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Context and Reflexivity: The Genealogy of Self

  • Richard M. Zaner
Part of the Philosophy and Medicine book series (PHME, volume 1)

Abstract

The project I have set myself is mammoth and unmanageable. To attempt it anyway is foolish, and not only for that reason. As William Golding’s Jocelin reflects, “to think how the mind touches all things with law, yet deceives itself as easily as a child,” 1 so this project, seeking the inner logos of self’s emergence, may well be too easily deceived. “Self,” so readily characterizable in language by a substantivization of a reflexive (divested of the pronominative it qualifies), is, it may be, no substantive at all but an oddly fugitive reflexive presence, foredooming such inquisitive efforts as this to subtle but always rude failure. The vagaries of custom and habit seduce one to believe in the continuous subsistence of self, sometimes with marked passion; yet searches designed to ferret it out just as often end by entrapping themselves in their own belief and passion. It were wiser perhaps to leave these matters to those more accustomed to the regions of illusion and sly dexterity: the magical crafts.

Keywords

Traffic Light Corporeal Schema Marked Passion Contextual Character Bodily Enactment 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

  1. 1.
    William Golding, The Spire ( New York: Pocket Books, 1966 ), p. 4.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    T. S. Eliot, “Burnt Norton,” in Four Quartets ( New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1943 ), pp. 121–2.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Vide R. M. Zaner, The Problem of Embodiment: Some Contributions to a Phenomenology of the Body, Phaenomenologica 17 ( The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1964 ).Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    William Heberden, Commentaries on the History and Cure of Diseases ( Boston: Wells and Lilly, 1818 ), p. 293.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    H. Tristram Engelhardt, Jr., Mind-Body: A Categorial Relation ( The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1973 ), p. 2.Google Scholar
  6. 10.
    Aron Gurwitsch, “A Non-egological Conception of Consciousness,” in his Studies in Phenomenology and Psychology ( Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 1966 ), pp. 287–300.Google Scholar
  7. 11.
    Edmund Husserl, The Crisis of European Sciences and Transcendental Phenomenology,trans. by David Carr (Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 1970), §46.Google Scholar
  8. 12.
    Edmund Husserl, The Phenomenology of Internal Time-Consciousness, ed. by Martin Heidegger, trans. by James S. Churchill ( Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1964 ).Google Scholar
  9. 13.
    Jean-Paul Sartre, Being and Nothingness: An Essay on Phenomenological Ontology, trans. by Hazel E. Barnes ( New York: Philosophical Library, 1956 ).Google Scholar
  10. 14.
    Jean-Paul Sartre, The Transcendence of the Ego, trans. by Forrest Williams and Robert Kirkpatrick (New York: The Noonday Press, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1957 ).Google Scholar
  11. 16.
    Alvan Feinstein, Clinical Judgment (Baltimore: Williams and Wilkins Company, 1967), p. 126ff.Google Scholar
  12. 17.
    Jean Piaget, The Origins of Intelligence in Children, trans. by Margaret Cook ( New York: International Universities Press, 1952 ).Google Scholar
  13. 18.
    Edmund Husserl, Experience and Judgment, rev. and ed. by Ludwig Landgrebe, trans. by James S. Churchill and Karl Ameriks ( Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 1973 ).Google Scholar
  14. 20.
    Bruno Bettelheim, The Empty Fortress (New York: The Free Press, 1967), esp. pp. 20–34. Bettelheim’s study of autism shows unmistakably the significance of alertness, effort, and reflexivity for the emergence of self — or its attenuation in the case of autism.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Company, Dordrecht, Holland 1975

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard M. Zaner
    • 1
  1. 1.Southern Methodist UniversityDallasUSA

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