I. Who am “I”?
11 I Who am “I”? Keywords: fi rst person, third person, psychiatry, neuroscience, intrasubjective content The study of the nature of the self, similarly, as in the case of the mind and consciousness, is closely linked with the problem of the complementarity of used meth- ods. This is due to the fact that diff erent sciences start from not only diff erent, but also opposing perspectives, namely the ﬁ rst-person perspective, second-person perspective and third-person perspective. The diff er- ent perspectives are characterised according to their epistemic limitations and abilities. Furthermore, these perspectives lead to characteristic implications concern- ing theories of the self in the diff erent sciences. The self and self-consciousness have always been important problems in philosophy, especially dealt with in the phi- losophy of the mind. However, recently philosophy of the mind often refers to Descartes’ theory as its beginning. His special 12 methodology and theses have deeply inﬂ uenced many of his successors. Descartes begins with our reﬂ ective consciousness, which questions anything. This results in a fundamental doubt towards everything except the fact that we think or doubt, e.g. the mind does not doubt its own existence. Descartes formulates this in his famous statement: “I think, therefore I am” (cogito ergo sum). His central thesis contains the premise of the epistemic privilege of judgements about our minds, our conscious- ness and our self-consciousness. This means that our own consciousness is better accessible to us than any- thing outside of it, which is normally called the exter-...
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