Value-Feelings and Disvalue-Feelings. A Phenomenological Approach to Self-Knowledge


  • Roberta Guccinelli



Self-Knowledge, Living Body, Eco-Phenomenology


As fascinating as it is insidious, the question of self-knowledge goes on tormenting, as a kind of Silenus, philosophers of every period. Without any pretence of exhausting the subject, I would like to briefly stress some “ecological virtues” of the Schelerian view of self-knowledge.

In the face of other models of self-knowledge, which do not provide an adequate account of our bodily experience and of its role in the process of formation of our psycho-physical identity – I am referring, for example, to the “constitutive” view – Scheler’s model of self-knowledge, understood from an ecological viewpoint, provides a good elucidation in terms of the vital relevance of specific feelings, such as bodily feelings of shame or feelings of well-being, that contribute to our self-sense and to our being, more or less, openly oriented towards a set of value-qualities of our environment. Scheler’s model of self-knowledge also provides a good elucidation, in terms of “mortal” relevance, of specific feelings, such as resentment or spite, that involve instead our closedness to our environment and sometimes the withering away or death of our self-sense.