III. The Phenomenological self
29 III The Phenomenological self Keywords: direct access, phenomenological reduction, lived experience, irreducibility The seemingly unproblematic existence of the self in everyday experience has become a deep theoretical problem. What is the basic structure, the basic concep- tual framework of self-experience? Does the self have an experiential reality or is it nothing but a theoreti- cal ﬁ ction? Is there any use of the self in our conscious lives? Diffi culties in answering these persisting ques- tions are closely related to a “terminological fog” which is spread over the study of the mind and consciousness. In approaching the phenomena of our conscious life, however, scholars seem to agree upon the following: – The mind and self are embodied, a picture of disem- bodied reason, the self, consciousness existing inde- pendently of bodily structures is either a categorical mistake, a myth or both 30 – mind-body dualism has no explanatory force in the contemporary study of the nature of human experi- ence, cognition is both embodied and embedded – people as cognitive agents live and act in the world – the reality of the self has its origin in the way we experience ourselves from the inside – experimental and clinical ﬁ ndings are highly relevant to the study of the phenomena of the self and con- sciousness At ﬁ rst sight, followers of a variety of “isms” approach the self and conscious states as natural phenomena are open to scientiﬁ c research and explanation. However, due to philosophers’ often conﬂ icting proposals and models, the most prevalent issues...
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