Mental Representation and Self-Consciousness: From Basic Self-Representation to Self-Related Cognition

Dissertation, Ruhr-Universität Bochum (2009)
Abstract
One oft the most fascinating abilities of humans is the ability to become conscious of the own physical and mental states. In this systematic investigation of self-consciousness, a representational theory is developed that is able to distinguish between different levels of self-consciousness. The most basic levels are already present in such simple animals as ants. From these basic forms, which are also relevant for adult human self-consciousness, high-level self-consciousness including self-knowledge can arise. Thereby, the theory is not only able to integrate developmental considerations but also to sharply distinguish different aspects of the complex phenomenon self-consciousness. Pathological breakdowns of these different aspects, as they can be found in schizophrenia, are explained by specific impairments on different levels of self-representation. In this way, the work shows that a naturalistic theory of self-consciousness is possible, if the analysis starts with very simple and basic mechanisms instead of starting on the »top of the iceberg«.
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Searching for the Neural Realizers of Ownership Unity.Rex Welshon - 2013 - Philosophical Psychology 26 (6):839 - 862.
Authorship and Control Over Thoughts.Gottfried Vosgerau & Martin Voss - 2014 - Mind and Language 29 (5):534-565.
Memory and Content.Gottfried Vosgerau - 2010 - Consciousness and Cognition 19 (3):838-846.
Self-Consciousness and Nonconceptual Content.Kristina Musholt - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 163 (3):649-672.
Grounding Action Representations.Arne M. Weber & Gottfried Vosgerau - 2012 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 3 (1):53-69.

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