The Interactive Now: A Second-Person Approach to Time-Consciousness

In: Journal of Phenomenological Psychology
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  • 1 1 Holon Israel
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Husserl offers insight into the constituting of the self-aware ego through time-consciousness. Yet his account does not satisfactorily explain how this ego can experience itself as presently acting. Furthermore, although he acknowledges that the Now is not a knife-edge present, he does not show what determines its duration. These shortfalls and others are overcome through a change of starting point. Citing empirical evidence, I take it as a basic given that when a caregiver frontally engages an infant of two months or so, the infant is aware of a person attending. The attending, I propose, is experienced by the infant as having an implicit target, a focal center. In the infant’s awareness, the carer’s focal center is the self. When a You is perceived as attending, a self is apperceived. I argue that such dependence on a You’s attending continues lifelong in derivative forms. I explore the idea that original time is a partial oscillation of awareness between the perceived You and the apperceived self. I then show how, from this oscillation, the ordinary experience of time is derived.

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