Experiences without for-me-ness? Reconsidering alleged counter examples from psychopathology and psychedelics


  • Mads Gram Henriksen
  • Josef Parnas




Minimal Self, For-me-ness, Schizophrenia, Thought Insertion, Psychedelics, Consciousness


In contemporary consciousness studies, a central question concerns the nature of the most primitive and fundamental features of phenomenal consciousness. Some authors (e.g., Zahavi) have argued that for-me-ness (or minimal selfhood) is a fundamental and necessary feature of phenomenal consciousness. The concept of for-me-ness articulates that experiences are first-personally manifest, i.e. they are always given to the subject of experience in a way in which they are not given to anybody else. Several authors have challenged this claim by presenting what they take to be counter examples, i.e. experiences, which, in their view, lack for-me-ness, thereby seemingly rebutting the claim that for-me-ness is a necessary feature of phenomenal consciousness. In this study, (i) we present the account of for-me-ness, (ii) present three alleged counter examples that come from the domains of psychopathology and psychedelics, and (iii) critically discuss these examples and eventually refute them all. Thus, we maintain that for-me-ness is a necessary, ineliminable feature of phenomenal consciousness.