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Self-reflection as dialectic: How we can follow the Delphian calling to self-knowledge whilst avoiding Narcissus' fate

MAATZ, ANKE (2011) Self-reflection as dialectic: How we can follow the Delphian calling to self-knowledge whilst avoiding Narcissus' fate. Masters thesis, Durham University.

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Self-reflection refers to our ability to think about ourselves and our lives and to ask and answer questions ranging from "Who am I?" to "Why did I do this?". It is thus considered a valuable means to gain self-knowledge. Structurally, reflection involves two elements, a reflecting and a reflected-on, in other words a subject and an object. In the case of self- reflection, subject and object are the same, the reflecting is the reflected-on. As subject and object are traditionally conceived of as radically opposed i.e. mutually exclusive, this situation has led to considering self-reflection problematic: If self-reflection is always reflection on an object, it is thought that self-reflection cannot yield insight into oneself qua subject and might even represent a danger to one’s subjectivity which is characteristic of lived life. Refuting the mutual exclusiveness of subject and object, self-reflection can be regained as a valuable means to gain self-knowledge. It is thereby going to be demonstrated that self-reflection has a dialectical structure. The nature of the self-knowledge yielded by self-reflection conceived of as dialectic is going to be explored. A final part shows how a dialectical account of self- reflection proves useful in clarifying the role which self-reflection plays in schizophrenia.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Arts
Keywords:self-reflection, theories of consciousness, dialectic, Karl Jaspers, phenomenological psychopathology, schizophrenia
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Philosophy, Department of
Thesis Date:2011
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:21 Jun 2013 09:38

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