“Know Thyself!”

“Know Thyself!”
Exploring self and self-consciousness from A (like Avicenna) to Z (like Zahavi)

© xaratustrah, the angling philosopher – 2021-04-14


The notion of self and self-consciousness (self-awareness) is one of the most fundamental concepts in the philosophy in general and in the philosophy of mind in particular. The presence of a self, in particular an enduring self, as a reference of first personal indexical expressions has been debated while the reality of self-consciousness has been widely accepted. Philosophers of different epochs have responded to this question with a multitude of approaches, often similar in structure or line of argumentation. In the present work, I examine the epistemological tools relevant for the study of self and self-consciousness. After studying a few current and historical examples, I will figure out how a phenomenological examination can lead to both a better understanding of the concept of self-consciousness as well as the concept of self. Finally, I will discuss the strengths and limitations of the mentioned phenomenological method.

Keywords: self, self-consciousness, self-awareness, Zahavi, Avicenna, Dignaga, phenomenology

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Transience and the digital graveyard

Today I have a heavy backpack. A backpack full of memories of the past in form of papers. After deciding to move to a new flat, it turned out that I have a huge collection of hand-written notes from my undergrad and graduate times. Even more interesting were the notes I found made by 10 or 11 year old myslef, which I had saved in the basement all these years.

So what to do with them anyway? I would never ever need these notes again, if at all, every couple of years, I would take them out and get nostalgic about the efforts I had put on writing them, then put them back again into the basement.

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