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The Bodily SelfSelected Essays$
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José Luis Bermúdez

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780262037501

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262037501.001.0001

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The Sources of Self-Consciousness

The Sources of Self-Consciousness

Chapter:
(p.77) 3 The Sources of Self-Consciousness
Source:
The Bodily Self
Author(s):

José Luis Bermúdez

Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:10.7551/mitpress/9780262037501.003.0004

We can think about the sources of self-consciousness in either a genetic or an epistemic sense. That is, we can think either about the origins of the capacity to think self-conscious thoughts or about the warrant that we have for our self-conscious judgments. These two sets of questions are independent but related. This paper explores the role that the genetic dimension of self-consciousness plays in understanding the epistemology of self-consciousness. I will take as my foil a recent account of some key features of the epistemic dimension of a particular type of self-conscious judgment – the account offered by Christopher Peacocke in his book Being Known (Peacocke 1999). Working through the example of how the bodily self is represented in visual perception shows how the primitive foundations from which self-consciousness emerges in the course of cognitive development are also the foundation for the epistemic status of full-fledged self-conscious thoughts.

Keywords:   Self-consciousness, Ecological perception, Representation-dependence, Christopher Peacocke, Ecological perception

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