Being No One: The Self-Model Theory of Subjectivity
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.
About the Author
Thomas Metzinger is Professor of Philosophy and Fellow at the Gutenberg Research College at the Johannes Gutenberg-Universität, Mainz, and an Adjunct Fellow at the Frankfurt Institute for Advanced Study in Frankfurt am Main. He is the editor of Neural Correlates of Consciousness and the author of Being No One, both published by the MIT Press.
Praise for Being No One: The Self-Model Theory of Subjectivity
A convincing philosophical exposition and a well-structured compendium... without a doubt, a milestone of modern Philosophy of Mind.—Reiner Hedrich, Philosophy of Science—
Metzinger's interdisciplinary approach opens a new path toward a scientific theory of consciousness and self-consciousness.
—Franz Mechsner and Albert Newen , Science—
This book is a 'must' for anyone who is interested in empirical studies related to first-person issues or subjectivity.
—Kai Vogeley, TRENDS in Cognitive Sciences—