Event 3: Personhood & Self-Consciousness

Date: 17th July 2018

Keynote: Professor Lucy O’Brien (UCL)

Many accounts of personhood give central importance to self-consciousness (or, equivalently, self-awareness); hence, this third and final workshop aims to address questions about the nature of self-consciousness itself and its implications for our notions of personhood and selfhood. The speakers and attendees of this session should expect to come away with a good understanding of the contemporary debates concerning this important topic. Specifically, we aim to identify the cognitive underpinnings of self-consciousness and to investigate the various relationships between perception, agency, self, and the recognition of personhood by others.

We are interested in insights from across the philosophical spectrum, and so whilst the following are topics contributors may wish to consider, this is by no means intended to be an exhaustive list:

  • What are the minimal requirements for self-consciousness and how does this contribute to our sense of selfhood?
  • How do subjects come to represent themselves as a person among other persons?
  • Is there such a thing as ‘pre-reflective self-awareness’?
  • What is the relationship between consciousness and self-consciousness? Does the answer to this question have important implications for theories of personhood?
  • How conceptually sophisticated must a creature be in order to qualify as self-conscious?
  • Is bodily awareness essential to our sense of self? Does bodily awareness constitute a basic form of self-consciousness?
  • Is an awareness of ourselves as agents an essential condition of personhood?

(Click here to register)




9:00 – 9:20    Arrival and registration sign in.

9:20 – 9:30    Penelope Orr (The University of Manchester). Welcome: Themes, Aims and Admin.

Session A:

9:30 – 10:10: Anna Bortolan (University College Dublin)

— Title: Affectivity and the Distinction Between Minimal Self and Narrative Personhood

10:10 – 10:50: James Jardine (University College Dublin)

— Title: The Path from Pre-Reflective to Personal Self-Consciousness

10:50 – 10:55 COMFORT BREAK

10:55 – 11:25 Q&A


Session B:

11:45 – 12:25: Philipp Schmidt (University of Vienna / Heidelberg University)

— Title: Being More than Just One? Plurality within Selfhood and the Structure of Self-Consciousness

12:25 – 13:05: Adrian Kreutz (University of St. Andrews)

— Title: Lockeanism, No Non-Reflexivism

13:05 – 13:10 COMFORT BREAK

13:10 – 13:40 Q&A


13:40 – 14:35 LUNCH

Session C:

14:35 – 15:15: Pam Laidman (University of Brighton)

— Title: Coping and a Lack of Self-Care

15:15 – 15:55: Roxanne Burton (University of the West Indies)

— Title: The Value of our Bodies for our Sense of Self and Personhood

15:55 – 16:00 COMFORT BREAK

16:00 – 16:30 Q&A

16:30 – 16:40 SHORT BREAK

Session D:

16:40 – 18:10 Keynote: Professor Lucy O’Brien (University College London)

— Title: I, Myself, Move

This session will include talk, comfort break, and Q&A, exact timings to suit.