Abstract

Developments in cognitive science, AI, and artificial life force us to consider minds and intelligences that are different from human minds. The dominant contemporary metaphor for any kind of mind is based on an understanding of the human brain and human experience, both of which frequently presuppose a notion of self. In some disciplines, including Buddhism, contemporary philosophy of mind, and cognitive science, much debate has focused on the nature of the self, and one insight from all these domains is that while we are strongly attached to notions of stable selves, it is also possible to conceive of selves as dynamic, interconnected, and illusory. We suggest that an interdisciplinary approach, drawing on fields with well-developed models of self in relation to agency, can offer new insights. We suggest that the view of self as illusory, and awareness of this illusion, in both human and non-human minds, may augment and qualitatively change the agent's affordances, or range of possible actions.

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