Volume 26, Issue 2, Autumn 2021
Only a God Can Save Us ("Nur noch ein Gott kann uns retten")
What is Time Like?
The Relation Between Self-Consciousness and Time
In this paper, which is situated in the broad stream of the confluence between analytic philosophy and phenomenology, I shall attempt to articulate the relation between self-consciousness and time consciousness. I shall show that the primary meaning of time entails a self-conscious being, and that time and change are related, but in an analogous way. Different forms of life—with concomitant different forms of self-consciousness—are qualitatively different in their capability of experiencing the flow of time. In making this claim, I shall discuss Husserl’s distinction between pre-reflective or tacit self-awareness (inner-consciousness) and reflective self-consciousness (inner perception), and I shall show that this view is similar to Augustine’s distinction between nosse and cogitare and Aquinas’ distinction between ”habitual” and “actual” self-knowledge. It will also be intimated that simultaneity is associated with empathy.