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(2019) Self-feeling, Dordrecht, Springer.


Gerhard Kreuch

pp. 201-216

The fourth part of the book is concerned with the question how self-feeling relates to higher level reasoning about ourselves. It is argued that self-feeling plays a crucial role in self-interpretation both as a source of evidence and by shaping the process from the background. This chapter begins with introducing a terminological framework. Distinctions are made between unconscious mental states, subconscious mental states, self-consciousness, self-knowledge, and self-interpretation. Reasons are provided to suggest to use the term self-interpretation over self-knowledge when talking about more substantial thoughts about ourselves. As a next step, this chapter looks closer into the relationship between self-interpretation and self-feeling, based on Lawlor's account of "causal self-interpretation" and Pothast's notions of 'sense" and "language". Self-feeling occurs as part of experience and allows interpretative deliberation based on it. It has a reciprocal relationship to thoughts, just like existential feeling. Because of its general feature of shaping our space of possibilities it influences the content and form of our thoughts. At the same time, our thoughts may influence our self-feeling. The chapter is closed by highlighting three sources of evidence for self-interpretation: Self-observation, testimony, and self-feeling.

Publication details

DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-30789-9_14

Full citation:

Kreuch, G. (2019). Self-interpretation, in Self-feeling, Dordrecht, Springer, pp. 201-216.

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