The essential indexical and self-consciousness

'I', 'Now', and 'Here' as aspects of self-consciousness

Andrija Jurić

pp. 31-52

This paper aims to analyse egocentric indexicals ‘I’, ‘now’, and ‘here’ as different aspects of the same self-conscious or self-referential act emphasising the underlying phenomenological structure of the essential indexical ‘I’. What makes an indexical essential is not its indexicality but the egocentric mental state indicated by its use. Therefore, interpreting them only in the confines of language severely limits the scope of the investigation. First, I will define the pure use of ‘here’, ‘now’, and ‘I’, which will consequently lead to the relation between the indexical ‘I’ and the pure I, and to the transcendental designation of the subject. In the second part of the paper, the focus will shift towards the phenomenological notions of primal I with its contextualisation and to the dimensions of ‘now’ and ‘here’, analysed through the character of nunc stans. Through some ideas of Husserl and Heidegger, ‘here’ and ‘now’ will emerge as amalgamated with the I. It will be shown that they acquire their formal meaning, along with the empirical content, through the I, which is the actual I of immediate presence that is purely self-referring, and that other indexicals and pronouns are thus derivative. It will be concluded that the essentiality of the indexical ‘I’ originates in the very structure of pure self-consciousness. In that regard, the theory of the essential indexical ‘I’could be interpreted as an extension of the doctrine of the pure or transcendental I.

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Full citation:

Jurić, A. (2022). The essential indexical and self-consciousness: 'I', 'Now', and 'Here' as aspects of self-consciousness. Belgrade Philosophical Annual 35 (2), pp. 31-52.

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