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Title: The phenomenology of ethical self-awareness
Author: Kowalewski, Jakub
ISNI:       0000 0004 7654 5541
Awarding Body: University of Essex
Current Institution: University of Essex
Date of Award: 2019
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This thesis offers a phenomenological study of self-awareness. I argue that, in its most basic form, self-experience consists of two aspects: affectivity and temporality. I then demonstrate that self-awareness can be primarily either affective or temporal. However, in both of its forms, self-experience remains continuous and unitary. I then suggest that continuous and unitary self-awareness is incompatible with experiences of novelty. I argue that in order to accommodate the new, self-experience must become discontinuous and dislodged. I show that the form of self-awareness can be modified by concrete experiences. I then demonstrate that the experience of responsibility for the other produces a new form of self-awareness - one which is neither continuous nor unitary. Consequently, responsibility, by precipitating the emergence of a new form of self-experience, opens subjectivity to new experiences. In fact, the experience of radical novelty consists of a rediscovery of the other in a responsible attitude. I conclude by arguing that, in contrast to the discontinuous and dislodged subjectivity, the continuous and unitary form of self-awareness is incompatible with responsibility and thus with ethics. The distinction between the forms of self-experience incongruent and congruent with ethics, in turn, allows me to suggest an ethical hierarchy of self-awareness: discontinuous and dislodged self-experience is ethically better than its continuous and unitary counterparts. Subjective life, therefore, oscillates between better and worse forms of self-awareness.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Arts and Humanities Research Council
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: B Philosophy (General)