By Strawson Strawson
This choice of philosophical papers displays at the life and nature of the self.A selection of philosophical papers dedicated to the topic of the self. displays on key questions about the life and nature of the self. contains contributions from top experts within the box: Barry Dainton, Ingmar Persson, Marya Schechtman, Galen Strawson, Bas van Fraassen, and Peter van Inwagen.
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Extra resources for The Self (Ratio Special Issues)
This is consistent with this attribution being ontically derivative, while the attribution of these properties to proper parts of our bodies is ontically non-derivative or primary. My claim is that for something to satisfy the owner aspect, the attribution of experiences to it must be non-derivative in the ontic sense. Does this mean that it is not a human body, but rather certain parts of it and its brain, that are the subject of experience and the self? No, for although (a part of) the brain matches the owner aspect, is the primary or non-derivative mind-owner, it does not match the phenomenal aspect.
Strictly speaking, it seems that it is not the whole human body that is the owner of experiences. The owner is rather its brain, or even certain parts of the brain, for these are what is minimally sufficient for the occurrence of the experiences. It is nomologically possible that a stream of experiences continues, even though almost all of a human body is annihilated, as long as certain cerebral parts are kept alive in certain states. 12 So construed, the practice of attributing experiential properties to human bodies is of a piece with an exceedingly common pattern.
This is something that science may establish later. It suffices that I am able to perceptually tell it apart from its environment. The same is true of the producer of a current token of ‘I’ which stands out from the environment by being the only object proprioceptively given as a thing filling a 3-D region. But there is a crucial difference between these cases. Suppose that I am informed that, underneath the qualitative continuity I perceive, the ‘worm-like thing’ undergoes a radical change from an organic to an inorganic state; then I will have to retract the identity-judgement that I am spontaneously inclined to make, to the effect that I perceive one and the same thing.
The Self (Ratio Special Issues) by Strawson Strawson