Does the Subject of Experience Exist in the World?

Abstract

In this paper I attempt to show, by considering a number of sources, including Wittgenstein, Sartre, Thomas Nagel and Spinoza, but also adding something crucial of my own, that it is impossible to construe the subject of experience as an object among other objects in the world. My own added argument is the following. The subject of experience cannot move in time along with material events and processes or it could not be aware of the passage of time, hence neither of change nor of motion. The subject cannot therefore be identified with any neural process, function, or location since whatever goes on in the CNS is necessarily objective and part of the temporal flux. However this does not imply any form of dualism for experiences exist only for the subject whose experiences they are and hence they have no objective reality.

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Eli Bond
Cambridge University

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Citations of this work

Self-Experience.Brentyn Ramm - 2017 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 24 (11-12):142-166.
First-Person Investigations of Consciousness.Brentyn Ramm - 2016 - Dissertation, The Australian National University

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