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(2018) The realizations of the self, New York, Palgrave Macmillan.

Habits and the diachronic structure of the self

Michael G. Butler , Shaun Gallagher

pp. 47-63

In this chapter, we explore the role of habit in giving shape to conscious experience and importantly to our pre-reflective awareness of ourselves which includes the sense of mineness that accompanies our conscious experience. For the most part, discussions in philosophy of mind and phenomenology concerning pre-reflective self-awareness are focused on determining the relationship between phenomenal consciousness and selfhood. For this reason perhaps, the existence of pre-reflective self-awareness is usually appealed to as evidence for a form of selfhood that appears within conscious experience as a component of its synchronic unity. In this chapter, however, we will concern ourselves with the pre-reflective sense of ourselves that appears in conscious experience as it pertains to the diachronic unity of the self—that is the sense of a unitary self as existing over the course of multiple episodic experiences. Our aim is to provide a phenomenological account of the relationship between the minimal, pre-reflective sense of self and what is often termed the "narrative self.' We will argue that habits play a role in preserving the significance of our past in our present experience and in unifying our experience as a self for whom the world is present across disparate episodes of experience.

Publication details

DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-94700-6_4

Full citation:

Butler, M. G. , Gallagher, S. (2018)., Habits and the diachronic structure of the self, in A. Altobrando, T. Niikawa & R. Stone (eds.), The realizations of the self, New York, Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 47-63.

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