- Taschenbuch: 699 Seiten
- Verlag: The MIT Press; Auflage: New Ed (7. September 2004)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 0262633086
- ISBN-13: 978-0262633086
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 17,8 x 3,2 x 22,9 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: Schreiben Sie die erste Bewertung
- Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 204.801 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
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Being No One: The Self-Model Theory of Subjectivity (A Bradford Book) (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 7. September 2004
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A convincing philosophical exposition and a well-structured compendium... without a doubt, a milestone of modern Philosophy of Mind.--Reiner Hedrich, Philosophy of Science
Metzinger's interdisciplinary approach opens a new path toward a scientific theory of consciousness and self-consciousness.--Franz Mechsner and Albert Newen , Science
This book is a 'must' for anyone who is interested in empirical studies related to first-person issues or subjectivity.--Kai Vogeley, TRENDS in Cognitive Sciences
According to Thomas Metzinger, no such things as selves exist in the world: nobody ever had or was a self. All that exists are phenomenal selves, as they appear in conscious experience. The phenomenal self, however, is not a thing but an ongoing process; it is the content of a "transparent self-model." In Being No One, Metzinger, a German philosopher, draws strongly on neuroscientific research to present a representationalist and functional analysis of what a consciously experienced first-person perspective actually is. Building a bridge between the humanities and the empirical sciences of the mind, he develops new conceptual toolkits and metaphors; uses case studies of unusual states of mind such as agnosia, neglect, blindsight, and hallucinations; and offers new sets of multilevel constraints for the concept of consciousness. Metzinger's central question is: How exactly does strong, consciously experienced subjectivity emerge out of objective events in the natural world?His epistemic goal is to determine whether conscious experience, in particular the experience of being someone that results from the emergence of a phenomenal self, can be analysed on subpersonal levels of description. He also asks if and how our Cartesian intuitions that subjective experiences as such can never be reductively explained are themselves ultimately rooted in the deeper representational structure of our conscious minds. Alle Produktbeschreibungen
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Being No One (and note the specific grammar: it's not 'Being No-one) is more than worth the work. Highly recommended for anyone interested in how consciousness relates to brain activity.
Metzinger wanted to show that the self can be explained in subpersonal terms, using representational analysis. He quickly noticed that since Selves are usually consicous entities, that he would first have to do this for consciousness. Imagine that. Having to explain consicousness to try to explain the self. And so, the book could be seen as divided in two. First, a theory of consicousness, and second, a theory of the self. I am by far more impressed with the former, although undoubtedly the latter is extremely interesting as well.
Before proposing a number of theorethical entities supposed to play the explanatory role, Metzinger carefully analyses the conceptual tools necessary to understand the problem, and formulate solutions. Thus, he analyses the concepts of representation, mental model, phenomenal presentation, etc. His account is also almost completely positive; that is, he almost does not stop to defend his ideas, or to analyse other philosphical theories. He focuses on arguing step-by step for a conceptual edifice that may lead to the explanation of phenomenal states in terms of non-phenomenal objective relations. This part of the book alone seems to me to be one of the strongest formulations of a representational theory of mental states.
Metzinger, then, is able to answer the question of what makes a mental state a conscious state. He argues that mental states have representational, and these states can have phenomenal content if the representational states meet some constraints. Consciously experienced content is content of an active phenomenal model, and phenomenal contents are all representational. The various constraints are the conditions that the representational content must meet in order for it to be a phenomenal content. Examples of these constraints are globality (integration into a global whole), activation in a window of presence, transparency.
The constraints are what makes these ideas powerful. Metzinger analyses the constraints in representational, phenomenological, information-processing, functional and neural-implementation terms. He gives what could be seen as necesary and sufficient conditions for a mental state to be a consicous state. He presents a theory of consicousness. And a very sensible, conceptually simple, naturalistic, and powerful one.
After doing this, he shows how his analysis can acomodate some abnormal phenomenons like blindsight, agnosia, and neglect. He then does much of the same last steps with the problem of the self. He defines concepts like subjectivity, self-hood, self-models. Then he proposes theorethical entities like the phenomenal self model, or the phenomenal model of the intentianality relation, to try to show how the conscious self might emerge. Here too metzinger argues that self content must meet some constraints to be considered phenomenal self content. He also tests his constructs against cases like anosognosia, multiple persoality, lucid dreams.
In sum, Metzinger deals with everything from mental representation, to content, qualia, subjectivity, intentionality, self, and does it in carefully ordered and convincing ways. Metzinger is a philosopher, and the theory is mostly philsophical. But few philsophers include such careful empirical and neurobiological observations. Few philosophers have such knowledge of the extensive literature. Few are as convinced of the central role that scientific objective theorethizing must play.
I must repeat that it is in no way evident that consciousness is explained in Metzingers book. But if there is a book that will set the conceptual framework that leads to such an explanation, it is this one. It is virtually imposible to explain his ideas concisely, and to understand them one has to follow his discussion completely. Therefore, I can do not much but to recomend that anyone interested in consicousness read this book. The book is quite technical and it is fairly long, however I believe that this should not stop the lay reader. The book is in my opinion simply too important. I have reviewed close to 100 books now, most of them on consicousness. I have said on numerous times that such or such a book is a must read. This one is the one I think more closely matches that description.