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  1. The evolved self has agency, purpose, and unity.J. H. van Hateren - manuscript
    Recently developed extensions of evolutionary theory are used to explain the human self as an evolved, unitary, and purposeful phenomenon. A basic mechanism that can generate life's agency and goal-directedness is combined with mechanisms that can account for awareness by and of the self, and for the social characteristics of humans. The new theory is largely consistent with major existing theories of the self, in particular theories centred on self-esteem, self-determination theory, and terror management theory. It can therefore be regarded (...)
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  2. The Illusion of the Enduring Self.Katalin Balog - forthcoming - In Martine Nida-Rümelin & Julien Bugnon (eds.), The Phenomenology of Self-Awareness and the Nature of Conscious Subjects. Routledge.
    This paper is primarily about metaphysics; specifically, about a Cartesian view of the self, according to which it is a simple, enduring, non-material entity.I take a critical look at Nida-Rümelin’s novel conceptual arguments for this view and argue that they don’t give us decisive reasons to uphold the Cartesian view. But in Nida-Rümelin’s view, what is at stake in these arguments is not merely theoretical: the truth – and our beliefs about it – has practical consequences as well. In her (...)
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  3. Reasons and Conscious Persons.Christian Coseru - forthcoming - In Andrea Sauchelli (ed.), Derek Parfit’s Reasons and Persons: An Introduction and Critical Inquiry. London: Routledge. pp. 160-186.
    What justifies holding the person that we are today morally responsible for something we did a year ago? And why are we justified in showing prudential concern for the future welfare of the person we will be a year from now? These questions cannot be systematically pursued without addressing the problem of personal identity. This essay considers whether Buddhist Reductionism, a philosophical project grounded on the idea that persons reduce to a set of bodily, sensory, perceptual, dispositional, and conscious elements, (...)
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  4. Introspective Acquaintance: An Integration Account.Anna Giustina - forthcoming - European Journal of Philosophy.
    In this paper, I develop a new version of the acquaintance view of the nature of introspection of phenomenal states. On the acquaintance view, when one introspects a current phenomenal state of one’s, one bears to it the relation of introspective acquaintance. Extant versions of the acquaintance view neglect what I call the phenomenal modification problem. The problem, articulated by Franz Brentano in his Psychology from an Empirical Standpoint, is that drawing introspective attention to one’s current conscious experience may modify (...)
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  5. The Three Circles of Consciousness.Uriah Kriegel - forthcoming - In M. Guillot & M. Garcia-Carpintero (eds.), Self-Experience: Essays on Inner Awareness. Oxford University Press.
    A widespread assumption in current philosophy of mind is that a conscious state’s phenomenal properties vary with its representational contents. In this paper, I present (rather dogmatically) an alternative picture that recognizes two kinds of phenomenal properties that do not vary concomitantly with content. First, it admits phenomenal properties that vary rather with attitude: what it is like for me to see rain is phenomenally different from what it is like for me to remember (indistinguishable) rain, which is different again (...)
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  6. What is Inner Awareness?Uriah Kriegel - forthcoming - In Davide Bordini, Arnaud Dewalque & Anna Giustina (eds.), Consciousness and Inner Awareness. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    According to some views of consciousness, when I experience the taste of mango, I also have an inner awareness of that mango-taste experience. What is this inner awareness? A common way to characterize a mental state is in terms of its content and attitude. This is what I propose to do in this paper. The characterization of inner awareness I will propose is intended to help address certain difficulties regarding the similarity and dissimilarity between inner awareness and sense perception, as (...)
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  7. Consciousness, content, and cognitive attenuation: A neurophenomenological perspective.Christian Coseru - 2022 - In Rick Repetti (ed.), Routledge Handbook on the Philosophy of Meditation. New York, NY, USA: pp. 354–367.
    This paper pursues two lines of inquiry. First, drawing on evidence from clinical literature on borderline states of consciousness, I propose a new categorical framework for liminal states of consciousness associated with certain forms of meditative attainment; second, I argue for dissociating phenomenal character from phenomenal content in accounting for the etiology of nonconceptual states of awareness. My central argument is that while the idea of nonconceptual awareness remains problematic for Buddhist philosophy of mind, our linguistic and categorizing practices cannot (...)
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  8. Naïve Realism and Minimal Self.Daniel S. H. Kim - 2022 - Phenomenology and Mind 22:150-159.
    This paper defends the idea that phenomenological approaches to self-consciousness can enrich the current analytic philosophy of perception, by showing how phenomenological discussions of minimal self-consciousness can enhance our understanding of the phenomenology of conscious perceptual experiences. As a case study, I investigate the nature of the relationship between naïve realism, a contemporary Anglophone theory of perception, and experiential minimalism, a pre-reflective model of self-consciousness originated in the Phenomenological tradition. I argue that naïve realism is not only compatible with, but (...)
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  9. The Mind’s Presence to Itself: In Search of Non‐intentional Awareness.Jonathan Mitchell - 2022 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 104 (3):659-675.
    According to some philosophers, the mind enjoys a form of presence to itself. That is to say, in addition to being aware of whatever objects it is aware of, it is also (co-presently) aware of itself. This paper explores the proposal that we should think about this kind of experiential-presence in terms of a form of non-intentional awareness. Various candidates for the relevant form of awareness, as constituting supposed non-intentional experiential-presence, are considered and are shown to encounter significant problems. The (...)
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  10. Beyond the Minimal Self.Di Huang - 2021 - Philosophy Today 65 (3):691-708.
    This article reconstructs Sartre’s theory of selfhood against the background of the contemporary debate between minimal-self theories and narrative-self theories. I argue that Sartre’s theory incorporates both an emphasis on the singular first-person perspective, which is characteristic of minimal-self theories, and an emphasis on the practical intelligibility of experience, which is characteristic of narrative-self theories. The distinctiveness of the Sartrean combination of these motifs consists in its idea of the necessary ideal-relatedness of consciousness. According to Sartre, the logical structure of (...)
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  11. Self-Locating Content in Visual Experience and the "Here-Replacement" Account.Jonathan Mitchell - 2021 - Journal of Philosophy 118 (4):188-213.
    According to the Self-Location Thesis, certain types of visual experiences have self-locating and so first-person, spatial contents. Such self-locating contents are typically specified in relational egocentric terms. So understood, visual experiences provide support for the claim that there is a kind of self-consciousness found in experiential states. This paper critically examines the Self-Location Thesis with respect to dynamic-reflexive visual experiences, which involve the movement of an object toward the location of the perceiving subject. The main aim of this paper is (...)
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  12. Radical disruptions of self-consciousness.Raphael Milliere & Thomas Metzinger - 2020 - Philosophy and the Mind Sciences 1 (I):1-13.
    This special issue is about something most of us might find very hard to conceive: states of consciousness in which self-consciousness is radically disrupted or altogether missing.
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  13. Presence of Mind: Consciousness and the Sense of Self.Christian Coseru - 2019 - In Manidipa Sen (ed.), Problem of the Self: Consciousness, Subjectivity, and the Other. New Delhi, India: Aatar Books. pp. 46–64.
    It is generally agreed that consciousness is a somewhat slippery term. However, more narrowly defined as 'phenomenal consciousness' it captures at least three essential features or aspects: subjective experience (the notion that what we are primarily conscious of are experiences), subjective knowledge (that feature of our awareness that gives consciousness its distinctive reflexive character), and phenomenal contrast (the phenomenality of awareness, absence of which makes consciousness intractable) (cf. Siewert 1998). If Buddhist accounts of consciousness are built, as it is claimed, (...)
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  14. Varieties of Self-Apprehension.Anna Giustina - 2019 - In Marc Borner, Manfred Frank & Kenneth Williford (eds.), Senses of Self: Approaches to Pre-Reflective Self-Awareness. pp. 186-220.
    The Brentanian idea that every state of consciousness involves a consciousness or awareness of itself (Brentano 1874), which has been a central tenet of the phenomenological school, is a current topic in contemporary philosophical debates about consciousness and subjectivity, both in the continental and the analytic tradition. Typically, the self-awareness that accompanies every state of consciousness is characterized as pre-reflective. Most theorists of pre-reflective self-awareness seem to converge on a negative characterization: pre-reflective self-awareness is not a kind of reflective awareness. (...)
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  15. Cogitor Ergo Sum: The Origin of Self-awareness in Dyadic Interaction.Stephen Langfur - 2019 - Human Studies 42 (3):425-450.
    When I see a mountain to be far away, there is non-reflective awareness of myself as that from which distance is measured. Likewise, there is self-awareness when I see a tree as offering shade or a hiding place. In such cases, how can the self I am aware of be the same as I who am aware of it? Can the perceived be its perceiver? Mobilizing infancy research, I offer the following thesis as to how one can be aware of (...)
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  16. Are There Degrees of Self-Consciousness?Raphaël Millière - 2019 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 26 (3-4):252-282.
    It is widely assumed that ordinary conscious experience involves some form of sense of self or consciousness of oneself. Moreover, this claim is often restricted to a ‘thin’ or ‘minimal’ notion of self-consciousness, or even ‘the simplest form of self-consciousness’, as opposed to more sophisticated forms of self-consciousness which are not deemed ubiquitous in ordinary experience. These formulations suggest that self-consciousness comes in degrees, and that individual subjects may differ with respect to the degree of self-consciousness they exhibit at a (...)
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  17. Breaking Out of One’s Head (& Awakening to the World).Gregory Nixon - 2019 - In Alex S. Kohav (ed.), Mysticism and Meaning: : Multidisciplinary Perspectives. St. Petersburg, FL: Three Pines Press. pp. 29-57.
    Herein, I review the shattering moment in my life when I awoke from the dream of self to find being as part of the living world and not in my head, discovering my perspectival center to be literally everywhere. Since awakening to the world takes one beyond thought and language thus also beyond the symbolic construction of time, it is strange to place this event and its aftermath as happening long ago in my life. It is forever present. This fact (...)
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  18. Is consciousness reflexively self‐aware? A Buddhist analysis.Bronwyn Finnigan - 2018 - Ratio 31 (4):389-401.
    This article examines contemporary Buddhist defences of the idea that consciousness is reflexively aware or self-aware. Call this the Self-Awareness Thesis. A version of this thesis was historically defended by Dignāga but rejected by Prāsaṅgika Mādhyamika Buddhists. Prāsaṅgikas historically advanced four main arguments against this thesis. In this paper I consider whether some contemporary defence of the Self-Awareness Thesis can withstand these Prāsaṅgika objections. A problem is that contemporary defenders of the Self-Awareness Thesis have subtly different accounts with different assessment (...)
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  19. Representation and the figure of the observer.Vitor Silva Tschoepke - 2018 - Journal of Consciousness Exploration & Research 9 (8):722-738.
    The theoretical use of representation faces, among others, two types of inconsistencies, namely: a representation requires the figure of the agent to which it will be representative, which leads either to circularity or to infinite return; and the resulting one, which is the difficulty in reconciling a description, in representative terms, with other more fundamental scientific categories. The proposal of the present study for the solution of these problems was the identification of a referential process starting from the correlation between (...)
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  20. Against deflation of the subject.Nesic Janko - 2017 - Filozofija I Društvo 28 (4):1102-1121.
    I will argue that accounts of mineness and pre-reflective self-awareness can be helpful to panpsychists in solving the combination problems. A common strategy in answering the subject combination problem in panpsychism is to deflate the subject, eliminating or reducing subjects to experience. Many modern panpsychist theories are deflationist or endorse deflationist accounts of subjects, such as Parfit’s reductionism of personal identity and G. Strawson’s identity view. To see if there can be deflation we need to understand what the subject/self is. (...)
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  21. De Se Beliefs, Self-Ascription, and Primitiveness.Florian L. Wüstholz - 2017 - Disputatio 9 (46):401-422.
    De se beliefs typically pose a problem for propositional theories of content. The Property Theory of content tries to overcome the problem of de se beliefs by taking properties to be the objects of our beliefs. I argue that the concept of self-ascription plays a crucial role in the Property Theory while being virtually unexplained. I then offer different possibilities of illuminating that concept and argue that the most common ones are either circular, question-begging, or epistemically problematic. Finally, I argue (...)
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  22. Perception, Causally Efficacious Particulars, and the Range of Phenomenal Consciousness: Reply to Commentaries.Christian Coseru - 2015 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 22 (9-10):55-82.
    This paper responds to critical commentaries on my book, Perceiving Reality (OUP, 2012), by Laura Guerrero, Matthew MacKenzie, and Anand Vaidya. Guerrero focuses on the metaphysics of causation, and its role in the broader question of whether the ‘two truths’ framework of Buddhist philosophy can be reconciled with the claim that science provides the best account of our experienced world. MacKenzie pursues two related questions: (i) Is reflexive awareness (svasaṃvedana) identical with the subjective pole of a dual-aspect cognition or are (...)
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  23. The 'of' of intentionality and the 'of' of acquaintance.Rocco J. Gennaro - 2015 - In S. Miguens, G. Preyer & C. Morando (eds.), Pre-Reflective Consciousness: Sartre and Contemporary Philosophy of Mind. Routledge. pp. 317-341.
    I first provide some background on Sartre’s theory of consciousness and prereflective self-awareness, especially with respect to how it might be favorably compared to my own version of HOT theory. I then critically examine a few initial attempts to understand the ‘acquaintance’ relation and to link it with Sartre’s notion of prereflective self-awareness. I then briefly address a related problem often raised against HOT theory, namely, the problem of misrepresentation. I also critique several further attempts to explain the acquaintance relation (...)
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  24. Kantian Reflections on the Givenness of Zahavi’s Minimal Experiential Self.James R. O’Shea - 2015 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 23 (5):619-625.
    At the core of Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason was a decisive break with certain fundamental Cartesian assumptions or claims about consciousness and self-consciousness, claims that have nonetheless remained perennially tempting, from a phenomenological perspective, independently of any further questions concerning the metaphysics of mind and its place in nature. The core of this philosophical problem has recently been helpfully exposed and insightfully probed in Dan Zahavi’s book, Self and Other: Exploring Subjectivity, Empathy, and Shame. In these remarks I suggest (...)
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  25. COGNITIVE (IM)PENETRABILITY OF VISION: RESTRICTING VISION vs. RESTRICTING COGNITION.Costas Pagondiotis - 2015 - In J. Zeimbekis & A. Raftopoulos (eds.), Cognitive Penetrability. Oxford University Press. pp. 378-403.
    Pylyshyn restricts cognitively penetrable vision to late vision, whereas he does not make any distinction between different kinds of penetrating cognition. I argue that this approach disconnects early vision content from late vision content and blurs the distinction between the latter and the content of thought. To overcome this problem I suggest that we should not distinguish between different kinds of visual content but instead introduce a restriction on the kind of cognition that can directly penetrate visual experience. In particular, (...)
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  26. Does Consciousness Necessitate Self-Awareness? Consciousness and Self-Awareness in Sartre's "The Transcendence of the Ego".Daniel R. Rodriguez-Navas - 2015 - In Sofia Miguens, Sofia Magueys & Gerhard Preyer (eds.), Pre-reflective Consciousness: Sartre and Contemporary Philosophy of Mind. Routledge. pp. 225-244.
    I offer a close reading of the first part of Sartre's The Transcendence of the Ego, arguing that contrary to widely held interpretation, one of Sartre's main goals in that text is to defend the view that consciousness does not necessitate self-awareness, that not all conscious states need be, ipso facto, states of self-awareness. In addition, I explain that this view about the conceptual relationship between consciousness and self-awareness has important methodological implications. One of the standard strategies for accounting for (...)
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  27. Why are dreams interesting for philosophers? The example of minimal phenomenal selfhood, plus an agenda for future research.Thomas Metzinger - 2013 - Frontiers in Psychology 4:746.
    This metatheoretical paper develops a list of new research targets by exploring particularly promising interdisciplinary contact points between empirical dream research and philosophy of mind. The central example is the MPS-problem. It is constituted by the epistemic goal of conceptually isolating and empirically grounding the phenomenal property of “minimal phenomenal selfhood,” which refers to the simplest form of self-consciousness. In order to precisely describe MPS, one must focus on those conditions that are not only causally enabling, but strictly necessary to (...)
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  28. What reason could there be to believe in pre-reflective bodily self-consciousness.Adrian Alsmith - 2012 - In Fabio Paglieri (ed.), Consciousness in interaction: The role of the natural and social environment in shaping consciousness. John Benjamins Press.
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  29. Perceiving Reality: Consciousness, Intentionality, and Cognition in Buddhist Philosophy.Christian Coseru - 2012 - Oxford University Press.
    This book examines the epistemic function of perception and the relation between language and conceptual thought, and provides new ways of conceptualizing the Buddhist defense of the reflexivity thesis of consciousness: namely, that each cognitive event is to be understood as involving a pre-reflective implicit awareness of its own occurrence.
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  30. Experiential Awareness: Do You Prefer “It” to “Me”?Miguel Ángel Sebastián - 2012 - Philosophical Topics 40 (2):155-177.
    In having an experience one is aware of having it. Having an experience requires some form of access to one's own state, which distinguishes phenomenally conscious mental states from other kinds of mental states. Until very recently, Higher-Order (HO) theories were the only game in town aiming at offering a full-fledged account of this form of awareness within the analytical tradition. Independently of any objections that HO theories face, First/Same-Order (F/SO) theorists need to offer an account of such access to (...)
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  31. The Who and the How of Experience.Joel Krueger - 2011 - In Dan Zahavi, Evan Thompson & Mark Siderits (eds.), Self, No Self?: Perspectives From Analytical, Phenomenological, and Indian Traditions. Oxford University Press. pp. 27-55.
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  32. L'objectivité du toucher [The Objectivity of the Sense of Touch].Olivier Massin - 2010 - Dissertation, Aix-Marseille
    This thesis vindicates the common-sense intuition that touch is more objective than the other senses. The reason why it is so, it is argued, is that touch is the only sense essential of the experience of physical effort, and that this experience constitutes our only acquaintance with the mind-independence of the physical world. The thesis is divided in tree parts. Part I argues that sensory modalities are individuated by they proper objects, realistically construed. Part II argues that the proper objects (...)
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  33. From Panexperientialism to Conscious Experience: The Continuum of Experience.Gregory M. Nixon - 2010 - Journal of Consciousness Exploration and Research 1 (3):216-233.
    When so much is being written on conscious experience, it is past time to face the question whether experience happens that is not conscious of itself. The recognition that we and most other living things experience non-consciously has recently been firmly supported by experimental science, clinical studies, and theoretic investigations; the related if not identical philosophic notion of experience without a subject has a rich pedigree. Leaving aside the question of how experience could become conscious of itself, I aim here (...)
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  34. The Open Body.Dorothée Legrand & Joel Krueger - 2009 - In Antonella Carassa, Francesca Morganti & Guiseppa Riva (eds.), Enacting Intersubjectivity: Paving the Way for a Dialogue Between Cognitive Science, Social Cognition, and Neuroscience. Universita Della Svizzera Italiana. pp. 109-128.
    In this paper we characterize the body as constitutively open. We fi rst consider the notion of bodily openness at the basic level of its organic constitution. This will provide us a framework relevant for the understanding of the body open to its intersubjective world. We argue that the notion of “bodily openness” captures a constitutive dimension of intersubjectivity. Generally speaking, there are two families of theories intending to characterize the constitutive relation between subjectivity and intersubjectivity: either the self is (...)
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  35. Concrete consciousness: A Sartrean critique of functionalist accounts of mind.Joel W. Krueger - 2006 - Sartre Studies International 12 (2):44-60.
    In this essay, I argue that Sartre's notion of pre-reflective consciousness can be summoned to offer a general challenge to contemporary functionalist accounts of mind, broadly construed. In virtue of the challenge Sartre offers these contemporary functionalist accounts and the richness of his phenomenological analysis, I conclude that his voice needs to be included in ongoing debates over the nature of consciousness. First, I look at some of the basic claims motivating functionalist accounts of mind. Next, I look at Sartre's (...)
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  36. Minds that Matter: Seven Degrees of Moral Standing.Julian Friedland - 2004 - Between the Species 13 (4).
    Prominent non-speciesist attempts to determine the amount of moral standing properly attributable to conscious beings argue that certain non-human animals should be granted the highest consideration as self-conscious persons. Most of these theories also include a lesser moral standing for the sentient, or merely conscious, non-person. Thus, the standard approach has been to advocate a two-tiered theory—'sentience' or 'consciousness' and 'self-consciousness' or 'personhood'. While the first level seems to present little interpretative difficulty, the second has recently been criticized as a (...)
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  37. Representation and Self-Awareness in Intentional Agents.Ingar Brinck & Peter Gärdenfors - 1999 - Synthese 118 (1):89 - 104.
    Several conditions for being an intrinsically intentional agent are put forward. On a first level of intentionality the agent has representations. Two kinds are described: cued and detached. An agent with both kinds is able to represent both what is prompted by the context and what is absent from it. An intermediate level of intentionality is achieved by having an inner world, that is, a coherent system of detached representations that model the world. The inner world is used, e.g., for (...)
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  38. The Indexical 'I' the First Person in Thought and Language.Ingar Brinck - 1997 - Kluwer Academic Publishers.
    The subjct of this book is the first person in thought and language. The main question is what we mean when we say 'I'. Related to it are questions about what kinds of self-consciousness and self-knowledge are needed in order for us to have the capacity to talk about ourselves. The emphasis is on theories of meaning and reference for 'I', but a fair amount of space is devoted to 'I'-thoughts and the role of the concept of the self in (...)
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  39. Reflectivity as part of an Evolutionary Scenario for Self-Consciousness. Impact on Pre-Reflective Self-Consciousness. (Presented at ASSC 24 2021).Christophe Menant - manuscript
    The performance of reflectivity of self-consciousness is traditionally associated to the subject turning its consciousness of objects to its own entity. But such process introduces concerns of circularity and of infinite regress. To avoid them philosophers have postulated a “pre-reflective self-consciousness” understood as a “state of consciousness that is immediately aware of itself, unmediated by reflections”. We propose here that an evolutionary scenario for self-consciousness can introduce reflectivity as a natural performance, bringing pre-reflective self-consciousness to be reconsidered. The evolutionary scenario (...)
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