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The Subject of Experience$
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Galen Strawson

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198777885

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198777885.001.0001

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‘The I, the I’

(p.1) 1 Introduction
The Subject of Experience

Galen Strawson

Oxford University Press

‘The I, the I is what is deeply mysterious!’ (Wittgenstein). The Introduction argues that Wittgenstein’s claim is true in one sense but false in others. It is true that [1] human beings tend to be profoundly lacking in psychological self-knowledge; we are often ignorant of our real motivations. It is not true, however, that [2] the notion of a subject of experience or subject of consciousness is mysterious. We know exactly what subjects of experience are. We also know exactly what experience is, consciousness, conscious experience—contrary to current naturalist orthodoxy. Wittgenstein’s claim is also false in the specific, Schopenhauerian, transcendendental idealist sense that Wittgenstein has in mind, according to which [3] there is a mystery—Schopenhauer calls it the world-knot or Weltknoten—about how the I can be both the generator of the world of appearances it experiences and a particular being within that world of appearances.

Keywords:   I, self, subject of experience, Wittgenstein, Schopenhauer, world-knot, Weltknoten, consciousness, naturalism

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