DOI link for SELF-UNDOING SUBJECTS
SELF-UNDOING SUBJECTS book
Ludwig Wittgenstein once confessed himself puzzled by the fact that people spoke of the ‘external world’. External to what? was maybe what he had in mind. One familiar answer to the query is ‘consciousness’ or ‘the subject’, and there is surely much to he said for it. My experience of pain is not in the world in the sense that the wasp that caused it is. But it is not not in the world either, unless you think of the world as made up of ‘physical objects’, a concept of which Wittgenstein professes to be able to make no sense. Physical objects as opposed to what other sorts of objects? Mental ones, perhaps? Is a concept a mental object, or the human psyche a set of non-physical processes? Is intending some kind of an event, onlyunlike, say, bleeding-a ghostly, invisible one? There is something called the psyche or subject, which is absolutely the opposite of any sort of material entity, except that to give it that kind of name is precisely to imply that it is. Some of my activities go on in my psyche, as others go in my kidneys. But whereas a doctor could know what was going on in my kidneys, only I, or perhaps some peculiarly adept psychotherapist, could know what was afoot in my psyche. And this is because my psyche or subjectivity is invisible to everyone but myself.