You will have more luck getting a roomful of Biologists agreeing on a definition for the word ‘Alive’, or Logicians for the word ‘Reason’, than you will with a roomful of Psychologists defining the word ‘Subject’.
The Bio-Engineer knows it is a silicon-chip atop the neurons and between the firing synapse. The Geneticist sneers at this simplification at what is clearly a Gene [imminent in its discovery]. [DNA, perhaps?]
We won’t even broach the Mystics for now. But a particularly famous one from India is: ‘The sense of ‘I-ness”, which means whatever you want it to mean. [Inner-Self? Spirit? Soul?]
We go low-tech. We ask the Grammarian.
‘The Subject of a sentence is the person, place, thing, or idea that is doing or being something. It is what acts or is acted upon.’
Ego is Latin for ‘I’. The Cambridge definition reads: ‘Your idea or opinion of yourself’. Note the self-loop.
Is there a Little Fellow behind your nose and between your ears, a Teddy Bear behind your heart and beneath your ribs, a Viewing Voyeur inside your eye and beneath your brow, that sees and thinks and feels and acts and makes you laugh and makes you cry?
If you find this language flip, I shall give it some gravitas.
Is there to be found, either by observation or by inference, and outside of an unexamined, inherited authority and unquestioned convention an ‘Independent and Separated Observer, ‘Self’, Subject’ in the guise of:
A Physical Body, a Cell, a DNA Code, an Awareness, a Totality, a Nullity, an Unity, an Ego, an Energy, a Life-Force, an Intelligence, an Existence, an ‘Organizing Principle’, an ‘Inner Being’, a Spirit, a ‘Soul’…
An ‘Independent and Separate Knowing Ontological Presence as Entity, Process or Abstraction’?
Go ahead and add any I may have missed. Don’t be shy.
Perhaps there is a Teddy Bear behind your heart and beneath your ribs. We are going to hunt the critter down.