Subjects use a concept of self to reflect on and store information about themselves. A powerful analogy with the word "I" has long suggested that this self-concept is a sort of mental indexical representation, whose meaning exploits structural features of the context. The aim of the two-year Marie Curie project PHENOSELF is to develop an alternative approach, according to which the self-concept depends on a basic experience of self. Rather than an indexical concept, it is, I claim, a special kind of phenomenal concept.
The project also explores the implications of the approach for the epistemology of self-knowledge (including a new way of explaining immunity to error through misidentification), and for metaphysical and moral issues surrounding personal identity. A further aim is to contribute to the philosophical understanding of a range of mental illnesses affecting a subject’s sense of self.
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement .
Project webpage: https://marieguillot.wordpress.com/phenoself/