Philosophical Studies

, Volume 174, Issue 7, pp 1721–1733 | Cite as

From Indian philosophy to cognitive neuroscience: two empirical case studies for Ganeri's Self

Commentary on Jonardon Ganeri’s The Self: Naturalism, Consciousness, & the First-Person Stance
  • Jennifer M. WindtEmail author


In this commentary, I confront Ganeri’s theory of self with two case studies from cognitive neuroscience and interdisciplinary consciousness research: mind wandering and full-body illusions. Together, these case studies suggest new questions and constraints for Ganeri's theory of self. Recent research on spontaneous thought and mind wandering raises questions about the transition from unconscious monitoring to the phenomenology of ownership and the first-person stance. Full-body illusions are relevant for the attenuation problem of how we distinguish between self and others. Discussing these examples can help refine key transitions in Ganeri’s theory of self and ensure its empirical plausibility. This discussion also identifies points of contact between Ganeri's self and cognitive neuroscience, raising new questions for future research, both philosophical and empirical.


Self-consciousness Attention Ownership Spontaneous thought Mind wandering Dreaming Full-body illusions Virtual reality 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Philosophy DepartmentMonash UniversityClaytonAustralia

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