Abstract

This essay starts with a clarification of the assumption that prima facie all experience is lived embodied experience. Subsequent to a brief allusion to Leibniz’ mind-body parallelism and to an identical denial in some Indian schools like Sām˙ khya of any real relation holding between self and body, it is shown how embodiment yet remains in these schools the chief condition of the possibility of experience and voluntary action (karma). Following the inevitable discussion of the question of the reality and distinctiveness of the body is a sympathetic consideration of the concept of bodily subjectivity. The question of the self is then taken up by showing how subjectivity proper belongs to the self, rejecting in the process not only anti-self views but also the view that all subjectivity is exhausted in bodily subjectivity. The question of the layers of subjectivity is then discussed, with emphasis on that reflective subjectivity in which, it is contended, we snap our links with the concerns of the ordinary intentional life and launch ourselves on non-egoistic concerns. Finally, the issue of the possibility of (a) the disembodied existence of the self and (b) experiences in the absence of the present body after death is examined.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1529-1898
Print ISSN
0031-8221
Pages
pp. 1-37
Launched on MUSE
2011-01-16
Open Access
No
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