Monday, September 12, 2016

The I and the me of meta-awareness

Following up on this post and video, Thompson said around 17:00:

"The apparently inward-looking mental capacities of metacognition and meta-awareness (both cognitive constituents of mindfulness) are internalized forms of social cognition, dependent on being able to share intentions, imitate others and share attention."

Habermas said  in the Mead chapter of Postmetaphysical Thinking:

 "[I]ndividuation is pictured not as the self realization of an independently acting subject carried out in isolation and freedom but as a linguistically mediated process of socialization and the simultaneous constitution of a life history that is conscious of itself" (152-3).

In my words, even the process of meta-awareness that we suppose is an individual achievement of meditation was preceded by how individuality is first enacted via socialization and language. That social process of self-reflective ego formation is indeed this meta-aware watcher (I) watching itself (me).

The practice of meditation brings this unconscious process into a more (but certainly not fully) conscious awareness. We could then project a more universal and ideal community valuation (another me) via meta-awareness of this postconventional I. It's a reiteration of the original meta-awareness process begun through conventional ego formation.

Now this sounds a lot like Wilber describing how the subject (I) of one level becomes the object (me) of the next level. Habermas though sees something like that as more indicative of the philosophy of the subject, an I (1st person) that objectifies the me (3rd person) via introspection instead of being mediated through the 2nd person socialization process (171-2).

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