The Mirror of the World: Subjects, Consciousness, and Self-Consciousness
Christopher Peacocke presents a philosophical theory of subjects of consciousness, together with a theory of the nature of first person representation of such a subject of consciousness. He develops a new treatment of subjects, distinct from previous theories, under which subjects were regarded either as constructs from mental events, or fundamentally embodied, or Cartesian egos. In contrast, his theory of the first person integrates with the positive treatment of subjects—and it contributes to the explanation of various distinctive first person phenomena in the theory of thought and knowledge. These are issues on which contributions have been made by some of the greatest philosophers, and Peacocke brings his points to bear on the contributions to these issues made by Hume, Kant, Frege, Wittgenstein, and Strawson. He also relates his position to the recent literature in the philosophy of mind, and then goes on to distinguish and characterize three varieties of self-consciousness. Perspectival self-consciousness involves the subject's capacity to appreciate that she is of the same kind as things given in a third personal way, and attributes the subject to a certain kind of objective thought about herself. Reflective self-consciousness involves awareness of the subject's own mental states, reached in a distinctive way. Interpersonal self-consciousness is awareness that one features, as a subject, in some other person's mental states. These varieties, and the relations and the forms of co-operation between them, are important in explaining features of our knowledge, our social relations, and our emotional lives. The theses of The Mirror of the World are of importance not only for philosophy, but also for psychology, the arts, and anywhere else that the self and self-representation loom large. The Context and Content series is a forum for outstanding original research at the intersection of philosophy, linguistics, and cognitive science. The general editor is François Recanati (Institut Jean-Nicod, Paris).
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Acknowledgements and Sources
The Metaphysics of Conscious Subjects
The First Person Concept and its Nonconceptual Parent
Explaining First Person Phenomena
Paralogisms and First Person Illusions
action awareness applies argued argument attention body Cartesian Chapter claim co-conscious Cogito coming to know conceptual content condition conscious event conscious mental conscious subjects constitutive Descartes discussion distinction entity error through misidentification existence explanation formulation FPUTs fundamental reference rule given grasp identity immunity to error integrating apparatus intentional content interpersonal self-consciousness intuition involve joint attention judgement Kant Kant’s kind knowledge mental events mental files metaphysics mirror test modal realism mode of presentation nature nonconceptual content normal notion or concept object files one’s oneself ontology other’s Paralogisms particular Paul Snowdon perceiving perception perceptual experience Perry person concept person thought perspectival self-consciousness phenomena philosophical plausible position possible present tense properties proprioception psychological question rational psychologist reasons reflective self-consciousness relation representation represented seems self-ascription self-representation sensation sense someone spatial Strawson subject-reflexive subject’s file subjects of consciousness subpersonal theory theory-theory thesis thing thinker thinking tion transition