NINE YEAR OLD PHILOSOPHER AND HERMENEUTICS 3
Pixie, is in continual pursuit of itself, in a continual process of figuring itself out.Success in this process, which is the project of the self in its hermeneutic aspect,would amount to finding out--or giving itself (which is it?)--its real name.
The self is a mystery to itself. Who is the real mystery creature in Pixie butPixie herself? In G.H. Mead's and Sartre's terms,
the "I," the "pour-soi," theeternally present upsurge of consciousness, intentionality, is continually in search of the "me," the "en-soi," the self as a finalized, determined, secure entity, i.e. as object.The self is a continual aspirant to becoming a perfect other, a whole which canbehold itself as if it were outside itself, which psycho-logically is a sort of tragi-comic joke. Although it can watch itself in the mirror, it will never be able to seeinside and outside at the same time; it will never be able to comprehend its owndoubleness as one. The self is also ultimately unknowable to itself because,although the upsurge of the "I" feels like it comes from beyond or outside of time,
the "me" is in time. To fix the "me" in one aspect would actually be to kill it, to turnit to stone. The self is, simply because it is a continual upsurge of the newness of personal identity, incapable of fixing and systematizing its inherently ambiguousinternal (and external) relationships, except in inauthentic forms and images.
Self as story
As a phenomenon of doubleness, the self is a conversation--an internalconversation, which is what thinking is. So human selfhood is by definitioncharacterized as thought. Even Brian, who has fallen silent, never stops talking, andthat conversation manifests as who he is. So each self is characterized by theconversation it is having with itself about itself. The fact that the self is aconversation also means that the self is language, for any conversation implieslanguage. The conversation is infinite, as the self is engaged in an infinite processof becoming, an endless emergence.