Selves: An Essay in Revisionary Metaphysics by Galen StrawsonSelves: An Essay in Revisionary Metaphysics by Galen Strawson

Selves: An Essay in Revisionary Metaphysics

byGalen Strawson

Paperback | August 1, 2011

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What is the self? Does it exist? If it does exist, what is it like? It's not clear that we even know what we're asking about when we ask these large, metaphysical questions. The idea of the self comes very naturally to us, and it seems rather important, but it's also extremely puzzling. As forthe word 'self' - it's been taken in so many different ways that it seems that you can mean more or less what you like by it and come up with almost any answer. Galen Strawson proposes to approach the (seeming) problem of the self by starting from the thing that makes it seem there is a problem in the first place: our experience of the self, our experience of having or being a self, a hidden, inner mental presence or locus of consciousness. He argues thatwe should consider the phenomenology (experience) of the self before we attempt its metaphysics (its existence and nature). And when we have considered what it's like for human beings (assuming we can generalize about ourselves), we need to consider what it might be like for other possiblecreatures: what's the very least that might count as experience of oneself as a self? This, he proposes, will give us a good idea of what we ought to be looking for when we go on to ask whether there is such a thing-an idea worth following wherever it leads. It leads Strawson to conclude thatselves, inner subjects of experience, do indeed exist. But they bear little resemblance to traditional conceptions of the self.
Galen Strawson is a Professor of Philosophy at Reading University, UK, and a Regular Visitor at CUNY Graduate Center, New York. Prior to that he was Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at CUNY Graduate Center, New York (2004-07); Fellow and Tutor in Philosophy at Jesus College, Oxford (1987-2000). He has also held visiting positions...
Title:Selves: An Essay in Revisionary MetaphysicsFormat:PaperbackDimensions:480 pages, 9.69 × 6.73 × 1.06 inPublished:August 1, 2011Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199693102

ISBN - 13:9780199693108

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Table of Contents

Part One: IntroductionPart Two: Phenomenology: the local questionPart Three: Phenomenology and metaphysics: self-experience and self consciousnessPart Four: Phenomenology: the general questionPart Five: Phenomenology and metaphysics: time and the experience of timePart Six: Metaphysics: preliminariesPart Seven: Metaphysics: the question of fact 1Part Eight: Metaphysics: the question of fact 2

Editorial Reviews

"This brilliant and provocative book is about more than its title suggests ... I found this an impressive book ... throughout the level of philosophical intelligence is very high, and the discussion is historically and scientifically well-informed, and often insightful and illuminating. Thephenomenological observations, for example those in the discussion of the stream of consciousness, are often very acute. The writing is often brilliant ... it is a rewarding book to read, even for those, like myself, who are unpersuaded by its central claims." --Sydney Shoemaker, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews