Egological Investigations (apperception; Kant; Husserl)

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)




The purpose of this dissertation is to examine--in a phenomenological context--some of the problems connected with apperception, the self, or the subject of consciousness, and the notion of self-identity closely related to these. This is accomplished by examining and analyzing the views of Edmund Husserl on this topic. Although the focus of attention is on Husserl's views on this topic, some Kantian themes concerning the topic are also given serious consideration.The issues considered include the senses in which the Ego, or self, is and is not excluded by the phenomenological reduction and how these senses are predetermined by the phenomenology of apperception. The most salient feature of the dissertation, however, is the clarification and analysis of the relationships obtaining among apperception, the phenomenology of internal time-consciousness, and the various senses in which the Ego may be posited in the phenomenological realm. Specifically, careful attention is focused on to what extent the phenomenology of apperception and internal time-consciousness can establish a self-identical, abiding, and 'enduring' Ego--i.e., one enduring through past, present, and future acts of consciousness as "the self-same 'I'." Accordingly, the role of memory in integrating an 'enduring' self is carefully examined. Most importantly, the role of the varying conceptions of time (specifically, Husserlian as opposed to Kantian conceptions) in deciding difficult questions in the phenomenology of apperception is carefully considered. For instance: (1) The importance of temporal considerations in positing an enduring or permanent subject of consciousness apart from the ever-present phenomenological Here and Now. Indeed, whether and to what extent the transcendental reification of an enduring self-identical Ego can be effected seems to be totally determined by the prevailing temporal conceptualizations. (2) In what manner the phenomenological subject of consciousness does and does not satisfy the criteria for the Kantian transcendental unity of apperception due to the crucial role of the prevailing temporal conceptualizations in differentiating the immanent phenomenological Ego from the Kantian transcendental unity of pure apperception.



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