A Phenomenological Description of the Self

By Bill Meacham, Ph. D.

Copyright © 2013 William Meacham. Permission to reproduce is granted provided the work is reproduced in its entirety, including this notice. Contact the author at http://www.bmeacham.com.

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A Phenomenological Description Of The Self is my Ph.D. Dissertation, written in 1971. Regardless of whether it will be of interest to anyone else, it has certainly been useful to me to remember what I discovered years ago. This paper serves as good reference material. I hope it will be useful to others as well, that it will inspire others to examine their own experience and confirm (or not) what I found in examining mine.

I have left the text pretty much as it was when I wrote it even though I would make some stylistic changes were I to write it today. In particular, the text quite often uses the first-person ("I") without being clear as to whether things asserted are intended to be true of everyone or only of the author. See my "Talking About the First-Person," here: http://www.bmeacham.com/whatswhat/FirstPersonTalk.htm. If were to rewrite it, I would make the distinction.

What were unnumbered footnotes in the original I have included as parenthetical remarks in the body of the text in order to make the numbering of the footnotes the same between then and now.

I have no reason to doubt any of the assertions in this paper. I have found no evidence that contradicts them. However, with more experience I find that some of my original observations, particularly of emotions, were incomplete, so I have added a few new remarks. The new material is in square parentheses and italics: [like this].

I have, in more recent years, come to a different view of the function of the human being, but that view is informed by much more than phenomenology.

– Austin, Texas, December 2013

Table of Contents

Title, Front Matter and Abstract


Chapter 1, On Method

Chapter 2, I-Who-Experience

Chapter 3, Thought

Chapter 4, Feeling and the Self-Concept
    A. Feeling
    B. The Self-Concept

Chapter 5, Action

Chapter 6, The Composition of the Self

Chapter 7, The Structure of the Self
    A. The Self as One
    B. The Self in Relation

Bibliography of Works Cited

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