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Reprinted in David Benatar ed. Reprinted in John Weckert ed.

Free Will, Medieval Theories of | Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy

Posted January 15th as part of a symposium. Mele: Motivation and Agency ", Philosophical Quarterly 58, , pp. Reprinted in Jussi Suikkanen and John Cottingham eds. Reprinted in Bart Streumer ed. Ben Colburn , p. Schneewind ed.

Marcel S. Tae-Chang Kim and Ross Harrison eds. Jeanette Kennett: Agency and Responsibility in Utilitas 15, Schueler: Reasons and Purposes in Mind , Terry Horgan and Mark Timmons eds. Geoffrey Sayre-McCord was my respondent. Scanlon, University of London, June 4th-5th, at which I was an invited plenary speaker with Mark Kalderon as my respondent.

Cover may be worn. Stamped and Stickered used. No CD's, codes, or software. Ships from SoCal, usually same day as ordered. Please read my feedback about fast shipping. Possible ex library copy, thatll have the markings and stickers associated from the library. All pages are intact, and the cover is intact. Pages can include considerable notes-in pen or highlighter-but the notes cannot obscure the text. There are other objections to higher order views, however, each of which applies to one or more versions of the view.

They include worries about the possibility of objectless and non-veridical higher order states Byrne ; Block , about whether it can account for the conscious states of infants and non-humans Dretske ch. As such, higher-order and self-representational theories of consciousness, that posit a necessary connection between consciousness and self-consciousness, are far from being established. If consciousness cannot be reduced to self-consciousness, perhaps the latter is nevertheless a necessary condition of the former.

A different non-reductive, and broadly Kantian, argument for the claim that self-consciousness is a necessary condition of consciousness first of all claims that conscious experience is necessarily unified and, second, that this unity of consciousness in turn depends on self-awareness. One reason for supposing that there is a connection between self-consciousness and the unity of consciousness is given by Kant, who writes,.

As Kant famously puts it,. On this view, it is the unity of the self that guarantees that co-conscious experiences are jointly self-ascribable; that unity requires self-consciousness there is a question as to whether self-consciousness is here supposed to explain the unity of consciousness; cf. This Kantian picture is associated with the claim that unified self-consciousness requires a conception of the world as objective; as transcending the perspective that one has on it.

The claim that the unity of consciousness requires self-consciousness can be criticised in a number of different ways. How one evaluates the claim will depend on whether one has conceptual or non-conceptual self-consciousness in mind. As Bayne points out, the claim that the unity of consciousness requires that one possess the concept of oneself seems, implausibly, to imply that conceptually unsophisticated infants and non-human animals could not possess a unified stream of consciousness of course, this worry applies quite generally to views that connect consciousness with self-consciousness.

The concern is addressed to the view that self-consciousness is not merely a necessary condition of the unity of consciousness but is that in virtue of which it is unified. For if the self-ascription of experiences is taken to be that which is responsible for the unity of consciousness, how can we account for the fact that the self-conscious thoughts are themselves unified with the first-order experiences that they supposedly unify?

As Hurley puts it,. To appeal to the third-order self-ascription of the self-conscious thought would appear to invite a regress. What is the connection between self-consciousness and the awareness of others? On some views self-consciousness requires awareness of others, on another view the awareness of others requires self-consciousness. A familiar account of our knowledge of others takes the form of an argument from analogy Slote ch. On this picture, self-awareness, as manifest in the judgement about my own case, is a necessary condition of knowledge of other minds.

In this respect the view is related to contemporary simulation theory, standard versions of which see our capacity to attribute mental states to others as dependent on our capacity to attribute them to ourselves Heal ; Goldman ch. Associated with the argument from analogy is a view according to which our grasp of mental state concepts is an essentially first-personal affair.

In opposition to this package stand views on which our grasp and application of mental state concepts is neutral between the first and third-person cases. Theory theorists, for example, claim that we attribute mental states to both ourselves and others by means of a tacitly held psychological theory. They may also hold that possession of such a theory constitutes our grasp of mental state concepts Carruthers , ch. While such views accord no priority to the first-person case, they may see a tight connection between self-consciousness and our capacity to think about others: these are simply two aspects of the more general capacity to think about the mind.

Stern part II. On such a view the first-person case is treated as secondary, reversing the traditional picture associated with the argument from analogy. A more ambitious version of this approach to the relationship between self-consciousness and awareness of others, prioritizing the awareness of others, is to argue that knowledge of other minds is a necessary condition of the possibility of self-consciousness. Well known examples of such arguments can be found in the work of P. Strawson ch. Since knowledge of other minds is typically considered to be open to sceptical doubt, and self-consciousness is not, such lines of reasoning are transcendental arguments and so potentially open to general criticisms of that form of argument Stroud ; R.

Stern , Strawson 99; cf. In short, we must have knowledge of others' minds if we are self-conscious for the full argument, see P. Strawson ff; for critical discussion, see R. Stern ch. At its heart is the claim that for my thoughts to have determinate content there must exist another subject who is able to interpret me.


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As Davidson puts it,. Davidson — Since self-conscious subjects are aware of the contents of their thoughts, they must know that there are other minds, since the sort of intersubjective externalism that Davidson endorses guarantees it. Self-knowledge, on this view, entails knowledge of others for discussion, see R. At what age can human infants be credited with self-consciousness? Is self-consciousness present beyond homo sapiens?

Others, for example Rosenthal , claim that phenomenal consciousness entails self-consciousness. If either view is correct then self-consciousness, of some kind, can plausibly be attributed to creatures other than adult humans. But when it comes to more sophisticated forms of self-awareness, matters are less clear. What is required is some empirical criterion for judging a creature self-conscious even if, as with infants and non-human animals, they are unable to provide evidence via their use of the first-person pronoun.

It is easy to see why this might seem to be so since, if first-person thought involves thinking about oneself as oneself , then it is natural to suppose that a capacity to recognise that a subject seen in a mirror is oneself involves such a thought. With respect to human infants, the consensus is that success in the mirror test begins at around 15 to 18 months of age, and that by 24 months most children pass Amsterdam ; M.

It is not universally accepted, however, that success in the mirror test is an indication of self-consciousness. For example, Heyes presents an influential critique of the claim that it is a marker of self-awareness, arguing that all that is required for success is that subjects be able to distinguish between novel ways of receiving bodily feedback in order to guide behaviour, on the one hand, and other forms of incoming sensory data, on the other.


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  • Such a view, however, needs to explain why it is that passing the mirror test seems to be connected with the phenomena arguably associated with self-consciousness, such as experiencing shame and embarrassment M. Lewis Another potential marker of self-consciousness is episodic memory, the capacity that we have to recollect particular episodes from our own past experience see Tulving ; Michaelian ; entry on memory.

    If it is correct that episodic memory essentially involves a form of self-consciousness, and we are able to test for the presence of episodic memory in non-linguistic infants and animals, then we have a way of detecting the presence of self-conscious abilities. Since, however, episodic memory is not the only form of self-consciousness, the lack of it does not indicate that a creature is not self-aware.

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    Indeed, the much discussed case of K. For example whilst most 3 year old infants can remember presented information, most are unreliable when it comes to the question of how they know—did they see it, hear it, etc. The suggestion here is that the development of the reliable capacity to report how they know some fact reflects the development of the capacity to episodically remember the learning event.

    Another body of research pertaining to the question of self-consciousness in infants and non-human animals is the work on metacognition and metamemory. Smith ; Beran et al. The suggestion is that if a creature is able to monitor their own level of confidence, they are to that extent self-conscious.

    2. Self-Consciousness in Thought

    One common paradigm for testing metacognitive abilities involves presenting subjects with a stimulus that they must categorise in one of two ways. Crucially, they are also given the opportunity to opt out of the test, with correct categorisation resulting in the highest reward, opting out resulting in a lower reward, and incorrect categorisation resulting in no reward.

    The assumption is that the opt-out response reflects a meta-cognitive judgement of uncertainty. Evidence gathered from such a paradigm has been taken to show metacognitive abilities in some birds Fujita et.

    Reason Responsibility Readings Basic by Joel Feinberg, First Edition

    Smith et. The view that success on metacognitive opt-out tests is indicative of self-consciousness is not uncontroversial, however.


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    • On such an interpretation, the research on metacognition does not provide compelling evidence regarding self-consciousness in infants and non-human animals but for critical discussion see J.