Quest for ‘I’:  An Existential Paradox 
(In search of ‘I’ in the Life-World)

K. Vengadachalam
Pondicherry University, Pondicherry

The search for ‘I’ is one among the major issues in philosophy from its classical tradition. The metaphysics tries to discover its reality and the epistemology investigates its certainty. Many philosophers expressed a wide range of opinion on the topic of ‘I’. Although they are capable of holding their view which they expressed yet this paper exclusively focuses on the phenomenological view on ‘I’. i.e. the question of ‘I’ is understood from the phenomenological perspective and investigated from its predecessors and inter-locutors.   

This paper starts with the basic question: what is ‘I’? which will be answered from Phenomenological  perspective. Here, the distinctions in approach, between the modern and continental philosophers are detailed. Secondly, the constitution of ‘I’ is described. This description involves, the questions like a) what is ‘I’? or what does the ‘I’ in life-world possesses of? b) Is ‘I’ a formally or materially consciousness in the world? These descriptions, inturn reveal us c) the possibility of certainty of ‘I’ in the life-world or the existence of ‘I’. As the concluding part, this paper has a critical analysis on the phenomenological method of understanding ‘I’.