The Science of Consciousness:

Chapter 7: Self and Identity

What this chapter is about: What is the Self, and how do we form a sense of our own identity?


p.144. Box 6.3 "a mission school for girls in Kashasha, a village near Bukoba near the western coast of what was then Tanganyika (and is now Tanzania)" - something has been omitted, and it should read:

"a mission school for girls in Kashasha, a village near Bukoba near the western shore of Lake Victoria in what was then Tanganyika (and is now Tanzania)". Tanzania is of course in East Africa.

Galen Strawson on two types of self

I am intrigued by the idea that there are two types of self-narrative, diachronic and episodic (which perhaps isn't really a narrative at all), partly because I can't coneive of myself as being anything other than something that persists over a long period of time. Galen Strawson says he just the opposite, a life I find unimagineable (first in his book Things that bother me), and discusses how the past shapes our present lives . Here are some recommended links:

See here for an introduction.

Galen Strawson and narrativity. A literay take with an emphasis on Proust.

Galen Strawson himself on the self, and see also in the London Review of Books.

Links to pages on self and identity


An example of mass hysteria. "The mystery of screaming schoolgirls in Malaysia."

See here for Carol Morley in The Guardian for an article on mass psychogenic illness.

The Ripon Outward Academy school 2015 Armistice Day fainting event, where 40 children fainted. See:

The Guardian.

The BBC.


Transient global amnesia. "I went for a swim – and lost a year's worth of memories. (Paywall.)

Recent references to work on the self

Stendardi, D., Biscotto, F.,  Bertossi, E., &  Ciaramelli. E. (2021). Present and Future Self in Memory: The Role of VmPFC in the Self-Reference Effect. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 16, 1205–13.