Both episodic and semantic memory systems have been proposed to generate a sense of self identity. In this personal episodic memory enables the phenomenological continuity of identity, while personal semantic memory generates the narrative continuity of identity. "The nature of personal narratives depends on highly conceptual and ‘story-like’ information about one’s life, which resides at the general event level of autobiographical memory and is thus unlikely to rely on more event-specific episodic systems."
So, what we see as an experiential self is the brain's process of accessing and storing sensory data, while what we see as the intellectual self is semantic; how that sensory data is categorized.
In simple terms, the self is "felt" or "observed" because of two things:
-The stream of conscious states, which bears continuity
-The fact that I'm always told I am this or that, and this and other "selves" need acknowledgment in order for any of us to be able to speak sincerely and coherently to one another.
Is this about the same as the classical Buddhist view? If not, in what way is it different?
And lastly, a hypothetical question: Is it possible for the linguistic self and the phenomenological self to conflict with one another and if so, how? In other words, what if I meditate and observe that I can't find a self anywhere, but the language my thought-processes are bound by refuse to allow me to think otherwise? Or what if I refuse to use pronouns in either thought or speech, habitually removing myself from the common practice of speaking and thinking in terms of self, yet I still have the experience of personal continuity and feelings of desire still arise from it?