Self, Supervenience and Personal Identity (Avebury Series in Philosophy)

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9781859726037: Self, Supervenience and Personal Identity (Avebury Series in Philosophy)
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Addressing the issue of personal identity by examining the possibility that a person is ascribed identity on the basis of having a supervenient self. Using the methods of non-eidetic phenomenology and analytic ontology, it argues that the self is supervenient on the physical and psychological properties of the human being. Understood in this manner, the self is perceived as not just a static entity, but reflects the temporal nature of the person. Rather than trying to find the ground of personal identity in a purported static or relatively stable feature of the human being such as the soul, spatio-temporal continuity, or consciousness, the author argues that the self is the "pattern, character, or narrative identity" that is the outcome of a person's decision making and actions. In addition, the text examines how the social role of a human being contributes to the structure of the self, interpreted in terms of morality and values. It differentiates between consciousness and the self, by using a Sartrean interpretation to clarify this distinction. The author concludes with an argument against the improper use of thought experiments that shapes the discussion of personal identity in a way that may pay insufficient attention to the temporal, social, and moral nature of the self.

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Alexander, Ronald
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Ronald Alexander
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