Majid S. Roshan

Majid S. Roshan

Doctoral DAAD Fellow

Period at the center: October 2024 – October 2028

Research Project: Having Myself and the Other in View: The Sociality of Self-Consciousness and the Reality of Freedom


Majid S. Roshan is a PhD student at the Chair for Philosophical Anthropology and Philosophy of Mind at the University of Potsdam. His research interests include philosophy of mind, social and political philosophy, with a focus on German Idealism. In his dissertation he is working on developing an account of self-consciousness in Fichte and Hegel which has important practical implications, especially the problem of freedom.

Research Project

Having Myself and the Other in View: The Sociality of Self-Consciousness and the Reality of Freedom

This project aims to investigate the nature of self-consciousness in Fichte’s and Hegel’s understanding of human agency. It will controversially argue that self-consciousness is neither the awareness of oneself that one may acquire through introspection nor the given sense of for-me-ness as phenomenologists claim. Rather, it will show that, for Fichte and Hegel, self-consciousness necessarily contains the awareness of another. Hence, it should be rendered as a capacity for having both the I and not-I (an Other) in view. Accepting this account of self-consciousness has important implications for practical philosophy, in particular for our understanding of the nature of freedom. To unfold this conception of self-consciousness and its implications for our understanding of freedom, the research will proceed in three steps: it will first situate Fichte’s and Hegel’s account of self-consciousness in the context of contemporary approaches to these questions. it will then elaborate the exact social character of self-consciousness in these two authors. In a third step, it will elaborate the conception of freedom that results and show the way in which acknowledging the sociality of self-consciousness helps us overcome the paradox of freedom.