Hyponoetics - Glossary
Self Self-Actualization Self-Consciousnes Self-Knowledge Self-Realization Self-Referentiality Self-Reflection Sensation Spirit Subject Subject-Object Fallacy Subject-Object Dualism Substance

The term 'self' is often used interchangeably with 'person', though usually with more emphasis on the 'inner', or psychological, dimension of personality than an outward bodily form. Thus a self is conceived to be a subject of consciousness, a being capable of thought and experience and able to engage in deliberative action. More crucially, a self must have a capacity for self-consciousness.... Thus a self is a being that is able to entertain first-person thoughts.
(Ted Honderich: The Oxford Companion to Philosophy, Oxford University Press 1995)

1. An obsolescent technical term for a person, but a person thought of as incorporeal and essentially conscious. Sometimes the self is simply identified with Plato's concept of soul. But Descartes, arguing in the Discourse that the 'I' of his 'I think, therefore I am' is essentially a thinking substance, presents a substance theory of the self.
2. Synonym for 'ego' as when Hume denies that we are ever "intimately conscious of what we call our SELF".
(Antony Flew: A Dictionary of Philosophy, St. Martin's Press 1979)

One of the more dominant aspects of human experience is the compelling sense of one's unique existence, what philosophers have traditionally called the issue of personal identity or of the self.
Six primary intentions:
1. Self as inner agent or force with controlling and directing functions over motives, fears, needs, etc.
2. Self as inner witness to events (introspective function).
3. Self as the totality of personal experience and expression, self as living being.
4. Self as synthesis, self as an organized personalized whole.
5. Self as consciousness, awareness, personal conception, self as identity.
6. Self as abstract goal or end point on some personalistic dimension.
(Arthur S. Reber: Dictionary of Psychology, Penguin 1985)

1. A term originally introduced by the organismic theorist, Kurt Goldstein, for the motive to realize all of one's potentialities.
2. In Abraham Maslow's theory of personality, the final level of psychological development that can be achieved when all basic and meta needs are fulfilled and the "actualization" of the full personal potential takes place.
For Goldstein it was a motive and for Maslow it was a level of development; for both, however, roughly the same kinds of qualities were expressed: independence, autonomy, a tendency to form few but deep friendships, a "philosophical" sense of humor, tendency to resist outside pressures and a general transcendence of the environment rather than a simple "coping" with it.
(Arthur S. Reber: Dictionary of Psychology, Penguin 1985)

Generally, self-awareness (= the condition of being aware of or conscious of oneself), but with a "twist", the additional realization that it is possible that others are similarly aware of oneself.
(Arthur S. Reber: Dictionary of Psychology, Penguin 1985)

Selbstbewusstsein, das Bewusstsein von sich selbst, zuerst bei Plotin als synaisthesis hautou 'Selbstwahrnehmung', das Wissen des Menschen um das eigene Ich und seine Art, auch die zuversichtliche, stolze, hochgemute, auf der Bejahung des eigenen Wesens beruhende Haltung; in der Psychologie ein Wissen um unsere wechselnden Bewusstseinszustände und die sich in uns abspielenden Vorgänge, begleitet von dem Bewusstsein, dass unser Ich Träger dieser Zustände und Vorgänge ist, dass dieses Ich nur eines ist, dass es im Wechsel der Erlebnisse als etwas Selbstständiges, sich nach eigenem Gesetz Entwicklendes beharrt und dass es in Beziehung zu einer Aussenwelt, dem Nicht-Ich, den Objekten, steht, von denen es sich als Subjekt unterscheidet....
(J. Hoffmeister: Wörterbuch der Philosophischen Begriffe, Meiner Verlag, 1955)

Selbstbewusstsein. Das unmittelbare und nicht hintergehbare Bewusstsein des Ich oder Selbst (a) von den eigenen Bewusstseinzuständen, (b) von den eigenen Meinungen, Theorien, Standpunkten usw. und (c) von der eigenen Existenz, das als Möglichkeitsbedingung allen Erkennens jeder inhaltlichen Erkenntnis vorausgeht. Als Möglichkeitsbedingung von Erkenntnis ist Selbstbewusstsein keiner gegenständlichen Erfahrung zugänglich. Fundamentalbegriff der neuzeitlichen Philos. der Subjektivität.
(Philosophie Lexikon, Rowohlt, 1991)

In Essay Nature and Development of Transrational Thinking I provide a definition of self-consciousness based on two kinds of experiences:

I introduce here a conceptual distinction between empiric and noetic experience. The former is experience of our sensations and perceptions and even emotions connected to sensations or perceptions, whereas the latter is the experience of our own consciousness and mind, or what is commonly called self-consciousness.

...distinction between the act of observing or attending to one's present states [of consciousness] for the purpose of acquiring knowledge of them and the actual achieving of or coming to possess such knowledge. ... "introspection" will refer to the act of observing one's mental states and "self-knowledge"... to the achievement of that knowledge.
(Paul Edwards, ed.: The Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Macmillan Publishing, Vol. II, p. 192)

Selbsterkenntnis, in der Erkenntnistheorie die Einsicht in die dem erkennenden Ich zugehörenden Eigenschaften, Bedingtheiten und Fähigkeiten, in seine Subjektivität, im Gegensatz zur Objektivität der Aussenwelt;.... in der Ethik die Erkenntnis der eigenen Anlagen und Fähigkeiten, der Schwächen und Fehler, der Kräfte und der Grenzen des eigenen Vermögens, die objektiv nur aus den eigenen Handlungen und Werken gewonnen werden kann.
(J. Hoffmeister: Wörterbuch der Philosophischen Begriffe, Meiner Verlag, 1955)

Selbsterkenntnis. 1. Selbstbewusstsein. 2. Selbstreflexion. 3. Wissen um das eigene tatsächliche Leben (im Gegensatz zum Selbstbetrug). 4. Wissen um das eigene Wesen. 5. Wissen um den wahren Zweck des eigenen Lebens - oder Einsicht, dass es einen solchen Zweck nicht gibt, sondern nur das Absurde.
(Philosophie Lexikon, Rowohlt, 1991)

Man tut deshalb gut daran, eine Unterscheidung zu machen zwischen der Perzeption (perception) oder dem inneren Zustand des Monade (l'état interieur de la Monade), der die äusseren Dinge darstellt, und der Apperzeption (apperception), die das Selbstbewusstsein oder die reflexive Erkenntnis (la conscience ou la connaissance reflexive) dieses inneren Zustandes ist.
(G.W. Leibniz: Vernunftprinzipien der Natur und der Gnade, Meiner Verlag, 1982, (section)4)

Die Erkenntnis des Geistes ist die konkreteste, darum höchste und schwerste. Erkenne dich selbst, dies absolute Gebot hat weder an sich noch da, wo es geschichtlich als ausgesprochen vorkommt, die Bedeutung nur einer Selbsterkenntnis nach den partikulären Fähigkeiten, Charakter, Neigungen und Schwächen des Individuums, sondern die Bedeutung der Erkenntnis des Wahrhaften des Menschen wie des Wahrhaften an und für sich, - des Wesens selbst als Geistes.
(G.W.F. Hegel: Enzyklopädie der philosophischen Wissenschaften, Vol. III, (section)377)

Knowledge of one's true, inner self: spiritual enlightenment.
(Nevill Drury: Dictionary of Mysticism, Prism Press, 1992)

Fulfillment by oneself of the possibilities of one's character or personality.
(Merriam Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, Tenth Edition)

I use this term in two different senses:
1. As a synonym for self-consciousness and self-reflection. The process of our mind to reflect upon its own states and activities.
In Essay Self-Referentiality of Reflective Thought I discuss the problem and paradox of self-reflective thought (self-referential system of thought) and how our mind has an intrinsic capacity to transcend a self-referential system and reach a meta-level from where to obtain a more complete knowledge of the system, which is not possible as long as one remains entangled within the system itself (see Goedel's Theorem).

2. As the primordial act of the Universal Mind that creates the plurality of mental and physical entities (Individual Mind and Matter as ontological categories):

How can we explain the plurality of physical objects that are all aspects of the Universal Mind?
One answer, that is highly speculative but can be inferred from the nature of our own mind is the following: self-consciousness or self-reflection, that is unique to human beings, is a kind of division of a primary unity of our consciousness with nature. There is no inside and outside, no subject and object. but pure experience. .... man, at the time when self-consciousness in the form of self-reflection occurred, severed himself by this very act of self-reflection from nature. This self-referential act split our consciousness into subject and object, into mind and matter, into the inner world of experience and the outer world of physical objects.
Self-referentiality is the key to understanding how we perceive a multitude of objects, although there is only oneness in actuality.

see also Goedel's Theorem.

1. Ordinarily, having such feelings as cold, pressure, thirst, itches, or pains.
2. Technically, mental entities of a kind private to their owner. They are also caused to exist, for example, by light waves or sound waves stimulating his eyes or ears, and are affected by the condition of these, and of the whole nervous system attendant upon them. Sensations therefore may be not only visual or auditory, but olfactory, tactile, or kinaesthetic. Kant used the concept (German: empfindung) to refer to the modification of a conscious subject by the presence of some object.
(Antony Flew: A Dictionary of Philosophy, St. Martin's Press 1979)

The subjective aspect of perception - usually taken to denote the sensory (as opposed to conceptual) phase of a perceptual process. In hearing a concert, for instance, the sensation is the conscious auditory event preceding whatever thoughts and beliefs the sensation arouses in the perceiver.
(Ted Honderich: The Oxford Companion to Philosophy, Oxford University Press 1995)

1. Any unelaborated, elementary experience of feeling or awareness of conditions within or outside of the body produced by the stimulation of some receptor or receptor system, a sense datum...... sensations are usually distinguished from perceptions, the latter being characterized as resulting from interpretation and elaboration of sensations.
2. In Tichener's structuralism, one of the three basic elements of consciousness (along with feelings and Content/images).
3. The process of sensing.
(Arthur S. Reber: Dictionary of Psychology, Penguin 1985)

A word commonly used to translate the Hegelian term Geist. According to Hegel, spirit differs from nature in that spirit is an 'I'; in Hegel's language, spirit has being 'for itself'. Hegel recognizes three types of spirit: subjective, objective, and absolute. The philosophy of subjective spirit studies the individual in abstraction from his social relations, and discusses such topics as consciousness, memory, thought, and will. This philosophy of objective spirit deals with man's relations to his fellow men; the fundamental concept here is that of 'right' (Recht), a term having both a legal and a moral sense. The highest stage of spirit is absolute spirit, whose three parts are art, religion, and philosophy. According to Hegel, the study of absolute spirit has to do with spirit as 'infinite', by which he means, not spirit as something boundless, but as having returned to itself from self-estrangement. This is to say that, at this stage of thought, one recognizes that subjective and objective are one...
(Antony Flew: A Dictionary of Philosophy, St. Martin's Press 1979)

Hegel uses Geist (spirit) in a great variety of ways:
(1) In a general sense Geist denotes the human mind and its products, in contrast to nature and also to the logical idea.
(2) In a narrower sense, Geist is the 'subjective spirit', which covers all individual psychological life, ranging from the 'natural soul' to thinking and the will.
(3) In a narrower sense still, Geist covers the more intellectual aspects of the psyche, ranging from intuition to thinking and the will, but excluding, and contrasting with, the soul, feeling, etc.
(4) 'Objective spirit' is the common spirit of a social group, embodied in its customs, laws and institutions.
(5) 'Absolute spirit' covers art, religion and philosophy. ... it is infinite, since in it spirit is (an object) 'for' spirit itself, but also because it reflects upon what is other than, and thus limits or restricts, spirit.
(6) The Weltgeist or 'world-spirit' was, in the seventeenth century, the 'worldly' spirit, in contrast to the divine spirit; then it became a cosmic spirit pervading the whole of nature, like the world-soul; and finally it is the spirit that manifests itself in history.
(7) The Volksgeist ('spirit of a/the people') is similar to (4), but it includes a people's contribution to (5).
(Michael Inwood: A Hegel Dictionary, Blackwell, 1992)

We have to objectify (in a philosophical sense) Exonoesis (Individual Mind) in order to have a clear and distinct concept of it. This dialectical movement of the concept was implicitly foreseen in Hegel's notion of the Absolute Knowing. The insufficiency of Exonoesis [Individual Mind] leads necessarily to the next stage on a higher level, Hyponoesis, or Hegel's Spirit. In Hegel's account of the movement of consciousness, he stated clearly, that man has not yet reached the last level, Absolute Knowing. We are still on our way to that final goal of all dialectical movement. It is the self-fulfillment of the Spirit, the reunion of the Universal Mind with the Individual Mind. (see Essay Self-Referentiality of Reflective Thought)

In Aristotle the subject, or hypokeimenon, designates 'that which lies under'. It is used logically to speak of the 'subject genus' or that of which things are predicated; it is also used as a way of designating matter, and as a way of designating substance as the 'ultimate subject' or those beings which 'are called substance because they are not predicated of a subject but everything else is predicated of them'. With Descartes the ultimate subject was identified with the self-conscious I disclosed by the cogito ergo sum, and this was subsequently regarded as the ground or basis of prediction. While Kant accepted that the subject as I was the formal, logical condition of experience, he argued vigorously against the claim that it designated an existing substance.
(Howard Caygill: A Kant Dictionary, Blackwell, 1995)

Subjekt, lat. subjectum 'das Daruntergeworfene', Übers. für gr. hypokeimenon 'das darunter Liegende', im Gegensatz zu Objekt.
1. ontologisch: der Träger von Zuständen und Wirkunge, soviel wie Substrat, Substanz, aber im allg. nur für belebte und beseelte Träger; im Mittelalter bis zum 18. Jh. gebr. für den vom Erkennen und Vorstellen unabhängigen Gegenstand, d.h. für das, was jetzt Objekt heisst;
2. logisch und grammatisch: der Träger des Prädikats, der Aussage; der Satzgegenstand;
3. psychologisch: der Träger der Erlebnisse, Wahrnehmungen und Vorstellungen, Gefühle, Bewusstseinsvorgänge und -inhalte, das Ich;
4. erkenntnistheoretisch: das erkennende Ich als Inbegriff der Erkenntnisfunktionen und Erkenntnisformen im Gegensatz su den Objekten, den zu erkennenden Gegenständen, bei Kant das von den Besonderheiten der Einzel-Iche frei gedachte Bewusstsein überhaupt.
(J. Hoffmeister: Wörterbuch der Philosophischen Begriffe, Meiner Verlag, 1955)

cf. Object.

Whenever philosophers and thinkers of all ages discuss thinking, they always assume an object-subject relationship as being the intrinsic and necessary feature of thought or mind. There is on the one side the subject who thinks and on the other side the object of thinking, that which is thought of or about. I think that this subject-object schematism is arbitrarily or unconsciously projected upon the thinking process. By analyzing thought it is presumed that there must be an object of thought, otherwise thought would be empty and meaningless. (see Essay Nature and Development of Transrational Thinking)

Dualism, as postulated by Descartes, means an assumption of two totally independent and different substances, although they are capable of interacting somehow. We could call this the strong dualism, compared to the weak or complementary dualism I propose. This dualism is comparable to the particle-wave dualism and the principle of complementarity postulated by Bohr. Both, particle and wave are an aspect of the same subatomic event. They complement each other and belong necessarily together. Mind and body, therefore, are not antagonistic or completely different. Both are interconnected aspects of the same underlying and fundamental reality. (see Essay Mind and Brain Relationship)

Since the object is only created by the activity of the subject, and the subject is not a physical entity, but a mental one, we have to conclude then, that the subject-object dualism is purely mentalistic. (see Essay The Identity of Subject and Object)

from the Latin substantia, which in turn comes from substare ('to stand under, be under, be present'). Its root meaning is thus similar to that of 'subject', but it was associated with the Greek ousia ('being, substance, etc.' from einai, 'to be') rather than with to hypokeimenon. Its meanings are:
(1) Stuff, matter, a type of stuff.
(2) a persisting, independent thing, in contrast to its dependent 'accidents' (attributes, modes).
(3) the persisting essence of a thing.
(4) the essential content of, e.g., a book, in contrast to its form or expression.
(5) property, possessions.
(Michael Inwood: A Hegel Dictionary, Blackwell, 1992)

A substance was defined by Aristotle as 'that which is neither said of a subject nor in a subject, e.g. an individual man or horse' (Categories 2a 12). The contrast here is between things which exist independently (such as the individual horse) and properties or attributes (such as being fleet-footed) which can only be predicated of, or belong to, a subject.
Descartes lays it down that 'to each substance there belongs one principal attribute; in the case of mind, this is thought, and in the case of body it is extension' (Principles, Part I, art. 53). Thus 'we can easily have two clear and distinct notions or ideas, one of created thinking substance, and the other of corporeal substance' (art. 54).
(John Cottingham: A Descartes Dictionary, Blackwell, 1993)

The notion of substance as one of the categories is first explicitly discussed by Aristotle. 'Substance' is the traditional translation for the Greek ousia. Aristotle seems to use 'substance' in two main senses. In the first sense a substance is a particular concrete object, while in the second sense it is the form or essence which makes a substance in the first sense the thing it is. In his Categories Aristotle uses primary substance for the former sense and secondary substance for the latter sense. Socrates is a primary substance and man is a secondary substance.
For Locke the substance of something is what remains when we remove all its properties, a rather mysterious 'something...we know not what' which underlies the 'accidents' or properties of things.
Leibniz, who thought of substances as living things, connected substance with the notions of actuality and activity.
(A. R. Lacey: A Dictionary of Philosophy, Routledge, 1986)

Substanz, von lat. substantia 'das darunter Bestehende', das Bestand Habende, das Selbständige, Fürsichbestehende im Unterschied von dem Unselbständigen, nur an anderem Bestehenden, den Eigenschaften, das Beharrende im Unterschied zum Wechselnden, zu den Zuständen. Die wichtigsten Definitionen der Substanz sind die von
(a) Descartes (Princ. I 51): "Unter Substanz können wir nur ein Ding verstehen, das so existiert, dass es zu seiner eigenen Existenz keines anderen Dinges bedarf".
(b) Spinoza (Eth. I Def. 3): "Unter Substanz verstehe ich das, was in sich ist und durch sich begriffen wird, d.h. das, dessen Begriff, um gebildet werden zu können, des Begriffs eines anderen Dinges nicht bedarf".
(c) Kant (K.d.r.V., Erste Analogie der Erfahrung): "Bei allem Wechsel der Erscheinung beharrt die Substanz, und das Quantum derselben wird in der Natur weder vermehrt noch vermindert....Es ist aber das Substrat alles Realen, d.i. zur Existenz der Dinge Gehörigen, die Substanz, an welcher alles, was zum Dasein gehört, nur als Bestimmung kann gedacht werden. Folglich ist das Beharrliche...die Substanz in der Erscheinung, d.i. das Reale derselben, was las Substrat alles Wechsels immer dasselbe bleibt."
(J. Hoffmeister: Wörterbuch der Philosophischen Begriffe, Meiner Verlag, 1955)

For a detailed discussion on substance see: R.S. Woolhouse, The Concept of Substance in Seventeenth Century Metaphysics (Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz), Routledge, 1993 .