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empirical ego (plural empirical egos)

  1. (philosophy, phenomenology) In the thought of Immanuel Kant and Edmund Husserl, the self of each person, understood as the locus of personality and capable of being known as an object by means of reflective awareness, in contrast with the transcendental ego which is always an experiencing subject.
    • 1879, William James, "Are We Automata?" Mind, vol. 4, no. 13, p. 13:
      When he debates, Shall I commit this crime? choose that profession? accept that office, or marry this fortune?—his choice really lies between one of several equally possible future Selves. What his entire empirical Ego shall become, is fixed by the conduct of this moment.
    • 1977, David Carr, "Kant, Husserl, and the Nonempirical Ego," The Journal of Philosophy, vol. 74, no. 11, p. 688:
      The empirical ego is an object in the world, and, insofar as it is experienced and known, it must be subject to worldly causality.