Abstract

Schleiermacher's account of subjectivity and its unique relation to his predecessors' transcendental views of subjectivity, as well as its relation to more recent criticisms of transcendental subjectivity, has been the subject of renewed interest recently within philosophical circles. Of particular interest has been Schleiermacher's attempt to ground the subject's ability to be reflectively aware of itself by appeal to an ego-less pre-reflective self-familiarity of consciousness. While the recent resurgence of interest in Schleiermacher's philosophical thought has been primarily informed by his writings on hermeneutics and dialectics, the present essay will build on this work by attending also to Schleiermacher's work in philosophical ethics, which has been less acknowledged in recent discussions of his account of subjectivity. The resulting analysis reveals more fully the origin and nature of immediate self-familiarity. In particular, it discloses its original ground in the natural uniqueness of particular thinking organisms. The rudimentary selfless self-familiarity of consciousness that is a prerequisite for self-awareness is, for Schleiermacher, fundamentally an embodied activity. This embodied nature of subjectivity not only serves to ground the activity of subjectivity in general, but also accounts for the non-transposable individuality that he thinks characterizes the reflective conscious life of subjects.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1538-4586
Print ISSN
0022-5053
Pages
pp. 375-396
Launched on MUSE
2010-07-01
Open Access
No
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