- transcendental ego
(in Kantian epistemology) that part of the self that is the subject and never the object.
* * *the self that is necessary in order for there to be a unified empirical self-consciousness. For Immanuel Kant (Kant, Immanuel), it synthesizes sensations according to the categories of the understanding. Nothing can be known of this self, because it is a condition, not an object, of knowledge. For Edmund Husserl (Husserl, Edmund), pure consciousness, for which everything that exists is an object, is the ground for the foundation and constitution of all meaning. For Giovanni Gentile (Gentile, Giovanni), it is the self that comes to consciousness when one expresses one's thoughts in language, the self whose being is pure act.
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