Person as Subject
Sturma (Dieter)
Source: Journal of Consciousness Studies, Volume 14, Issue 05-06 (2007), pp. 77-100 (24)
Paper - Abstract

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Author’s Abstract

    Persons are present in the social realm of reasons and make active use of their ability to express themselves. They have a sense of self-reference and lead their lives in the perspective of possible self-consciousness1 and possible autonomy. For understanding what it means for a person to be a subject one must avoid egological reifications. Expressions like 'self' or 'self-reference' do not refer to entities. They can only be introduced in a way that meets standards of semantic control. Self-reference proves to be an inner-worldly phenomenon that expresses itself indirectly in reflexive attitudes and activities over time.
Introduction in "Ikaheimo (Heikki) & Laitinen (Arto) - Dimensions of Personhood"
    In the second part, focussing on the self-relations of persons, Dieter Sturma starts by outlining a comprehensive theory of ‘persons as subjects’. His central thought is that personhood consists of a system of self-referential activities, or of dynamic self-relations which reveal themselves in expressions like: ‘I think, I feel, I notice, I want, I act, I wish, I suffer, I care etc.’ In Sturma’s account, a systematically clarified concept of self-reference, purged of all reifying or ‘egological’ readings of the ‘self’ is a tool with which to construe a detranscendentalized and holistic conception of personhood uniting both its ontological and moral dimensions. Such a conception takes seriously the irreducibility and ineliminability of the subjective first person perspective2, and yet, does not lead to a problematic ontological dualism involving dubious non-worldly mental entities.


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