The subjectlessness of self-consciousness

Philosophy Research Archives 9:675-682 (1983)
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Abstract

On the surface the concept of self-consciousness would seem to be understandable as consciousness of oneself. It is commonplace to resist this temptation by arguing that the self cannot properly be construed as the object of this form of consciousness. It is the subject. However, in this paper I show that any effort to see the self as the subject of consciousness converts it, willy nilly, into an object.Self-consciousness is not to be understood by determining the logically appropriate role of the self in a univocal kind of consciousness. It differs from ‘ordinary’ consciousness because of the need for it to be unmediated and direct. If, on the one had, one is conscious of something, it is possible for that awareness to be indirect and mediated. On the other hand, if one is self-conscious it is necessary for that awareness to be direct

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