- This pseudo-Paper is intended as the mechanism to record time spent on the Note 'Self-Consciousness1' during my Thesis research, as from 2011.
- For the actual time recorded, click on "Paper Summary" above.
Write-up2 (as at 19/04/2018 18:30:14): Self-Consciousness
- This is more than just phenomenal consciousness4 (which may be a watershed in itself with moral consequences greater than generally accepted) but the consciousness of oneself as a self5 (as Locke6 noted).
- But we need also consider the view that this “watcher” is an illusion, a falsely assumed Cartesian Ego7 whose existence is undermined by neuroscience, the modularity of mind, and such-like.
- I was alerted to a quotation8 from John Updike’s "Updike (John) - Self-Consciousness":-
“Not only are selves conditional but they die. Each day, we wake slightly altered, and the person we were yesterday is dead. So why, one could say, be afraid of death, when death comes all the time? ” I think this thought9 is muddled in several respects:-
- Death10 is a biological event that – at least in the ordinary case – can happen to an organism only once. Whatever Selves11 are, they don’t die every night. Follow the links for further discussion.
- We do indeed “wake slightly altered”; indeed, we alter slightly whenever we encounter an event that has an impact on us.
- I’m not sure what Updike means by our selves being “conditional”, but I can well believe it.
- Updike seems to subscribe to some “strict and philosophical” view of identity, whereby nothing survives change. This is not a useful understanding.
- Any comfort we might get from such thoughts concerning our inevitable deaths is entirely spurious.
- For a page of Links to this Note, Click here.
- The categorised reading list is rather small; naturally, see also those on Self12 and Consciousness13.
- Works on this topic that I’ve actually read14, include15 the following:-
- "Garrett (Brian) - Personal Identity and Self-consciousness", Garrett
- "Kriegel (Uriah) - Strange Loops and Self-conscious Marbles", Kriegel
- A reading list (where not covered elsewhere) might start with:-
- "Eilan (Naomi), Marcel (Anthony) & Bermudez (Jose Luis) - Self-Consciousness and the Body: An Interdisciplinary Approach", Eilan
- "Laycock (Stephen) - Consciousness It/Self", Laycock
- "Neisser (Ulric) - Five Kinds of Self-Knowledge", Neisser
- "Pollock (John L.) - The Self-Conscious Machine", Pollock
- "Shoemaker (Sydney) - The Self and the Contents of Consciousness", Shoemaker
- "Vesey (Godfrey N.A.) - Are We Intimately Conscious of What We Call Our Self", Vesey
- "Vjecsner (Paul) - Searching for the Heart of Human Nature", Vjecsner
- This is mostly a place-holder16.
- This is the write-up as it was when this Abstract was last output, with text as at the timestamp indicated (19/04/2018 18:30:14).
- Link to Latest Write-Up Note.
- A number of my philosophical Notes are “promissory notes” currently only listing the books and papers (if any) I possess on the topic concerned.
- I’ve decided to add some text – whether by way of motivation, or something more substantive – for all these identified topics related to my Thesis.
- As I want to do this fairly quickly, the text may be confused or show surprising ignorance.
- The reader (if such exists) will have to bear with me, and display the principle of charity while this footnote exists.
- It appeared in The Week, but it seems to be a popular one.
- See Link.
- I’m not yet clear of the context: the book is on order.
- Which has little to do with self-consciousness other that the book’s title.
- Frequently I’ll have made copious marginal annotations, and sometimes have written up a review-note.
- In the former case, I intend to transfer the annotations into electronic form as soon as I can find the time.
- In the latter case, I will have remarked on the fact against the citation, and will integrate the comments into this Note in due course.
- My intention is to incorporate into these Notes comments on material I’ve already read rather than engage with unread material at this stage.
- I may have read others in between updates of this Note – in which case they will be marked as such in the “References and Reading List” below.
- Papers or Books partially read have a rough %age based on the time spent versus the time expected.
Text Colour Conventions (see disclaimer)
- Blue: Text by me; © Theo Todman, 2018
- Mauve: Text by correspondent(s) or other author(s); © the author(s)