How Many Selves Can You Represent At Once?
Access StatusFull text of the requested work is not available in DASH at this time ("dark deposit"). For more information on dark deposits, see our FAQ.
De Freitas, Julian
MetadataShow full item record
CitationDe Freitas, Julian. 2021. How Many Selves Can You Represent At Once?. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.
AbstractCuriously, we humans experience a sense of self. What is more, this sense of self accompanies not only our physical bodies, but is also a part of our imaginations. We can take on different identities, imagine past, future, and hypothetical versions of ourselves, engage in social perspective taking, and more. Given how flexible self-representation is, I will ask a question about its fundamental nature: can we represent multiple selves at once? To answer this question, I will consider thirteen domains of self-representation: self-localization, mental imagery, social perspective taking, representing close and far others, self-reference effects, ownership, personal identity, internal conflicts, split-brain patients, the illusion of conscious will, schizophrenia, dissociative identity disorder, and heautoscopy. Chapters 1 and 2 focus in detail on self-representation, Chapter 3 focuses on personal identity, and the discussion looks across all thirteen phenomena. Contrary to the idea of multiple parallel self-representation, I will argue that empirical findings illuminate an architecture that represents at most one self-relevant item at once (e.g., a particular body, or conceptual identity like ‘young you’), with different self-relevant items competing and serially switching out for self-representation (‘Single Serial Self’ theory). The limits of this architecture can be distinguished from known limits on attention, consciousness, and memory, and might have evolved to be this way for specific functional or social reasons.
Citable link to this pagehttps://nrs.harvard.edu/URN-3:HUL.INSTREPOS:37368384
- FAS Theses and Dissertations