Memory and the Self: Phenomenology, Science and Autobiography

Thanks to John Schwenkler for the invitation to guest-blog this week about my new book, Memory and the Self: Phenomenology, Science and Autobiography (Oxford University Press NY, 2016). *** Memory and the Autobiographical Self: The Problem Intuitively, it is not unreasonable to suppose that our episodic memories play a significant …

Upcoming Events at the Brains blog

With the Minds Online conference now in the rearview mirror we are back to regular programming here at Brains, including two upcoming journal symposia and visits from the authors of several new and forthcoming books: Beginning tomorrow, Tuesday 10/11, Carl Gillett will blog for several days about his book Reduction and Emergence in …

Experiencing Phenomenology: Experiencing Oneself

On Husserl’s picture of the phenomenological method, the phenomenologist must reflect on their own experience. So the practice of phenomenology involves some form of self-awareness. But how exactly ought we to characterise this self-awareness and, in particular, does it involves an awareness not just of our experiences but also of …

Nonconceptual Self-Consciousness?

Recently, there have been several attempts to provide an account of our ability for self-conscious thought in terms of nonconceptual forms of (self-)representation (most prominent among these is perhaps the account offered by Bermúdez (1998)). Proponents of nonconceptual content assume that there are ways of representing the world that are …

Lucid Dreaming or Dreaming That You’re Dreaming?

Why isn’t a lucid dream just a dream within a dream? Suppose I’m having a flying dream and I think, “I must be dreaming.” I’m in a dream state, so why I am not just dreaming that I’m dreaming? To put the question another way, if there’s a difference between …

Is Consciousness a “Stream”?

In 1890 William James introduced the metaphor of the “stream of consciousness” into Western psychology: “Consciousness… is nothing jointed; it flows. A ‘river’ or ‘stream’ are the metaphors by which it is most naturally described. In talking of it hereafter, let us call it the stream of thought, of consciousness, …

Introduction

Thanks to John Schwenkler and The Brains Blog for giving me this opportunity to tell you about my work. In this first post I’d like to describe the themes and ideas of my most recent book, Waking, Dreaming, Being: Self and Consciousness in Neuroscience, Meditation, and Philosophy. In later posts …

Symposium on Martin & Le Corre, “Sensory Substitution Is Substitution”

I am glad to kick off our latest Mind & Language symposium on Jean-Rémy Martin and François Le Corre‘s “Sensory Substitution Is Substitution ,” from the journal’s April 2015 issue, with commentaries by Kevin Connolly (Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow, Penn), Ophelia Deroy (Center for the Study of the Senses/Institute of Philosophy, University of London), Julian Kiverstein (Amsterdam), and Michael Proulx (Bath). 1+

Cognitive Phenomenology: The Stream of Consciousness

According to William James experiences, including conscious thoughts, flow in a stream of consciousness. Peter Geach argued that whatever we say about other experiences, conscious thoughts at least do not flow, but rather occur in discrete sequences. A number of recent arguments against cognitive phenomenology take Geach’s criticisms of James …

The Natural Self

Many thanks to John Schwenkler for inviting me to outline here at The Brains Blog the main ideas in my book The Self: Naturalism, Consciousness, and the First-Person Stance (Oxford University Press, new in paperback 2015). I’ll sketch the overall picture in this blog and follow up with two more in which I’ll draw …