Postmodernists have been suspicious of the term 'consciousness,' because it seems to suggest the existence of a separate ego-subject, standing over again an object which it 'represents,' and to neglect the sense in which this subject-object relation is an artificial creation of modernity (Globus 1994). The modernist notion of consciousness, which seems to presuppose such a bifurcated subject-object relation, has led to the need to choose between a mind-body dualism and its equally problematic alternative, reductionistic physicalism; it has encouraged naive-objectivist epistemologies such as empiricism and logical positivism; it leads to misunderstandings of the 'unconscious' and the role of unconscious hermeneutic contributions to the ways people experience reality; it exacerbates the problems of self-absorbed egoism, socio-political atomism, and the attendant unworkable contractarian approaches to political theory; and these are just a few of the worst problems that arguably can be blamed on the subject-object paradigm and the related notion of individual consciousness.
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