Michele Di Francesco Alfredo Tomasetta

Consciousness and Subjectivity. Should cognitive science lead us to reject the self?

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Some philosophers and cognitive scientists think that a naturalised philosophy of the (self-) conscious mind should lead us to reject the very existence of the self. The paper focuses on two case-studies which are representative of this kind of attitude. In particular we examine, and criticise, Thomas Metzinger's 'no-self alternative' and Daniel Dennett's narrative elimination of the self. Our aim is not to prove that any elimination of the self from the inventory of the world based on the empirical study of the mind is doomed to failure. Instead, we would like to introduce a note of caution: it is far from clear that cognitive science and naturalistic philosophies of mind force upon us, or even suggest, a picture of the world without persons and selves.


  • Self
  • Consciousness
  • Naturalism
  • Eliminativism


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