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Intentionality de se and the Problem of Self-Consciousness

26 October 2021
12.30pm – 2.00pm AEDT
This event has ended
Man with glasses, hand on his chest, smiling with blue shirt on and a brick background

Abstract: In this paper I will present and diagnose what Kristina Musholt, in her book Thinking of Oneself—From Non conceptual Content to the Concept of the Self (MIT Press, 2015) calls the problem of self-consciousness. This is in fact a very old problem, one reaching from Shoemaker and analytic philosophy on the one side, Henrich and the Heidelberg School on the other, through Sartre and phenomenology back to Fichte. My goal is to identify the assumption generating it and argue that it is false. I will end by sketching, in admittedly very hand-waving fashion, what this means for the notion of self-consciousness. My argument presupposes some understanding of the central thesis of my research—the thesis of intentionality inherently de se —so I begin by elaborating the four claims constitutive of it.

About the presenter Carleton B. Christensen.  I completed a B.A. (Hons) in Philosophy at Latrobe University in Melbourne, Australia. I then completed a M.A. at the Goethe-Universität, in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. I also received my Dr. Phil. from the Goethe Universität, with a dissertation on Searle’s Theory of Speech Acts supervised by Karl-Otto Apel and Jürgen Habermas. I taught at the ANU from 1993 until 2000, then at the University of Sydney until 2007. In 2008 I returned to the ANU, where I remained until August, 2019. Since then, I have been doing research at the University of New South Wales.

In the past, I have worked on German philosophy of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, particularly, the phenomenology of Husserl and Heidegger; and on the philosophy of technology and sustainability. My current research, however, is much more mainstream analytic and focuses on the concept of intentionality de se.