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1.6a. Self-Consciousness (Self-Consciousness on PhilPapers)

See also:
Agrawal, M. M. (1988). Sartre on pre-reflective consciousness. Journal of Indian Council of Philosophical Research (September-December) 121 (September-December):121-127.   (Google)
Anderson, Michael L. & Perlis, Donald R. (2005). The roots of self-awareness. Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 4 (3):297-333.   (Cited by 5 | Google | More links)
Abstract: In this paper we provide an account of the structural underpinnings of self-awareness. We offer both an abstract, logical account
Anscombe, G. E. M. (1975). The first person. In Samuel D. Guttenplan (ed.), Mind and Language. Oxford University Press.   (Cited by 61 | Google)
Balaban, Oded (1990). Subject and Consciousness: A Philosophical Inquiry Into Self-Consciousness. Rowman & Littlefield.   (Cited by 1 | Google)
Abstract: Title on spine: Subject & consciousness.
Bartlett, Edward T. (1988). Consciousness, self-consciousness, and sensory deprivation. Philosophy Research Archives 13:489-497.   (Google)
Bartlett, Edward T. (1983). The subjectlessness of self-consciousness. Philosophy Research Archives 9:675-682.   (Google)
Bayne, Tim & Pacherie, Elisabeth (forthcoming). Narrators and comparators: The architecture of agentive self-awareness. Synthese.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: This paper contrasts two approaches to agentive self-awareness: a high-level, narrative-based account, and a low-level comparator-based account. We argue that an agent’s narrative self-conception has a role to play in explaining their agentive judgments, but that agentive experiences are explained by low-level comparator mechanisms that are grounded in the very machinery responsible for action-production
Bealer, George (1997). Self-consciousness. Philosophical Review 106 (1):69-117.   (Cited by 11 | Google | More links)
Abstract: Self-consciousness constitutes an insurmountable obstacle to functionalism. Either the standard functional definitions of mental relations wrongly require the contents of self-consciousness to be propositions involving
Beckermann, Ansgar (2003). Self-consciousness in cognitive systems. Schriftenreihe-Wittgenstein Gesellschaft 31:174-188.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: Dualism, but he seems at least to have acknowledged the possibility that Descartes might be right on this issue, i.e., that the real self is a _res cogitans_. Maybe this is why talk of
Berm, (2003). 'I'- and explanation: Reply to Garrett. Philosophical Quarterly 53 (212):432-436.   (Google)
Bermudez, Jose Luis (2001). Nonconceptual self-consciousness and cognitive science. Synthese 129 (1):129-149.   (Cited by 4 | Google | More links)
Bermudez, Jose Luis (2000). Nonconceptual self-awareness and the paradox of self-consciousness. In Albert Newen & Kai Vogeley (eds.), Selbst und Gehirn. Menschliches Selbstbewusstsein und seine Neurobiologischen Grundlagen. Mentis.   (Google)
Bermudez, Jose Luis (1999). Precis of The Paradox of Self-Consciousness. Psycoloquy 10 (35).   (Cited by 13 | Google)
Bermudez, Jose Luis (1997). Reduction and the self. Journal of Consciousness Studies 4 (4-5):458-66.   (Cited by 3 | Google)
Berm, (2007). Self-consciousness. In Max Velmans & Susan Schneider (eds.), The Blackwell Companion to Consciousness. Blackwell.   (Google)
Bermudez, Jose Luis (2002). Sources of self-consciousness: Epistemic and genetic. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 102:87-107.   (Cited by 2 | Google | More links)
Bermudez, Jose Luis (1998). The Paradox of Self-Consciousness. MIT Press.   (Cited by 215 | Google | More links)
Bermudez, Jose Luis (2001). The sources of self-consciousness. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 102 (1):87-107.   (Cited by 2 | Google | More links)
Bickle, John (2003). Empirical evidence for a narrative concept of self. In Gary D. Fireman, T. E. McVay & Owen J. Flanagan (eds.), Narrative and Consciousness. Oxford University Press.   (Cited by 3 | Google | More links)
Breeur, Roland (2003). Consciousness and the self. International Journal of Philosophical Studies 11 (4):415-436.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: With his notion of absolute consciousness, Sartre tries to rethink the relation between consciousness and the self. What is the origin of subjectivity in relation to a consciousness that is characterized as impersonal and as a radical lucidity? In this article, I attempt to question that origin and the nature as such of the subject in its relation to a consciousness that in its essence is not yet subjective. On the contrary, it is characterized by a selfpresence that is so radical that it threatens every form of self-knowledge
Brewer, Bill (1992). Self-location and agency. Mind 101 (401):17-34.   (Cited by 13 | Google | More links)
Abstract: We perceive things in the external world as spatially located both with respect to each other and to ourselves, such that they are in principle accessible from where we seem to be. I hear the door bang behind me; I feel the pen on the desk over to my right; and I see you walking beneath the line of pictures, from left to right in front of me. By displaying these spatial relations between its objects and us, the perceivers, perception places us in the perceived world: our world and the world we perceive are one. Clearly this is not achieved by our continually perceiving ourselves along with the things around us, and thus recovering our position with respect to them. Indeed I shall argue that there are serious difficulties with the suggestion that this might be the basic mechanism for perceptual self- location. Furthermore, I shall argue that our existence as an element of the objective order cannot be inferred from the raw given in sense perception. Hence it cannot even be on the right lines as an answer to the question 'What is it for perception to represent its objects as environmental to the subject?', that it should present these objects, along with the perceiving subject himself, or along with something from which his existence in the perceived world could be deduced, in the very same frame so to speak. Nevertheless it yields him an awareness of himself as there in the wings of that scene, genuinely located with respect to the action, yet somehow not normally quite getting onto the stage. And I shall argue here, that perceptual contents succeed in being self-locating in this way in..
Brinkmann, Klaus (2005). Consciousness, self-consciousness, and the modern self. History of the Human Sciences 18 (4):27-48.   (Google)
Brinck, Ingar (1998). Self-identification and self-reference. Electronic Journal of Analytic Philosophy 6.   (Google)
Abstract: [1] To know who one is, and also know whether one's experiences really belong to oneself, do not normally present any problem. It nevertheless happens that people do not recognise themselves as they walk by a mirror or do not understand that they fit some particular description. But there are situations in which it really seems impossible to be wrong about oneself. Of that, Ludwig Wittgenstein once wrote:
It is possible that, say in an accident, I should feel pain in my arm, see a broken arm at
my side, and think it is mine, when really it is my neighbour's. And I could, looking into
a mirror, mistake a bump on his forehead for one on mine. On the other hand there is
no question of recognising a person when I say I have toothache.... it is as impossible
that in making the statement "I have toothache" I should have mistaken another
person for myself, as it is to moan with pain by mistake, having mistaken someone
else for me. (1958: 67)
In the passage in which this remark is found, Wittgenstein distinguishes between two kinds of use of "I". The first use, as object, as in "I have broken my arm" or "The wind is blowing in my hair", he holds, involves the recognition of a particular person, and there is the possibility of error as concerns the identity of the person. In the other use, as subject, as in "I think it will rain" or "I am trying to lift my arm", no person is recognised. No mistake can be made about who the subject is
Brook, Andrew (ms). Externalism and the varieties of self-awareness.   (Google)
Abstract: Externalism is the view that some crucial element in the content of our representational states is outside of not just the states whose content they are but even the person who has those states. If so, the contents of such states (and, many hold, the states themselves) do not supervene on anything local to the person whose has them. There are a number of different candidates for what that element is: function (Dretske), causal connection (Putnam, Kripke, Fodor), and social context (Davidson). (Burge has foot in both the causal connection and the social context camps and Dennett fits in here somewhere, too.) This diversity will turn out to be important. The paper starts with Dretske but gets to other varieties of
Brook, Andrew (2001). Kant, self-awareness, and self-reference. In Andrew Brook & R. DeVidi (eds.), Self-Reference and Self-Awareness. John Benjamins.   (Cited by 2 | Google)
Brook, Andrew & DeVidi, R. (eds.) (2001). Self-Reference and Self-Awareness. John Benjamins.   (Cited by 5 | Google | More links)
Bryant, Sophie (1897). Variety of extent, degree and unity in self-consciousness. Mind 6 (21):71-89.   (Google | More links)
Campbell, J. (1994). Past, Space, and Self. MIT Press.   (Cited by 129 | Google)
Abstract: In this book John Campbell shows that the general structural features of human thought can be seen as having their source in the distinctive ways in which we...
Campbell, J. (1995). The body image and self-consciousness. In Jose Luis Bermudez, Anthony J. Marcel & Naomi M. Eilan (eds.), The Body and the Self. MIT Press.   (Cited by 12 | Google | More links)
Abstract: in N. Eilan, A. Marcel and J. Bermudez (eds.), The Body and the Self (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press 1995), 29-42
Canfield, John V. (1990). The Looking-Glass Self: An Examination of Self-Awareness. Praeger.   (Cited by 1 | Google)
Carruthers, Glenn (forthcoming). A problem for Wegner and colleagues' model of the sense of agency. Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences.   (Google)
Abstract: The sense of agency, that is the sense that one is the agent of one’s bodily actions, is one component of our self-consciousness. Recently, Wegner and colleagues have developed a model of the causal history of this sense. Their model takes it that the sense of agency is elicited for an action when one infers that one or other of one’s mental states caused that action. In their terms, the sense of agency is elicited by the inference to apparent mental state causation. Here, I argue that this model is inconsistent with data from developmental psychology that suggests children can identify the agent behind an action without being capable of understanding the relationship between their intentions and actions. Furthermore, I argue that this model is inconsistent with the preserved sense of agency in autism. In general, the problem is that there are cases where subjects can experience themselves as the agent behind their actions despite lacking the resources to make the inference to apparent mental state causation
Carruthers, Glenn (2009). Commentary on Synofzik, Vosgerau and Newen. Consciousness and Cognition 18:515 - 520.   (Google)
Abstract: Synofzik, Vosgerau, and Newen (2008) offer a powerful explanation of the sense of agency. To argue for their model they attempt to show that one of the standard models (the comparator model) fails to explain the sense of agency and that their model offers a more general account than is aimed at by the standard model. Here I offer comment on both parts of this argument. I offer an alternative reading of some of the data they use to argue against the comparator model. I argue that contrary to Synofzik, Vosgerau and Newen’s reading the case of G.L. supports rather than contradicts the comparator model. Next I suggest how the comparator model can differentiate failures of action attribution in patients suffering parietal lobe lesions and delusions of alien control. I also argue that the apparently unexpected phenomenon of ‘‘hyperassociation” is predicted by the comparator model. Finally I suggest that as it stands Synofzik, Vosgerau and Newen’s model is not well specified enough to explain deficits in the sense of agency associated with delusions of thought insertion. Thus they have not met their second argumentative burden of showing how their model is more general than the comparator model.
Carruthers, Glenn (forthcoming). The case for the comparator model as an explanation of the sense of agency and its breakdowns. Consciousness and Cognition.   (Google)
Abstract: I compare Frith and colleagues’ influential comparator account of how the sense of agency is elicited to the multifactorial weighting model advocated by Synofzik and colleagues. I defend the comparator model from the common objection that the actual sensory consequences of action are not needed to elicit the sense of agency. I examine the comparator model’s ability to explain the performance of healthy subjects and those suffering from delusions of alien control on various self-attribution tasks. It transpires that the comparator model needs case-by-case adjustment to deal with problematic data. In response to this, the multifactorial weighting model of Synofzik and colleagues is introduced. Although this model is incomplete, it is more naturally constrained by the cases that are problematic for the comparator model. However, this model may be untestable. I conclude that currently the comparator model approach has stronger support than the multifactorial weighting model approach.
Castaneda, Hector-Neri (1966). 'He': A study in the logic of self-consciousness. Ratio 8 (December):130-57.   (Cited by 113 | Google)
Castaneda, Hector-Neri (1979). Philosophical method and direct awareness of the self. Grazer Philosophische Studien 8:1-58.   (Google)
Cassam, Quassim (1997). Self and World. Oxford University Press.   (Cited by 34 | Google | More links)
Abstract: Self and World is an exploration of the nature of self-awareness. Cassam rejects the widespread view that the self eludes introspection, and argues that consciousness of our thoughts and experiences involves a sense of our thinking, experiencing selves as shaped, solid, and located physical objects in a world of such objects. This clear, original, and challenging treatment of one of the deepest of intellectual problems will demand the attention of all philosophers and cognitive scientists who are concerned with the self
Castaneda, Hector-Neri (1989). The reflexivity of self-consciousness: Sameness/identity, data for artificial intelligence. Philosophical Topics 17 (1):27-58.   (Cited by 6 | Google)
Cassam, Quassim (1995). Transcendental Self-Consciousness. In P. Kumar (ed.), The Philosophy of P. F. Strawson. Indian Council for Philosophical Research.   (Google)
Chisholm, Roderick M. (1965). Notes on the awareness of the self. The Monist 49 (January):28-35.   (Google)
Chisholm, Roderick M. (1969). On the observability of the self. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 30 (September):7-21.   (Cited by 14 | Google | More links)
Christofidou, Andrea (2000). Self-consciousness and the double immunity. Philosophy 75 (294):539-570.   (Cited by 1 | Google | More links)
Abstract: It is accepted that first-person thoughts are immune to error through misidentification. I argue that there is also immunity to error through misascription, failure to recognise which has resulted in mistaken claims that first-person thoughts involving the self-ascription of bodily states are, at best, circumstantially immune to error through misidentification relative to
Church, Jennifer (1990). Judgment, self-consciousness, and object-independence. American Philosophical Quarterly 27 (1):51-60.   (Cited by 2 | Google)
Clark, Romane L. (1988). Self knowledge and self consciousness: Thoughts about oneself. Topoi 7 (March):47-55.   (Google | More links)
Carruthers, Glenn (2009). Commentary on Synofzik, Vosgerau and Newen 2008. Consciousness and Cognition 18 (2):515-520.   (Google)
Abstract: Synofzik, Vosgerau, and Newen (2008) offer a powerful explanation of the sense of agency. To argue for their model they attempt to show that one of the standard models (the comparator model) fails to explain the sense of agency and that their model offers a more general account than is aimed at by the standard model. Here I offer comment on both parts of this argument. I offer an alternative reading of some of the data they use to argue against the comparator model. I argue that contrary to Synofzik, Vosgerau and Newen’s reading the case of G.L. supports rather than contradicts the comparator model. Next I suggest how the comparator model can differentiate failures of action attribution in patients suffering parietal lobe lesions and delusions of alien control. I also argue that the apparently unexpected phenomenon of “hyperassociation” is predicted by the comparator model. Finally I suggest that as it stands Synofzik, Vosgerau and Newen’s model is not well specified enough to explain deficits in the sense of agency associated with delusions of thought insertion. Thus they have not met their second argumentative burden of showing how their model is more general than the comparator model.
Cunningham, G. Watts (1911). Self-consciousness and consciousness of self. Mind 20 (80):530-537.   (Google | More links)
Delius, Harald (1981). Self-Awareness: A Semantical Inquiry. Beck.   (Cited by 2 | Google)
Dennett, Daniel C. (1992). The self as a center of narrative gravity. In Frank S. Kessel, P. M. Cole & D. L. Johnson (eds.), [Book Chapter]. Lawrence Erlbaum.   (Cited by 41 | Google | More links)
Abstract: What is a self? I will try to answer this question by developing an analogy with something much simpler, something which is nowhere near as puzzling as a self, but has some properties in common with selves. What I have in mind is the center of gravity of an object. This is a well-behaved concept in Newtonian physics. But a center of gravity is not an atom or a subatomic particle or any other physical item in the world. It has no mass; it has no color; it has no physical properties at all, except for spatio-temporal location. It is a fine example of what Hans Reichenbach would call an abstractum. It is a purely abstract object. It is, if you like , a theorist's fiction. It is not one of the real things in the universe in addition to the atoms. But it is a fiction that has nicely defined, well delineated and well behaved role within physics
Dodd, James (2001). On Dan Zahavi's self-awareness and alterity. Graduate Faculty Philosophy Journal 23 (1):191-198.   (Google)
Dyck, Corey W. (2006). Empirical consciousness explained: Self-affection, (self-)consciousness and perception in the B deduction. Kantian Review 11 (1):29-54.   (Google)
Eilan, Naomi M. (1995). Consciousness and the self. In Jose Luis Bermudez, Anthony J. Marcel & Naomi M. Eilan (eds.), The Body and the Self. MIT Press.   (Cited by 10 | Google)
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Eilan, Naomi M. (ms). Self-location, consciousness, and attention.   (Google)
Abstract: ‘Like the shadow of one’s own head, [the referent of one’s ‘I’ thoughts] will not wait to be jumped on. And yet it is never very far ahead; indeed, sometimes it does not seem to be ahead of the pursuer at all. It evades capture by lodging itself in the very inside of the muscles of the pursuer. It is too near even to be within arm’s reach.’(C of M 177-89)
Ezcurdia, Maite (2001). Thinking about myself. In Andrew Brook & R. DeVidi (eds.), Self-Reference and Self-Awareness. John Benjamins.   (Cited by 1 | Google)
Falk, Arthur E. (1995). Consciousness and self-reference. Erkenntnis 43 (2):151-80.   (Cited by 2 | Google | More links)
Fasching, Wolfgang (2009). The mineness of experience. Continental Philosophy Review 42 (2):131-148.   (Google)
Abstract: In this paper I discuss the nature of the “I” (or “self”) and whether it is presupposed by the very existence of conscious experiences (as that which “has” them) or whether it is, instead, in some way constituted by them. I argue for the former view and try to show that the very nature of experience implies a non-constituted synchronic and diachronic transcendence of the experiencing “I” with regard to its experiences, an “I” which defies any objective characterization. Finally I suggest that the self, though irreducible to inter-experiential relations, is not a “separately existing entity”, but should be conceived of as a dimension , namely the dimension of first-personal manifestation of the experiences
Frank, Manfred (2002). Self-consciousness and self-knowledge: On some difficulties with the reduction of subjectivity. Constellations 9 (3):390-408.   (Google | More links)
Frith, U. & Happe, F. (1999). Theory of mind and self-consciousness: What is it like to be autistic? Mind and Language 14 (1):1-22.   (Cited by 59 | Google | More links)
Gallagher, Shaun (2000). Self-reference and schizophrenia: A cognitive model of immunity to error through misidentification. In Dan Zahavi (ed.), Exploring the Self: Philosophical and Psychopathological Perspectives on Self-Experience. John Benjamins.   (Cited by 35 | Google)
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Abstract: Recent studies in developmental psychology have found evidence to suggest that there exists an innate system that accounts for the possibilities of early infant imitation and the existence of phantom limbs in cases of congenital absence of limbs. These results challenge traditional assumptions about the status and development of the body schema and body image, and about the nature of the translation process between perceptual experience and motor ability
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Gallagher, Shaun (2000). Ways of knowing the self and the other. Theoria Et Historia Scientiarum 7 (1).   (Cited by 2 | Google)
Abstract: Gallagher, S. 2000. Ways of Knowing the Self and the Other. An Introduction to Ipseity and Alterity, a special issue of the online journal _Arobase: Journal des lettres et sciences humaines,_ 4 (1-2). Hardcopy publication: S. Gallagher and S. Watson. (in press). _Ipseity and Alterity: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Intersubjectivity_ . Rouen: Presses Universitaires de
Garrett, Brian J. (2003). Bermudez on self-consciousness. Philosophical Quarterly 53 (210):96-101.   (Cited by 1 | Google | More links)
Gennaro, Rocco J. (1996). Consciousness and Self-Consciousness: A Defense of the Higher-Order Thought Theory of Consciousness. John Benjamins.   (Cited by 51 | Google | More links)
Abstract: This interdisciplinary work contains the most sustained attempt at developing and defending one of the few genuine theories of consciousness.
Gennaro, Rocco J. (1992). Consciousness, self-consciousness, and episodic memory. Philosophical Psychology 5 (4):333-47.   (Cited by 4 | Annotation | Google)
Abstract: My aim in this paper is to show that consciousness entails self-consciousness by focusing on the relationship between consciousness and memory. More specifically, I addreess the following questions: (1) does consciousness require episodic memory?; and (2) does episodic memory require self-consciousness? With the aid of some Kantian considerations and recent empirical data, it is argued that consciousness does require episodic memory. This is done after defining episodic memory and distinguishing it from other types of memory. An affirmative answer to (2) is also warranted especially in the light of the issues raised in answering (1). I claim that 'consciousness entails self-consciousness' is thereby shown via the route through episodic memory, i.e. via affirmative answers to (1) and (2). My aim is to revive this Kantian thesis and to bring together current psychological research on amnesia with traditional philosophical perspectives on consciousness and memory
Gennaro, Rocco J. (1999). Leibniz on consciousness and self-consciousness. In Chalres Huenemann & Rocco J. Gennaro (eds.), New Essays on the Rationalists. Oxford University Press.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: In the absence of any plausible reductionist account of consciousness in nonmentalistic terms, the HOT theory says that the best explanation for what makes a mental state conscious is that it is accompanied by a thought (or awareness) that one is in that state.[i] The sense of
Gomes, Gilberto (1995). Self-awareness and the mind-brain problem. Philosophical Psychology 8 (2):155-65.   (Cited by 10 | Google)
Abstract: The prima facie heterogeneity between psychical and physical phenomena seems to be a serious objection to psychoneural identity thesis, according to many authors, from Leibniz to Popper. It is argued that this objection can be superseded by a different conception of consciousness. Consciousness, while being conscious of something, is always unconscious of itself . Consciousness of being conscious is not immediate, it involves another, second-order, conscious state. The appearance of mental states to second-order consciousness does not reveal their true nature. Psychoneural identity can thus be considered a valid hypothesis. Related views of Kant, Freud, Shaffer, Bunge and others are considered. “Naive psychical realism” is criticised. Consciousness of mental events is considered as the result of the action of a cerebral system that observes the neural events hypothetically identical to mental events. The theory combines a materialist view with a due consideration of subjective experience
Graham, George (online). Self-consciousness, psychopathology, and realism about self.   (Cited by 3 | Google | More links)
Gruenbaum, Thor & Zahavi, Dan (2004). The ambiguity of self-consciousness: A preface. In Thor Gruenbaum, Dan Zahavi & Josef Parnas (eds.), The Structure and Development of Self-Consciousness: Interdisciplinary Perspectives. Amsterdam: J Benjamins.   (Google)
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Hobson, Allan (2005). Finally some one: Reflections on Thomas Metzinger's Being No One. Psyche 11 (5).   (Google | More links)
Abstract: I praise Metzinger's book _On Being No One_ by calling my essay "Finally Some One" meaning that I am pleased to see a first rate philosopher so carefully reading the neurobiological literature. Especially as it pertains to sleep and dreaming. Metzinger is comprehensive and comprehending. By studying the neurobiological substrates of normal dreaming, lucid dreaming and related altered states of consciousness (such as out of body experiences, hypnosis, and deja' vu), we may gain insight into the general rules governing brain activity in relation to subjective experience
Hogan, Melinda & Martin, R. (2001). Introspective misidentification: An I for an I. In Andrew Brook & R. DeVidi (eds.), Self-Reference and Self-Awareness. John Benjamins.   (Google)
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Hurley, Susan L. (1998). Self-consciousness, spontaneity, and the myth of the giving. In Consciousness in Action. Cambridge.   (Google)
Abstract: From my Consciousness in Action, ch. 2; see Consciousness in Action for bibligraphy. This chapter revises material from "Kant on Spontaneity and the Myth of the Giving", Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, 1993-94, pp. 137-164, and "Myth Upon Myth", Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, 1996, vol. 96, pp. 253-260
Carruthers, Glenn (2009). Is the body schema sufficient for the sense of embodiment? An alternative to de Vignmont's model. Philosophical Psychology 22 (2):123-142.   (Google)
Abstract: De Vignemont argues that the sense of ownership comes from the localization of bodily sensation on a map of the body that is part of the body schema. This model should be taken as a model of the sense of embodiment. I argue that the body schema lacks the theoretical resources needed to explain this phenomenology. Furthermore, there is some reason to think that a deficient sense of embodiment is not associated with a deficient body schema. The data de Vignemont uses to argue that the body image does not underlie the sense of embodiment does not rule out the possibility that part of the body image I call 'offline representations' underlies the sense of embodiment. An alternative model of the sense of embodiment in terms of offline representations of the body is presented.
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Janzen, Greg (2005). Self-consciousness and phenomenal character. Dialogue 44 (4):707-733.   (Cited by 2 | Google)
Abstract: This article defends two theses: that a mental state is conscious if and only if it has phenomenal character, i.e., if and only if there is something it is like for the subject to be in that state, and that all state consciousness involves selfconsciousness, in the sense that a mental state is conscious if and only if its possessor is, in some suitable way, conscious of being in it. Though neither of these theses is novel, there is a dearth of direct arguments for them in the scholarly literature and the relationship between them has so far gone underrecognized. This article attempts to remedy this lack, advancing the claim that if all conscious states have phenomenal character, then all state consciousness involves self-consciousness.Cet article soutient deux th
Kapitan, Tomis (2006). Indexicality and self-awareness. In Uriah Kriegel & Kenneth Williford (eds.), Self-Representational Approaches to Consciousness. MIT Press.   (Google)
Abstract: Self-awareness is commonly expressed by means of indexical expressions, primarily, first- person pronouns like
Kapitan, Tomis (1999). The ubiquity of self-awareness. Grazer Philosophische Studien 57:17-44.   (Cited by 6 | Google)
Abstract: Two claims have been prominent in recent discussions of self-consciousness. One is that first-person reference or first-person thinking is irreducible (the Irreducibility Thesis), and the other is that an awareness of self accompanies all conscious states, at least those through which one refers to something. The latter--here termed the Ubiquity Thesis--has long been associated with philosophers like Fichte, Brentano, and Sartre, though each articulated his own version of the claim. More recently, variants have been defended by Dieter Henrich (1970) and Manfred Frank (1991, 1995a, 1995b). In Frank's words
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Abstract: In recent philosophy of mind, it is often assumed that consciousness and self-consciousness are two separate phenomena. In this paper, I argue that this is not quite right. The argument proceeds in two phases. First, I draw a distinction between (i) being self-conscious of a thought that p and (ii) self-consciously thinking that p. I call the former transitive self-consciousness and the latter intransitive self-consciousness. I then argue that consciousness does depend on intransitive self-consciousness, and that the common reasons for denying the dependence of consciousness upon self-consciousness apply only to transitive self-consciousness
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Abstract: Different points of Metzinger's position makes it a peculiar form of representationalism: (1) his distinction between intentional and phenomenal content, in relation to the internalism/externalism divide; (2) the notion of transparency defined at a phenomenal and not epistemic level, together with (3) the felt inwardness of experience. The distinction between reflexive and pre-reflexive phenomenal internality will allow me to reconsider Metzinger's theory of the self and to propose an alternative conception that I will describe both at an epistemic and a phenomenal level
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Abstract: I set out to trace the history of a distinctive conception of self-consciousness -- from its first formulation in the 3rd century BC, through its reception among Roman philosophers around the 1st century AD, and finally to its fate in Enlightenment thought of the 18th century. I use this history to clarify and defend an idea that figured centrally in the history of philosophy, but which has recently come under sustained attack: the idea that human beings are in some very fundamental way self- conscious beings, and that our self-consciousness serves as a kind of foundation or transcendental condition for our other cognitive capacities. Obviously, given the scale of these ambitions, the presentation here should be considered at best a sketch. It is intended not to settle any matters, but at least to bring back into view a line of argument that has been covered over by more recent developments
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Abstract: This paper takes an evolutionary approach to what we are, namely autopoietic systems with a first person perspective on our surroundings and ourselves. This in contrast with Thomas Metzinger
Meijsing, Monica (2000). Self-consciousness and the body. Journal Of Consciousness Studies 7 (6):34-50.   (Cited by 10 | Google | More links)
Abstract: Traditionally, what we are conscious of in self-consciousness is something non-corporeal. But anti-Cartesian philosophers argue that the self is as much corporeal as it is mental. Because we have the sense of proprioception, a kind of body awareness, we are immediately aware of ourselves as bodies in physical space. In this debate the case histories of patients who have lost their sense of proprioception are clearly relevant. These patients do retain an awareness of themselves as corporeal beings, although they hardly feel their bodies (they have normal sensation in the head, but from the neck downwards only sensations of pain and temperature, and of fatigue and deep touch). They can initiate movements, and with the help of visual feedback learn to control them. It is shown that the traditional view of the self as immaterial is not supported by these cases. But the argument against this view has to be amended. It relies too much on bodily sensations, and misses the importance of active self-movement
Menant, Christophe (ms). Evolution and mirror neurons. An introduction to the nature of self-consciousness (2005).   (Google | More links)
Abstract: Self-consciousness is a product of evolution. Few people today disagree with the evolutionary history of humans. But the nature of self-consciousness is still to be explained, and the story of evolution has rarely been used as a framework for studies on consciousness during the 20th century. This last point may be due to the fact that modern study of consciousness came up at a time where dominant philosophical movements were not in favor of evolutionist theories (Cunningham 1996). Research on consciousness based on Phenomenology or on Analytic Philosophy has been mostly taking the characteristics of humans as starting points. Relatively little has been done with bottom-up approaches, using performances of animals as a simpler starting point to understand the generation of consciousness through evolution. But this status may be changing, thanks to new tools coming from recent discoveries in neurology. The discovery of mirror neurons about ten years ago (Gallese et al. 1996, Rizzolatti et al. 1996) has allowed the built up of new conceptual tools for the understanding of intersubjectivity within humans and non human primates (Gallese 2001, Hurley 2005). Studies in these fields are still in progress, with discussions on the level of applicability of this natural intersubjectivity to non human primates (Decety and Chaminade 2003). We think that these subject/conspecific mental relations made possible by mirror neurons can open new paths for the understanding of the nature of self-consciousness via an evolutionist bottom-up approach. We propose here a scenario for the build up of self-consciousness through evolution by a specific analysis of two steps of evolution: first step from simple living elements to non human primates comparable to chimpanzees, and second step from these non human primates to humans. We identify these two steps as representing the evolution from basic animal awareness to body self-awareness, and from body self-awareness to self-consciousness. (we consider that today non human primates are comparable to what were pre-human primates). We position body self-awareness as corresponding to the performance of mirror self recognition as identified with chimpanzees and orangutans (Gallup). We propose to detail and understand the content of this body self-awareness through a specific evolutionist build up process using the performances of mirror neurons and group life. We address the evolutionary step from body self-awareness to self-consciousness by complementing the recently proposed approach where self-consciousness is presented as a by-product of body self-awareness amplification via a positive feedback loop resulting of anxiety limitation (Menant 2004). The scenario introduced here for the build up of self-consciousness through evolution leaves open the question about the nature of phenomenal-consciousness (Block 2002). We plan to address this question later on with the help of the scenario made available here
Menant, Christophe, Evolution of representations and intersubjectivity as sources of the self. An introduction to the nature of self-consciousness (2006).   (Google)
Abstract: It is agreed by most people that self-consciousness is the result of an evolutionary process, and that representations may have played an important role in that process. We would like to propose here that some evolutionary stages can highlight links existing between representations and the notion of self, opening a possible path to the nature of self-consciousness. Our starting point is to focus on representations as usage oriented items for the subject that carries them. These representations are about elements of the environment including conspecifics, and can also represent parts of the subject without refering to a notion of self (we introduce the notion of "auto-representation" that does not carry the notion of self-representation). Next step uses the performance of intersubjectivity (mirror neurons level in evolution) where a subject has the capability to mentally simulate the observed action of a conspecific (Gallese 2001). We propose that this intersubjectivity allows the subject to identify his auto-representation with the representations of his conspecifics, and so to consider his auto-representation as existing in the environment. We show how this evolutionary stage can introduce a notion of self-representation for a subject, opening a road to self-conciousness and to self. This evolutionary approach to the self via self- representation is close to the current theory of the self linked to representations and simulations (Metzinger 2003). We use a scenario about how evolution has brought the performance of self-representation to self-consciousness. We develop a process describing how the anxiety increase resulting from identification with endangered or suffering conspecifics may have called for the development of tools to limit this anxiety (empathy, imitation, language), and how these tools have accelerated the evolutionary process through a positive feedback on intersubjectivity (Menant 2004, 2005). We finish by summarizing the points addressed, and propose some possible continuations
Menant, Christophe (ms). Evolution of representations. From basic life to self-representation and self-consciousness (2006).   (Google | More links)
Abstract: The notion of representation is at the foundation of cognitive sciences and is used in theories of mind and consciousness. Other notions like ‘embodiment’, 'intentionality‘, 'guidance theory' or ‘biosemantics’ have been associated to the notion of representation to introduce its functional aspect. We would like to propose here that a conception of 'usage related' representation eases its positioning in an evolutionary context, and opens new areas of investigation toward self-representation and self-consciousness. The subject is presented in five parts:Following an overall presentation, the first part introduces a usage related representation as being an information managed by a system submitted to a constraint that has to be satisfied. We consider that such a system can generate a meaningful information by comparing its constraint to a received information (Menant 2003). We define a representation as being made of the received information and of the meaningful information. Such approach allows groundings in and out for the representation relatively to the system. The second part introduces the two types of representations we want to focus on for living organisms: representations of conspecifics and auto-representation, the latter being defined without using a notion of self-representation. Both types of representations have existed for our pre-human ancestors which can be compared to today great apes.In the third part, we use the performance of intersubjectivity as identified in group life with the presence of mirror neurons in the organisms. Mirror neurons have been discovered in the 90‘s (Rizzolatti & al.1996, Gallese & al.1996). The level of intersubjectivity that can be attributed to non human primates as related to mirror neurons is currently a subject of debate (Decety 2003). We consider that a limited intersubjectivity between pre-human primates made possible a merger of both types of representations. The fourth part proposes that such a merger of representations feeds the auto-representation with the meanings associated to the representations of conspecifics, namely the meanings associated to an entity perceived as existing in the environment. We propose that auto-representation carrying these new meanings makes up the first elements of self-representation. Intersubjectivity has allowed auto-representation to evolve into self-representation, avoiding the homunculus risk. The fifth part is a continuation to other presentations (Menant 2004, 2005) about possible evolution of self-representation into self-consciousness. We propose that identification with suffering or endangered conspecifics has increased anxiety, and that the tools used to limit this anxiety (development of empathy, imitation, language and group life) have provided a positive feedback on intersubjectivity and created an evolutionary engine for the organism. Other outcomes have also been possible. Such approach roots consciousness in emotions. The evolutionary scenario proposed here does not introduce explicitly the question of phenomenal consciousness (Block 1995). This question is to be addressed later with the help of this scenario.The conclusion lists the points introduced here with their possible continuations
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Abstract: " In Being No One, Metzinger, a German philosopher, draws strongly on neuroscientific research to present a representationalist and functional analysis of...
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Metzinger, Thomas (2005). Precis: Being No-One. Psyche 11 (5).   (Google)
Abstract: This is a short sketch of some central ideas developed in my recent book _Being No One_ (BNO hereafter). A more systematic summary, which focuses on short answers to a set of specific, individual questions is already contained _in _the book, namely as BNO section 8.2. Here, I deliberately and completely exclude all work related to semantically differentiating and empirically constraining the philosophical concept of a "quale" (mostly Chapter 2, 3 & 8), all proposals regarding conceptual foundations for the overall theory (2 & 5), all of the neurophenomenological case-studies used to test and refine it (4 & 7), and all remarks of a more general or methodological character (1 & 8). In particular, the present Pr
Metzinger, Thomas (2006). Reply to ghin: Self-sustainment on the level of global availability. Psyche 12 (4).   (Google)
Abstract: Of all the current philosophical attempts to rescue the concept of “self” by working out a weaker version, one that does not imply an ontological substance or an individual in the metaphysical sense, Marcello Ghin’s is clearly my favorite. His reconstruction of the original theory is absolutely accurate and without any major misunderstandings. Enriching the concept of a “SMT-system” with the notions of “autocatalysis” and “self- sustainment,” and adding the intriguing idea that we are systems reflecting these processes on a new level of complexity, namely with the help of an integrated PSM on the level of conscious experience, seems the way to go if one wants to keep the concept of “self.” I have great difficulties in writing a reply to Ghin’s commentary, simply because I agree with so much in it. Let us see where his approach leads us
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Abstract: This is a brief and accessible English summary of the "Self-model Theory of Subjectivity" (SMT), which is only available as German book in this archive. It introduces two new theoretical entities, the "phenomenal self-model" (PSM) and the "phenomenal model of the intentionality-relation" PMIR. A representationalist analysis of the phenomenal first-person persepctive is offered. This is a revised version, including two pictures
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Abstract: I thank Tsakiris and Fotopoulou for their insightful commentary on my target article. In particular I welcome the opportunity to revisit how the online/offline representation of the body distinction is drawn. Tsakiris and Fotopoulou raise three major points of concern with my model. First they argue that the sense of embodiment is not sufficient for self recognition. Second they show that the relationship between online and offline representations of the body cannot be the simple ‘serial construction’ relationship I advocate in the target article. Third they claim that my model makes a false prediction. I agree with the first two lines of criticism. As to the first I will clarify and tone down the claims made about the role of the sense of embodiment in self recognition tasks. However, I will argue that the sense of embodiment is measured in van den Bos and Jeannerod’s study. I strongly welcome the second line of criticism Tsakiris and Fotopoulou offer. I will add some reasons to agree that the ‘serial construction’ account of the relationship between online and offline representations cannot be true. I maintain, however, that this does not affect the central thesis of target article, namely that it is an offline representation of the body that underlies the sense of embodiment. Finally, I will defend the model by arguing that it does not make the false prediction Tsakiris and Fotopoulou attribute to it.
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Abstract: This paper argues that there are two compelling intuitions about conscious experience, the absorption intuition and the ubiquity intuition. The former is the claim that conscious experience consists in intentional absorption in its objects; the latter is the claim that conscious experience ubiquitously exhibits a sense that the mental subject is conscious that she is so conscious. These two intuitions are in tension with each other and it seems no single theory of consciousness can respect both. Drawing on the early work of Sartre, particularly in The Transcendence of the Ego, I argue that an adverbial theory of consciousness comes closest to doing so: it explains the first intuition and respects the phenomenon that the second intuition is supposed to capture. It emerges, therefore, as the theory of consciousness that is the most explanatory overall. The argument of this paper proceeds as follows. The first section describes the distinctive features of an adverbial approach to consciousness. The second describes the first intuition that conscious experience is typically absorbed in the objects of conscious thought whereas the third describes the intuition that our conscious experience is ubiquitously self- aware. I then turn to an examination to a range of views, influenced by Brentano, that try to reconcile these intuitions and argue that none of them succeed. I conclude with a description of how an adverbialism influenced by Sartre
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Abstract: The sense of embodiment is vital for self recognition. An examination of anosognosia for hemiplegia—the inability to recognise that one is paralysed down one side of one’s body—suggests the existence of ‘online’ and ‘offline’ representations of the body. Online representations of the body are representations of the body as it is currently, are newly constructed moment by moment and are directly “plugged into” current perception of the body. In contrast, offline representations of the body are representations of what the body is usually like, are relatively stable and are constructed from online representations. This distinction is supported by an analysis of phantom limb—the feeling that an amputated limb is still present—phenomena. Initially it seems that the sense of embodiment may arise from either of these types of representation; however, an integrated representation of the body seems to be required. It is suggested information from vision and emotions is involved in generating these representations. A lack of access to online representations of the body does not necessarily lead to a loss in the sense of embodiment. An integrated offline representation of the body could account for the sense of embodiment and perform the functions attributed to this sense.
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