Characteristically for Husserlian phenomenology, whatever we can legitimately say about the self is closely paralleled by an account of the data and workings of self-awareness. On the one hand, Husserl speaks about the self (“the monad”) as the experienced totality of one’s life. Within it, we can abstractively distinguish constitutive levels, all the way down to the pre-egological flow of time-consciousness, quite unlike our ordinary experiences of ourselves. On the other hand, Husserl’s later account of intentional acts involves the idea of an ego-pole, an aspect of intentional experiences, conceived as the opposite of an object-pole. In our intentional lives, the ego-pole is the source and center of performance and activity, including the action of predication. One way in which we can be aware of our selves is by regarding them reflectively, as in phenomenological reflection. However, for Husserl, the primary self-awareness is pre-reflective. In Husserl-scholarship, this pre-reflective self-awareness has been identified with the absolute flow of time-consciousness.
|Key works||A classic treatment, Held 1966 discusses the “living present” as the original mode of subjective life. Marbach 1974 explores the reasons that led Husserl, in Ideas I, to abandon his earlier view that there is only an empirical self, and to introduce the idea of a pure I. Marbach also discusses this Husserlian notion in relation to ideas in contemporary psychology, as well as Kant’s views. Zahavi 1999 engages with a variety of approaches to self-awareness, drawing attention to the promise of the phenomenological, especially the Husserlian, approach, with an emphasis on the idea of a pre-reflective self-awareness. Carr 1999 investigates subjectivity in the transcendental tradition, especially Kant and Husserl, upholding the idea and the tradition against Heideggerian and other criticisms. With a view to accounting for the possibility of intersubjectivity from the standpoint of Husserl’s transcendental idealism, Mensch 1988 grounds intersubjectivity in a pre-individual “primal subjectivity”. Lotz 2007 studies affectivity and subjectivity, as well as Husserl’s phenomenological method, based on Husserl’s later texts, arguing that Husserl’s views are rooted in a central concern with concrete human activities and experiences. Taguchi 2006 explores the notion of an “original I” (Ur-Ich), considered as a phenomenological topic.|
|Introductions||Bernet et al 1993, Ch. 8, Moran 2005, Ch. 7|
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