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Four Theses about Self-Consciousness and Bodily Experience: Descartes, Kant, Locke, and Merleau-Ponty

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  24 March 2020



This article evaluates the following four theses about bodily experience and self-consciousness: Descartes's thesis (bodily experience is a form of self-consciousness); Kant's thesis (nothing can count as a genuine form of self-consciousness unless it is consciousness of oneself as a subject); Locke's thesis (in bodily experience we are presented with ourselves as physical objects); and Merleau-Ponty's thesis (the way we encounter ourselves in bodily experience is fundamentally different from how we encounter non-bodily physical objects in outward-directed, exteroceptive perception). I argue that they are all true.

Copyright © American Philosophical Association 2020

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