Phil/Psych 447, Phil 673

Seminar in Cognitive Science

Week 4: The Self

Key Ideas

Ego vs. bundle theories of the self

Multiple selves


Free will

Discussion Questions

1. Is the self more like a unified ego or like a bundle of experiences?

2. What alternatives are there to ego and bundle theories?

3. What neural mechanisms contribute to the self? Are social mechanisms also relevant?

4. What do multiple and divided selves tell us about consciousness?

5. Are there different levels of self-hood?

6. What is volition?

7.Does the experience of free will provide evidence that there is free will?

8.Does morality depend on free will?

9. Why can't people will themselves to be creative?

10. How does culture affect the self?


Thagard, P. (in press). The self as a system of multilevel interacting mechanisms. Philosophical Psychology.

Thagard, P. (forthcoming). Creative intuition: How EUREKA results from three neural mechanisms. In L. M. Osbeck & B. S. Held (Eds.), Rational intuition: Philosophical roots, scientific investigations. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Includes sketch of new neural theory of consciousness.

Markus and Kitayama on culture and the self.

Roskies on volition and the brain.

Phil/Psych 447

Computational Epistemology Laboratory.

Paul Thagard

This page updated Sept. 30, 2013