The Phenomenal Experience of the I: The Idea of the I in Hedwig Conrad-Martius’ Early Phenomenology

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This chapter addresses the phenomenal experience of the I that is at the foundation of the realistic phenomenology of Hedwig Conrad-Martius (hereafter: HCM) (1966–1888). Focusing on HCM’s early book On the Ontology and Doctrine of Appearance of the Real External from 1916, the discussion strives to interpret the modes of the involvement of the I in the appearances of the real external world. It also extricates from HCM’s analysis of the external world two dispositions of the I: “passive and resting self-inclusiveness” (passive und ruhender Ichhaltung) and “active consciousness”. These two real dispositions correspond to two kinds of consciousness: as “saturated” (inprägniertheit), in itself the I illuminates itself by itself and as such that “objectively absorbs” (gegenständlich aufnehmende) the reality external to it. Moreover, these two dispositions correspond to two spheres of objects in the external world discerned by HCM: that of sensory manifest (sinnfällige) objects, regarding which the I conducts itself as a passive and self-including being vis-à-vis the phenomenality of objects. However, regarding the sphere of covert objects, the I is active and directed beyond itself, to the concealed essence that is covered over by the phenomenal layer of things.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationWomen in the History of Philosophy and Sciences
PublisherSpringer Nature
Number of pages22
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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