I am a lot of things: A pluralistic account of the Self

Metaphysica, An International Journal for Ontology and Metaphysics 15 (1):113-127 (2014)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

When I say that I am a lot of things, I mean it literally and metaphysically speaking. The Self, or so I shall argue, is a plurality (notwithstanding the fact that ordinary language takes "the Self" to be a singular term – but, after all, language is only language). It is not a substance or a substratum, and it is not a collection or a bundle. The view I wish to advocate for is a kind of reductionism, in line with some – but not all – broadly Humean ideas. In short, I will defend the view there are the experiences and mental states we have, and that's it: no additional substances, and no bundles. This does not mean, however, that there is no Self – the Self simply is the experiences. I will try to articulate and defend this view by showing that it can accommodate what I take to be the three main desiderata for any theory of the Self to satisfy: first, that the Self is the subject of experience (a subject of mental states, in general); second, that there is a unity to the Self in the sense that our (conscious, phenomenal) experience is at least partly continuous or 'stream-like'; and third, that we do not die when we go to sleep or when we otherwise don't have any (conscious, phenomenal) experiences.

Author's Profile

Jiri Benovsky
University of Fribourg

Analytics

Added to PP
2014-01-02

Downloads
705 (#20,140)

6 months
87 (#44,435)

Historical graph of downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks on external links on PhilPapers.
How can I increase my downloads?