THE CONCEPTUAL SELF IN CONTEXT A Conference of the Mellon Colloquium on the Self at the Emory Cognition Project Emory University Atlanta, Georgia May 1 -2, 1992
(c) Copyright George Lakoff, 1992
The discussion of the Projectible Subject Model derives from my paper ``Counterparts, or the Problem of Reference in Transformational Grammar'', published by the Indiana University Linguistics Club, Bloomington, Indiana, 1968.
The mental space analysis of the Projectible Subject Model derives from Gilles Fauconnier's book, ``Mental Spaces'' Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1985.
The analysis of the various metaphorical models is adapted in modified form from ``Me, Myself, and I,'' an unpublished paper by two Berkeley undergraduates, Andy Lakoff and Miles Becker, written for my course on Metaphor, Fall, 1991.
We now know from studies of the brain that cognitive processing is widely distributed over a great many centers of brain activity, and that there appears not to be any single place in the brain where all that activity is directed by a single intelligence. So far as the brain is concerned there seems not to be a unitary center of consciousness and control. Our experience of unitary consciousness, it appears, results from neural coordination among hundreds of centers of brain activity. Our knowledge of the brain seems at odds with the concept of the Person in the Western philosophical and religious traditions, in which there is assumed to be such a single intelligence -- a soul, spirit, or mind -- a locus of consciousness, will, and rational judgment that is separate from and independent of the body--an autonomous entity free of the physical limitations of the body and able to escape the body in moments of ecstasy and after death. The Western philosophical and religious traditions are conscious traditions, consciously learned and passed on. What I hope this paper will show is that there is also, within our conceptual systems and our language, an unconscious, automatically-called-up metaphorical conception of a locus of consciousness, will, and judgement separable from the body and the passions. Indeed, we will see that there is not only one such metaphorical model, but more than a dozen of them, each with somewhat different features, features that make the models incompatible with one another. What we have, then, is a set of multiple incompatible models, each postulating a somewhat different separation of the body from a nonphysical locus of consciousness. The study of our system of conceptual metaphors reveals that it is common for there to be many incompatible metaphorical models of important domains of experience. Take, for example, the multiple metaphorical models of love and of ideas, discussed in Lakoff and Johnson (1980), or the metaphorical models of anger discussed in Lakoff (1987). In the love, ideas, and anger cases, there are a variety of incompatible metaphorical models that allow us to reason and talk about different aspects of experience. The models aren't ``true,'' but they are useful--in different situations, for different purposes, characterizing different perspectives. We also know that such metaphorical models, though there may be many of them, inevitably hide important aspects of any domain and lock us in to certain ways of comprehending our experience. After all, our very concepts are defined by such metaphorical models, and we can only think using the concepts we have. If the principal, or only, way one has of thinking about what a Person is makes use of a set of unconscious, automatic metaphorical models that all contain a nonphysical locus of consciousness separate from the body, then it will be difficult to conceptualize a Person any other way. Even an alternative model that comes out of cognitive neuroscience will be merely a conscious model -- hardly a match for the unconscious, automatic, effortless metaphorical models built into our conceptual systems and our language. We are going to think using our conceptual systems, come what may. Moreover, it appears that philosophical theories, over the centuries, have tended to be consciously-constructed versions of unconscious metaphorical models. My guess is that the consciously-constructed Western theories of soul and mind arose out of the unconscious metaphorical models, and that those theories seemed natural and intuitive because corresponding unconscious models were already in place. The moral of this paper is ``Know your metaphor system.'' Be able to recognize metaphorical models when you see them. Be aware of their entailments. Recognize the situations in which they are useful. Learn what they hide. But be skeptical of them when discussing the ``true'' nature of the person and the self. And recognize their role in making the traditional Western views of the disembodied soul and mind sound natural and plausible.
Since I am a linguist, I will be drawing evidence for the metaphorical models under discussion from generalizations over inference patterns and linguistic forms. My interest in the subject began in 1968 with a sentence constructed by Jim McCawley: -I dreamt that I was Brigitte Bardot and that I kissed me. This sentence is peculiar for a number of reasons. First, the simple sentence ``*I kissed me'' is ill-formed, both syntactically and semantically, though that sentence occurs embedded in the Bardot-sentence. Second, the Bardot-sentence cannot have the logical form: -X dreamt that X was Brigitte Bardot and that X kissed X. At that time, the sentence raised several questions: What is the logical form of the sentence? How would one represent the content of the dream? Why did the nonreflexive pronoun ``me'' rather than the reflexive ``myself'' appear? Note the semantic impossibility of: -*I dreamt that I was Brigitte Bardot and that I kissed myself. And how could the first person pronoun be used for both the subject and object of ``kiss'' when the subject and object are different people? I now believe that the solution lies in an unconscious implicit folk model of what I will call the Dualistic Person, the Person as split between a nonphysical center of consciousness, will, and judgment on the one hand, and the remainder of the person on the other. The remainder would include such things as the person's body. Under this analysis, the content of the dream is that McCawley's center of consciousness and will are located within Bardot's body. The word ``I'' can refer to either (1) the speaker as a whole, (2) the speaker's center of consciousness, will, and judgment or (3) the rest of the speaker. Thus, in the ``I kissed me'' portion of the sentence, the reflexive cannot be used because the subject and object are different persons. But the ``I'' is used because of condition (2) and the``me'' is used because of condition (3). In the fall of 1991, two of my undergraduate students, Andy Lakoff and Miles Becker, wrote a paper called ``Me, Myself, and I'' on the metaphorical conceptions of the self. In that paper they demonstrated that the situation was far more complex than I had assumed. Instead of one model of the Dualistic Person built into our language and conceptual system, there are many. In what follows, I will survey what I have discovered to date about the semantics and grammar of the Dualistic Person, as well as what Lakoff and Becker discovered.
Two Types of Models of the Person Consciousness-and-Control Versus Compatibility
Lakoff and Becker use the term ``Subject'' for roughly what I have called the center of consciousness, will, and judgment and ``Self'' for what I have called the rest of the person. I am adopting their terminology, though their analysis is somewhat different than mine. In examining both their evidence and my own, I have come to the conclusion that there are two types of models of the way in which a Person is split between Subject and Self. I will be arguing that the two types of Subject+Self models concern different issues. The first model type concerns Consciousness-and-Control: In a normal state of consciousness, the Subject has normal control over the Self. Maintaining that consciousness and that control is a major matter in all of our lives. It is something that we have to comprehend, reason about, and talk about. In the Consciousness-and-Control models, normal consciousness and control is understood in spatial terms: the relative location of Subject and Self. In each model, there is a canonical relative location that indicates normal consciousness and control; the opposite relative location indicates lack of normal consciousness and control. In most of the special cases of this model, the normal cosciousness of the Subject and its control over the Self is indicated by Subject and Self being in the same location. However, there is one variant in which the canonical relative location has the Subject above the Self. The second issue in these models is the compatibility of Subject and Self. Since the Subject includes judgement and the Self includes beliefs, plans, passions, memories, one's past, etc., the issue of how the Subject judges the Self inevitably arises: The Subject's values may or may not be compatible with the Self. Moreover, since we regularly have different incompatible beliefs, plans, and passions, the Subject may be more compatible with one set of beliefs, plans, and passions than with another. In the Compatibility models, incompatible aspects of the Self are conceptualized as different Selves, and compatibility of Subject and Self is conceptualized as Subject and Self being in the same location. We will begin with the Consciousness-and-Control Models.
The Projectible Subject
What McCawley's Brigitte Bardot example showed was that we conceptualize
the Subject as being separable from the Self. Take a
sentence like: -I dreamt that I was playing the piano. This sentence
can fit two dreams: In the first, I am sitting in the audience
watching me onstage playing the piano. In the second, I am
sitting at the keyboard experiencing hitting the keys. In the
first dream, the Subject is separated from the Self and is observing
the Self from the outside. In the second dream, the Subject
is inside the Self, experiencing what the Self is doing. In
short, the sentence has two readings: one where the Subject is an
outside observer of the Self and one where the Subject is an
internal experiencer of the Self. The existence of these readings
presupposes a model where the Person = Subject + Self, and the
Subject is separable and able to observe the Self from an outside
perspective. But McCawley's Bardot-sentence shows more than
that: It shows that the Subject can be conceptualized as being
inside (and hence in control of) someone else's Self. In
McCawley's dream, McCawley's Subject is inside of, and in control
of, Bardot's Self. Bardot's Self, under the control of McCawley's
Subject, kisses McCawley's Self. Now consider sentences like:
-If I were you, I'd hate me. To understand what these sentences
mean, we need a model in which: (1) Person = Subject + Self; (2)
The Subject is normally inside the Self. (3) The Subject can be
separated from the Self and can perceive the Self from the outside.
(4) Person A's Subject can combine with Person B's Self to
form a hypothetical new person that looks like B. (5) When this
happens, Person A's Subject retains A's values, but adopts not
only B's body but B's interests. Thus, in ``If I were you, I'd
hate me for what I've done to you'' my Subject combines with your
Self, yielding a new hypothetical person, C, with my values and
your interests. C hates me because I have done things to damage
your interests. But the sentence implies that you don't hate me,
despite what I have done. That is, your values are such that they
don't lead to hate under those circumstances, but my values are
such that they do. Thus, we conclude (6) Values are part of the
Subject, while interests are part of the Self. When a Subject
with my values is combines with a Self that has your interests,
the result is hate. Incidentally, we will see later that (6)
doesnot hold true for all models. We will encounter a model where
values are part of the Self. Now consider -If I were you, I'd
hate myself for what I've done. In this sentence, the speaker's
Subject combines with the hearer's Self to form a composite hypothetical
person C, with the values of the speaker and the past
history of the hearer. The self-hatred results from the speaker's
values applied to the hearer's past history. Thus, past history
is associated with the Self and not the Subject. By constructing
examples such as this, one can investigate the folk theory of
Self and Subject that lies behind these examples. It is also
possible to study how the folk model is manifested in the grammar
of English. Here are two proposed principles of English grammar:
Principle I: Subject and Self (the `aspects' of the Person) take
the same person-marking as the entire Person. Principle II: A reflexive
pronoun and its antecedent must designate the same Person,
or aspects of the same Person. Putting these folk models
together with Fauconnier's theory of mental spaces, we get the
following analyses: -I dreamt that I was Brigitte Bardot and that
I kissed me.
INSERT Diagram 1 In the diagram, McCawley's real-world Subject corresponds to Bardot's dream-world Subject. That is, McCawley's Subject has been projected into Bardot in the dream. In other words, in the dream, McCawley's Subject controls Bardot's Self. We can now explain why BARDOT KISSED MCCAWLEY in the mental space of the dream surfaces as ``I kissed me'' and why it cannot surface as ``I kissed myself.'' Incidentally, we must bear in mind the general principle, that, in the case of conflicting person-marking, first-person takes precedent over second- and third-person, and second-person takes precedent ovr third-person. -Fauconnier's ID-principle says: If there is a connector linking entities A and B, then the linguistic form that designates A can designate B. In diagram 1, there is a cross-space identity connector linking McCawley's Subject in R (reality) with Bardot's Subject in D (the dream). The connector is unidirectional, from R to D. -By Fauconnier's ID-Principle, BARDOT's Subject has the same personmarking in D (the dream) as MCCAWLEY's Subject has in R (reality). Since MCCAWLEY is the speaker, that marking is first person. -By Principle I, BARDOT in D must have the same person-marking as BARDOT's Subject in D, namely, first-person. -By principle I, MCCAWLEY's Self in D must have the same person marking as MCCAWLEY's Self in R, namely, first-person. -By Principle I, MCCAWLEY in D has the same person marking as MCCAWLEY's Self in D. -By Principle II, MCCAWLEY in BARDOT KISSED MCCAWLEY cannot be reflexive since MCCAWLEY and its antecedent BARDOT are not the same person, nor aspects of the same person, in D. Similarly, we can explain the distinction between -If I were you, I'd hate me. and -If I were you, I'd hate myself. Both of these have the following mental space analysis, where H is the hypothetical mental space.
INSERT Diagram 2 In the diagram, my real-world Subject corresponds to your hypothetical-world Subject The sentences, of course, mean different things. ``If I were you, I'd hate me'' means that: In H, YOU's Subject HATES I's Self, where YOU's Subject in H is the counterpart of I's Subject in R. Since YOU's Subject in H is the counterpart of I's Subject in R, by Fauconnier's ID-Principle it has the same person-marking, namely, first-person. By Principle I, I's Self has the same person-marking as I, namely, firstperson. By Principle II, I's Self cannot be reflexive, since it is not an aspect of the same person as its antecedent, YOU's Subject. Hence, YOU's Subject surfaces as ``I'' and I's Self surfaces as ``me.'' Now consider, ``If I were you, I'd hate myself.'' This means: In H, YOU's Subject hates YOU's Self, where YOU's Subject is the counterpart of I's Subject in R. By the ID-Principle, YOU's Subject in H has the same person-marking as its counterpart in R, I's Subject; namely, first-person. -By Principle I, YOU in H has the same person-marking as YOU's Subject in H, namely, first-person. -By Principle I, YOU's Self in H has the same person-marking as YOU in H, namely, first-person. -By Principle II, YOU's Self is reflexive, since it is an aspect of the same person as its antecedent, YOU's Subject. Hence, in H, YOU's Subject surfaces as ``I'' and YOU's Self surfaces as ``myself.''
Conclusion: To handle these sentences, Fauconnier's theory of Mental Spaces needs no revision. There is a Folk Theory of the Dualistic Person, namely, that a Person is split into Subject (consciousness, perception, will, and judgement) and the Self (everything else). This folk theory plus the theory of Mental Spaces allows the meanings of such sentences to be represented in a straightforward manner, as shown in the diagrams above. Principles I and II account for the grammar of such sentences. Via these principles, the Folk Theory of the Dualistic Person appears in the grammar of English. Incidentally, this analysis also makes sense of an old Saturday Night Live joke: If you're like me, you're six-foot-four and your name is Kevin. This sentence violates the analysis given in diagram 2. Being six-foot-four and being named Kevin are properties of the Self, not the Subject. But what defines the hypothetical space is that my Subject has been paired with your Self, which means that new properties mentioned in the then-clause must follow from properties of my Subject, not properties of your Self. There is not just a single monolithic Folk Theory of the Dualistic Person. As Lakoff and Becker argue, there are many versions of this folk theory, versions that appear to be inconsistent with one another. These versions all share a division of some sort into Subject and Self, but nature of that division varies from model to model. The first place we will look for such variation is where the Subject and Self are separated.
The Separation of Subject and Self
When we utter a sentence like -Step outside yourself for a minute and take a look at yourself. we are assuming a model where the Subject is normally inside the Self, but can ``step outside'' the Self, and perceive the Self from the outside. This is called ``being objective'' -- conceptualizing your Self as an external object that you can inspect, with no internal prejudice. This Objective Subject Model is distinct from the Projectible Self Model where the Subject is put in charge of some other Self. In the Objective Subject Model, the Subject is separated from the Self and functions on its own. In this model, the Subject's values are assumed to be separable. They are not separable in the Projectible Subject Model. Take sentences like: -Step outside yourself and let go of your prejudices and your own narrow values, so you can see yourself objectively. -Take a look at yourself from my point of view. However, other properties of the Subject are retained. The Subject remains the locus of conscious awareness and perception, and most important, the Subject retains control over the Self in this model. Indeed, being objective involves even more than the usual modicum of control. The last thing that we would conclude of someone who had stepped outside of himself to look at himself objectively is that he had given up control of himself. The Objective Subject Model thus presents what might be called an enhanced form of consciousness, one in which you go beyond your normal values and perspective. The Objective Subject Model is also employed in descriptions from an outside perspective like those described by Ron Langacker, who cites minimal pairs like: -Sandy is sitting across the table. -Sandy is sitting across the table from me. In the first sentence, the locus of consciousness, the Subject, is construed as being inside the experiencing Self, whereas in the second sentence, the description is from a perspective outside the Self. Similarly, in the sentence -I dreamt that I was playing the piano. there is an Objective Subject Model reading, where the Subject (the dreamer) is obervering his Self playing the piano. In the experiencer reading, Subject and Self are united and the dreamer experiences himself playing the piano. The Objective Subject Model presupposes the KNOWING IS SEEING metaphor. The metaphorical mapping that characterizes the model is: ENHANCED CONSCIOUSNESS IS THE ABILITY OF THE SUBJECT TO SEE THE SELF FROM THE OUTSIDE OBJECTIVITY IS THE SEPARATION OF THE SUBJECT FROM THE SUBJECT'S VALUES AND PRESUPPOSITIONS Interestingly, there are two different versions of the Objective Subject Model, one in which it is good for the Person to observe himself from the outside, and one in which it is bad. Such versions are needed to make sense of the difference between being ``self-aware'' and being ``self-conscious.'' ``Self-aware'' is defined with respect to an Objective Self Model in which observing yourself from an outside perspective is helpful. ``Self-conscious'' is defined with respect to an Objective Self Model in which observing yourself from an outside perspective makes you nervous and makes it harder to do things. If we are to characterize this difference, there must be two versions of the model, at least.
The Absent Subject Model Lakoff and Becker describe another model in which the Subject is separated from the Self, but with the opposite effect: The Subject is outside the Self, but the effect is not one of enhanced consciousness; rather, the effect is of degraded or absent consciousness. And instead of the extraordinary self-control of the Objective Subject Model, the Absent Subject Model presents an absence of control of Subject over the Self. Though they are opposite in content, both the Objective Subject Model and the Absent Subject Model are instances of same thing: Consciousness and Control that is outside the normal range -- it is either enhanced or degraded. The Absent Subject Model makes use of the following metaphorical mapping: NORMAL CONSCIOUSNESS AND CONTROL OF SELF BY SUBJECT IS THE CO-LOCATION OF SUBJECT AND SELF. LACK OF NORMAL CONSCIOUSNESS AND LACK OF CONTROL OF SELF BY SUBJECT IS THE SEPARATION OF SUBJECT AND SELF. PROJECTED CONSCIOUSNESS AND CON- TROL IS THE CO-LOCATION OF ONE PERSON'S SUBJECT WITH ANOTHER PERSON'S SELF. CONSTRAINT ON SUBJECT BY SELF IS FORCIBLE CO- LOCATION OF SUBJECT AND SELF. There are a number of special cases of the Absent Subject Model that are described by Lakoff and Becker in considerable detail. The cases vary with how ``the separation of Subject and Self'' can be realized. The cases fall into two general classes, depending on whether the Self is conceptualized as a Location or an Object. Given the Location-Object bifurcation, there are further subcases. They are:
The Self is a Location Here: Lack of Normal Consciousness and
The Self is a Possessible Object: Lack of Normal Consciousness and Control is Loss of Self
The Container Model
Let us begin with the container model, in which LACK OF NORMAL
CONSCIOUSNESS AND CONTROL IS BEING OUTSIDE THE SELF. There are a
number of special cases, for example, the extreme case of the being
outside the Self is being far outside the Self, e.g., in
space: NEAR TOTAL LACK OF CONSCIOUSNESS AND CONTROL IS BEING FAR
OUTSIDE THE SELF
He's way _o_u_t _t_h_e_r_e.
You were really _s_p_a_c_e_d _o_u_t. Dude, you're _t_r_i_p_p_i_n_g!
Earth to Miles, come in, Miles. . .
I'm _w_a_y _o_u_t _o_f _i_t today. I kept _f_l_o_a_t_i_n_g _o_f_f in lecture. LACK OF NORMAL CONSCIOUSNESS AND CONTROL IS BEING OUTSIDE THE SELF.
The light's on but no one's home.
I'm going _o_f_f to sleep now.
I'm really _i_n_t_o this book.
In these cases the Self is a container and normal consciousness and control occur when the Subject is within the Self, and lack of them occurs otherwise. There is a special case in which an aspect of the Self can be a container. For example, Rationality is conceptualized as ``being in your right mind'' -- that is, the ``right mind'' is a part of the Self that the Subject is ``in.'' Correspondingly, IRRATIONALITY IS BEING OUTSIDE OF THE MIND -Are you _o_u_t _o_f _y_o_u_r _m_i_n_d? -Have you _t_a_k_e_n _l_e_a_v_e _o_f _y_o_u_r _s_e_n_s_e_s? -He was driven _i_n_t_o _a _f_r_e_n_z_y. -She's _b_e_s_i_d_e _h_e_r_s_e_l_f with grief. RETURNING TO NORMAL CONSCIOUSNESS IS COMING BACK -He's finally come _t_o _h_i_s _s_e_n_s_e_s. -He's _c_o_m_e _t_o.
CONSTRAINT ON SUBJECT BY SELF IS FORCIBLE CO-LOCATION OF SUBJECT WITH SELF
-She is trapped by her past.
-I can't escape the memory of the accident. -She trying to elude her past.
-He's held back by his physical limitations.
The Vertical Model
In the vertical model, the Self is conceptualized as being down here, on Earth, where the body is. In normal consciousness and control the Subject is also located down here where the Self is.
BEING IN A NORMAL STATE IS BEING DOWN HERE
-He's really down to earth.
-I'm finally feeling grounded.
-Are you sure you have both feet on the ground?
BEING OUT OF CONTROL IS THE GROUND MOVING AWAY -The ground was
falling out from under me.
-We'll kick the props out from under him.
EUPHORIC STATES ARE UP
-She reached new heights of ecstasy.
-I'm high as a kite.
-Her smile sent me soaring.
-He's on Cloud 9.
The Scattered Self Model
There is a general metaphor in English that COMPATIBILITY IS COLOCATION, that is, being in the same place. This metaphor has number of special cases, for example, in business or in intimate relationships.
We got together on a deal. We're pretty far apart on the terms of the contract. The gap will narrow once negotiations begin.
We finally got together last week. We're not in the same place at all. We haven't been together for a year.
This metaphor also applies in models of the Person: when issues of compatibility among arise among various aspects of a Person arise, compatibility is conceptualized as being in the same place. One such case has tgo do with compatibility among different aspects of the Self. When there is an incompatiobility among different aspects of the Self, those aspects are seen as being is different places -- scattered, not together.
COMPATIBILITY OF ASPECTS OF THE SELF IS CO-LOCATION
This is combined with the metaphor
NORMAL CONSCIOUSNESS AND CONTROL OF SELF BY SUBJECT IS CO- LOCATION OF SELF AND SUBJECT
These two metaphors combined form a model of The Scattered Self, with the following entailments.
For the Subject to be normally conscious and in control of the Self, the Subject must be in the same place as the Self.
When Aspects of the Self are incompatible, then they are not in the same place (they are ``scattered'').
The Subject can be in only one place.
Therefore, when aspects of the Self are incompatible, they are in different places, that is, ``scattered.''
In such a case, the Subject cannot be in the same place as all the aspects of the Self, and hence, cannot be normally conscious and in control of all aspects of the Self.
Here are some examples:
He's pretty scattered.
Pull yourself together.
He's finally got it together.
He's real together.
He's all over the place.
The Possession Models
In all of the above models, a person is portrayed as having normal consciousness and being in normal control when the Subject is located with the Self, and as having nonnormal consciousness and control when the Subject moves away from from the Self. There is another set of models where the same happens with a slight modification. In these models, the normal state of consciousness and control again occurs when Subject and Self are located in the same place, but the difference is that the Self is seen as an object in the possession of the Subject. Again, nonnormal consciousness and control occurs when the Subject and Self are separated, but in the possession cases separation is conceptualized as a ``loss'' of Self by the Subject. In the general possession model, what is lost is the Self as a whole. However, there are specific cases where aspects of the Self can be lost -- rationality, memory, worldly cares, bodily control, etc. These are parallel to the cases discussed above where aspects of the Self can be seen as locations that the Subject moves out of. Compare, for example, the location-version -He's out of his mind. with the possession-version -He's lost his mind. The possession models also allow for a possession-version of the Projectible Subject -- but again with an interesting twist. In locationversion discussed above, the Subject can project itself into another Self, while in these cases the Self is possessed by an external Subject. The difference is one of deictic center -- in the location cases, the deictic center is with the Subject while in the possession cases, the deictic center is with the Self. The effect of this minimal change in deixis is conceptually rather large. Compare a location-case of Projectiblity-of-Subject with a possession-case.
Location-case, with my Subject projected into the Devil's Self: -If I were the Devil, I would stop doing evil things.
Possession-case, with the Devil's Subject projected into my Self: -If I were possessed by the Devil, I would start doing evil things.
The shift in deictic center has scary connotations. It is a big
difference whether your Subject controls someone else's Self or
whether someone else's Subject control's your Self. It much
scarier to think of your Self being controlled by someone else's
Subject. In the first example (If I were the Devil, ...), my
Subject is paired with the Devil's Self. The new composite has
the Devil's interests and past history, but my consciousness,
will, and values. My Subjet has a choice: to go along with the
Devil's interests and continue the Devils evil ways, or to exercize
will power over the Devil's Self and try to change the
Devil's ways. However, in the second example, there is no such
choice. If the Devil's Subject is inhabiting your Self, there
isnothing you can do about is -- your Self will be doing evil.
Let us now consider some further examples. Recall that the general
mapping that governs both the location and possession cases
is: NORMAL CONSCIOUSNESS AND CONTROL OF SELF BY SUBJECT IS THE
CO-LOCATION OF SUBJECT AND SELF. LACK OF NORMAL CONSCIOUSNESS
AND LACK OF CONTROL OF SELF BY SUBJECT IS THE SEPARATION OF SUB-
JECT AND SELF. PROJECTED CONSCIOUSNESS AND CONTROL IS THE CO-
LOCATION OF ONE PERSON'S SUBJECT WITH ANOTHER PERSON'S SELF.
CONSTRAINT ON SUBJECT BY SELF IS FORCIBLE CO-LOCATION OF SUBJECT
AND SELF. The possession-version of this is: NORMAL CONSCIOUSNESS
AND CONTROL OF SELF BY SUBJECT IS THE POSSESSION OF SELF BY
SUBJECT. LACK OF NORMAL CONSCIOUSNESS AND LACK OF CONTROL OF
SELF BY SUBJECT IS THE LOSS OF SELF BY SUBJECT. PROJECTED CONS-
CIOUSNESS AND CONTROL IS THE POSSESSION BY ONE PERSON'S SUBJECT
OF ANOTHER PERSON'S SELF. CONSTRAINT ON SUBJECT BY SELF IS FOR-
CIBLE POSSESSION Here are some Loss-of-Self cases, with aspectof
-Self lost in brackets, where the sentence does not indicate it
in the surface form.
-I lost myself in reading. [wordly cares] -Only in meditation was she able to let go of herself. [worldly cares] -She really let herself go on the dance floor. [bodily control] -You've got to let go of those painful memories. -I can recollect where I put the keys.
-He's not in possession of his faculties. -You must have lost your mind.
-He was blind with rage. [loss of bodily control] -After a few moments, he managed to collect his faculties. -Give me a second to gather my thoughts. -He regained consciousness.
Here are some Possession-of-Self cases: -I must have been possessed to say something like that. -The novel takes you over, you become enmeshed in it. -That movie really grabbed me.
-I was seized by an intense longing for her. -We got a little carried away.
-I was caught up in the mood of jubilation. -I'm hooked.
-He's really self-possessed.
-She won my heart.
The cases of Forcible-Possession are of two kinds: (1) Inability of the Subject to let go of some aspect of the Self, and (2) a strong possession of the Subject by some aspect of the Self:
-He can't let go of his past.
-He's still hanging on to his childhood.
-He's in the grip of his past.
-His sad childhood still has a hold on him. -His past is catching up with him.
The Relative-Location Vertical Model
The vertical model of self-orientation that I presented above was one of co-location: normal consciousness and control is indicated by the Subject being located where the Self is. There is, however, another vertical model of self-orientation where normal consciousness and control is represented by relative locations of Subject and Self, namely, the Subject is above the Self.
NORMAL CONSCIOUSNESS AND CONTROL OF SUBJECT AND SELF IS THE LOCA- TION OF THE SUBJECT ABOVE THE SELF
This vertical model uses a collection of metaphors that characterize
the norms of REASON, CONTROL, and CONSCIOUSNESS as UP and
the ``deviant'' states of PASSION, LACK OF CONTROL, and UNCONSCIOUSNESS
as DOWN. Here the natural location of the Subject is
UP, inhabiting the realm of reason, consciousness, and control.
Thus, we ``fall'' asleep and ``rise'' to consciousness. There
are many examples: REASON, CONSCIOUSNESS, and CONTROL ARE UP;
PASSION, UNCONSCIOUSNESS, and LACK OF CONTROL ARE DOWN.
-He fell asleep.
-She slipped into a coma.
-He fell into a drunken stupor.
-Wake up to the world around you.
-She sank into a depression.
-I have control over the situation.
-Then began his long descent into madness. What is involved here is _r_e_l_a_t_i_v_e height, as we in cases of loss of control where supposed to be below rise to a position over the Subject:
-A sudden impulse came over me to dye my hair blonde. -When I saw her, I was overcome with passion. -After I hit the ground, unconsciousness overtook me. Similarly, maintaining control for the Subject means keeping the passions below:
-You're repressing your desire to kill your father. -I had to subdue my passion for dates with marscarpone. -You must suppress your urge for revenge. All of the models we have discussed so far are concerned with the Consciousness of the Subject and its Control over the Self. Let us now turn to the models concerning the Compatibility of Subject and Self.
The Split Self Models And The Issue of Compatibility
The Self, as we saw above, is the locus of what is long-term and bodily, like beliefs, plans, worldly cares, passions, and the body itself whereas the Subject is the locus of immediate consciousness, control and judgement. We are often in the situation of having contradictory beliefs, of being unable to decide between alternative plans, and of having conflicting passions. Metaphorically, this is conceptualized as a splitting of the Self into, typically, two Selves, either of which can be inhabited by the Subject. The Compatibility Models differ from one another, but they all share a general metaphorical mapping: DIFFERING ASPECTS OF THE SELF ARE DISTINCT SELVES COMPATIBILITY OF SUBJECT AND SELF IS CO-LOCATION OF SUBJECT AND SELF
The Undetermined Compatibility Model
In this model, the following conditions are met: 1. Compatibility
is Undetermined. 2. There is a set of special cases of Aspects
of the Self: Beliefs, Purposes, Passions, and Social Roles. This
model covers cases where the Subject has difficulty judging
whether its values are more compatible with one set or another of
beliefs, plans, passions, or social roles. These are expressed
in the metaphor by indecision over location -- indecision as to
whether the Subject should locate itself with one Self or another.
There are two vrsion of the model: one is which the split
selves are conceptualized as people, and in in which they are
conceptualized as locations. Here are some examples: Location
cases: -I'm split between my scientific self and my religious
-I keep going back and forth between my religious and scientific identities.
-I keep returning to my spiritual self. -I feel myself pulled toward the spiritual in me.
-He's at war with himself.
-I keep telling myself to leave.
-A little voice in my head told me not to go. -Watch yourself!
-His politician self has trouble getting along with his priestly self.
-I go back and forth between the politician and the priest in me.
The Inner and Outer Self
People commonly want the public at large to think that they are different than they are. The KNOWING IS SEEING metaphor motivates our characterizing what we don't let other people know as being ``unseen'' and hence internal. The result is a model in which there is a ``real'' inner self and a ``false'' outer self. The outer self is what the public gets to see. The inner self may emerge on occasion. The false outer self is often conceptualized as a mask or veneer or someother impediment to vision.
This is a second Compatibility Model, again characterized by the
general metaphorical mapping: DIFFERING ASPECTS OF THE SELF ARE
DISTINCT OPPOSED SELVES COMPATIBILITY OF SUBJECT AND SELF IS CO-
LOCATION OF SUBJECT AND SELF What distinguishes this model is
that there is a Self compatible with the Subject, referred to as
the ``Real Self'' and another Self incompatible with the Subject.
The Real Self, which is compatible with the Subject's values, is
kept unknown to others, and so is conceptualized via the KNOWING
IS SEEING metaphor as being INSIDE, where PRIVATE IS INSIDE; PUBLIC
IS OUTSIDE. The other self is the Public Self, which is shown
to the public at large, and is hence conceptualized as OUTSIDE.
This model also uses the general metaphor that ESSENTIAL IS CENTRAL.
The essential Self, the ``real self'' that is compatible
with the Subject, is thus inside, while the inessential Self is
outside. Thus, THE REAL SELF IS INSIDE; THE PUBLIC SELF IS OUTSIDE,
where the REAL SELF is compatible with the Subject's values
and the PUBLIC SELF is not necessarily compatible with the
Subject's values. Examples include:
-He rarely shows his real self.
-He won't reveal himself to strangers.
-His real self comes out only when he's with close friends. -He always wears a mask in public.
-Put on a happy face.
-Her sophistication is all a facade.
-She packages herself well.
-He's a dancer inside a professor's body.
The First True-Self Model
The third special case of the Compatibility Model is also one in
which the whole Self is split into distinct opposing Selves, one
of which -- the True Self -- is compatible with the values of the
Subject. It is also defined by the general metaphorical mapping
that defines all the Compatibility Models. In the First True Self
Model, the True Self--the only Self compatible with the Subject-
-is is unknown to the Subject. Via the KNOWING IS SEEING metaphor,
the True Self is Hidden. The Subject, seeking a compatible
Self, has it as a major goal to find the True Self. Here are some
-He found himself in writing.
-He really came into his own last summer. -You've got to locate your inner child. -It's important to be in touch with yourself. -He spent five months in India searching for his true self and all he got were these lousy sandals.
The Second True-Self Model
There is a second True Self model -- and a fourth special case of
the general Compatibility Model -- in which the beliefs characterizing
the True Self, which are compatible with the values of
the Subject, are seen as a moral standard for willful action by
the Subject. The True Self is then personified as a person whose
values you (the Subject) can either honor or betray in your actions.
-Don't betray yourself.
-Be true to yourself.
-I let myself down.
-I disappointed myself.
A Consciousness, Control, and Compatibility Model.
The Natural Self Model
There is one model that I have found so far where issues of consciousness-and-control are combined with issues of compatibility of subject and self. In this model, there is a natural Self that is compatible with the values of the Subject, and that natural Self is normally the outer public self. But on accasion some other Self that incompatible with the Subject and outside of the Subject's control, ``comes out'' and behaves in a way the Subject is ashamed of. The models is based on two metaphors:
The Split Self Metaphor:
DIFFERING ASPECTS OF THE SELF ARE DISTINCT OPPOSED SELVES
The Outer Self Metaphor:
THE EXTERIOR OF THE PERSON IS A SELF
The details of the model are as follows:
The outer Self is the Self that governs behavior and needs to be controlled by the Subject.
There is a natural Self, a Self that the Subject is naturally compatible with and thus can easily control.
The outer Self is normally the natural Self.
Hence, the Subject normally controls the outer self.
There is at least one other Self inside the Person that can ``come out.''
The Subject is not completely compatible with that other Self, and hence has difficulty controlling it and maintaining normal consciousness of it.
Examples of this model include:
I wasn't myself yesterday.
That wasn't the real me yesterday.
When she insulted me, my petty self came out. I wasn't my normal self yesterday.
Be careful. You don't want to bring out the animal in him.
A Summary of the Models
Here is an overview of the models we have discussed. There are three main types: One where the issue is Consciousness-andControl; one where the issue is Compatibility;and one where both are at issue. There are thirteen models in all. Eight are Consciousness-and-Control Models; four are Compatibility Modelsi; and one is a joint model. Of the eight Consciousness-and-Control Models, five are location-models and two are possession-models. Of the five location-models, four are same-location models and one is a relative-location model.
The Consciousness-and-Control Models
I. Location Models
A. Projectible Subject (Location)
B. The Separable Subject Models
2'. The Relative Location Vertical Model
C. The Scattered Self
II. The Possession Models
A. Projectible Subject (Possession)
B. Loss of Self
The Compatibility Models
A Consciousness, Control, and Compatibility Model
A. The Natural Normal Self
A Note on Coreference
And the Grammar of Reflexives
As we saw in the discussion of grammatical Principles I and II
above, the grammar of English must make reference to
Subject+Self models of the person. One might think that the
grammar might merely make reference to the split of the
person into Subject and Self, without distinguishing
among the different models. We can now show that such a surmise
would be incorrect, and that distinct models must be
Compare the following two sentences:
-He lost himself in writing.
-He found himself in writing.
Although in surface form these sentences differ minimally in the choice of the verbs ``lose'' versus ``find'', they are understood in utterly different ways -- in terms of different models of the Person. The first sentence uses the Loss-of-Self model, while the second uses the First True-Self Model. This difference in models of the Person also has a reflection in syntax. Compare the following sentences.
-He found his true self in writing.
-*He lost his true self in writing.
The first is a paraphrase of the corresponding sentence above, while the second is ill-formed, since ``true self'' requires a True-Self model, while ``lose,'' which can occur with a Loss-of-Self model, cannot with a True-Self model. The conclusion: Reflexives are not necessarily instances of coreference with an antecedent; reflexives and their antecedents
may refer to two different aspects of the same person. Thus, grammars must not only make reference to a split of the Person into Subject plus Self, but must also refer to different metaphorical models of the Person.
We think using the conceptual system we have.
That conceptual system has within it
a set of incompatible models
of a Dualistic Person, split between Subject and Self. It is almost inevitable that we will think about what a person is using the models we have. And it is equally inevitable that consciously constructed philosophical and religious models reflect our unsconscious models. After all, the unconscious models in our conventional conceptual system define what an ``intuitive'' conscious model is.
The models that come out of research on the brain are likely to be more accurate, at least in the long run, than our everyday conventional metaphorical models. Chances are, there is really no Subject separate from the Self -- no single nonphysical locus of consciousness, will, and judgment separate from everything else about us. But as long as our conceptual system and our language has such models in them, we are going to think using those models. And since conceptual systems don't change all that quickly, these metaphorical models will be with us for a very long time.