ArgLab • Permanent Seminar

Klaus Gaertner

the Dynamics of Pre-Reflective Self-Consciousness

It is often held that Pre-Reflective Self-Consciousness is a purely formal aspect of experience. Most famously Zahavi defends that, “[a]s long as we focus on the first-personal mode of givenness of the stream of consciousness, we are dealing with a pure, formal, and empty individuality which the subject shares with all other subjects.” (Zahavi, 1999) In this paper, I will have a closer look at this idea and argue that even though this thought has some analytic value, it fails to account for the ontological reality of Pre-Reflective Self-Consciousness, which I claim is dynamic.