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Summary Is the self an intentional object of experience when we are self-conscious? Put differently, is self-consciousness to be construed along the lines of perceiving (or quasi-perceiving) the self? Following Hume, many philosophers have denied that introspection provides us with awareness of the self in a way similar to our awareness of objects in the world. They claim that the experiences based upon which we form 'I'-thoughts do not represent the self. On the other hand, many philosophers also hold that a minimal form of self-awareness is a pervasive structural feature of all conscious experience, which raises the question as to how we should think about such a minimal form of self-awareness. Moreover, according to a Kantian line of thought, in order to experience the world as being objectively structured and mind-independent, one has to be self-conscious.
Key works Hume 1739/2000 famously denied that we can be directly aware of the self through introspection. Moreover, Fichte 1970 and, more recently, Shoemaker 1968 have argued that thinking of self-consciousness as a form of self-perception leads into a regress. Self-consciousness isn't a form of object-awareness, rather we are aware of the self 'as subject' (Wittgenstein 1958). In response, phenomenologists such as Sartre, Husserl or Merleau-Ponty, and, more recently Zahavi 2005, as well as some writers in the tradition of German Idealism, such as Frank 2007 have argued that conscious experience is always characterized by a minimal or pre-reflective sense of self.
Introductions Bermúdez 2009 gives a brief introduction to and overview of relevant issues. Gallagher & Zahavi 2008 give an overview of phenomenological approaches to the self in experience.
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  1. M. M. Agrawal (1988). Sartre on Pre-Reflective Consciousness. Journal of Indian Council of Philosophical Research (September-December) 121 (September-December):121-127.
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  2. Karl Ameriks (1994). Review: Powell, Kant's Theory of Self-Consciousness. [REVIEW] International Studies in Philosophy 26 (2):143-144.
  3. Michael L. Anderson & Donald R. Perlis (2005). The Roots of Self-Awareness. Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 4 (3):297-333.
    In this paper we provide an account of the structural underpinnings of self-awareness. We offer both an abstract, logical account.
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  4. P. Sven Arvidson (2000). Transformations in Consciousness: Continuity, the Self and Marginal Consciousness. Journal of Consciousness Studies 7 (3):3-26.
    The term ‘consciousness’ is usually reserved only for the focus of attention. This restriction empties the phenomenology of consciousness of some of its richness. Rather than conceiving of consciousness as one-dimensional, researchers should consider that consciousness has a three-dimensional organization. Conscious presentations are structured in a focus, context and margin pattern. Inclusion of these other dimensions of consciousness as consciousness is important for an adequate relation between scientific method and phenomenology. The problem becomes especially acute when transformations in consciousness -- (...)
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  5. S. Ashford (2001). The Paradox of Self-Consciousness. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 79 (2):298 – 300.
    Book Information The Paradox of Self-Consciousness. By José Luis Bermúdez. Bradford/MIT. Cambridge, MA. 1998. Pp. xv + 338. $US30.00.
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  6. Stephen Asma, Jaak Panksepp, Rami Gabriel & Glennon Curran (2012). Philosophical Implications of Affective Neuroscience. Journal of Consciousness Studies 19 (3-4):6-48.
    These papers are based on a Symposium at the COGSCI Conference in 2010. 1. Naturalizing the Mammalian Mind (Jaak Panksepp) 2. Modularity in Cognitive Psychology and Affective Neuroscience (Rami Gabriel) 3. Affective Neuroscience and the Philosophy of Self (Stephen Asma and Tom Greif) 4. Affective Neuroscience and Law (Glennon Curran and Rami Gabriel).
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  7. Bernard J. Baars, Thomas Zoega Ramsoy & Steven Laureys (2003). Brain, Conscious Experience, and the Observing Self. Trends in Neurosciences 26 (12):671-5.
    Conscious perception, like the sight of a coffee cup, seems to involve the brain identifying a stimulus. But conscious input activates more brain regions than are needed to identify coffee cups and faces. It spreads beyond sensory cortex to frontoparietal association areas, which do not serve stimulus identification as such. What is the role of those regions? Parietal cortex support the ‘first person perspective’ on the visual world, unconsciously framing the visual object stream. Some prefrontal areas select and interpret conscious (...)
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  8. Andrew R. Bailey, Consciousness and the Embodied Self.
    This paper deals with the relationship between the embodied cognition paradigm and two sets of its implications: its implications for the ontology of selves, and its implications for the nature and extent of phenomenal consciousness. There has been a recent wave of interest within cognitive science in the paradigm variously called ‘embodied,’ ‘extended,’ ‘situated’ or ‘distributed’ cognition. Although ideas applied in the embodied cognition research program can be traced back to the work of Heidegger, Piaget, Vygotsky, Merleau-Ponty, and Dewey, the (...)
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  9. L. R. Baker (2013). From Consciousness to Self-Consciousness. Grazer Philosophische Studien 84:19--38.
  10. Lynne Rudder Baker, How to Have Self-Directed Attitudes.
    Self-directed and self-evaluative attitudes are often connected to one’s social position. Before investigating the dependence relations between individual self-evaluation and social positioning, however, there is a prior question to answer: What are the conditions under which an individual can have any self-directed attitudes at all? In order to be the subject of self-directed or selfevaluative attitudes, I shall argue, an individual must have linguistic and social relations. I’ll discuss the first-person perspective, self-concepts and their acquisition—all from a radically nonCartesian, externalist (...)
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  11. Lynne Rudder Baker (2012). From Consciousness to Self-Consciousness. Grazer Philosophische Studien 84 (1):19-38.
  12. Lynne Rudder Baker (2003). The Difference That Self-Consciousness Makes. In Klaus Petrus (ed.), On Human Persons: Metaphysical Research, Volume 1. Heusenstamm Nr Frankfurt: Ontos Verlag.
    With all the attention given to the study of consciousness recently, the topic of self-consciousness has been relatively neglected. “It is of course [phenomenal] consciousness rather than...self-conscious that has seemed such a scientific mystery,” a prominent philosopher comments.1 Phenomenal consciousness concerns the aspect of a state that feels a certain way: roses smell like this; garlic tastes like that; middle C sounds like this, and so on. Although phenomenal consciousness is surely a fruitful area of scientific investigation, I hope to (...)
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  13. Edward T. Bartlett (1988). Consciousness, Self-Consciousness, and Sensory Deprivation. Philosophy Research Archives 13:489-497.
    Elizabeth Anscombe and Anthony Kenny disagree on whether or not it is possible to doubt the existence of one’s own body. Anscombe believes that such doubt makes sense while Kenny argues that it could make sense only if one supposed that he had become a bodyless Cartesian ego. To resolve the issue I explore the knowledge one acquires of himself, and thus the manner in which such knowledge might be weakened into doubt. Siding with Anscombe, I argue that under the (...)
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  14. Edward T. Bartlett (1983). The Subjectlessness of Self-Consciousness. Philosophy Research Archives 9:675-682.
    On the surface the concept of self-consciousness would seem to be understandable as consciousness of oneself. It is commonplace to resist this temptation by arguing that the self cannot properly be construed as the object of this form of consciousness. It is the subject. However, in this paper I show that any effort to see the self as the subject of consciousness converts it, willy nilly, into an object.Self-consciousness is not to be understood by determining the logically appropriate role of (...)
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  15. Timothy J. Bayne (2004). Self-Consciousness and the Unity of Consciousness. The Monist 87 (2):219-236.
    Consciousness has a number of puzzling features. One such feature is its unity: the experiences and other conscious states that one has at a particular time seem to occur together in a certain way. I am currently enjoying visual experiences of my computer screen, auditory experiences of bird-song, olfactory experiences of coffee, and tactile experiences of feeling the ground beneath my feet. Conjoined with these perceptual experiences are proprioceptive experiences, experiences of agency, affective and emotional experiences, and conscious thoughts of (...)
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  16. Gunnar Beck (1996). From Kant to Hegel—Johann Gottlieb Fichte's Theory of Self-Consciousness. History of European Ideas 22 (4):275-294.
    This article emphasizes Fichte's role as a central figure in the period of transition from Kantian moral universalism to Hegelian ontological collectivism and _Sittlichkeitsethik. Echoing Rousseau's insights into the sociological determinants of human consciousness and drawing on Herder's more comprehensive theory of the linguistic and cultural conditions of all human thought, Fichte, in his writings from 1796 onward, develops a radical reformulation and extension of Kant's theory of reason and self-consciousness. Fichte's theory of the origins and nature of consciousness and (...)
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  17. José Luis Bermúdez (2009). Self-Consciousness. In Bayne Tim, Cleeremans Axel & Wilken Patrick (eds.), The Oxford Companion to Consciousness. Oxford University Press.
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  18. Jose Luis Bermudez (2007). Self-Consciousness. In Max Velmans & Susan Schneider (eds.), The Blackwell Companion to Consciousness. Blackwell.
  19. Jose Luis Bermudez (2001). The Sources of Self-Consciousness. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 102 (1):87-107.
    This paper explores the relation between two ways of thinking about the sources of self-consciousness. We can think about the sources of self-consciousness either in genetic terms (as the origins or precursors of self-conscious thoughts) or in epistemic terms (as the grounds of self-conscious judgements). Using Christopher Peacocke's account of self-conscious judgements in Being Known as a foil, this paper brings out some important ways in which we need to draw upon the sources of self-consciousness in the genetic sense for (...)
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  20. Jose Luis Bermudez (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.
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  21. Jose Luis Bermudez (1999). Precis of The Paradox of Self-Consciousness. Psycoloquy 10 (35).
  22. Jose Luis Bermudez (1997). Reduction and the Self. Journal of Consciousness Studies 4 (4-5):458-66.
    Galen Strawson's keynote paper offers us one way of modelling the self, one that starts from the phenomenology of the sense of self and derives from that metaphysical conclusions about the nature of the self. Strawson is surely correct to hold that phenomenological considerations cannot be ignored in thinking about the metaphysics of the self. I am not as convinced as he is, however, that phenomenology is the royal road to metaphysics. What I want to sketch out in this short (...)
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  23. Jose Luis Bermudez, Anthony J. Marcel & Naomi M. Eilan (eds.) (1995). The Body and the Self. MIT Press.
  24. Daniele Bertini (2007). Fondazione del problema del pensare. Segni E Comprensione 21 (62):124-140.
    My main claim is that, in order to account for the nature of human mind, philosophy of mind should embody topics usually treated by disciplines as ethics or applied philosophy so as to enrich the pure notion of cognitive experience to the extent of treating the whole of human experience. I begin with considering the Cartesian approach to the "cogito". I argue for the claim that cartesian-like dualists (Descartes and Locke, Kant and Husserl) fail in treating the opposition of internalism (...)
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  25. Mark H. Bickhard (2005). Consciousness and Reflective Consciousness. Philosophical Psychology 18 (2):205-218.
    An interactive process model of the nature of representation intrinsically accounts for multiple emergent properties of consciousness, such as being a contentful experiential flow, from a situated and embodied point of view. A crucial characteristic of this model is that content is an internally related property of interactive process, rather than an externally related property as in all other contemporary models. Externally related content requires an interpreter, yielding the familiar regress of interpreters, along with a host of additional fatal problems. (...)
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  26. Erhard Bieberich, Structure in Human Consciousness: A Fractal Approach to the Topology of the Self Perceiving an Outer World in an Inner Space.
    In human consciousness a world of separated objects is perceived by an inner observer who is experienced as an undivided feeling of one-self. A topological correlation of the self to the world, however, entails a paradoxical situation by either merging all separated objects into one or splitting the self into as many subselves as there are objects perceived. This study introduces a model suggesting that the self is generated in a neural network by algorithmic compression of spatial and temporal information (...)
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  27. Alexandre Billon (2014). Why Are We Certain That We Exist? Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 90 (3).
    Descartes was certain that he was thinking and he was accordingly certain that he existed. Like Descartes, we seem to be more certain of our thoughts and our existence than of anything else. What is less clear is the reason why we are thus certain. Philosophers throughout history have provided different interpretations of the cogito, disagreeing both on the kind of thoughts it characterizes and on the reasons for its cogency. According to what we may call the empiricist interpretation of (...)
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  28. Alexandre Billon (2011). Does Consciousness Entail Subjectivity? The Puzzle of Thought Insertion. Philosophical Psychology 26 (2):291 - 314.
    (2013). Does consciousness entail subjectivity? The puzzle of thought insertion. Philosophical Psychology: Vol. 26, No. 2, pp. 291-314. doi: 10.1080/09515089.2011.625117.
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  29. R. Breeur (2000). Vrijheid En Identiteit. Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 62 (2):253 - 281.
    This article questions the origin of subjectivity and its identity in its relation to consciousness, since consciousness, in its essence, is not yet subjective. It is characterized by a self-presence that is so radical that it threatens every form of self-knowledge and selfconsciousness. We therefore want to point to a difference between self-knowledge of the subject and the way an act of consciousness is conscious of itself. Every act of consciousness is self-conscious and therefore consciousness is absolute. In the article (...)
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  30. Roland Breeur (2003). Consciousness and the Self. International Journal of Philosophical Studies 11 (4):415-436.
    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 (...)
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  31. Bill Brewer (1995). Bodily Awareness and the Self. In Jose Luis Bermudez, Anthony J. Marcel & Naomi M. Eilan (eds.), The Body and the Self. Cambridge, Mass: Mit Press. 291-€“303.
    In The Varieties of Reference (1982), Gareth Evans claims that considerations having to do with certain basic ways we have of gaining knowledge of our own physical states and properties provide "the most powerful antidote to a Cartesian conception of the self" (220). In this chapter, I start with a discussion and evaluation of Evans' own argument, which is, I think, in the end unconvincing. Then I raise the possibility of a more direct application of similar considerations in defence of (...)
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  32. Klaus Brinkmann (2005). Consciousness, Self-Consciousness, and the Modern Self. History of the Human Sciences 18 (4):27-48.
    The concept of the self is embedded in a web of relationships of other concepts and phenomena such as consciousness, self-consciousness, personal identity and the mind–body problem. The article follows the ontological and epistemological roles of the concept of selfconsciousness and the structural co-implication of consciousness and self-consciousness from Descartes and Locke to Kant and Sartre while delineating its subject matter from related inquiries into the relationship between the mind and the body, personal identity, and the question whether consciousness is (...)
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  33. Andrew Brook, Externalism and the Varieties of Self-Awareness.
    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 (...)
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  34. Andrew Brook (1998). Unified Consciousness and the Self. Journal of Consciousness Studies 5 (5-6):583-591.
    I am in virtually complete sympathy with Galen Strawson's conclusions in 'The Self'. He takes a careful, measured approach to a topic that lends itself all too easily to speculation and intellectual extravaganzas. The results he achieves are for the most part balanced and plausible. I even have a lot of sympathy with his claim that a memory-produced sense of continuity across time is less central to selfhood than many philosophers think, though I will argue that he goes too far (...)
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  35. Andrew Brook & R. DeVidi (eds.) (2001). Self-Reference and Self-Awareness. John Benjamins.
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  36. Susan Brower-Toland (2013). Olivi on Consciousness and Self-Knowledge: The Phenomenology, Metaphysics, and Epistemology of Mind's Reflexivity. Oxford Studies in Medieval Philosophy 1.
    The theory of mind that medieval philosophers inherit from Augustine is predicated on the thesis that the human mind is essentially self-reflexive. This paper examines Peter John Olivi's (1248-1298) distinctive development of this traditional Augustinian thesis. The aim of the paper is three-fold. The first is to establish that Olivi's theory of reflexive awareness amounts to a theory of phenomenal consciousness. The second is to show that, despite appearances, Olivi rejects a higher-order analysis of consciousness in favor of a same-order (...)
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  37. Ralf Busse (2014). Review: Kitcher, Kant's Thinker, Transcendental Apperception: Consciousness or Self-Consciousness? [REVIEW] Kantian Review 19 (1):109-117.
    A core thesis of Kitcher's is that thinking about objects requires awareness of necessary connections between one's object-directed representations and that this is what Kant means by the transcendental unity of apperception. I argue that Kant's main point is the spontaneity or of combination rather than the requirement of reflexive awareness of combination, that Kitcher provides no plausible account of how recognition of representations should be constituted and that in fact Kant himself appears to lack the theoretical resources to clearly (...)
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  38. J. Campbell (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. 29--42.
    in N. Eilan, A. Marcel and J. Bermudez (eds.), The Body and the Self (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press 1995), 29-42.
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  39. John V. Canfield (1990). The Looking-Glass Self: An Examination of Self-Awareness. Praeger.
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  40. Glenn Carruthers (forthcoming). Difficulties for Extending Wegner and Colleagues’ Model of the Sense of Agency to Deficits in Delusions of Alien Control. Avant: Trends in Interdisciplinary Studies.
    Wegner and colleagues have offered an explanation of the sense of agency over one’s bodily actions. If the orthodox view is correct and there is a sense of agency deficit associated with delusions of alien control, then Wegner and colleagues’ model ought to extend to an explanation of this deficit. Data from intentional binding studies opens up the possibility that an abnormality in representing the timing of mental events leads to a violation of the principle of priority in those suffering (...)
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  41. Glenn Carruthers (forthcoming). Difficulties for Extending Wegner and Colleagues’ Model of the Sense of Agency to Deficits in Delusions of Alien Control. Avant: Trends in Interdisciplinary Studies.
    Wegner and colleagues have offered an explanation of the sense of agency over one’s bodily actions. If the orthodox view is correct and there is a sense of agency deficit associated with delusions of alien control, then Wegner and colleagues’ model ought to extend to an explanation of this deficit. Data from intentional binding studies opens up the possibility that an abnormality in representing the timing of mental events leads to a violation of the principle of priority in those suffering (...)
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  42. Glenn Carruthers (2009). Is the Body Schema Sufficient for the Sense of Embodiment? An Alternative to de Vignmont's Model. Philosophical Psychology 22 (2):123-142.
    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 (...)
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  43. Glenn Carruthers (2008). Reply to Tsakiris and Fotopoulou "Is My Body the Sum of Online and Offline Body Representations. Consciousness and Cognition 17 (1321):1323.
    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 (...)
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  44. Glenn Carruthers (2008). Types of Body Representation and the Sense of Embodiment. Consciousness and Cognition 17 (1302):1316.
    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 (...)
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  45. Quassim Cassam (1997). Self and World. Oxford University Press.
    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.
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  46. Quassim Cassam (1995). Transcendental Self-Consciousness. In P. Kumar (ed.), The Philosophy of P. F. Strawson. Indian Council for Philosophical Research.
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  47. Quassim Cassam (ed.) (1994). Self-Knowledge. Oxford University Press.
    This volume brings together some of the most important and influential recent writings on knowledge of oneself and of one's own thoughts, sensations, and experiences. The essays give valuable insights into such fundamental philosophical issues as personal identity, the nature of consciousness, the relation between mind and body, and knowledge of other minds. Contributions include "Introduction" by Gilbert Ryle, "Knowing One's Own Mind" by Donald Davidson, "Individualism and Self-Knowledge" and "Introspection and the Self" by Sydney Shoemaker, "On the Observability of (...)
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  48. Hector-Neri Castaneda (1989). The Reflexivity of Self-Consciousness: Sameness/Identity, Data for Artificial Intelligence. Philosophical Topics 17 (1):27-58.
  49. Hector-Neri Castaneda (1979). Philosophical Method and Direct Awareness of the Self. Grazer Philosophische Studien 8:1-58.
    Here are crucial data for any theory of the self, self-consciousness or the structure of experience. We discuss the fundamental structure of both indexical reference, especially first-term reference, and quasi-indexical reference, used in attributing first-person reference to others. Chisholm's ingenious account of direct awareness of self is tested against the two sets of data. It satisfies neither. Chisholm's definitions raise serious questions both about philosophical methodology and about the underlying ontology of individuation, identity, and predication. Chisholm's adverbial account of non-physical (...)
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  50. Arindam Chakrabarti (2003). Perception, Apperception and Non-Conceptual Content. In Perspectives on Consciousness. New Delhi: Munshiram Manoharlal.
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