Philosophical Studies

, Volume 144, Issue 1, pp 95–105

Experience and self-consciousness


DOI: 10.1007/s11098-009-9381-y

Cite this article as:
Schear, J.K. Philos Stud (2009) 144: 95. doi:10.1007/s11098-009-9381-y


Does all conscious experience essentially involve self-consciousness? In his Subjectivity and Selfhood: Investigating the First-Person, Dan Zahavi answers “yes”. I criticize three core arguments offered in support of this answer—a well-known regress argument, what I call the “interview argument,” and a phenomenological argument. Drawing on Sartre, I introduce a phenomenological contrast between plain experience and self-conscious experience. The contrast challenges the thesis that conscious experience entails self-consciousness.


Dan ZahaviPhenomenologyConscious experienceSelf-consciousnessFirst-person thoughtPost-FichteanSartreShoemakerRefrigerator light fallacyExistential subjectivity

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Christ Church, OxfordOxfordUK