisciplinary research on consciousness. Metzinger's overall goal in Being No One is to defend a representational theory of subjectivity, one that reduces subjective mental processes to representational mental processes. Subjective experiences take place whe n there is a conscious perspective, an active first-person point of view. It occurs in. (shrink)
This is the first book in English to elucidate the central issues in the work of Johann Gottlieb Fichte (1762-1814), a figure crucial to the movement of philosophy from Kant to German idealism. The book explains Fichte's notion of subjectivity and how his particular view developed out of Kant's accounts of theoretical and practical reason. Fichte argued that the subject has a self-positing structure which distinguishes it from a thing or an object. Thus, the subject must be understood as (...) an activity rather than a thing and is self-constituting in a way that an object is not. In the final chapter, Professor Neuhouser considers how this doctrine of the self-positing subject enables us to understand the possibility of the self's autonomy, or self-determination. (shrink)
A hypothetical evolutionary scenario is offered meant to account for the emergence of mental selves. According to the scenario, mental selves are constructed to solve a source-attribution problem. They emerge when internally generated mental contents (e.g., thoughts and goals) are treated like messages arising from external personal sources. As a result, mental contents becomes attributed to the self as an internal personal source. According to this view, subjectivity is construed outward-in, that is, one's own mental self is derived from, (...) and is secondary to, the mental selves perceived in others. The social construction of subjectivity and selfhood relies on, and is maintained in, various discourses on subjectivity. (shrink)
After World War II, Japanese intellectuals believed that world history was moving inexorably toward bourgeois democracy and then socialism. But who would be the agents--the active "subjects"--of that revolution in Japan? Intensely debated at the time, this question of active subjectivity influenced popular ideas about nationalism and social change that still affect Japanese political culture today. In a major contribution to modern Japanese intellectual history, J. Victor Koschmann analyzes the debate over subjectivity. He traces the arguments of intellectuals (...) from various disciplines and political viewpoints, and finds that despite their stress on individual autonomy, they all came to define subjectivity in terms of deterministic historical structures, thus ultimately deferring the possibility of radical change in Japan. Establishing a basis for historical dialogue about democratic revolution, this book will interest anyone concerned with issues of nationalism, postcolonialism, and the formation of identities. (shrink)
Subjection and Subjectivity offers an account of moral subjectivity and moral reflection designed to meet the needs of feminism, as well as other emancipatory movements. Diana Tietjens Meyers argues that impartial reason--the appraoch to moral reflection which has dominated 20th century Anglo-American philosophy and judicial reasoning--is inadequate for addressing real world injustices. Dealing with the problems of group-based social exclusion requires empathy with others. But empathy often becomes distorted by prejudicial attitudes which may be publicly condemned but continue (...) to be transmitted through cultural figurations. Meyers uses Julia Kristeva's work on xenophobia and aesthetic practices as a starting point for developing a feminist politics of dissident speech, one that aims to dislodge prejudice. With the goal of offering an empathy-friendly account of moral reflection and judgment, she shows how moral reflection embodies the value of mutual recognition--a value enunciated in the work of Nancy Chodorow and Jessica Benjamin. Meyers argues that it is a mistake to view the moral subject as independent, transparent and rational. Instead, she presents a picture of a heterogeneous and pluralistic subject, one that is defined by ties to other people, liable to misunderstand its own motives and aims, and in need of a repertory of strategies for purposes of moral reflection. (shrink)
The subjectivity of the mental consists in the idea that there are features of our mental states that are perspectival in that they are accessible only from the first-person point of view. This is held to be a problem for materialist theories of mind, since such theories contend that there is nothing about the mind that cannot be fully described from a third-person (objective) point of view. Lycan suggests a notion of “phenomenal information” that is held to be perspectival (...) in the relevant sense but also perfectly objective, since it is explicated in terms of the computational roles of higher-order mental representations. I argue that his project fails because phenomenal information is accessible to observers, and hence it fails to be perspectival in the required sense. That sense demands that there be aspects of our conscious experiences that cannot be intersubjectively compared. (shrink)
The Persistence of Subjectivity examines several approaches to, and critiques of, the core notion in the self-understanding and legitimation of the modern, 'bourgeois' form of life: the free, reflective, self-determining subject. Since it is a relatively recent historical development that human beings think of themselves as individual centers of agency, and that one's entitlement to such a self-determining life is absolutely valuable, the issue at stake also involves the question of the historical location of philosophy. What might it mean (...) to take seriously Hegel's claim that philosophical reflection is always reflection on the historical 'actuality' of its own age? Discussing Heidegger, Gadamer, Adorno, Leo Strauss, Manfred Frank, and John McDowell, Robert Pippin attempts to understand how subjectivity arises in contemporary institutional practices such as medicine, as well as in other contexts such as modernism in the visual arts and in the novels of Marcel Proust. (shrink)
The subjectivity of consciousness is widely regarded as a major stumbling block for materialist theories of mind. In this paper I show how Kripkean arguments against identity theories (Kripke, 1972), and in particular a Kripkean argument against qualia-material property identity developed by Frank Jackson (1980) are a way of highlighting this problem. (And such arguments are not the quasi-historical curiosities they are sometimes pictured as being, because problems confronting functionalism have led to a modest revival of identity theory.) As (...) such, Kripkean arguments are akin to recent discussions of subjectivity by Thomas Nagel (1965, 1974, 1979) and Frank Jackson (1982). I then consider some recent attempts to refute Kripkean arguments or otherwise show that subjectivity is not an insurmountable problem for identity theory. The most promising attempt is one that I myself develop, based on some ideas by Keith Gunderson (1970). But I contend that even it, let alone any of the others, is not without problems. Thus, tentatively, Kripkean arguments against property identity succeed. (shrink)
Introduction -- Time and matter: temporality, embodied subjectivity and film phenomenology -- Knowing and nothing: Chris Marker, subjective temporalities and vocalic bodies in the future tense -- Agnès Varda's Trinket box: subjective relationality, affect and temporalised space -- Burlesque gestures and bodily attention: phenomenologies of the ephemeral in Chantal Akerman -- Threatened corporealities: thinking with the films of Philippe Grandrieux -- Conclusion: rethinking cinematic subjectivity and beyond.
Introduction: contemporary conditions and diagrammatic trajectory -- From joy to the gap: the accessing of the infinite by the finite (Spinoza, Nietzsche, Bergson) -- The care of the self versus the ethics of desire: two diagrams of the production of subjectivity (and of the subject's relation to truth) (Foucault versus Lacan) -- The aesthetic paradigm: from the folding of the finite-infinite relation to schizoanalytic metamodelisation (to biopolitics) (Guattari) -- The strange temporality of the subject: life in-between the infinite and (...) the finite (Deleuze contra Badiou) -- Desiring-machines, chaoids, probeheads: towards a speculative production of subjectivity (Deleuze and Guattari) -- Conclusion: composite diagram and relations of adjacency. (shrink)
Investigating Subjectivity examines the importance of a phenomenological account of the subject for the nature and the status of phenomenology, for different themes from practical philosophy and in relation to issues from the philosophy of ...
The Passive Eye is a revolutionary and historically rich account of Berkeley’s theory of vision. In this formidable work, the author considers the theory of the embodied subject and its passions in light of a highly dynamic conception of infinity. Arsic shows the profound affinities between Berkeley and Spinoza, and offers a highly textual reading of Berkeley on the concept of an “exhausted subjectivity.” The author begins by following the Renaissance universe of vision, particularly the paradoxical elusive nature of (...) mirrors, then shows how this conception of vision was translated into the optical devices and in what way the various ways of deception could be conceived. Reading Berkeley against the backdrop of competing theories, in relation to Leibniz, Spinoza, Newton, Malebranche, Hume, Locke, Molyneux and others, this book gives a meticulous historic reconstruction of Berkeley’s theory. This excellent scholarly work presents Berkeley’s theory in a new and radical light. The book, presented in three parts, begins by presenting the conceptions of vision prior to Berkeley’s intervention. In the second part, the author moves through a careful study of Descartes’ theory of vision to arrive at Berkeley. The third part addresses the author’s version of Berkeley in which the eye and the image become inseparable due to the collapse of the universe of representation. The problem of vision becomes not that of representation, but of presentation. Through an erudite historic reading of Berkeley’s theory and astute comparative assessments, the author uncovers Berkeley’s place as a contemporary theoretician, corresponding with such thinkers as Deleuze, Lacan, Foucault, and Derrida. (shrink)
If the tragic interpretation of experience is still so current, despite its disastrous ethical consequences, it is because it shapes our subjectivity. Instead of contradicting the ideals of autonomy and freedom, a modern subjectivity based on self-victimization in effect enables them. By embracing subjection to an alienating other (the Law, Power) the autonomous subject protects its sameness from the disruption of real people. Seductions of Fate stages a dialogue between this tragic agent of political emancipation and the unconditional (...) ethical demands it seeks to evade. (shrink)
Although Wittgenstein is often held co-responsible for the so-called death of man as it was pronounced in the course of the previous century, no detailed description of his alternative to the traditional or Cartesian account of human being has so far been available. By consulting several parts of Wittgenstein's later oeuvre, Subjectivity after Wittgenstein aims to fill this gap. However, it also contributes to the debate about the Cartesian subject and its demise by discussing the criticism that the rethinking (...) of subjectivity received, for it has been argued that the anti-Cartesian turn in continental philosophy has lead to a loss of a centre for both ethics and politics. By further exploring the implications of the Wittgensteinian account of human being, this book makes it clear that a non-Cartesian view on the subject is not necessarily ethically and politically inert. Moreover, it argues that ethical and political arguments should not automatically take precedence in a debate about the nature of man. (shrink)
Being a subject and being conscious of being one are different realities. According to Hegel, the difference is not only conceptual, but also influences people's experience of the world and of one another. This book aims to explain some basic aspects of Hegel's conception of subjectivity with particular regard to the difference he saw in ancient and modern ways of thinking about and acting as individuals, persons and moral subjects.
This unusually accessible account of recent Anglo-American philosophy focuses on how that philosophy has challenged deeply held notions of subjectivity, mind, and language. The book is designed on a broad canvas in which recent arguments are placed in a historical context (in particular they are related to medieval philosophy and German idealism). The author then explores such topics as mental content, moral realism, realism and antirealism, and the character of subjectivity. Much of the book is devoted to an (...) investigation of Donald Davidson's philosophy, and there is also a sustained critique of the position of Richard Rorty. A final chapter defends the realist position against objections from postmodern thought. As a rigorous and historically sensitive account of recent philosophy, this book should enjoy a wide readership among philosophers of many different persuasions, literary theorists, and social scientists who have been influenced by postmodern thought. (shrink)
Part I: Consciousness and the metaphysics of experience. Orientations. What I believe. The privacy of experience. Final causes. The importance of subjectivity : an inaugural lecture. Is consciousness mysterious? Consciousness. The distinctiveness of American philosophy. The world of description and the world of acquaintance -- Part II: The metaphysics of time and the absolute. The unreality of time. Ideal immortality. Russell and Bradley on relations. The self and its world in Bradley and Husserl. Absolute idealism. Pantheism -- Part III: (...) Ethics, animal rights, and the environment. The greatest happiness principle. Is the esse of intrinsic value percipi? Pleasure, pain and value. Metaphysics, physicalism, and animal rights. Vivisection, morals, medicine : commentary from an antivivisectionist philosopher. Non-human rights : an idealist perspective. Are there intrinsic values in nature? An idealist's prayer for the world. (shrink)
Thomas Nagel argues that the subjective character of mind inevitably eludes philosophical efforts to incorporate the mental into a single, complete, physically objective view of the world. Nagel sees contemporary philosophy as caught on the horns of a dilemma.
The enactive approach offers a distinctive view of how mental life relates to bodily activity at three levels: bodily self-regulation, sensorimotor coupling, and intersubjective in- teraction. This paper concentrates on the second level of sensorimotor coupling. An account is given of how the subjectively lived body and the living body of the organism are related (the body-body problem) via dynamic sensorimotor activity, and it is shown how this account helps to bridge the explanatory gap between consciousness and the brain. Arguments (...) by O'Regan, No¨e, and Myin that seek to account for the phenomenal character of perceptual consciousness in terms of 'bodiliness' and 'grabbiness' are considered. It is suggested that their account does not pay sufﬁcient attention to two other key aspects of perceptual phenomenality: the autonomous nature of the experiencing self or agent, and the pre-reﬂective nature of bodily self-consciousness. (shrink)
The world of our experience consists at all times of two parts, an objective and a subjective part . . . The objective part is the sum total of whatsoever at any given time we may be thinking of, the subjective part is the inner 'state' in which the thinking comes to pass.
Moral and legal judgments sometimes depend on personal traits in this sense: the subject offers good reasons for her judgment, but if she had a different social or ideological background, her judgment would be different. If you would judge the constitutionality of restrictions on abortion differently if you were not a secular liberal, is your judgment really based on the arguments you find convincing, or do you find them so only because you are a secular liberal? I argue that a (...) judgment can be based on the considerations the subject claims as justification even when it depends on personal traits. (shrink)
The words quoted above distill the common secular conception of death. If we decline the traditional religious reassurances of an afterlife, or their fuzzy new age equivalents, and instead take the hard-boiled and thoroughly modern materialist view of death, then we likely end up with Gonzalez-Cruzzi. Rejecting visions of reunions with loved ones or of crossing over into the light, we anticipate the opposite: darkness, silence, an engulfing emptiness. But we would be wrong.
This paper shows that even if the mental states of non-human animals lack phenomenological properties, as some accounts of mental-state consciousness imply, this need not prevent those states from being appropriate objects of sympathy and moral concern. The paper argues that the most basic form of mental (as opposed to biological) harm lies in the existence of thwarted agency, or thwarted desire, rather than in anything phenomenological.
...the problem of...how cognition...is possible at all...can never be answered on the basis of a prior knowledge of the transcendent [i.e. the external, spatio-temporal, empirical]...no matter whence the knowledge or the judgments are borrowed, not even if they are taken from the exact sciences.... It will not do to draw conclusions from existences of which one knows but which one cannot "see". "Seeing" does not lend itself to demonstration or deduction. [Husserl 1964a, pp. 2-3].
The disciplined investigation of consciousness is of three main types: eidetic, anthropological (and historical), and psychophysical. The first concerns the essence of consciousness in general and of its main modes. Its method involves introspection, empathy, and insight into necessities present in what these reveal. As the study of the essence of that which is the locus of all value it is of unique importance, and it is also essential as a foundation of the other inquiries. Such inquiry has been the (...) main task set for itself by phenomenology as a philosophical school, but engagement in it need not imply acceptance of distinctive doctrines of this school. English language?philosophy has developed in ways which discourage the eidetic investigation of consciousness, especially through insistence that modes of consciousness, conceived as a private possession, cannot be the referent of socially shared meanings. Its great mistake has been to expect ?consciousness? to refer to some elusive phenomenon to be looked for in the world and able to be studied as a distinctive reality only if conceptually isolable from what it reveals. Study of consciousness, however, is not primarily study of a phenomenon to be found within the world, but of the variety of ways in which the world can be present to us. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: List of illustrations * Notes On Contributors * Introduction: B.Biebuyck, G.Buelens, O.de Graef, D.Hoens, S.Jttkandt * Who or What Decides: For Derrida: A Catastrophic Theory of Decision--J.Hillis Miller * Catastrophic Narratives and Why the Catastrophe to Catastrophe Might Have Already Happened--E.Vogt * Breath of Relief: Sloterdijk and the Politics of the Intimate--S.van Tuinen * Man is a swarm animal--J.Clemens * Notes on the Bird War: Biopolitics of the Visible (in the Era of Climate Change)--T.Cohen * Dialectical (...) Catastrophe: Hegels Allegory of Physiognomy and the Ethics of Survival--P.Moll * Catastrophe, Citationality and the Limits of Responsibility in Disgrace--G.Buelens * Unpredictable Inevitability and the Boundaries of Psychic Life; D.Nobus * Who is Nietzsche?--A.Badiou * Is Pleasure a Rotten Idea?--A.Schuster * Nationalist Ext(im)asy: Maurice Barrs and the Roots of Fascist Enjoyment--G.Chaitin * Topography of the Border: Derrida Rewriting Transcendental Aesthetics--J.Hodge * Index List of illustrations * Notes On Contributors * Introduction: B.Biebuyck, G.Buelens, O.de Graef, D.Hoens, S.Jttkandt * Who or What Decides: For Derrida: A Catastrophic Theory of Decision--J.Hillis Miller * Catastrophic Narratives and Why the Catastrophe to Catastrophe Might Have Already Happened--E.Vogt * Breath of Relief: Sloterdijk and the Politics of the Intimate--S.van Tuinen * Man is a swarm animal--J.Clemens * Notes on the Bird War: Biopolitics of the Visible (in the Era of Climate Change)--T.Cohen * Dialectical Catastrophe: Hegels Allegory of Physiognomy and the Ethics of Survival--P.Moll * Catastrophe, Citationality and the Limits of Responsibility in Disgrace--G.Buelens * Unpredictable Inevitability and the Boundaries of Psychic Life; D.Nobus * Who is Nietzsche?--A.Badiou * Is Pleasure a Rotten Idea?--A.Schuster * Nationalist Ext(im)asy: Maurice Barrs and the Roots of Fascist Enjoyment--G.Chaitin * Topography of the Border: Derrida Rewriting Transcendental Aesthetics--J.Hodge * Index. (shrink)
Lacan's return to Descartes -- The graph of desire -- Objet petit a and fantasy -- Guilt -- The law -- Judgement -- Misrecognising the other -- Loving thy neighbour -- Beyond difference -- Ethics and the other -- The impossibility of ethical examples -- Eating the book.
A compelling new approach to the problem that has haunted twentieth century philosophy in both its analytical and continental shapes. No other book addresses as thoroughly the parallels between Wittgenstein and leading Continental philosophers such as Levinas, Husserl, and Heidegger.
The continental tradition in philosophy has long focused its energies on the question of foundations. These ssays reopen conventional understandings of the classical themes on which philosophy has been based since its inception.
The narrative approach to identity has developed as a sophisticated philosophical response to the complexities and ambiguities of the human, lived situation, and is not – as has been naively suggested elsewhere – the imposition of a generic form of life or the attempt to imitate a fictional character. I argue that the narrative model of identity provides a more inclusive and exhaustive account of identity than the causal models employed by mainstream theorists of personal identity. Importantly for ethical (...) class='Hi'>subjectivity, the narrative model gives a central and irreducible role to the first-person perspective. I will draw the connection between narrative identity and ethical subjectivity by way of an exposition of work by Paul Ricoeur and Marya Schechtman, and a brief consideration of Korsgaard’s work on practical identity and normative ethics. I argue that the first-person perspective – the reflective structure of human consciousness – arises from human embodiment, and therefore the model of identity required of embodied consciousness is more complex and irreducibly first-personal than that provided in a causal account. What is required is a self-constitution model of identity: a narrative model of identity. (shrink)
The author argues for bringing the work of Michel Foucault and Hannah Arendt into dialogue with respect to the links between power, subjectivity, and agency.Although one might assume that Foucault and Arendt come from such radically different philosophical starting points that such a dialogue would be impossible, the author argues that there is actually a good deal of common ground to be found between these two thinkers. Moreover, the author suggests that Foucault's and Arendt's divergent views about the role (...) that power plays in the constitution of subjectivity and agency should be seen as complementary rather than opposed. (shrink)
Many philosophical issues concern questions of objectivity and subjectivity. Of these questions, there are two kinds. The first considers whether something is objective or subjective; the second what it _means_ for something to be objective or subjective.
The so-called subjectivity of conscious experience is central to much recent work in the philosophy of mind. Subjectivity is the alleged property of consciousness whereby one can know what it is like to have certain conscious states only if one has undergone such states oneself. I review neurophilosophical work on consciousness and concepts pertinent to this claim and argue that subjectivity eliminativism is at least as well supported, if not more supported, than subjectivity reductionism.
The pregnant subject has a unique experience of her body. The dichotomy between self and other, self and world, breaks down. She can experience a positive narcissism and sense of process. Some conceptualizations and practices of contemporary medicine, however, can alienate the pregnant subject from this bodily experience. Keywords: Embodiment, Split Subjectivity CiteULike Connotea Del.icio.us What's this?
The immediate successors of Kant in classical German philosophy considered a subjectivity irreducible to objecthood as the core of personhood. The thesis of an irreducible subjectivity has, after the German idealists, been advocated by the phenomenological movement, as well as by analytical philosophers of self-consciousness such as Hector-Neri Castaneda and Sydney Shoemaker. Their arguments together show that self-consciousness cannot be reduced to a relation whereby a subject grasps itself as an object, but that there must be a core (...) of subjectivity always already familiar with itself before reflection. A number of contemporary accounts of self-consciousness are unaware of these old and new arguments, and flawed in that they do not account for the core 'non-objectal subjectivity' necessary for self-consciousness and. (shrink)
Traditionally, questions about consciousness and subjectivity are treated separately from questions about the self and identity. But sometimes 'the self' is spoken of as 'the subject,' which suggests that the first-person perspective may be constituted in the same way as the self. Narrative provides a powerful model of the self in contemporary psychology, philosophy of mind, and moral psychology. On some versions of narrative theory, narrative is held fundamental not only to self-understanding but to the phenomenology of the first-person (...) point of view, too. I call this approach the narrative self-subject model. I argue that the narrative model does not apply to subjectivity, and that the narrative self should be distinguished from the 'I' of the first- person perspective. Roughly, this is because first-person narratives employ the first-person pronoun 'I' to identify some person, but the distinctive features of subjectivity are marked by a different, non-identifying use of the pronoun 'I'. (shrink)
This paper is about one of the puzzles of bodily self-consciousness: can an experience be both and at the same time an experience of one′s physicality and of one′s subjectivity ? We will answer this question positively by determining a form of experience where the body′s physicality is experienced in a non-reifying manner. We will consider a form of experience of oneself as bodily which is different from both “prenoetic embodiment” and “pre-reflective bodily consciousness” and rather corresponds to a (...) form of reflective access to subjectivity at the bodily level. In particular, we argue that subjectivity is bodily expressed, thereby allowing the experience of the body′s subjectivity directly during perceptual experiences of the body. We use an interweaving of phenomenological explorations and ethnographical methods which allows validating this proposal by considering the experience of body experts (dancers). (shrink)
The phenomenal properties of conscious mental states happen to be exclusively accessible from the first-person perspective. Consequently, some philosophers consider their existence to be incompatible with materialist metaphysics. In this paper I criticise one particular argument that is based on the idea that for something to be real it must (at least in principle) be accessible from an intersubjective perspective. I argue that the exclusively subjective access to phenomenal contents can be explained by the very particular nature of the epistemological (...) relation holding between a subject and his own mental states. Accordingly, this subjectivity does not compel us to deny the possibility that phenomenal contents are ontologically objective properties. First, I present the general form of the argument that I will discuss. Second, I show that this argument makes use of a criterion of reality that is not applicable to the case of subjective experience. Third, I discuss a plausible objection and give an argument for rejecting observation models of self-knowledge of phenomenal contents. These models fall prey to the homunculus illusion. (shrink)
: This paper engages with theories of the monstrous maternal in feminist philosophy to explore how examples of visual art practice by Susan Hiller, Marc Quinn, Alison Lapper, Tracey Emin, and Cindy Sherman disrupt maternal ideals in visual culture through differently imagined body schema. By examining instances of the pregnant body represented in relation to maternal subjectivity, disability, abortion, and "prosthetic" pregnancy, it asks whether the "monstrous" can offer different kinds of figurations of the maternal that acknowledge the agency (...) and potential power of the pregnant subject. (shrink)
Marcia Cavell draws on philosophy, psychoanalysis, and the sciences of the mind in a fascinating and original investigation of human subjectivity. A "subject" is a creature, we may say, who recognizes herself as an "I," taking in the world from a subjective perspective; an agent, doing things for reasons, sometimes self-reflective, and able to assume responsibility for herself and some of her actions. If this is an ideal, how does a person become a subject, and what might stand in (...) the way? One of Marcia Cavell's guiding premises is that philosophical investigation into the specifically human way of being in the world cannot separate itself from investigations of a more empirical sort. Cavell brings together for the first time reflections in philosophy, findings in neuroscience, studies in infant development, psychoanalytic theory, and clinical vignettes from her own psychoanalytic practice. (shrink)
Phenomenology and analytical philosophy share a number of common concerns, and it seems obvious that analytical philosophy can learn from phenomenology, just as phenomenology can profit from an exchange with analytical philosophy. But although I think it would be a pity to miss the opportunity for dialogue that is currently at hand, I will in the following voice some caveats. More specifically, I wish to discuss two issues that complicate what might otherwise seem like rather straightforward interaction. The first issue (...) concerns the question of whether the current focus on the first-person perspective might have a negative side-effect by giving us a slanted view of what subjectivity amounts to. The second issue concerns the question of whether superficial similarities in the descriptive findings might actually conceal some rather deep-rooted differences in the systematic use these findings serve. (shrink)
This essay presents an argument for reconceptualizing subjectivity as orientational rather than foundational in nature. My focus is on the work of Emmanuel Levinas and Immanuel Kant. I begin by summarizing Levinas''s theory of ethical subjectivity as a theory of the self where the internal and the external are in constant play. Then I turn to two works of Kant for resources to understand better the meaning of Levinas''s theory of the self. In "What is Orientation in Thinking?" (...) Kant presents a model for orientation in thought that I make use of as a basic framework for a model of orientational subjectivity. Then I analyze two feelings described by Kant in the third Critique which I argue can be understood as orientational feelings within such a model of orientational subjectivity: the feeling of sensus communis and the feeling of vocation. (shrink)