The Problem "I" in Galen Strawson

Philosophical Investigations 16 (38):186-213 (2022)
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One of the topics in the philosophy of mind is the discussion of "I", which philosophers have referred to in various interpretations as "The self", "personal identity", "ego", "soul" and "spirit". Philosophers' different theories about the existence and even the nature of this seemingly simple and obvious have turned it into a philosophical problem. Galen Strawson is a physicalist who has addressed this issue by interpreting “The self”. On the one hand, he believes in the existence of the "empirical self", but on the other hand, he denies such qualities as Long-term persistence, personality, and agency, which seem to be essential to the meaning of the "I". The present paper tries to address, by an analythical-critical method, the question of how Strawson believed in the existence of the "I" despite the non-acceptance of these three characteristics. In this regard, first Strawson's view on the nature and existence of the "I" is analyzed, and after evaluating his view, it is concluded that the elimination of these three characteristics is due to weaknesses such as adopting a physicalist basis, a phenomenological method, and a purely mental view of the "I", confusion of the two positions of Truth and proof and his weakness in explaining the nature of unity over time.
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Archival date: 2022-08-04
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