Being No One The Self-Model Theory of Subjectivity

ISBN-10: 0262633086

ISBN-13: 9780262633086

Edition: 2004

Authors: Thomas Metzinger

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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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Book details

List price: $50.00
Copyright year: 2004
Publisher: MIT Press
Publication date: 8/20/2004
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 714
Size: 7.00" wide x 9.00" long x 1.50" tall
Weight: 2.486
Language: English

Thomas Metzinger is Professor of Philosophy at the Johannes Gutenberg-Universit�t Mainz, Germany. He is the editor of Neural Correlates of Consciousness (MIT Press, 2000).

Consciousness, the phenomenal self, and the first-person perspective
Overview: The architecture of the book
Tools I
Overview: Mental representation and phenomenal states
From mental to phenomenal representation: Information processing, intentional content, and conscious experience
Introspectability as attentional availability
Availability for cognitive processing
Availability for the control of action
From mental to phenomenal simulation: The generation of virtual experiential worlds through dreaming, imagination, and planning
From mental to phenomenal presentation: Qualia
What is a quale?
Why qualia don't exist
An argument for the elimination of the canonical concept of a quale
Presentational content
Phenomenal presentation
The principle of presentationality
The principle of reality generation
The principle of nonintrinsicality and context sensitivity
The principle of object formation
The Representational Deep Structure of Phenomenal Experience
What is the conceptual prototype of a phenomenal representatum?
Multilevel constraints: What makes a neural representation a phenomenal representation?
Global availability
Activation within a window of presence
Integration into a coherent global state
Convolved holism
Offline activation
Representation of intensities
"Ultrasmoothness": The homogeneity of simple content
Phenomenal mental models
Neurophenomenological Case Studies I
Reality testing: The concept of a phenomenal model of reality
Deviant phenomenal models of reality
The concept of a centered phenomenal model of reality
Tools II
Overview: Mental self-representation and phenomenal self-consciousness
From mental to phenomenal self-representation: Mereological intentionality
From mental to phenomenal self-simulation: Self-similarity, autobiographical memory, and the design of future selves
From mental to phenomenal self-presentation: Embodiment and immediacy
The Representational Deep Structure of the Phenomenal First-Person Perspective
What is a phenomenal self-model?
Multilevel constraints for self-consciousness: What turns a neural system-model into a phenomenal self?
Global availability of system-related information
Situatedness and virtual self-presence
Being-in-a-world: Full immersion
Convolved holism of the phenomenal self
Dynamics of the phenomenal self
Transparency: From system-model to phenomenal self
Virtual phenomenal selves
Adaptivity: The self-model as a tool and as a weapon
Descriptive levels of the human self-model
Neural correlates
Cognitive correlates
Social correlates
Levels of content within the human self-model
Spatial and nonspatial content
Transparent and opaque content
The attentional subject
The cognitive subject
Perspectivalness: The phenomenal model of the intentionality relation
Global availability of transient subject-object relations
Phenomenal presence of a knowing self
Phenomenal presence of an agent
The self-model theory of subjectivity
Neurophenomenological Case Studies II
Impossible egos
Deviant phenomenal models of the self
Ich-Storungen: Identity disorders and disintegrating self-models
Hallucinated selves: Phantom limbs, out-of-body-experiences, and hallucinated agency
Multiple selves: Dissociative identity disorder
Lucid dreams
The concept of a phenomenal first-person perspective
Preliminary Answers
The neurophenomenological caveman, the little red arrow, and the total flight simulator: From full immersion to emptiness
Preliminary answers
Being no one
Name Index
Subject Index
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