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Being No One : The Self-Model Theory of Subjectivity - Thomas Metzinger

Being No One

The Self-Model Theory of Subjectivity

Paperback Published: 20th August 2004
ISBN: 9780262633086
Number Of Pages: 714
For Ages: 18+ years old

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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.

Industry Reviews

"Metzinger's interdisciplinary approach opens up a new path toward a scientific theory of consciousness and self-consciousness." - Franz Mechsner and Albert Newen, Science; "A convincing philosophical exposition and a well-structured compendium.... It is, without a doubt, a milestone of modern Philosophy of Mind." - Reiner Hedrich, Philosophy of Science

Acknowledgmentsp. xi
Questionsp. 1
Consciousness, the phenomenal self, and the first-person perspectivep. 1
Questionsp. 6
Overview: The architecture of the bookp. 9
Tools Ip. 13
Overview: Mental representation and phenomenal statesp. 13
From mental to phenomenal representation: Information processing, intentional content, and conscious experiencep. 15
Introspectability as attentional availabilityp. 32
Availability for cognitive processingp. 38
Availability for the control of actionp. 39
From mental to phenomenal simulation: The generation of virtual experiential worlds through dreaming, imagination, and planningp. 43
From mental to phenomenal presentation: Qualiap. 62
What is a quale?p. 66
Why qualia don't existp. 69
An argument for the elimination of the canonical concept of a qualep. 83
Presentational contentp. 86
Phenomenal presentationp. 94
The principle of presentationalityp. 96
The principle of reality generationp. 98
The principle of nonintrinsicality and context sensitivityp. 100
The principle of object formationp. 104
The Representational Deep Structure of Phenomenal Experiencep. 107
What is the conceptual prototype of a phenomenal representatum?p. 107
Multilevel constraints: What makes a neural representation a phenomenal representation?p. 116
Global availabilityp. 117
Activation within a window of presencep. 126
Integration into a coherent global statep. 131
Convolved holismp. 143
Dynamicityp. 151
Perspectivalnessp. 156
Transparencyp. 163
Offline activationp. 179
Representation of intensitiesp. 184
"Ultrasmoothness": The homogeneity of simple contentp. 189
Adaptivityp. 198
Phenomenal mental modelsp. 208
Neurophenomenological Case Studies Ip. 213
Reality testing: The concept of a phenomenal model of realityp. 213
Deviant phenomenal models of realityp. 215
Agnosiap. 215
Neglectp. 222
Blindsightp. 228
Hallucinationsp. 237
Dreamsp. 251
The concept of a centered phenomenal model of realityp. 264
Tools IIp. 265
Overview: Mental self-representation and phenomenal self-consciousnessp. 265
From mental to phenomenal self-representation: Mereological intentionalityp. 265
From mental to phenomenal self-simulation: Self-similarity, autobiographical memory, and the design of future selvesp. 279
From mental to phenomenal self-presentation: Embodiment and immediacyp. 285
The Representational Deep Structure of the Phenomenal First-Person Perspectivep. 299
What is a phenomenal self-model?p. 299
Multilevel constraints for self-consciousness: What turns a neural system-model into a phenomenal self?p. 305
Global availability of system-related informationp. 305
Situatedness and virtual self-presencep. 310
Being-in-a-world: Full immersionp. 313
Convolved holism of the phenomenal selfp. 320
Dynamics of the phenomenal selfp. 324
Transparency: From system-model to phenomenal selfp. 330
Virtual phenomenal selvesp. 340
Adaptivity: The self-model as a tool and as a weaponp. 344
Descriptive levels of the human self-modelp. 353
Neural correlatesp. 353
Cognitive correlatesp. 361
Social correlatesp. 362
Levels of content within the human self-modelp. 379
Spatial and nonspatial contentp. 380
Transparent and opaque contentp. 386
The attentional subjectp. 390
The cognitive subjectp. 395
Agencyp. 405
Perspectivalness: The phenomenal model of the intentionality relationp. 411
Global availability of transient subject-object relationsp. 420
Phenomenal presence of a knowing selfp. 421
Phenomenal presence of an agentp. 422
The self-model theory of subjectivityp. 427
Neurophenomenological Case Studies IIp. 429
Impossible egosp. 429
Deviant phenomenal models of the selfp. 429
Anosognosiap. 429
Ich-Storungen: Identity disorders and disintegrating self-modelsp. 437
Hallucinated selves: Phantom limbs, out-of-body-experiences, and hallucinated agencyp. 461
Multiple selves: Dissociative identity disorderp. 522
Lucid dreamsp. 529
The concept of a phenomenal first-person perspectivep. 545
Preliminary Answersp. 547
The neurophenomenological caveman, the little red arrow, and the total flight simulator: From full immersion to emptinessp. 547
Preliminary answersp. 558
Being no onep. 625
Referencesp. 635
Name Indexp. 663
Subject Indexp. 671
Table of Contents provided by Rittenhouse. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780262633086
ISBN-10: 0262633086
Series: A Bradford Book
Audience: Professional
For Ages: 18+ years old
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 714
Published: 20th August 2004
Publisher: MIT Press Ltd
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.8 x 17.8  x 3.5
Weight (kg): 1.1