Identity-sense in summary: the structures at the heart of the ‘self’

Over the last series of posts on Intentionality I have outlined my analysis of the human condition and its unifying identity-sense. I have argued that the uniquely questioning being, the human, is distinct from other animals and differentiated within its species by the accretion of meaning that accrues to its life and is appropriated by it. I have shown that a primordial desire for significance and capacity for purpose, though subject to its own inner tensions, is a twofold motivational drive in that harmonising intentionality through which the questioning being engages with the world.

One makes one's way in the world driven by a twin equiprimordial drive. The Desire for Significance and the Capacity for Purpose

One makes one’s way in the world driven by a twin equiprimordial drive. The Desire for Significance and the Capacity for Purpose

I have also introduced the human world as an empirical background, whose meaning-filled foreground becomes the intersubjective milieu in which self-definition takes place. This equiprimordial constellation, comprising embodiment, intersubjective intentionality and worldly embeddedness I have defined as the Landscape of Being; a necessary though not sufficient explanatory foundation for human singularity to occur. The questioning being I have argued, senses its identity in all of its being.

The humble fig. This blog considers the structures at the heart of identity.

The humble fig.
This blog considers the structures at the heart of identity.

That identity-sense is experienced as an ongoing existential audit of its harmonising efforts and the identity that it endeavours to maintain and negotiate; it is an accretion of meaning which accrues to its desire for significance and capacity for purpose. I have argued finally that the questioning being, in its recursive interaction with all that is, is existentially tethered to the world.

 

In the next phase of my thinking I explore further the Lifeworld in which the Landscape of Being is to be found. I evaluate Merleau-Ponty’s account of embodied intentionality and the way that this primacy of perception overturns mediational epistemology. I also consider whether an inquiry such as this one, undertaken as it is by the questioning being, is able to return to the ‘things themselves’ without the Husserlian epoché. Finally I consider the aspiration, derived from its questioning essence, that the questioning being sustains, of transcending its embodied and worldly tetheredness.

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