Self-Consciousness (4th Lecture)

In the last talk, Professor Peacocke discusses ways in which notions of self-consciousness go beyond the forms of first person representation discussed in the first three lectures in this series. He distinguishes, and characterizes, two varieties of self-consciousness, which he calls perspectival and reflective self-consciousness. He discusses the epistemological and metaphysical significance of these notions, their relations to one another, and their relevance to topics ranging from the characterization of animals’ representations of themselves to the understanding of self-consciousness in both continental and Anglophone philosophers.

This talk is part of a series given at University College London (UCL) in 2011. In this series, Professor Christopher Peacocke (UCL and Columbia University) addresses the question “What is it to think of yourself in the first person, and what is the nature of the conscious subject you thereby think about?”. He presents a philosophical theory of these matters, and applies his account both to the views of historical figures such as Hume and Kant, and to conceptual issues arising in ethology, psychology and theories of self-consciousness.

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