Naturalizing Self-Consciousness

نوع مقاله : مقاله علمی- پژوهشی

نویسنده

استاد فلسفه، دانشگاه فدرال زیو دو ژانیرو برزیل

چکیده

The crucial problem of self-consciousness is how to account for knowing self-reference without launching into a regress or without presupposing self-consciousness rather than accounting for it (circle). In the literature we find two bottom-up proposals for solving the traditional problem: the postulation of nonconceptual forms of self-consciousness and the postulation of a pre-reflexive form of self-consciousness. However, none of them seems satisfactory for several reasons. In contrast, I believe that the only way of solving this traditional puzzle is to assume another bottom-up approach, namely the one that accepts Baker’s challenge to naturalism and provides a naturalist framework for self-consciousness; in Baker’s terms, to account for self-consciousness in non-intentional, non-semantic, and non-mental terms. That is the aim of this paper. My thesis rests on two claims. The first is the metaphysical claim that every creature enjoys a fundamental relation to itself, namely identity. The second is Dretske’s epistemological claim that representations do not require a Self, traditionally understood as the principle that spontaneously organizes mental activity and lies behind all intentional acts. Briefly, I argue for a naturalization of self-consciousness that postulates non-linguistic, naturalized, and selfless form of representation of the cognitive system based on the metaphysical, fundamental relation everyone has to himself, namely identity. Self-consciousness emerges when brain states are selflessly recruited through learning to represent the cognitive system itself as a subject.

کلیدواژه‌ها


عنوان مقاله [English]

Naturalizing Self-Consciousness

نویسنده [English]

  • Roberto Horácio de Sá Pereira
Professor of Philosophy, Federal University Of Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
چکیده [English]

The crucial problem of self-consciousness is how to account for knowing self-reference without launching into a regress or without presupposing self-consciousness rather than accounting for it (circle). In the literature we find two bottom-up proposals for solving the traditional problem: the postulation of nonconceptual forms of self-consciousness and the postulation of a pre-reflexive form of self-consciousness. However, none of them seems satisfactory for several reasons. In contrast, I believe that the only way of solving this traditional puzzle is to assume another bottom-up approach, namely the one that accepts Baker’s challenge to naturalism and provides a naturalist framework for self-consciousness; in Baker’s terms, to account for self-consciousness in non-intentional, non-semantic, and non-mental terms. That is the aim of this paper. My thesis rests on two claims. The first is the metaphysical claim that every creature enjoys a fundamental relation to itself, namely identity. The second is Dretske’s epistemological claim that representations do not require a Self, traditionally understood as the principle that spontaneously organizes mental activity and lies behind all intentional acts. Briefly, I argue for a naturalization of self-consciousness that postulates non-linguistic, naturalized, and selfless form of representation of the cognitive system based on the metaphysical, fundamental relation everyone has to himself, namely identity. Self-consciousness emerges when brain states are selflessly recruited through learning to represent the cognitive system itself as a subject.

کلیدواژه‌ها [English]

  • Self-consciousness
  • nonconceptual self-consciousness
  • pre-reflexive self-consciousness
  • naturalization of self-consciousness
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