Ok, this is going to be ridiculous, but I have some fundamental sorting to do. I need to clarify the relationships between thatness, whatness, whichness and whoness. Laugh away; I’m doing this.
The need for clarity began when I stumbled over this line in Schutz: “…in self-knowledge there is a sphere of absolute intimacy whose ‘being there’ (Dasein) is just as indubitable as it is closed to our inspection. The experiences peculiar to this sphere are simply inaccessible to memory, and this fact pertains to their mode of being: memory catches only the ‘that’ of these experiences.”
This is an important matter for me, because it touches on my recently-revived skepticism about how we conceive the unconscious, which ties into the ways language mediates our experiences, including that design-destroying assumption language does (and ought to) micromanage our actions. Extremely usable design makes objects second-natural extensions of our own selves. And my next book will argue that our very concepts ought to have this same quality in use: if you have to think about a concept when applying it, that’s a poorly-designed concept. A well-designed concept operates so invisibly that the thought thinks itself through the working of the concept. But I am digressing now, so I’ll get back to my sorting…
I believe thatness is raw apprehension, the registering of a particular entity as existent.
When we identify a particular existence as something, that identity is its whatness (or “quiddity”).
But even in identifying a that as some general what, the fact of its particular uniqueness remains as its thisness (or “haecceity”).
But all these -nesses are done by minds, and done in some particular way (as opposed to all other possible ways), and this capacity is whoness.
Who a person is, their very subjectivity, is their habits of attending (and neglecting) particular forms of thatness and their ways comprehending thatness as having some kind of general whatness and particular thisness.
When someone views themselves primarily as the comprehending what instead of the apprehending, comprehending who, that person becomes self-alienated in a state Sartre called “bad faith”. This is one primary reason I oppose identitarianism. Identitarianism produces a subjective vacuum where a self should be, and that vacuum suffers in a way it does not know how to conceptualize. Having no access to subjective understanding it seeks to explain its suffering objectively. The self is a suffering object made to suffer by other objects. No amount of objective action can relieve the agony of being trapped in this subjectivity-blindness, because the last place such people look for relief is in their own conceptions. To reach this way of thinking to others is to spread a fatal philosophical disease.
Yeah. I’ll never be a real Scholastic, but I’ll certainly raid it for parts.