Phenomenological approaches to self-consciousness

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (2008)
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Abstract

On the phenomenological view, a minimal form of self-consciousness is a constant structural feature of conscious experience. Experience happens for the experiencing subject in an immediate way and as part of this immediacy, it is implicitly marked as my experience. For the phenomenologists, this immediate and first-personal givenness of experiential phenomena must be accounted for in terms of a pre-reflective self-consciousness. In the most basic sense of the term, selfconsciousness is not something that comes about the moment one attentively inspects or reflectively introspects one's experiences, or in the instant of self-recognition of one's image in the mirror, or in the proper use of the first-person pronoun, or in the construction of a self-narrative. Rather, these different kinds of self-consciousness are to be distinguished from the pre-reflective self-consciousness which is present whenever I am living through or undergoing an experience, i.e., whenever I am consciously perceiving the world, whenever I am thinking an occurrent thought, whenever I am feeling sad or happy, thirsty or in pain, and so forth

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Shaun Gallagher
University of Memphis

Citations of this work

Pure awareness experience.Brentyn J. Ramm - 2023 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 66 (3):394-416.
Plural self-awareness.Hans Bernhard Schmid - 2014 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 13 (1):7-24.

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References found in this work

Mind in Life: Biology, Phenomenology, and the Sciences of Mind.Evan Thompson - 2007 - Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.
Action in Perception.Alva Noë - 2004 - MIT Press.
The Phenomenological Mind.Shaun Gallagher & Dan Zahavi - 2008 - New York, NY: Routledge. Edited by Dan Zahavi.
The Rediscovery of the Mind.John Searle - 1992 - MIT Press. Edited by Ned Block & Hilary Putnam.

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