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new book – ‘Thinking About Oneself: From Nonconceptual Content to the Concept of a Self’ by Kristina Musholt

July 31, 2015

Thinking About Oneself

Thinking about Oneself: From Nonconceptual Content to the Concept of a Self by Kristina Musholt (MIT Press. 2015)

(amazon.co.uk)

Book description from the publisher:

In this book, Kristina Musholt offers a novel theory of self-consciousness, understood as the ability to think about oneself. Traditionally, self-consciousness has been central to many philosophical theories. More recently, it has become the focus of empirical investigation in psychology and neuroscience. Musholt draws both on philosophical considerations and on insights from the empirical sciences to offer a new account of self-consciousness — the ability to think about ourselves that is at the core of what makes us human.

Examining theories of nonconceptual content developed in recent work in the philosophy of cognition, Musholt proposes a model for the gradual transition from self-related information implicit in the nonconceptual content of perception and other forms of experience to the explicit representation of the self in conceptual thought. A crucial part of this model is an analysis of the relationship between self-consciousness and intersubjectivity. Self-consciousness and awareness of others, Musholt argues, are two sides of the same coin.

After surveying the philosophical problem of self-consciousness, the notion of nonconceptual content, and various proposals for the existence of nonconceptual self-consciousness, Musholt argues for a non-self-representationalist theory, according to which the self is not part of the representational content of perception and bodily awareness but part of the mode of presentation. She distinguishes between implicitly self-related information and explicit self-representation, and describes the transitions from the former to the latter as arising from a complex process of self–other differentiation. By this account, both self-consciousness and intersubjectivity develop in parallel.

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Kindle Daily Deal for Fri 7/31 – ‘Universal Principles of Design, Revised & Updated: 125 Ways to Enhance Usability, Influence Perception…’ by Wm Lidwell

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Kindle Daily Deal for Thurs. 7/30 – ‘Getting to Yes with Yourself: (and Other Worthy Opponents)’ by William Ury

July 30, 2015

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Kindle Daily Deal for Wed. 7/22 – $1.99 for ‘Quantum Enigma: Physics Encounters Consciousness’ by Bruce Rosenblum and Fred Kuttner

July 22, 2015

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new book – ‘Beyond Words: What Animals Think and Feel’ by Carl Safina

July 14, 2015

Beyond Words

Beyond Words: What Animals Think and Feel by Carl Safina (Henry Holt & Co., 2015)

(kindle ed.), (amazon.co.uk), (UK kindle ed.)

Book description from the publisher:

I wanted to know what they were experiencing, and why to us they feel so compelling, and so-close. This time I allowed myself to ask them the question that for a scientist was forbidden fruit: Who are you?

Weaving decades of field observations with exciting new discoveries about the brain, Carl Safina’s landmark book offers an intimate view of animal behavior to challenge the fixed boundary between humans and nonhuman animals. In Beyond Words, readers travel to Amboseli National Park in the threatened landscape of Kenya and witness struggling elephant families work out how to survive poaching and drought, then to Yellowstone National Park to observe wolves sort out the aftermath of one pack’s personal tragedy, and finally plunge into the astonishingly peaceful society of killer whales living in the crystalline waters of the Pacific Northwest.

Beyond Words brings forth powerful and illuminating insight into the unique personalities of animals through extraordinary stories of animal joy, grief, jealousy, anger, and love. The similarity between human and nonhuman consciousness, self-awareness, and empathy calls us to re-evaluate how we interact with animals. Wise, passionate, and eye-opening at every turn, Beyond Words is ultimately a graceful examination of humanity’s place in the world.

Google Books preview:

See also: Author’s website, Book website

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