The 'Outer Child' as a form of Subjective Experience of the Lifeworld

Dr. G.V. Loewen

Abstract


Beyond the singular appearance of physical being, the idea of personality and uniqueness, and the duplicitous selves that are divided along the lines of the division of social role labor and performance, there is a form of subjective experience in the world that allies itself with our memory of what we were before we were all of these other things. This is the 'outer child', and it represents a form of life that at once partakes in the rationalization of the self as an object in the world of objects, but declines to be entirely rational. Five aspects of the character of the outer child are analyzed and discussed: it’s experiential testimony rather than its truthfulness; its lack of studied subject and formal method of perceptions; the grounding of its beliefs in a form of naivete; its ambiguous relationship with instrumental reason, and; its sense that the self is possessed of itself. A set of canonical and key texts is examined to understand how these aspects of subjective experience are combined into a unique but unquiet rationality.

 

Keywords: self, child, rationality, lifeworld, subjectivity, object


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5296/jsr.v3i2.2330

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