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Pre-reflective Consciousness - Sartre and Contemporary Philosophy of Mind

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    Sofia Miguens

Pre-reflective Consciousness. 
Sartre and Contemporary Philosophy of Mind

Edited By Sofia Miguens Travis, Gerhard Preyer, Clara Morando

Published November 2, 2015 by Routledge

ISBN 9781138925816

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Introduction: Back to Pre-reflectivity

Sofia Miguens, Clara Morando Bravo, Gerhard Preyer


PART I - Foundation of the Mental

1 Why we should think that Self-Consciousness is non-reflective?

         Manfred Frank

2 Is Subjectivity First-Personal?

         Tomis Kapitan

3 Degrees of Self-Presence: Rehabilitating Sartre’s Accounts of Pre-Reflective Self-Consciousness and Reflection

         Kenneth Williford

4 Sartre on Pre-Reflective Consciousness: The Adverbial Interpretation

         Mark Rowlands

5 Pre-reflective and Reflective Time-Consciousness: the shortcomings of Sartre and Husserl and a possible way out

         Gerhard Seel


PART II - I-Knowledge, Perception and Introspection

6 The Zero Point and I

         Terry Horgan and Shaun Nichols

7 A Sketch of Sartre’s Error Theory of “Introspection”

         Matthew C. Eshleman

8 A Pebble at the Bottom of the Water: Sartre and Cavell on the Opacity of Self-knowledge

         Pierre-Jean Renaudie

9 Does Consciousness Necessitate Self-Awareness? Consciousness and Self-Awareness in Sartre’s The Transcendence of the Ego

         Daniel R. Rodríguez Navas

10 Perception and Imagination A Sartrean Account

         Uriah Kriegel


PART III - Pre-reflectivity disputed

11 Do we need Pre-reflective Self-consciousness? About Sartre and Brentano

         Eric Tremault

12 Sartre’s Non-Egological Theory of Consciousness

         Joshua Tepley

13 The 'of' of Intentionality and the 'of' of Acquaintance

         Rocco J. Gennaro

14 A “Quasi-Sartrean” Theory of Subjective Awareness

         Joseph Levine


PART IV - Body as a Whole, the Other, and Disorder of the Mental

15 Pain: Sartre and Anglo-American Philosophy of Mind

         Katherine J. Morris

16 Sartre, Enactivism, and the Bodily Nature of Pre-reflective Consciousness

         Kathleen Wider

17 The Body is structured like a Language. Reading Sartre’s Being and Nothingness

         Dorothée Legrand

18 Basic Forms of Pre-Reflective Self-Consciousness: a Developmental Perspective

         Anna Ciaunica

19 Ego-disorders in Psychosis - Dysfunction of Pre-reflective Self-awareness?

         Andreas Heinz


PART V - Historical Philosophical Background

20 Radical Epokhè: On Sartre’s concept of “pure reflection”

         Raoul Moati

21 Sartre and Kierkegaard on Consciousness and Subjectivity

         Iker Garcia

22 Invisible Ghosts: Les Jeux Sont Faits and Disembodied Consciousness

         Jeremy Ekberg



The project which gave rise to this book developed in the context of a cooperation between the University of Porto and the Goethe University–Frankfurt am Main. The cooperation started in 2008 and involved the coordination, by means of common projects, of the research agendas of the Mind Language and Action Group (MLAG: Institute of Philosophy, University of Porto, Portugal; Principal Investigator: Sofia Miguens) and ProtoSociology: An International Journal of Interdisciplinary Research and Project, Goethe-University Frankfurt am Main (led by Gerhard Preyer). The first common project, Consciousness and Subjectivity (2008–2012; see Miguens and Preyer 2013) started from a shared concern about the generalization of a naturalized epistemology stance in current discussions on conscious­ness in analytic philosophy. Not only did we have doubts that naturalized epistemology could be the last word in epistemology, but we also believed that such a situation resulted in a blind spot concerning the natures of con­sciousness and subjectivity. When third-person approaches are dominant (and the proximity of much philosophical work on mind and language with cognitive science reinforces such orientation), issues concerning subjectiv­ity are taken to be exhausted when problems regarding the place of con­sciousness in nature, or problems of language and first-person authority, are addressed.

        Our second project, Pre-Reflective Consciousness, took up issues where that prior, first project left them. We were interested in the shape of what we saw as a return of the problem of subjectivity in philosophy of mind, and we regarded the works of Elisabeth Anscombe, Héctor-Neri Castañeda, Roderick Chisholm, John Perry, and others, as examples. We were also interested in looking systematically at the history of twentieth-century phi­losophy. As a result we decided to explore the relations between current debates on consciousness within analytical philosophy (in particular the debate around self-representationalism) and debates taking place in conti­nental philosophy around the time of Sartre, and in Sartre’s work. In fact, one may consider early critiques of functionalism in the philosophy of mind in the 1970s to also be a symptom of the return of subjectivity in analytic philos­ophy of mind. A number of philosophers, with quite different backgrounds, converged around the idea that phenomenal consciousness could not be reduced to functional or cognitive properties. Such agreement later went under headings such as the “explanatory gap” or the “hard problem of con­sciousness.” We took such agreement to concern not only—or not even necessarily—phenomenal experience, but also the pre-reflective structure of consciousness. That is the main topic of this book. One may see such a return to subjectivity as a renewal of what one of us calls “the Cartesian intu­ition,” i.e., the intuition of the self-givenness of consciousness. It is under such light that a need arises to rethink borders between what counts as “inner” and “outer” when the nature of the mental is at stake.

        This liminal question of boundaries is, namely, a question of whether the inner should be characterized as under the skin only. And it is also a ques­tion of whether there is indeed such a thing as an epistemic priority of con­sciousness of one’s mental states in relation to knowledge of other minds and of the world. Along with the idea that the mental cannot be described from the outside only comes an analysis of pre-reflective (immediate) con­sciousness, an analysis which extends to phenomenal consciousness, to self-knowledge (as I-knowledge), and to the consciousness of time.

        A general intention and policy of our common projects here, as it was already the case with the first project (Consciousness and Subjectivity: Berlin: De Gruyter, 2013), is to bring analytic, or analytically inspired, philosophers and phenomenologists working on the continent together alongside Anglo-American philosophers. We believe that discussions (e.g., discussions of the so-called mind–body problem), which have in many quarters of analytic phi­losophy become quite scholastic, can come alive once again once they are seen through the light of a different philosophical tradition. Furthermore, we believe that even if one shares a non-reductionist position in the phi­losophy of mind, this does not yet entail a particular ontology. What is at stake, rather, is not opting for ontological dualism in epistemology and the philosophy of mind, but simply taking the explanatory gap seriously. Such was the starting point of the work that gave rise to the articles collected here.

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