Journal of Consciousness Studies 22 (11-12):270-302 (2015)

Thomas Metzinger
Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz
What we traditionally call ‘conscious thought’ actually is a subpersonal process, and only rarely a form of mental action. The paradigmatic, standard form of conscious thought is non-agentive, because it lacks veto-control and involves an unnoticed loss of epistemic agency and goal-directed causal self-determination at the level of mental content. Conceptually, it must be described as an unintentional form of inner behaviour. Empirical research shows that we are not mentally autonomous subjects for about two thirds of our conscious lifetime, because while conscious cognition is unfolding, it often cannot be inhibited, suspended, or terminated. The instantiation of a stable first- person perspective as well as of certain necessary conditions of personhood turn out to be rare, graded, and dynamically variable properties of human beings. I argue that individual representational events only become part of a personal-level process by being functionally integrated into a specific form of transparent conscious self-representation, the ‘epistemic agent model’. The EAM may be the true origin of our consciously experienced firstperson perspective
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

 PhilArchive page | Other versions
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

The Predictive Mind.Jakob Hohwy - 2013 - Oxford University Press UK.

View all 36 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Commentary: M-Autonomy.Krzysztof Dołȩga - 2018 - Frontiers in Psychology 9.

View all 11 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles


Added to PP index

Total views
346 ( #25,764 of 2,448,737 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
37 ( #18,553 of 2,448,737 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes