Being No One: The Self-Model Theory of Subjectivity
According to Thomas Metzinger, no such things as selves exist in the world: nobody ever had or was a self. All that exists are phenomenal selves, as they appear in conscious experience. The phenomenal self, however, is not a thing but an ongoing process; it is the content of a "transparent self-model." In Being No One, Metzinger, a German philosopher, draws strongly on neuroscientific research to present a representationalist and functional analysis of what a consciously experienced first-person perspective actually is. Building a bridge between the humanities and the empirical sciences of the mind, he develops new conceptual toolkits and metaphors; uses case studies of unusual states of mind such as agnosia, neglect, blindsight, and hallucinations; and offers new sets of multilevel constraints for the concept of consciousness. Metzinger's central question is: How exactly does strong, consciously experienced subjectivity emerge out of objective events in the natural world? His epistemic goal is to determine whether conscious experience, in particular the experience of being someone that results from the emergence of a phenomenal self, can be analyzed on subpersonal levels of description. He also asks if and how our Cartesian intuitions that subjective experiences as such can never be reductively explained are themselves ultimately rooted in the deeper representational structure of our conscious minds.
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action active actually anosognosia Anton's syndrome aspects attention behavior biological bodily body brain causal chapter cognitively available coherent concept conscious experience conscious self-model consciously experienced constraint Damasio described dynamics empirical epistemic example exist external fact first-person perspective form of phenomenal functional architecture functional properties globally available goal hallucinations higher-order holism instance integrated intentional content interesting internal introspective kind level of description lucid dreams mental models mental representation Metzinger model of reality motor naive realism neural correlate neurophenomenological nomenal notion object component opaque organism patient perceptual perspectivalness phantom limb phenome phenomenal content phenomenal experience phenomenal model phenomenal property phenomenal representation phenomenal transparency phenomenological philosophical physical PMIR possess possible presentational content proprioceptive qualia representata rience self-consciousness self-representation self-simulation sense sensory simple simulation situations specific structure subjective experience subpersonal teleofunctionalist temporal theoretical theory tion tional transparent self-model visual window of presence world-model