The Early Modern Subject: Self-Consciousness and Personal Identity from Descartes to Hume

Paperback | April 11, 2014

byUdo Thiel

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The Early Modern Subject explores the understanding of self-consciousness and personal identity - two fundamental features of human subjectivity - as it developed in early modern philosophy. Udo Thiel presents a critical evaluation of these features as they were conceived in the seventeenthand eighteenth centuries. He explains the arguments of thinkers such as Descartes, Locke, Leibniz, Wolff, and Hume, as well as their early critics, followers, and other philosophical contemporaries, and situates them within their historical contexts. Interest in the issues of self-consciousness and personal identity is in many ways characteristic and even central to early modern thought, but Thiel argues here that this is an interest that continues to this day, in a form still strongly influenced by the conceptual frameworks of early modernthought. In this book he attempts to broaden the scope of the treatment of these issues considerably, covering more than a hundred years of philosophical debate in France, Britain, and Germany while remaining attentive to the details of the arguments under scrutiny and discussing alternativeinterpretations in many cases.

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The Early Modern Subject explores the understanding of self-consciousness and personal identity - two fundamental features of human subjectivity - as it developed in early modern philosophy. Udo Thiel presents a critical evaluation of these features as they were conceived in the seventeenthand eighteenth centuries. He explains the argu...

Udo Thiel studied Philosophy at the Universities of Marburg, Bonn, and Oxford. He began as a Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Sydney, later moving to the Australian National University in Canberra where he became a Senior Lecturer and then Associate Professor. In 2009 he moved to Austria where he is now Professor of the His...
Format:PaperbackDimensions:498 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.01 inPublished:April 11, 2014Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198704402

ISBN - 13:9780198704409

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Table of Contents

AcknowledgementsIntroduction: Aims and IssuesPART I: THE SEVENTEENTH-CENTURY BACKGROUND1. The 'Ontological' View of the Self: Scholastic and Cartesian Conceptions2. Metaphysical Alternatives. Conceptions of Identity, Morality, and the AfterlifePART II: LOCKE'S SUBJECTIVIST REVOLUTION3. Locke on Identity, Consciousness, and Self-Consciousness4. Locke on Personal Identity: Consciousness, Memory, and Self-ConcernPART III: PROBLEMS WITH LOCKE. CRITIQUE AND DEFENCE5. The Notion of a Person and the Role of Consciousness and Memory6. The Charge of Circularity and the Argument from the Transitivity of IdentityPART IV: SUBJECTIVITY AND IMMATERIALIST METAPHYSICS OF THE MIND7. The Soul, Human and Universal8. Relating to the Soul and Pure Thought, Original Sin and the AfterlifePART V: SUSBSTANCE, APPERCEPTION AND IDENTITY: LEIBNIZ, WOLFF, AND BEYOND9. Individuation and Identity, Apperception and Consciousness in Leibniz and Wolff10. Beyond Leibniz and Wolff. From Immortality to the Necessary "Unity of the Subject"11. From the Critique of Wolffian Apperception to the Idea of the "Pre-existence" of Self-ConsciousnessPART VI: BUNDLES AND SELVES: HUME IN CONTEXT12. Hume and the Belief in Personal Identity13. Hume and the Bundle View of the SelfConclusion: Beyond Hume and WolffBibliographyIndex

Editorial Reviews

"Thiel's book is clearly written and accessible to more than just a circle of specialists. Its main virtue is the systematized presentation of an amazing range of authors ... This book is the first pick for everyone who wants to gain insight into the abundance of early modern discussions ofthese topics." --Christian Barth, Philosophy in Review