I Am This World
Haverford College. Department of Philosophy
Place of Publication
Table of Contents
This thesis explores the idea of the self, as understood over and against observable nature as a narrative arc using Renée Descartes, Martin Heidegger, Danielle Macbeth, and Judith Butler. It will argue that one starting place for the modern conception of the self as alienated from the observable world is found with Descartes, then the self as furthered with a Heideggerian reading of Descartes and Heidegger's own contributions, followed by a Macbethian reading of Heidegger which bring the word back from alienation. It will conclude with Judith Butler who points out a new kind of alienation from the world. The bulk of this paper will be a close reading of select works of Heidegger to understand his steps beyond Descartes. This thesis will argue the Heideggerian way of thinking about the self as capacity and the actualization of Being-in-the-world that separates thing and object to avoid idealism and the pitfalls of representationalism. It concludes with the role of the body and why there is a lack of focus on it for Heidegger as understood through Butler. It then posits a re-alienation from the socially familiar world by looking at performative acts of identity as inscriptions of discursive acts on the body.