Self -awareness in transcendence

Michael R Kelly, Fordham University


This dissertation examines the problem of self-awareness with respect to the phenomenological tradition. The problem of self-awareness concerns whether or not the self, the condition of the possibility for experience, can itself be experienced. Unlike Kant, phenomenology must answer this question in the affirmative, but it cannot hold that the self knows itself via an intentional act in the way that it knows other objects in the world. A solution to the problem requires the articulation of an alternative account of awareness that makes possible a description of the self's self-apprehension independently—but not to the exclusion—of intentionality. Any solution to the problem of self-awareness, then, requires: (1) a broadening of the scope of awareness to include epistemic and non-epistemic modes of manifestation beyond the critique of ontological monism, i.e., the disposition in western philosophy that holds there is only one form of awareness, namely object-awareness; (2) an account of the passive, non-epistemic modes of self-givenness found in subjectivity's temporal and bodily modes of givenness; (3) an account of the relation between self- and hetero-affection that marks an immanence, or self-awareness in transcendence; (4) an illustration of (3) that the closing chapter provides by examining subjectivity's moods and emotions as experiences of the world where the self's temporal flow and bodily experience transcends without losing self-awareness or reducing to object-awareness. The author appeals to the work of Descartes, Kant, Husserl, Heidegger, Sartre, Merleau-Ponty and Michel Henry, as well as that of the contemporary phenomenologist, Dan Zahavi, in order to address and support the above criteria.

Subject Area


Recommended Citation

Kelly, Michael R, "Self -awareness in transcendence" (2004). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI3128911.