The Subjective-Singular-Self

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There exist several positions related to the construction of the self that will be mentioned briefly here. First, the singular-self must be understood in two ways: ontologically and linguistically. Ontologically, it is the position of an individual self in relation to its subject matter. Second, it is from this position that an existing self can acquire true knowledge of the subject matter. The singular-self is first established in its linguistic self-reference, “I”.

The linguistic property of the pronoun necessitates a specific, inherent ontological reference to a proper quality within existence. The property in question is positional. That is, “I” references the property self, as well as the external subject matter (objects in the world). This linguistic modifier also helps in establishing a specific ontology referred to as the singular-self. Therefore, an existing self not only calls upon itself for reference in constructing identity, but also contains the actual property it refers to.

It is not coincidental that an existing self stands in relation to its subject matter. In fact, it seems that in order for an existing self to have identity (in conjunction with its self-reference), it must be intimately involved with its subject matter as though they entailed one another. Through this existential relationship the “I” becomes the “I am”. The “I am” is the stable position of the self in a particular space or location that stands in relation to its subject matter – the “dasein” Heidegger refers to.

Finally, the individual self’s personal horizon should be discussed. This view holds that an individual self stands in relation to its past, present, and future ontology. It involves the memory of an existential movement toward its phenomenal horizon. It is partly related to Kierkegaard’s becoming, but also includes an individual’s self reference. The pronoun acts as the antecedent for the self’s status creating something like a collective ontology necessary for its existence.

All of these positions, in their individuality, are static. They all claim movement towards the acquisition of knowledge, but fail to move beyond their potentiality as existing self’s in motion. In other words, they are mere theoretical descriptions of being in a static state of affairs. In order to acquire the energeia needed to obtain an actual subjective state of being, there must be included a subjective transference capable of creating the necessary state of affairs for becoming to transform being. Although not expressed in this way, it seems this is the main argument for neo-Hegelians. That is, there cannot be any substance to subjectivity unless there is something effectual. There is no need to concede subjective epistemology while agreeing in part to the neo-Hegelian concern. This should be the concern of subjectivity. Moreover, if subjectivity contains no actuality or cannot move beyond just “a state of being”, then it is the very thing it critiques objectivity as being: illusionary and untrue.

In order to find utility in a subjective epistemology and to avoid the aforementioned problematic, it is important to understand how transference takes place within the self in order to produce the necessary energeia capable of transforming being into the subject that exists in the real world. One possible solution is to include the narratological structure of existence and becoming as the mode through which transference takes place. Specifically, it is the “I”, “I am”, and “I will be” in combination that identifies the narratological movement of self from out of to into.

This narratological effect is the result of an existing self’s phenomenal movement of memory. It is the mind’s role in constructing the identity of the self to maintain the aforementioned amalgamation during every motion or movement it makes towards its personal horizon. The narratological structure of the self takes every motion it makes and adds it to a phenomenological collective. The collective is used by the self presumptively to influence every forthcoming motion. The necessitated result is a dynamic self in a perpetual state of being. It is the never-ceasing “I-am-becoming”.

The narratological collective is vital in bolstering subjective epistemology because it demonstrates why subjectivity happens. Namely, every individual self has different epistemic experiences, which alter every forthcoming motion towards its personal horizon. The fact that this is ontological means that it is a natural core constituent for existence. It seems that the narratological-subjective-self can fit in the middle of Kierkegaard’s positions on subjectivity and his ethical treatises.

The question that is begged is: how do we know that this narratological effect exists? Although the answer is debatable, it, nevertheless, creates a plausibility based upon its practicality in the real world. It is beyond the scope of this paper to defend a sociological-psychological narratology, but current views surrounding expressivism help to demonstrate the real-world effect narratives play in the construction of personal and cultural identity. At the very least, they seem to demonstrate the innate nature of humans to collect pieces of their past and to learn through recollection its significance to their development. Since this seems to happen unconsciously and since it seems to construct an individual’s identity, then it seems reasonable to conclude that this natural phenomenon occurs at the deepest levels of being and existence.

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