Phenomenological Reviews

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Ego-splitting and the transcendental subject

Kant's original insight and Husserl's reappraisal

Marco Cavallaro(Universität Koblenz-Landau, Campus Landau)

pp. 107-133


In this paper, I contend that there are at least two essential traits that commonly define being an I: self-identity and self-consciousness. I argue that they bear quite an odd relation to each other in the sense that self-consciousness seems to jeopardize self-identity. My main concern is to elucidate this issue within the range of the transcendental philosophies of Immanuel Kant and Edmund Husserl. In the first section, I shall briefly consider Kant's own rendition of the problem of the Ego-splitting. My reading of the Kantian texts reveals that Kant himself was aware of this phenomenon but eventually deems it an unexplainable fact. The second part of the paper tackles the same problematic from the standpoint of Husserlian phenomenology. What Husserl's extensive analyses on this topic bring to light is that the phenomenon of the Ego-splitting constitutes the bedrock not only of his thought but also of every philosophy that works within the framework of transcendental thinking.

Publication details

Published in:

Apostolescu Iulian (2020) The subject(s) of phenomenology: rereading Husserl. Dordrecht, Springer.

Pages: 107-133

DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-29357-4_7

Full citation:

Cavallaro Marco (2020) „Ego-splitting and the transcendental subject: Kant's original insight and Husserl's reappraisal“, In: I. Apostolescu (ed.), The subject(s) of phenomenology, Dordrecht, Springer, 107–133.