Mineness without Minimal Selves

Journal of Consciousness Studies 21 (7-8):193-219 (2014)
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Abstract

In this paper we focus on what is referred to as the ‘mineness’ of experience, that is, the intimate familiarity we have with our own thoughts, perceptions, and emotions. Most accounts characterize mineness in terms of an experiential dimension, the first-person givenness of experience, that is subsumed under the notion of minimal self-consciousness or a ‘minimal self’. We argue that this account faces problems and develop an alternative account of mineness in terms of the coherence of experiences with what we label an ‘embodied biography’. Building on a near consensus among consciousness researchers over the function of consciousness as integrating infor- mation, we argue that the phenomenology of mineness consists in the absence of any further thought on top of the experience itself. Finally we argue that this non-phenomenological account of mineness fits well with existing data on pathologies of mineness such as delusions of thought insertion.

Author Profiles

Marc Slors
Radboud University Nijmegen
Fleur Jongepier
Radboud University Nijmegen

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