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Sartrean Self-Consciousness and the Principle of Identity

Sartre’s Implicit Argument for the Non-Self-Identity of the Subject

Maiya Jordan

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

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Paisley Livingston

one of Smith’s most salient statements on this topic: [A]esthetic experience is distinguished from ordinary experience by a particular kind of self-consciousness; a fully fledged aesthetic experience, I say, is one that we savour rather than simply

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Luna Dolezal

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.

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Stephen Wang

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.

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Claire Cororaton and Richard Handler

This article documents and analyses the uneasy, if not contradictory, relationship between service learning and liberal arts thinking in an undergraduate programme in Global Development Studies (GDS) at a North American University. As an undergraduate, Cororaton participated in a service-learning project to build a greenhouse in Mongolia; at the same time, the curriculum of her major (GDS, a programme directed by Handler) was developing a critique of such service projects, focusing on their lack of political self-consciousness. The authors contextualise the story within the university's ongoing attempts to enhance its global profile.

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Elizabethan Pulp Fiction

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.

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The Way a Language Changes

How Historical Semantics Helps Us to Understand the Emergence of the English Exchequer

Ulla Kypta

The article argues that it is not only useful to study the changing meanings of concepts, but also to analyze the way these concepts changed their meaning over time. As a case study, I analyze the transformation of the language of the earliest surviving accounts of the yearly auditing process in England, the pipe rolls from the twelfth century. The language changed gradually and continually, without guidance or a plan. It is highly likely that the language was learned while the pipe rolls were written. Thus, the clerks could easily close their circle. This led to a strong sense of belonging and self-consciousness, which can be affirmed by other contemporary sources, and which laid the foundation for the accounting procedures that became a long-lasting organization.

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Descended from the Celestial Rope

From the Father to the Son, and from the Ego to the Cosmic Self

Jadran Mimica

The dialectics of fatherhood and sonship among the Yagwoia of Papua New Guinea has multiple actualizations whose concrete reality and significance can be adequately understood only through individual-biographical life situations and trajectories. Accordingly, the focus is on the lifelong course of the relationship between a man and his father through which the individual specificities of the incorporative dynamics indigenously lived as 'implantation' and 'bone extraction' are consummated in diverse modes. One of these results in a common psycho-cultural form of Yagwoia egoity and self-consciousness wherein, after his death, the father becomes his progeny's protective spirit, especially his son's. Through detailed accounts and dream analyses, the article shows the critical importance and reality of culturally specific archetypal themes and imagery in the everyday life of individuals, and the indelible impact that they have on the psyche of concrete persons.

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Bringing the Soul Back to the Self

Soul Retrieval in Neo-shamanism

Galina Lindquist

It has been generally agreed that rituals of healing work through transforming the embodied self; thus, they are especially fit to be analyzed as rituals in their own right. This chapter focuses on the ritual of soul retrieval as it is practiced by Western urban neo-shamans. It argues that apart from giving the patient new memories and new narratives of the self, this version of soul retrieval works by staging a formalized context for forgiveness, here conceptualized as reconciliation between the self and the mundane and divine others. It is argued, however, that the mechanism of this healing ritual is better understood in the light of New Age ontologies of the self, consciousness, and the divine, making ‘ritual in its own right‚’ a good first step towards re-engaging with the social.

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Lord Jim

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.