In recent work on consciousness, increasing attention has been paid to the connection between phenomenal consciousness and self-consciousness. Following the distinction sometimes traced between the qualitative character of experiences (the specific way they feel to the subject) and the fact that there is something it is like for the subject to undergo them, the latter has been elaborated by various contemporary authors under different names – e.g. “mineness” or “for-me-ness” (Zahavi 1999, 2005), “subjectivity” (Levine 2001) or “subjective character” (Kriegel 2009). It was arguably also central to the work of classical authors such as William James, Husserl, Merleau-Ponty or Sartre.
Reasons have also been put forward for skepticism about the existence of this distinctive aspect of the phenomenology of experiences, and about whether it serves any explanatory need – e.g. in accounting for the capacity of subjects to self-attribute their experiences, for the unity of consciousness or for personal identity through time (Dainton 2008; Schear 2009). The various strands of this discussion touch upon several aspects of subjectivity broadly construed (e.g. the sense of bodily ownership or the sense of agency); the specificities of distinct elements of our phenomenal lives (e.g. cognitive and affective states); and the understanding of certain pathologies and conditions related to self-awareness.
LOGOS at the University of Barcelona will hold a two-day conference to examine and contribute to this discussion. This is the second event that the Spanish Research Council project About Ourselves (FFI2013-47948-P) is devoting to this topic.
The first Barcelona conference on the sense of mineness took place in March 2015 (details here). A volume of essays on the same theme, provisionally entitled The Sense of Mineness and under contract with OUP, is also being edited by Manuel García-Carpintero (UB, LOGOS, About Ourselves PI) and Marie Guillot (Essex & UCL, Marie Curie project PHENOSELF). Most of the speakers at the Second Barcelona Conference on the Sense of Mineness are contributors to the book or members of the collaborating projects.
Dates: Thursday 4th and Friday 5th May 2017
Faculty of Philosophy, University of Barcelona
C/ Montalegre 6, 08009 Barcelona
4th floor, Seminari de Filosofia
Sponsored by: Spanish Research Council project “About Ourselves” (FFI2013-47948-P) at LOGOS; University of Barcelona; the Marie Curie project PHENOSELF (FP7-IEF-622127); the Philosophy Department at UCL.