Basic Self‐Awareness

European Journal of Philosophy 24 (4) (2016)
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Abstract

Basic self-awareness is the kind of self-awareness reflected in our standard use of the first-person. Patients suffering from severe forms of depersonalization often feel reluctant to use the first-person and can even, in delusional cases, avoid it altogether, systematically referring to themselves in the third-person. Even though it has been neglected since then, depersonalization has been extensively studied, more than a century ago, and used as probe for understanding the nature and the causal mechanisms of basic self-awareness. In this paper, I argue that depersonalized patients indeed have an impaired basic self-awareness, and that their study allows us both to favor one specific theory of basic self-awareness and to understand what is wrong with its rivals. According to the favored theory, which I call Cartesian, we are basically self-aware in virtue of being acquainted with ourselves through introspection.

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Author's Profile

Alexandre Billon
Université Charles-de-Gaulle - Lille 3

Citations of this work

Acquaintance.Matt Duncan - 2021 - Philosophy Compass 16 (3):e12727.
The Feeling of Bodily Ownership.Adam Bradley - 2019 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research (2):359-379.

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References found in this work

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Individuals: An Essay in Descriptive Metaphysics.James Cargile - 1959 - Journal of Symbolic Logic 38 (2):320-323.

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