Subjects and Consciousness

Christopher Peacocke

in The Self and Self-Knowledge

Published in print April 2012 | ISBN: 9780199590650
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191741043 | DOI:
Subjects and Consciousness

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The first part of the paper proposes a positive account of de se intentional content. De se content is individuated by the condition that it refers de jure to the owner of the mental state or event in whose content it features. There is a corresponding account of the distinctive way in which de se information is updated as time passes. Three degrees of involvement of self-representation in a subject’s conception of the world are distinguished. The second part gives an account of the ontology of subjects, as metaphysically interdependent with conscious mental states and events. Subjects of consciousness are individuated by the identity of the apparatus that integrates information to produce unified conscious states. The theory is applied in critical discussion of the classical views of Hume, Kant, and the early Wittgenstein on the self.

Keywords: self; first person; de se; subject; consciousness; Hume; Kant; Wittgenstein; mental file; ‘no-ownership’ view

Chapter.  15284 words. 

Subjects: Metaphysics

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