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Shigeru Taguchi (Self and Infinity)

The Mediated-Mediating Nature of Consciousness: An Enactive and Phenomenological Exploration of the Twisted Loop between Body and World

by Shigeru Taguchi (Hokkaido University)

In this paper, I will discuss consciousness and the self from the perspective of the enactive approach and “mediation-based phenomenology,” which I am developing under the influence of Hajime Tanabe’s philosophy. Rather than being a substantial entity, consciousness is essentially mediated. Specifically, consciousness is mediated by both the body and the world, serving as a connection and differentiation between the two. If we consider consciousness anchored and tied to the individual body, it becomes what we refer to as the “self.” However, consciousness is also mediated by the world, which opens it up to the infinite universe. In other words, it establishes a unique relationship with infinity focused on each body. Thus, consciousness bridges the poles of individuality and infinity. We use the phrase “consciousness exists” to describe the establishment of a “twisted loop” involving both poles, which Kitaro Nishida refers to as a contradictory self-identity through absolute negation. When consciousness exists, the infinite universe is mirrored within it, and simultaneously, this mirroring arises as an individual facticity of incomparable “here and now.”