for this conclusion seems weak. Moreover, this explicit argument does not obviously speak to the substantive claims that Sartre makes about non-self-identical consciousness. Crucially, it does not tell us how pre-reflective self-consciousness relates
Sartre’s Implicit Argument for the Non-Self-Identity of the Subject
Jean-Paul Sartre's account of the Look in Being and Nothingness is not straightforward and many conflicting interpretations have arisen due to apparent contradictions in Sartre's own writing. The Look, for Sartre, demonstrates how the self gains thematic awareness of the body, forming a public and self-conscious sense of how the body appears to others and, furthermore, illustrates affective and social aspects of embodied being. In this article, I will critically explore Sartre's oft-cited voyeur vignette in order to provide a coherent account of the Look and to illustrate the significance of intersubjectivity and self-consciousness in Sartre's work. Through considering Sartre's voyeur vignette and other examples of reflective self-consciousness, this article will examine epistemological, self-evaluative and ontological concerns in the constitution of reflective self-consciousness. It will be contended that Sartre's accounts of the Look and reflective self-consciousness within social relations can provide insight into the intersubjective nature of the shaping of the body and the significance of self-presentation within the social realm.
The Example of Richard Johnson
Naomi C. Liebler
Richard Johnson, sometime apprentice and later producer of a baker’s dozen of very popular works of prose and verse, would today be dismissed as a hack. That he was noticed at all in his day and since then, however, suggests that his work has an important place in the record of how, and why, reading became not only a leisure-time activity of a late Elizabethan and Jacobean citizenry, but also both a marker and maker of an emerging English bourgeois self-consciousness. His Most Famous History of the Seven Champions of Christendom (Part 1: STC 14677; Part 2: STC 14678), a prose romance of epic proportions regarding the exploits of St George, with token attention to the other six, was one of the more popular works of the late Elizabethan and Jacobean periods.
Jean-Paul Sartre argues that human beings are fundamentally incomplete. Self-consciousness brings with it a presence-to-self. Human beings consequently seek two things at the same time: to possess a secure and stable identity, and to preserve the freedom and distance that come with self-consciousness. This is an impossible ideal, since we are always beyond what we are and we never quite reach what we could be. The possibility of completion haunts us and we continue to search for it even when we are convinced it can never be achieved. Sartre suggests that we have to continue seeking this ideal in the practical sphere, even when our philosophical reflection shows it to be an impossibility. Sartre puts this existential dilemma in explicitly theological terms. 'God' represents an ideal synthesis of being and consciousness which remains a self-contradictory goal. This dilemma remains unresolved in his thinking.
A Character in Search of a Plot
Katherine Isobel Baxter
Borrowing heavily from the opening of Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, Edward Said’s Orientalism suggests that imperialist acquisitiveness was excused through an anthropological rhetoric of geography: ‘The important thing was to dignify simple conquest with an idea, to turn the appetite for more geographical space into a theory about the special relationship between geography on the one hand and civilized or uncivilized peoples on the other.’1 Intriguingly anticipating this critique, in Lord Jim, Conrad explores the fallout of such idealisation both for the colonies and, more particularly, for the colonisers. The idealising rhetoric of justification that Said identifies has already been fully internalised by Jim so that he fails to recognise its fictional basis. It is exactly this problem of blurred boundaries between fictional ideal and the lived experience of reality that Conrad seeks to explore in the novel. This exploration takes place not only in the realm of colonialism, however, but also in that of narrative itself, so that the novel exhibits a certain sceptical self-reflexivity of the kind usually denied by Said to those orientalising authors he seeks to critique. This narratalogical self-consciousness is more pertinently discussed by Said in his 1974 essay, ‘Conrad: The Presentation of a Narrative’, yet here his focus refrains from acknowledging the ethical import of Conrad’s narrative play.2 What follows then is an exploration of Lord Jim that, without being an overtly Saidian reading of the novel, unpacks the ethical concerns that arise from the elision of fiction and reality in the ideal of romance.
Adapting the Gothic Metropolis
Dracula might seem glossy, superficial, and unconvincing in its portrayal of the Victorian fin-de-siècle. Many of the production’s critics, however, missed its self-consciousness both about its own glossy aesthetic and its place in the long history of
The Melancholy of the Girl Walker in Irish Women’s Fiction
high green dome over her head. … it is like being in a hidden green cathedral, deeply centred in a vast forest of shrub and bramble. (84) Orla experiences a profound sense of freedom walking along the burn, released from her agonising self-consciousness
Matthew C. Eshleman, Eric Hamm, Curtis Sommerlatte, Adrian van den Hoven, Michael Lejman, and Diane Perpich
consciousness, whether reflective or pre-reflective, not only has an intentional object but also is a “non-positional” or “non-thetic” consciousness of itself ( conscience de soi ). This form of self-consciousness does not take consciousness as an intentional
David Detmer and John Ireland
Sartre’s reasoning entails an implicit commitment to a distinctive theory of pre-reflective self-consciousness, which she calls “the non-iterative theory.” Four reviews of important recent books round out the issue. Happy reading! David Detmer John
could agree with, given his commitment to a permanent non-positional self-consciousness ( BN , 173). However, the infant differs from the adult in that she lacks reflective self-awareness. She has not yet posited herself as an object of consciousness