Journal of Consciousness Studies 24 (11-12):142-166 (2017)
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Hume famously denied that he could experience the self. Most subsequent philosophers have concurred with this finding. I argue that if the subject is to function as a bearer of experience it must (1) lack sensory qualities in itself to be compatible with bearing sensory qualities and (2) be single so that it can unify experience. I use Douglas Harding’s first-person experiments to investigate the visual gap where one cannot see one’s own head. I argue that this open space conforms to the above criteria and hence is consistent with being the subject. I respond to the objection that this location is merely a lack of visual experience. I argue that this space also encompasses sound and touch properties and hence functions as a bearer for other sensory modalities. These first-person findings provide prima facie support for the view that the subject is a thin bearer of experience.

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Brentyn Ramm
Witten/Herdecke University


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