The Self

Frank Thilly
1910 Philosophical Review  
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more » ... ntent at JSTOR is a digital library of academic journals, books, and primary source objects. JSTOR helps people discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content through a powerful research and teaching platform, and preserves this content for future generations. JSTOR is part of ITHAKA, a not--for--profit organization that also includes Ithaka S+R and Portico. For more information about JSTOR, please contact THE SELF. AN introspective examination of consciousness reveals the fact that mental processes are owned by some one; they are mine, or yours, or his. Whether or not it is possible for thoughts, feelings, or impulses to exist apart from a subject, as waifs or derelicts, separately or in swarms; one thing is certain: we never experience them as such. So far as our experience goes, there is no such thing as an unowned or unclaimed psychical process, a sensation, image, or feeling apart from a sensing, imaging, feeling proprietor who calls them his own. Moreover, the subject, owner, or knower, and the object, the thing owned, the known, are not two separate entities, but one concrete experience. " Every experience contains two inseparable factors: objects of experience and the experiencing subject." The pure ego is as much of an abstraction as the pure object. We can separate the two factors in thought, just as we can separate the color of the rose from its other qualities, but we never become directly aware of the one or the other alone. " Wherever thoughts and sensations are experienced," Ebbinghaus declares, " this subjective bearer to which they adhere, also becomes directly conscious in them and through them, in the same way as they themselves." 2 We also note in our inner life that the states experienced by this subject do not remain the same, but change, so that consciousness has been called a succession of states. But this succession of changing processes is not an unrelated or disconnected series of events. Yesterday's states, yesterday's sensations, images, feelings, desires, are gone, but their occurrence has not been without its influence upon the experiences of to-day. The fact that I perceived, imagined, thought, felt, desired, willed what I did yesterday, has had its effect upon the modes in which I am conscious to-day. Somehow or other the past experiences have left their impress upon the present experiences; the perception of the blue object following immediately upon the perception of IWundt, " Definition der Psychologie," PhiZosojshische Sludien, i895. 2 Grundzage der Psychologie, Vol. I, p. IO. 22 THE PHILOSOPHICAL REVIEW [VOL. XIX.
doi:10.2307/2177637 fatcat:ym72emlgufanbdgl55ftn5eyd4