Introduction: Subjectivity and Selfhood in the History of Philosophy

  • Jari KaukuaEmail author
  • Tomas Ekenberg
Part of the Studies in the History of Philosophy of Mind book series (SHPM, volume 16)


In our everyday dealings with ourselves, other persons and the world, we commonly take our selves, or the entities signified by our employment of the first-personal pronoun ‘I’ in simple assertoric sentences such as ‘I am’, ‘I think’, or ‘I am walking’, to be the uncontroversial loci of our experiences of being, knowing, and acting. But when we glance at contemporary literature on the philosophy of mind and action, on a steady increase for much of the twentieth and the present century in naturalist, analytic, and phenomenological approaches alike, we find that few of the intuitions we may have about that first-personal pivot actually stand uncontested. In fact, it rather seems that if there is one connecting thread in the variety of discussion, this must the dissatisfaction with the so-called Cartesian paradigm and its claim to epitomize some of those very intuitions.


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© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Social Sciences and PhilosophyUniversity of JyväskyläJyväskyläFinland
  2. 2.Department of PhilosophyUppsala UniversityUppsalaSweden

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