- List of contributors
- Introduction: A Diversity of Selves
- History as Prologue: Western Theories of the Self
- What is it Like to be a Newborn?
- Self in the Brain
- The Embodied Self
- Bodily Awareness and Self‐Consciousness
- The Sense of Body Ownership
- Phenomenological Dimensions of Bodily Self‐Consciousness
- Witnessing from Here: Self-Awareness from a Bodily versus Embodied Perspective
- The Minimal Subject
- The No‐Self Alternative
- Buddhist Non‐Self: The No‐Owner's Manual
- Unity of Consciousness and the Problem of Self
- Personal Identity
- On What we are
- On Knowing one's Self
- The Narrative Self
- The Unimportance of Identity
- Self‐Control in Action
- Moral Responsibility and the Self
- The Structure of Self‐Consciousness in Schizophrenia
- Multiple Selves
- Autism and the Self
- The Self: Growth, Integrity, and Coming Apart
- Our Glassy Essence: The Fallible Self in Pragmatist Thought
- The Social Construction of Self
- The Dialogical Self: A Process of Positioning in Space and Time
- Glass Selves: Emotions, Subjectivity, and the Research Process
- The Postmodern Self: An Essay on Anachronism and Powerlessness
- Self, Subjectivity, and the Instituted Social Imaginary
Abstract and Keywords
This article explores the ‘no-self alternative’ in the debate on the metaphysical and phenomenological concept of the self. It suggests that the no-self alternative may not be an alternative at all and it could simply be the default assumption for all rational approaches to self-consciousness and subjectivity. It outlines several different anti-realist arguments about the self and explains why the idea that there are no selves is counter-intuitive. It shows why the intuitions of phenomenology are traceable to the contingent fact about the causal structure of our brains, which induces in each of us a first-person perspective that makes it difficult to deny the existence of selves.
Thomas Metzinger directs the Theoretical Philosophy Group and coordinates a neuroethics research group at the Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz, Germany. He is an Adjunct Fellow at the Frankfurt Institute for Advanced Study, and was a Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study in Berlin. Metzinger is a former president of the German Cognitive Science Society and of the Association for the Scientific Study of Consciousness.
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