Edited By Joao Fonseca and Jorge Goncalves
Conceptual Personae of the “attentional self”
“Everything has to be rethought from the beginning” Mr. Palomar (Calvino 1985, 115)
In this paper I take attention as a constitutive ground of the self. I critically survey the claim of Metzinger that a subjective self, defined as the centre of awareness, is the possibility of being able to manipulate the focus of attention, thereby stabilizing subjective experience. Thus I propose an attentional self in which I will put Metzinger’s thesis of the “control of the focus of attention” and the resulting notion of the “attentional self” critically into perspective by approximating the concept of the self by means of conceptual personae of the “impossible” attentional self in Paul Valery’s dyadic conceptual personae “Monsieur Teste”/ “Émilie Teste” and the “heautoscopic” attentional self in Italo Calvino’s “Mister Palomar”.
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