The co-consciousness hypothesis

Author: de Vignemont, Frédérique

Source: Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences, Volume 3, Number 1, 2004 , pp. 97-114(18)

Publisher: Springer

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Self-knowledge seems to be radically different from the knowledge of other people. However, rather than focusing on the gap between self and others, we should emphasize their commonality. Indeed, different “mirror matching mechanisms” have been found in monkeys as well as in humans showing that one uses the same representations for oneself and for the others. But do these shared representations allow one to report the mental states of others as if they were one's own? I intend in this essay to address the epistemic problem of other minds by developing Ayer's notion of co-consciousness.

Keywords: Ayer; co-consciousness; empathy; mirror neurons; theory of mind

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, University College London, UK ., Email:

Publication date: January 1, 2004

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