But if so, then self-consciousness must be treated as itself real, and as organically related to the rest of existence.
To insist upon the necessity of a critical examination of the pre-requisites of any form of self-consciousness and especially of the knowing consciousness, to such an extent that critics have lost sight of the real dependence of his metaphysic upon the direct evidence of the moral consciousness.
If self-consciousness be treated in this objective fashion, then we pass naturally from epistemology to metaphysics or ontology.
The unity of apperception, then, as Kant calls it, is only possible in relation to synthetic unity of experience itself, and the forms of this synthetic unity, the categories, are, therefore, on the one hand, necessary as forms in which self-consciousness is realized, and, on the other hand, restricted in their application and validity to the data of given sense, or the particular element of experience.
Among his essays may be mentioned The Evolution of Self-Consciousness and two articles published in 1871 on the Genesis of Species.
For, religious as it is, it is entirely free from the very slightest touch of hypocrisy or indeed of self-consciousness of any kind.
One more point must be considered: there is the evidence of competent observers to show that members of a tribe accustomed to nudity, when made to assume clothing for the first time, exhibit as much confusion as would a European compelled to strip in public. This fact, considered together with what has been said above, compels the conclusion that modesty is a feeling merely of acute self-consciousness due to appearing unusual, and is the result of clothing rather than the cause.
While therefore we cannot, as we have seen, attain the idea of the supreme unity of thought and being by either cognition or volition, we can find it in our own personality, in immediate self-consciousness or (which is the same in Schleiermacher's terminology) feeling.
If the consciousness of freedom were not a separate and independent source of self-consciousness it would be subject to reasoning and to experience, but in fact such subjection does not exist and is inconceivable.
Our existence depends on the fact that we are cognized by God (cogitor ergo cogito All self-consciousness is at the same time God-consciousness; our knowledge is never mere scientia, it is invariably con-scientia - a knowing with, consciousness of, or participation in God.