- Human pathology

Home > Resources in pathology > Concepts > subject


Friday 1 December 2017

Definition : A subject is a being who has a unique consciousness and/or unique personal experiences, or an entity that has a relationship with another entity that exists outside itself (called an "object" ).

A subject is an observer and an object is a thing observed. This concept is especially important in Continental philosophy, where ’the subject’ is a central term in debates over the nature of the self.

The nature of the subject is also central in debates over the nature of subjective experience within the Anglo-American tradition of analytical philosophy.

The sharp distinction between subject and object corresponds to the distinction, in the philosophy of René Descartes, between thought and extension.

Descartes believed that thought ( subjectivity ) was the essence of the mind, and that extension (the occupation of space) was the essence of matter.

See also

- object / objectivity