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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 1738 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 2007 gives a brief introduction to and overview of relevant issues. Gallagher & Zahavi 2008 give an overview of phenomenological approaches to the self in experience.
Related categories

434 found
1 — 50 / 434
  1. added 2019-01-15
    What has Transparency to Do with Husserlian Phenomenology?Chad Kidd - forthcoming - ProtoSociology.
    This paper critically evaluates Amie Thomasson’s (2003; 2005; 2006) view of the conscious mind and the interpretation of Husserl’s phenomenological reduction that it adopts. In Thomasson’s view, the phenomenological method is not an introspectionist method, but rather a “transparent” or “extrospectionist” method for acquiring epistemically privileged self-knowledge. I argue that Thomasson’s reading of Husserl’s phenomenological reduction is correct. But the view of consciousness that she pairs with it—a view of consciousness as “transparent” in the sense that first-order, world-oriented experience is (...)
  2. added 2019-01-07
    Self-Experience.Brentyn Ramm - 2017 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 24 (11-12):142-166.
    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 (...)
  3. added 2018-10-12
    The Pre-Reflective Situational Self.Robert W. Clowes & Klaus Gärtner - forthcoming - Topoi:1-15.
    It is often held that to have a conscious experience presupposes having some form of implicit self-awareness. The most dominant phenomenological view usually claims that we essentially perceive experiences as our own. This is the so called “mineness” character, or dimension of experience. According to this view, mineness is not only essential to conscious experience, it also grounds the idea that pre-reflective self-awareness constitutes a minimal self. In this paper, we show that there are reasons to doubt this constituting role (...)
  4. added 2018-10-05
    The Sense of Ego-Maker in Classical Sāṃkhya and Yoga: Reconsideration of ‘Ahaṃkāra’ with Reference to the Mind-Body Problem.Jakubczak Marzenna - 2013 - In Girishwar Misra (ed.), Psychology & Psychoanalysis. History of Science, Philosophy. New Delhi: Munshiram Monoharlal. pp. 291-308.
    While elucidating the sense of ego-maker in classical Samkhya and Yoga philosophy I bear in mind several meanings of the word ‘sense’, or different levels of its understanding, namely: the semantic, ontological and epistemic as well as axiological sense. Thus, my aim is, firstly, to specify the semantic sense of the term ‘ahamkara’, that is to explain its contents or denotation. Secondly, when focusing on the ontological context I will try to define the nature and reason, or purpose (arthavattava), of (...)
  5. added 2018-09-20
    Ordinary Self-Consciousness.Lucy O'Brien - 2011 - In JeeLoo Liu & John Perry (eds.), Consciousness and the Self: New Essays. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. pp. 101-122.
  6. added 2018-08-28
    Apperception, Sensation, and Dissociability.David M. Rosenthal - 1997 - Mind and Language 12 (2):206-223.
  7. added 2018-08-25
    Review of Béatrice Longuenesse, I, Me, Mine: Back to Kant, and Back Again Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017. [REVIEW]Curtis Sommerlatte - 2018 - Kantian Review 23 (3):504-510.
  8. added 2018-08-17
    The Self-Model Theory of Subjectivity: A Brief Summary with Examples.Thomas Metzinger - 2010 - Humana Mente 4 (14):1-28.
  9. added 2018-07-23
    Relocating the Figure of Jikaku (Self-Consciousness) in Nishida’s Intuition and Reflection in Self-Consciousness (1917).Montserrat Crespin Perales - 2012 - In Toru Arakawa (ed.), Practicing Japanese Philosophy. Mind and Activity. Tokio, Japón: pp. 34-57.
    Relocating the figure of Jikaku (Self-Consciousness) in Nishida’s Intuition and Reflection in Self-consciousness.
  10. added 2018-07-16
    Galen Strawson, The Subject of Experience (Oxford-New York: Oxford University Press, 2017). [REVIEW]Lorenzo Greco - 2018 - Rivista di Filosofia 109 (2):345-347.
  11. added 2018-04-27
    Self-No-Self? Memory and Reflexive Awareness.Evan Thompson - 2010 - In Mark Siderits, Evan Thompson & Dan Zahavi (eds.), Self, No Self?: Perspectives From Analytical, Phenomenological, and Indian Traditions. Oxford University Press.
  12. added 2018-04-08
    Consciousness as Sensory Quality and as Implicit Self-Awareness.Uriah Kriegel - 2003 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 2 (1):1-26.
    When a mental state is conscious – in the sense that there is something it is like for the subject to have it – it instantiates a certain property F in virtue of which it is a conscious state. It is customary to suppose that F is the property of having sensory quality. The paper argues that this supposition is false. The first part of the paper discusses reasons for thinking that unconscious mental states can have a sensory quality, for (...)
  13. added 2018-03-26
    Looking for the Self: Phenomenology, Neurophysiology and Philosophical Significance of Drug-Induced Ego Dissolution.Raphael Milliere - 2017 - Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 11:1-22.
    There is converging evidence that high doses of hallucinogenic drugs can produce significant alterations of self-experience, described as the dissolution of the sense of self and the loss of boundaries between self and world. This article discusses the relevance of this phenomenon, known as “drug-induced ego dissolution (DIED)”, for cognitive neuroscience, psychology and philosophy of mind. Data from self-report questionnaires suggest that three neuropharmacological classes of drugs can induce ego dissolution: classical psychedelics, dissociative anesthetics and agonists of the kappa opioid (...)
  14. added 2018-03-19
    Phenomenal Concepts.Katalin Balog - 2009 - In Brian McLaughlin, Ansgar Beckermann & Sven Walter (eds.), Oxford Handbook in the Philosophy of Mind. Oxford University Press. pp. 292--312.
    This article is about the special, subjective concepts we apply to experience, called “phenomenal concepts”. They are of special interest in a number of ways. First, they refer to phenomenal experiences, and the qualitative character of those experiences whose metaphysical status is hotly debated. Conscious experience strike many philosophers as philosophically problematic and difficult to accommodate within a physicalistic metaphysics. Second, PCs are widely thought to be special and unique among concepts. The sense that there is something special about PCs (...)
  15. added 2018-03-07
    Kuvittelukyky ja moraalinen valinta Leibnizilla.Markku Roinila - 2007 - Niin and Näin (2):27-31.
    Kuvittelukyky tai imaginaatio esiintyy varsin harvoin Leibnizin kirjoituksissa ja siksi siitä ei ole kovin laajalti keskusteltu Leibniz-kommentaareissa ennen kuin aivan viime aikoina. Näissäkin tapauksissa keskustelu on pitkälti rajoittunut kuvittelukyvyn rooliin tiedostuksessa. Yritän tässä esitelmässä vetää sillan kuvittelukyvyn ja moraalisen toiminnan välille, jota tietääkseni ei ole ennen varsinaisesti tehty.
  16. added 2018-02-17
    Subjective Consciousness: A Self-Representational Theory.Uriah Kriegel - 2009 - Oxford University Press UK.
    Some mental events are conscious, some are unconscious. What is the difference between the two? Uriah Kriegel offers an answer. His aim is a comprehensive theory of the features that all and only conscious mental events have. The key idea is that consciousness arises when self-awareness and world-awareness are integrated in the right way. Conscious mental events differ from unconscious ones in that, whatever else they may represent, they always also represent themselves, and do so in a very specific way. (...)
  17. added 2018-02-17
    Cross-Modality and the Self.Jonardon Ganeri - 2000 - Philosophical and Phenomenological Research 61 (3):639-657.
    The thesis of this paper is that the capacity to think of one's perceptions as cross-modally integrated is incompatible with a reductionist account of the self. In §2 I distinguish three versions of the argument from cross-modality. According to the `unification' version of the argument, what needs to be explained is one's capacity to identify an object touched as the same as an object simultaneously seen. According to the `recognition' version, what needs to be explained is one's capacity, having once (...)
  18. added 2018-02-17
    Personal Identity and Self-Consciousness.Brian Garrett - 1998 - Routledge.
    _Personal Identity and Self-Consciousness_ is about persons and personal identity. What are we? And why does personal identity matter? Brian Garrett, using jargon-free language, addresses questions in the metaphysics of personal identity, questions in value theory, and discusses questions about the first person singular. Brian Garrett makes an important contribution to the philosophy of personal identity and mind, and to epistemology.
  19. added 2018-02-16
    ‘The Self’.Galen Strawson - 1997 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 4 (5-6):405-428.
    The substantival phrase ‘the self’ is very unnatural in most speech contexts in.
  20. added 2018-02-09
    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. (...)
  21. added 2018-01-10
    Sartrean Self-Consciousness and the Principle of Identity.Maiya Jordan - 2017 - Sartre Studies International 23 (2).
  22. added 2018-01-10
    Self-Consciousness and Otherness: Hegel and Husserl.Saulius Geniušas - 2011 - Santalka: Filosofija, Komunikacija 16 (3).
    Countless differences between Hegel and Husserl notwithstanding, there is a common element in both of their accounts of the genesis of otherness. According to both, only if one delves into the interiority of self-consciousness, can one account for the rudimentary appearance of the Other. Following the Hegelian and Husserlian variants of such a strategy, this paper argues that: at the primitive levels of self-consciousness, subjectivity is intersubjective through and through; an irreducible distance separates the Other from the self, due to (...)
  23. added 2017-10-18
    Self Unbound: Ego Dissolution in Psychedelic Experience.Chris Letheby & Philip Gerrans - 2017 - Neuroscience of Consciousness 3:1-11.
    Users of psychedelic drugs often report that their sense of being a self or ‘I’ distinct from the rest of the world has diminished or altogether dissolved. Neuroscientific study of such ‘ego dissolution’ experiences offers a window onto the nature of self-awareness. We argue that ego dissolution is best explained by an account that explains self-awareness as resulting from the integrated functioning of hierarchical predictive models which posit the existence of a stable and unchanging entity to which representations are bound. (...)
  24. added 2017-09-12
    On Self-Awareness and the Self.Koji Tanaka - 2014 - In Graham Priest & Damon Young (eds.), Philosophy and Martial Arts. London: Routledge. pp. 127-138.
    Some philosophers of mind, cognitive scientists, phenomenologists as well as Buddhist philosophers have claimed that an awareness of an object is not just an experience of that object but also involves self-awareness. It is sometimes argued that being aware of an object without being aware of oneself is pathological. As anyone who has been involved in martial arts, as well as any sports requiring quick responses such as cricket and tennis, can testify, however, awareness of the self at the time (...)
  25. added 2017-08-19
    Beyond the Circle of Life.Gregory Nixon (ed.) - 2017 - New York: QuantumDream.
    It seems certain to me that I will die and stay dead. By “I”, I mean me, Greg Nixon, this person, this self-identity. I am so intertwined with the chiasmus of lives, bodies, ecosystems, symbolic intersubjectivity, and life on this particular planet that I cannot imagine this identity continuing alone without them. However, one may survive one’s life by believing in universal awareness, perfection, and the peace that passes all understanding. Perhaps, we bring this back with us to the Source (...)
  26. added 2017-08-08
    Changing One's Mind: Self‐Conscious Belief and Rational Endorsement.Adam Leite - 2018 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 97 (1):150-171.
    Self-consciously attempting to shape one's beliefs through deliberation and reasoning requires that one stand in a relation to those beliefs that might be signaled by saying that one must inhabit one's beliefs as one's own view. What does this amount to? A broad swath of philosophical thinking about self-knowledge, norms of belief, self-consciousness, and related areas assumes that this relation requires one to endorse, or be rationally committed to endorsing, one's beliefs. In fact, however, fully self-conscious adherence to epistemic norms (...)
  27. added 2017-07-30
    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 (...)
  28. added 2017-07-25
    Self-Consciousness.Joel Smith - 2017 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    -/- Human beings are conscious not only of the world around them but also of themselves: their activities, their bodies, and their mental lives. They are, that is, self-conscious (or, equivalently, self-aware). Self-consciousness can be understood as an awareness of oneself. But a self-conscious subject is not just aware of something that merely happens to be themselves, as one is if one sees an old photograph without realising that it is of oneself. Rather a self-conscious subject is aware of themselves (...)
  29. added 2017-05-15
    The Thought of a Principle: Rödl’s Fichteanism.Bruno G. Anthony - forthcoming - In Marina Bykova (ed.), The Bloomsbury Companion to Fichte. Bloomsbury.
    Sebastian Rödl portrays much of his work as attempts at articulating a German idealist view of self-consciousness. Although he rarely engages directly with German idealist texts, his accounts of first-person and second-person knowledge arrive at strikingly Fichtean theses regarding the necessary identity of subject and object in the former and the necessary reciprocity of subject and other in the latter. Despite this affinity, I argue, Rödl's accounts lack a feature that is essential to Fichte's and, indeed, to German idealism's distinctive (...)
  30. added 2017-05-15
    Parsing the Topos and Dusting the Mirror.Michiko Yusa - 2014 - Journal of Japanese Philosophy 2 (1):7-32.
    In order to clarify Nishida’s notion of topos, I trace its forma­tion, starting with the notion of “pure experience,” of which he says: “To experience is to know the thing as it is.” By taking the act of “to know” as the thread that connects the ideas of pure experience and topos, I examine his early writings leading up to 1929, going beyond 1926, when Nishida’s essay “Basho” was published. Over against the commonly held “objectified” view of the topos as (...)
  31. added 2017-05-07
    Somatoparaphrenia, the Body Swap Illusion, and Immunity to Error Through Misidentification.Shao-Pu Kang - 2016 - Journal of Philosophy 113 (9):463-471.
    Sydney Shoemaker argues that a certain class of self-ascriptions is immune to error through misidentification relative to the first-person pronouns. In their “Self-Consciousness and Immunity,” Timothy Lane and Caleb Liang question Shoemaker’s view. Lang and Liang present a clinical case and an experiment and argue that they are counterexamples to Shoemaker’s view. This paper is a response to Lane and Liang’s challenge. I identify the desiderata that a counterexample to Shoemaker’s view must meet and show that somatoparaphrenia and the Body (...)
  32. added 2017-04-24
    How Many Selves Make Me?1: Stephen R. L. Clark.Stephen R. L. Clark - 1991 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 29:213-233.
    Cartesian accounts of the mental make it axiomatic that consciousness is transparent: what I feel, I know I feel, however many errors I may make about its cause. ‘I’ names a simple, unextended, irreducible substance, created ex nihilo or eternally existent, and only associated with the complete, extended, dissoluble substance or pretend-substance that is ‘my’ body by divine fiat. Good moderns take it for granted that ‘we’ now realize how shifting, foggy and deconstructible are the boundaries of the self; ‘we’ (...)
  33. added 2017-04-24
    Separate Minds.Marcia Cavell - 1985 - Philosophy 60 (233):359 - 371.
    This fact about the grammar of selfhypenreference doesn't answer the ontological question, however, of what sort of entity I am in so far as I am a speaker. Thinking about what is presumed in my understanding the concepts ‘one’ and ‘one who is speaking’ tells us this much, that I must be able to differentiate myself from other speakers at the same time as I must be like them. If I cannot differentiate myself from you then of course I cannot (...)
  34. added 2017-04-24
    SHOEMAKER, S. - "Self-Knowledge and Self-Identity". [REVIEW]L. R. Reinhardt - 1965 - Mind 74:302.
  35. added 2017-04-24
    SHOEMAKER, SYDNEY: Self-Knowledge and Self-Identity". [REVIEW]J. M. Shorter - 1964 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 42:284.
  36. added 2017-04-24
    S. Shoemaker's "Self-Knowledge and Self-Identity". [REVIEW]Henry W. Johnstone - 1964 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 25 (1):137.
  37. added 2017-03-29
    The Moral Insignificance of Self‐Consciousness.Joshua Shepherd - 2017 - European Journal of Philosophy 25 (2):398-415.
    In this paper, I examine the claim that self-consciousness is highly morally significant, such that the fact that an entity is self-conscious generates strong moral reasons against harming or killing that entity. This claim is apparently very intuitive, but I argue it is false. I consider two ways to defend this claim: one indirect, the other direct. The best-known arguments relevant to self-consciousness's significance take the indirect route. I examine them and argue that in various ways they depend on unwarranted (...)
  38. added 2017-03-29
    Expression and Self-Consciousness.Stina Bäckström - 2016 - Philosophical Topics 44 (1):163-182.
    This article argues that nonverbal spontaneous expressions of mental states in human beings involve self-consciousness. We—language-using rational creatures—are capable of knowing our smiles, winces, and frustrated frowns in a self-conscious way. This distinguishes expressions from mere reflexes and mere physiological responses. Such a capacity is, further, essential to such forms of behavior. This is shown by the difficulty of constructing a coherent scenario where we—keeping our rational and conceptual capacities otherwise intact—can nonverbally express our mental states but where we lack (...)
  39. added 2017-03-29
    Aksjologiczność sfery egotycznej w ujęciu Tischnera.Agnieszka Wesołowska - 2015 - Studia Z Historii Filozofii 6 (3):109-126.
    Axiological Character of Egotic Sphere in Tischner’s ThoughtThe paper presents the conception of egotic consciousness understood from the axiological and phenomenological perspective. In the work Fenomenologia świadomości egotycznej Tischner presents phenomenological considerations about self-consciousness. In the light of the results of analyses conducted by Tischner, egotic consciousness is understood as axiological sphere. In the perspective of the phenomenology of egotic consciousness, being a result of revealing Tischner’s original thought, in its beginning, Husserl’s conception of transcendental consciousness is one of the (...)
  40. added 2017-03-04
    Mental Ownership and Higher Order Thought.Timothy Lane & Caleb Liang - 2010 - Analysis 70 (3):496-501.
    Mental ownership concerns who experiences a mental state. According to David Rosenthal (2005: 342), the proper way to characterize mental ownership is: ‘being conscious of a state as present is being conscious of it as belonging to somebody. And being conscious of a state as belonging to somebody other than oneself would plainly not make it a conscious state’. In other words, if a mental state is consciously present to a subject in virtue of a higher-order thought (HOT), then the (...)
  41. added 2017-02-27
    Making Sense of Ourselves: Self-Narratives and Personal Identity.Lynne Rudder Baker - 2016 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 15 (1):7-15.
    Some philosophers take personal identity to be a matter of self-narrative. I argue, to the contrary, that self-narrative views cannot stand alone as views of personal identity. First, I consider Dennett’s self-narrative view, according to which selves are fictional characters—abstractions, like centers of gravity—generated by brains. Neural activity is to be interpreted from the intentional stance as producing a story. I argue that this is implausible. The inadequacy is masked by Dennett’s ambiguous use of ‘us’: sometimes ‘us’ refers to real (...)
  42. added 2017-02-27
    Investigating Subjectivity: Classical and New Perspectives.Gert-Jan van der Heiden, Karel Novotny, Inga Römer & Laszlo Tengelyi (eds.) - 2011 - Brill.
    Investigating Subjectivity examines the importance of a phenomenological account of the subject for the nature and the status of phenomenology, for different themes from practical philosophy and in relation to issues from the philosophy of mind.
  43. added 2017-02-27
    The Minimal Subject.Galen Strawson - 2011 - In Shaun Gallagher (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of the Self. Oxford University Press.
    This article examines the metaphysics and phenomenology of the self or subject of experience. It suggests that the phenomenological description of the minimal subject requires no reference to body, environment, or social relations and argues for a thin conception of subjectivity which equates the subject with the experience itself. Under this principle of minimal conception, the subject does not exist if the person is asleep. It contends that the profound metaphysical question about experience and experiential selves is whether experience is (...)
  44. added 2017-02-27
    Plotinus on Phantasia: Phantasia as the Home of Self-Consciousness Within the Soul.Mark J. Nyvlt - 2009 - Ancient Philosophy 29 (1):139-156.
  45. added 2017-02-27
    Self‐Consciousness and Self‐Reference: Sartre and Wittgenstein.Béatrice Longuenesse - 2008 - European Journal of Philosophy 16 (1):1-21.
  46. added 2017-02-27
    “Every Life Is a Thought”: The Analogy of Personhood in Neoplatonism.Eric D. Perl - 2006 - Philosophy and Theology 18 (1):143-167.
    The distinction between persons and things reflects the opposition between reason and nature that is characteristic of modern thought: persons are constituted by rationality, self-consciousness, free will, and moral agency; things are taken to be merely natural or material beings, devoid of reason and the products of entirely mechanistic forces. Persons, as ends in themselves, alone deserve moral consideration; things deserve no moral consideration. Accordingly in much modern thought, nature, including the human body, becomes a mere object to be manipulated (...)
  47. added 2017-02-27
    History: The Problem of Individuation.Algis MickŪnas - 2006 - Filosofija. Sociologija 17 (3).
    The essay explicates the formation of inter-subjective awareness which is a necessary ground of any lifeworld. It discloses the temporally and spatially non-positional awareness which comprises the continuously extensioning and deepening polycentric field of perceptions. The field is accessible to anyone and anytime and thus provides an ahistorical background for any historical time and location of events in such a time. This non-positional awareness is transcendental and is inadequate for the understanding of the presence of individual differentiations. As universal, it (...)
  48. added 2017-02-27
    Consciousness and Self-Consciousness.Uriah Kriegel - 2004 - The Monist 87 (2):182-205.
  49. added 2017-02-27
    Consciousness as Intransitive Self-Consciousness: Two Views and an Argument.Uriah Kriegel - 2003 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 33 (1):103-132.
  50. added 2017-02-27
    Bermúdez on Self–Consciousness.Brian Garrett - 2003 - Philosophical Quarterly 53 (210):96-101.
    I argue that José Luis Bermúdez has not shown that there is a paradox in our concept of self–consciousness. The deflationary theory is not a plausible theory of self–consciousness, so its paradoxicality is irrelevant. A more plausible theory, ‘the simple theory’, is not paradoxical. However, I do think there is a puzzle about the connection between self–consciousness and ‘I’–thoughts.
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