Self-Consciousness: Conclusion

  • Gerhard Kreuch
Part of the Contributions to Phenomenology book series (CTPH, volume 107)


This first part of the book analysed the notion of self-consciousness and presented some major challenges in the current debate. Reflective theories of self-consciousness fail. The core of self-consciousness cannot be understood as a dual-digit, reflective relationship because this leads to infinite regress or vicious circularity. Likewise, it cannot be understood as propositional. Thus, a pre-reflective alternative is needed. However, current pre-reflective accounts suffer from two problems: First, they focus on what self-consciousness is not rather than what it is. This is what has been called the “ex negativo” challenge here. Additionally, non-egological, pre-reflective theories cannot explain the unity of the phenomenon.


  1. Bermudez, J.L. 1998. The Paradox of Self-consciousness. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gerhard Kreuch
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyUniversity of ViennaViennaAustria

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