Archive for the ‘Self’ Category
My debut book, The Peripheral Mind. Philosophy of Mind and the Peripheral Nervous System (OUP, 2013) now on pre-sale. Check out the official FB page of the book for all the relevant links. The cover art by Alex Robciuc, as well as advance praise by Shaun Gallagher are pasted below. Enjoy! Read the rest of this entry »
Talk at Bogazici: Thomas Metzinger (Mainz) on “Body Representation and Self-Consciousness: From Embodiment to Minimal Phenomenal Selfhood” 04/12/2012
Thomas Metzinger (Mainz) will give a talk at Bogazici on Tuesday, December 4th, from 5-7pm in TB130:
“Body Representation and Self-Consciousness:
From Embodiment to Minimal Phenomenal Selfhood.”
ABSTRACT: As a philosopher, I am interested in the relationship between body representation and the deep structure of self-consciousness. My epistemic goal in this lecture will be the simplest form of phenomenal self-consciousness: What exactly are the essential non-conceptual, pre-reflexive layers in conscious self-representation? What constitutes a minimal phenomenal self? Conceptually, I will defend the claim that agency is not part of the metaphysically necessary supervenience-basis for bodily self-consciousness. Empirically, I will draw on recent research focusing on out-of-body experiences (OBEs) and full-body illusions (FBIs). I will then proceed to sketch a new research program and advertise a new research target: “Minimal Phenomenal Selfhood”, ending with an informal argument for the thesis that agency or “global control”, phenomenologically as well as functionally, is not a necessary condition for self-consciousness.
Thomas Metzinger is a leading contemporary German philosopher. He has been active since the early 1990s in the promotion of consciousness studies as an academic endeavour. As a co-founder, he has been particularly active in the organization of the Association for the Scientific Study of Consciousness (ASSC), and sat on the board of directors of that organisation from 1995 to 2008. He served as president of the ASSC in 2009/10. Metzinger is director of the MIND group and has been president of the German cognitive science society from 2005 to 2007. In 2003 Metzinger published the monograph Being No One. In this book he argues that 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. He argues that the phenomenal self, however, is not a thing but an ongoing process; it is the content of a “transparent self-model.” In 2009 Metzinger published a follow-up book to Being No One for a general audience: The Ego Tunnel. In English he has also published two edited works, Conscious Experience (1995), and Neural correlates of consciousness: empirical and conceptual issues (2000).
Dan Zahavi (Copenhagen) will be giving a talk at Bogazici university on Thursday, September 27th from 5-7pm, entitled ‘”Figuring the self: Can we learn anything from philosophy?”
Venue: Turgut Noyan Salonu (North Campus, next to the library)
Abstract: In both ancient and modern times, the existence of self has been called into question. Frequently, the claim of the self-skeptics has been that the self, if it exists, must be some kind of unchanging and ontologically independent entity. Given that no such entity exists, there is no self. In my talk, I will argue that this philosophical definition of self contrasts rather markedly with how the self is approached, understood, and explored in a variety of empirical disciplines, including developmental psychology, social psychology, neuroscience and psychiatry. I will consider two cases in particular, namely research in autism and the study of facial self-recognition. On the basis of these examples, I will discuss how one ought to conceive of the relationship between philosophical analysis and empirical investigation when it comes to the study of self.
Here are some papers that might be good for background reading:
Dan Zahavi: “The experiential self: Objections and Clarifications. ” In M. Siderits, E. Thompson, D. Zahavi (eds.): Self, no self? Perspectives from Analytical, Phenomenological, & Indian Traditions. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011, 56-78.
Dan Zahavi: “Is the self a social construct?” Inquiry 52/6, 2009, 551-573.
Dan Zahavi: “Self and other: The limits of narrative understanding.” In D.D. Hutto (eds): Narrative and Understanding Persons. Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 60.Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007, 179-201.
Dan Zahavi is Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Danish National Research Foundation’s Center for Subjectivity Research at the University of Copenhagen. Zahavi writes on phenomenology and especially the philosophy of EdmundHusserl. He is co-editor of the journal Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences, and author of Intentionalität und Konstitution, Husserl und die transzendentale Intersubjektivität, Self-awareness and Alterity, Husserl’s Phenomenology, Subjectivity and Selfhood: Investigating the first-person perspective,Phänomenologie für Einsteiger, and (with Shaun Gallagher) The Phenomenological Mind.
Taking Pains: Plato on the Care of Self and Others
Mon. 10 Sept. 2012 12:00 noon
Hadımköy Campus, room A-306 (İbn-i Haldun Anfisi, previously known as Blue Hall)
In this paper, I analyze the relationship between ethics and politics in Plato’s thought in order to demonstrate that Plato understood this relationship to be characterized by an ineradicable element of agonism and instability. Drawing upon texts such as the Apology, Alcibiades I, Gorgias, and Symposium, as well as upon Foucault’s late works, I take the epimeleia heautou, “the care of the self,” as the organizing theme of my analysis, in order to show that this agonism has the aporetic result that, though Plato conceived of the ethics of the care both of oneself and others as the truest form of statesmanship, he was nevertheless unwilling or unable to generalize it into an unproblematic political system.
How to reach us:
By public transport: Thankfully, the metrobus extension has been completed. Direction TÜYAP, get off one stop before terminus (misleadingly called Hadımköy), take the blue bus 418 or the yellow (sometimes green or red and white) HT18 towards Hadımköy (ca. 15 min. to Fatih Kampüsü)
By car: leave the TEM at Hadımköy gişeleri, turn right and follow the signs for Fatih Üniversitesi
Ulric Neisser, an American psychologist and one of the founders of cognitive psychology died last month. Neisser’s life, including his major contributions to the revolution of the study of the human cognition is well documented; see for instance, the NY Times obituary and the Mind Hacks blog. My intention is not to replicate what has appeared elsewhere but to add to it by focusing on Neisser’s later work in ecological psychology, more specifically, his interdisciplinary research on the self which has guided the content and methodology of my own work. I take this as an opportunity to remember him, with the added hope of sparking the interest of those less familiar with his later work.
Behaviourism dominated the scientific study of the mind in the first half of the 20th century. Behaviourists declared that psychology should not attempt to address internal mental events and mechanisms but should focus on the observable markers of cognition, such as stimuli, responses, and the consequences of these responses. Despite its contribution to the development of rigorous experimental techniques and to the domain of learning, behaviourism was limited in explaining many interesting dimensions of human cognition, such as the development of language.