, Volume 129, Issue 1, pp 129-149

Nonconceptual Self-Consciousness And Cognitive Science

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This paper explores some of the areaswhere neuroscientific and philosophical issuesintersect in the study of self-consciousness. Taking aspoint of departure a paradox (the paradox ofself-consciousness) that appears to blockphilosophical elucidation of self-consciousness, thepaper illustrates how the highly conceptual forms ofself-consciousness emerge from a rich foundation ofnonconceptual forms of self-awareness. Attention ispaid in particular to the primitive forms ofnonconceptual self-consciousness manifested in visualperception, somatic proprioception, spatial reasoningand interpersonal psychological interactions. Thestudy of these primitive forms of self-consciousnessis an interdisciplinaryenterprise and the paper considers a range of pointsof contact where philosophical work can illuminatework in the cognitive sciences, and vice versa.