The Duality of the I: A Commentary on Hedwig Conrad-Martius’s Realist Phenomenology

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This chapter deals with the duality that characterizes the idea of the I in the realist ontology of the phenomenologist Hedwig Conrad-Martius (HCM) (1880–1966). At the basis of the discussion is the uncovering of two dimensions of duality in HCM’s perception of the I: one, appearing in her early treatise On the Ontology and Doctrine of Appearance of the Real External World (HCM, 1916b), focuses on the phenomenological dimensions of the I, and in it, she lays the critical foundations for the more developed ontological duality in HCM’s later writings that addresses the ontological aspects of the I. The later phase in HCM’s thinking of the I focuses on the spiritual I and established the simultaneous operation of two elements in it: its “origin-like” nature (Ursprungshaftigkeit) and its spritualness (geistlichthafte), which is also referred to as “infrastasis” (Infrastase). The phenomenological interpretation of the idea of the I in HCM’s thinking commences with unveiling these two phases in her writing, proceeds to explicate the meaning of the I, explores them, and culminates in the illumination of the relations between them. Meanwhile, HCM’s radical response to Husserl’s turn towards transcendentalism transpires and the well-established criticisms of realistic phenomenology contemporary with Husserl regarding the lack of discussion of the issue of the ego or the I are refuted.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationWomen in the History of Philosophy and Sciences
PublisherSpringer Nature
Number of pages27
StatePublished - 2023

Publication series

NameWomen in the History of Philosophy and Sciences
ISSN (Print)2523-8760
ISSN (Electronic)2523-8779

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023, The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG.


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