Skip to content

The Self: Contemporary Philosophical Perspectives

General

Day: Tuesdays, weekly
First meeting: 6thMarch, 2018
Final meeting: 19thJune 2018
Time: 9:45–11:15; eleven 90-minute sessions. Plus attendance of three or more 90-minute presentations at the workshop ‘Perspectives on Minimal Self’ (14thMay, 9:30–17:00; May 15, 9:30–16:00; there will be no seminar on 14thMay)
Place: Lecture Room 2I, NIG (seminars); Aula am Campus (workshop)

Univ.-Prof. Matthew Ratcliffe
Room C0308
Office hour: Tuesdays 16:00–17:00

Christoph Durt, PhD
Room C0302
Office hour: Tuesdays 11:30–12:30

Student Assistant: Maike Cram

Content

This course addresses some current philosophical approaches to the “self”, focusing on the view that all experiences, thoughts, and activities incorporate or presuppose what is sometimes referred to as the “minimal self”. We will critically discuss the work of several key contributors to current debates, and exchange ideas with some of them in person, at a workshop that forms part of the course.

Literature

There are two core readings for each of seminars 2 to 11, consisting of journal articles and book chapters. These will be made available on Moodle at least one week before the relevant seminar. In addition, you are encouraged to consult further sources listed under ‘general reading’, below. You do not need to do any preparatory reading for the first, introductory seminar, but you are encouraged to read the two recommended sources afterwards.

Seminar Topics And Readings

Seminar 1. Introduction
Gallagher, S. 2011. A Diversity of Selves. In S. Gallagher, ed. 2011. The Oxford Handbook of Self. Oxford: Oxford University Press: 1–29.
Barresi, J. an R. Martin. 2011. History as Prologue: Western Theories of the Self. In S. Gallagher, ed. 2011. The Oxford Handbook of Self. Oxford: Oxford University Press: 33–56.

Seminar 2. Perspectives on the Minimal Self I
Strawson, G. 2009. The Self. In B. McLaughlin and A. Beckermann, eds. TheOxford Handbook of Philosophy of Mind. Oxford: Oxford University Press: 541–564.
Strawson, G. 2013. The Minimal Subject. In S. Gallagher, ed. TheOxford Handbook of the Self. Oxford: Oxford University Press: 253–278.

Seminar 3. Perspectives on the Minimal Self II
Strawson, G. 2017. Radical Self-Awareness. In his The Subject of Experience. Oxford: Oxford University Press: 188–211.
Zahavi, D. 2012. The Time of the Self. Grazer Philosophische Studien 84: 143–159. 

Seminar 4.Perspectives on the Minimal Self III
Zahavi, D. 2015. Self and Other: From Pure Ego to Co-Constituted We. Continental Philosophy Review 48: 143–60.
Nida-Rümelin, M. 2017. Self-Awareness. Review of Philosophy and Psychology8: 55–82.

Seminar 5. Perspectives on the Minimal Self IV
Guillot, M. 2016. I Me Mine: On a Confusion Concerning the Subjective Character of Experience. Review of Philosophy and Psychology8:23–53.
Zahavi, D. forthcoming. Consciousness and (Minimal) Selfhood: Getting Clearer on For-Me-Ness and Mineness. In U. Kriegel, ed. The Oxford Handbook of the Philosophy of Consciousness. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Seminar 6. Self and Body I
Cassam, Q. 2011. The Embodied Self. In S. Gallagher, ed. 2011. The Oxford Handbookof Self. Oxford: Oxford University Press: 139–156
Bermúdez, J. L. 2011. Bodily Awareness and Self-Consciousness. In S. Gallagher, ed. 2011. The Oxford Handbook of Self. Oxford: Oxford University Press: 157–179.

Seminar 7. Self and Body II
Fuchs, T. 2017. Self across Time: the Diachronic Unity of Bodily Existence. Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences16: 291–315.
Legrand, D. 2011. Phenomenological Dimensions of Bodily Self-Consciousness. In S. Gallagher, ed. 2011. The Oxford Handbook of Self. Oxford: Oxford University Press: 204–227.

Conference: You are encouraged to attend the whole conference. However, the minimum requirement is that you attend three of the 90-minute presentations (including discussion time).

Seminar 8. Philosophy and Cognitive Science
Gallagher, S. 2000. Philosophical Conceptions of the Self: Implications for Cognitive Science. Trends in Cognitive Sciences4: 14–21
Gallagher, S. 2013. A Pattern Theory of Self. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience7, Article 443: 1–7.

Seminar 9. Self and Narrative
Dennett, D. C. 1992. The Self as a Center of Narrative Gravity. In F. Kessel, P. Cole and D. Johnson eds. Self and Consciousness: Multiple Perspectives.Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum: 103–118.
Strawson, G. 2004. Against Narrativity. Ratio XVIII: 428–452.

Seminar 10.  No Self
Krueger, Joel. 2011. The Who and the How of Experience. In M. Siderits, E. Thompson, and D. Zahavi, eds. Self, No Self? Perspectives from Analytical, Phenomenological, and Indian Traditions. Oxford: Oxford University Press: 27–55.
Metzinger, T. 2011. The No-Self Alternative. In S. Gallagher, ed. 2011. The Oxford Handbook of Self. Oxford: Oxford University Press: 279–296.

Seminar 11. Pathologies of Self
Radden, J. 2011. Multiple Selves. In S. Gallagher, ed. 2011. The Oxford Handbook of Self. Oxford: Oxford University Press: 547–570.
Hobson, R. P. 2011. Autism and the Self. In S. Gallagher, ed. 2011. The Oxford Handbook of Self. Oxford: Oxford University Press: 571–591.

General Reading
Dainton. B. 2008. The Phenomenal Self. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Gallagher, S. ed. 2011. The Oxford Handbook of Self. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Gallagher, S. and J. Shear. Eds. 1999. Models of the Self.Exeter: Imprint Academic.
Siderits, M., E. Thompson, and D. Zahavi. Eds. 2013. Self, No Self? Perspectives from Analytical, Phenomenological, and Indian Traditions. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Strawson, G. 2009.Selves: an Essay in Revisionary Metaphysics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Strawson, G. 2017. The Subject of Experience. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Zahavi, D. 2005. Subjectivity and Selfhood: Investigating the First-Person Perspective. Cambridge MA: MIT Press
Zahavi, D. 2014. Self and Other: Exploring Subjectivity, Empathy, and Shame.Oxford: Oxford University Press.

You will also find plenty of relevant articles in recent issues of journals such as Review of Philosophy and Psychology, Journal of Consciousness Studies, and Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences.