Japanese Journal of Qualitative Psychology
Online ISSN : 2435-7065
Phenomenological Approach to the Study of the "I-am-me" Experience
Tsuneo Watanabe
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2012 Volume 11 Issue 1 Pages 116-135


The " 'I-am-me' experience", which was first investigated by the phenomenologist Spiegelberg (1964), is currently studied by using non-phenomenological methods. I have outlined the phenomenological approach to investigating this phenomenon. First, I have discussed analyzing past research on the I-am-me experience from the phenomenological perspective. Then, I conducted a phenomenological analysis of a typical case of an I-am-me experience based on Giorgi’s (2009) modified Husserlian approach and compared it to Kimura’s (1973) analysis of a schizophrenia case. I also conducted a similar analysis of a typical case of a "solipsistic experience," once regarded as a type of an I-am-me experience, and compared it to an autistic case. Based on the consideration of the Blankenburg's "schizophrenic epochè", I have proposed the idea that the I-am-me experience and the solipsistic experience may originate from a "developmental epochè". One may experience a disruption of the self-evidence of the self at certain stages of normal personal development, especially in childhood, even though one is neither a philosopher undertaking a phenomenological epochè, nor a patient suffering from a psychopathological epochè.

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© 2012 Japanese Association of Qualitative Psychology
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