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The Yearbook on History and Interpretation of Phenomenology 2013

Person – Subject – Organism- An Overview of Interdisciplinary Insights

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Edited By Anton Vydra

The main topic of the volume encompasses three areas of phenomenological research: person, subject, and organism. These three topics are interrelated in various ways. On the one hand, the question is Husserlian phenomenology of personhood and subjectivity, and on the other hand, it is a broader problem including epistemological, ontological and biological approaches. Those great traditional and contemporary themes of subjectivitiy and intersubjectivity, concepts of person, community and interpersonality, questions of humanity, value and biological status of human beings all became part of Edmund Husserl’s focus. The contributors intend to show that a number of inspiring and unexplored questions arose from these thematic areas, questions which are related to various specific and interconnected fields of study.
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Self Shock: The Phenomenon of Personal Non-identity in Inorganic Subjectivity

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Self Shock: The Phenomenon of Personal Non-identity in Inorganic Subjectivity1

Corry Shores

Abstract

For both Merleau-Ponty and Deleuze, time is the affecting of self by self.2 Yet, the nature of this self-affection, as well as the temporal structure it produces, is fundamentally different in each case. In Merleau-Ponty’s model, the self’s variations are united by time’s continuous thrust. However for Deleuze, self variation is far more radical. Our self immediately varies from itself: we are always both ourselves and not-ourselves at every singular moment and not just over the course of multiple successive nows. While for Merleau-Ponty our temporal moments are organically integrated with each other, for Deleuze time is composed of a series of caesuras which are like the Dedekind cuts that constitute a numerical continuity. We will examine (1) how Merleau-Ponty’s organic temporality arises from a subject’s continuously integrated personal identity and (2) how in contrast for Deleuze a continuously disjunctive temporality is produced by the personal non-identity of a  differentially composed subject. We then evaluate by asking, which model better explains the phenomenon of selfhood, that is, the appearing of oneself to oneself? Building from Deleuze’s elaborations and examples, we conclude that we appear to ourselves most phenomenally when we experience differences in ourselves, like when upon looking in a mirror, we become shocked by an abruptly noticed sign of age that makes us for a moment unable to recognize ourselves.

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