Social Ontology 2020 – THE 12TH BIENNAL COLLECTIVE INTENTIONALITY CONFERENCE — JULY 13–25, 2020
The 12th biennal collective intentionality conference — july 13–25, 2020
Hi Dan, just to be sure, you claim that pre-reflective self-consciousness is primary because it does not need any preconditions (by definition?). I am still wondering what the argument is why pre-reflective WE consciousness requires pre-reflective self-consciousness as a precondition. Is that another form of pre-reflectiveness?
no the argument is a bit different. I am not necessarily saying that (individual) pre-reflective self-consciousness doesn’t have any preconditions, I am just arguing that it doesn’t have we-consciousness or awareness of we-membership as its precondition. As for why pre-reflective we-consciousness requires (individual) pre-reflective self-consciousness as its precondition, the short answer is that pre-reflective we-consciousness is a form of consciousness, and consciousness entails pre-reflective self-consciousness per se (it doesn’t entail pre-reflective we-consciousness per se).
Hi Dan, thanks for the clarification! I think I do share your claim that (individual) pre-reflective self-consciousness doesn’t have we-consciousness or awareness of we-membership as its precondition. But I am still having a hard time to account for necessities regarding preconditions of pre-reflective we-consciousness. Maybe this is due to the fact that I do not yet understand what pre-reflective we-consciousness is meant to be. So far it seems to me as if it does not entail awareness of oneself as belonging to the we, but maybe I am misled here?
Thanks for the talk! One analogy that crops up in the literature in various places is between a plurality of individual persons and a single individual over time (a collection of person-stages). That got me wondering: once we are clear we’re asking about the minimal/primitive/pre-reflective self, do you think that the same considerations you raised in the talk would speak also for the primacy/priority of a “current-stage-self” rather than a “persisting-individual-self”? It seems one could at least formulate theses about the temporal case analogous to the ones you use in the talk (e.g. that the very notion of a whole-individual-over-time presupposes a differentiation into distinct temporal stages with different properties, just as “we” presupposed a differentiation into individuals). If you don’t see the cases as analogous, I’d be interested in where you think the disanalogy comes in.
This is interesting. Here is one consideration against the analogy. I think the relation between different person stages metaphysically speaking is very different from the relation between members of a we. I take the interpersonal differences to be very different in character from the intrapersonal differences. For one, I don’t have first-personal access to the other members of the we, whereas I do have it to former person stages of myself. About the other point: I wonder whether the temporality of consciousness is not such that the current (non-extended) stage must be considered an abstraction rather than the natural starting point.
Concerning the last point in the discussion: why not say that we’re plurally pre-reflectively self-aware even without encountering “them”, but the encounter makes us aware of ourselves as a group at the reflective level?
I guess one question is whether the only way to obtain awareness of ourselves as a group on the reflective level would be through the encounter with them. I think it is likely to be the most common way, but I am not sure it is the only. Imagine a case of a group where things are working well. At some point things are starting to work less well. Perhaps this might trigger a kind of self-reflection that makes the (past) existence of the group more salient.
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