The Phenomenal Self

The Phenomenal Self

by Barry Dainton

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Overview

Provided our mental lives are not disrupted we can easily imagine our selves surviving the most dramatic physical alterations. It was this fact that led John Locke to conclude that a credible account of our persistence conditions should be framed in terms of mental rather than material continuity. But mental continuity comes in different forms. Most of Locke's contemporary followers agree that our continued existence is secured by psychological continuity, which they take to be made up of memories, beliefs, intentions, and the like. Dainton argues that a better and more believable account can be framed in terms of the continuity we find in our streams of consciousness, from moment to moment. Why? Simply because provided this continuity is not lost-provided our streams of consciousness flow on-we can easily imagine ourselves surviving the most dramatic psychological alterations. Phenomenal continuity seems to provide a more reliable guide to our persistence than any other form of continuity. The Phenomenal Self is a full-scale defence and elaboration of this premise.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780199692248
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publication date: 08/15/2011
Pages: 464
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.20(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Barry Dainton is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Liverpool. He is the author of Stream of Consciousness and Time and Space.

Table of Contents

List of Figures viii

Preface xi

Acknowledgements xxvi

1 Mind and Self 1

1.1 Can it be so easy? 1

1.2 Psychological continuity 6

1.3 First doubts 11

1.4 Some varieties of virtual life 14

1.5 Strands untangled 21

2 Phenomenal Unity 28

2.1 Experience 28

2.2 Phenomenal space 34

2.3 Self and awareness 39

2.4 A superfluous self 42

2.5 Simplicity and unity 46

3 Phenomenal Continuity 51

3.1 A constraint 51

3.2 Memory 53

3.3 Chunks, apprehensions and representations 56

3.4 Overlap and flow 63

3.5 Phenomenal cuts 68

3.6 The one experience view 71

3.7 Streamal unity 73

4 Powers and Subjects 75

4.1 Bridge building 75

4.2 Experience-machines and beyond 81

4.3 Power structures 88

4.4 The C-theory 111

4.5 Powers in general 114

4.6 Projection and production 131

5 Alternatives 135

5.1 The self in experience 135

5.2 Bridges of resemblance 148

5.3 Fundamentalism 151

5.4 Foster's modal bridge 153

5.5 Unger's material bridge 161

6 Minds and Mental Integration 170

6.1 From C-systems to minds 170

6.2 Aspects of mind 171

6.3 Psycho-phenomenal integration 175

6.4 C-relations and P-relations 178

6.5 From a functional perspective 181

6.6 Non-phenomenal selves 188

6.7 What matters 192

7 Embodiment 201

7.1 A blurring 201

7.2 Four grades of embodiment 203

7.3 Phenomenal embodiment 206

7.4 Effective embodiment 209

7.5 Boundary disputes 215

7.6 Monist alternatives 224

7.7 Minimalism and possession 227

8 Simple Selves 236

8.1 Simplicity and isolation 236

8.2 Isolation: strands of a defence 238

8.3 Reductio? 245

8.4 Minimal subjects 249

8.5 A minimal modification, and a moral 251

8.6 Weak unity 254

9Holism 264

9.1 Unity and interdependence 264

9.2 Interdependent potentials 266

9.3 Phenomenal interdependence 272

9.4 Organization and interference 273

9.5 C-holism 277

9.6 From C-holism to power holism 289

9.7 Power systematicity 300

9.8 Simplicity 307

10 Modes of Incapacitation 311

10.1 Absoluteness 311

10.2 Some varieties of incapacitation 313

10.3 Brains 316

10.4 Cyclical subjects 319

10.5 Congenial decomposition 321

10.6 Assessments 325

10.7 Deviancy 331

10.8 Teleportation revisited 336

10.9 From Egos to C-systems 338

11 Objections and Replies 341

11.1 Ontological qualms 341

11.2 Issues of substance 342

11.3 Unity and independence 344

11.4 Menacing circularities 348

11.5 Ownership, isolation and holism 354

11.6 Power worlds 359

12 The Topology of the Self 364

12.1 Fission 364

12.2 Fission as fatal 368

12.3 Can consciousness divide? 370

12.4 Overlap to the rescue? 373

12.5 Time travel and double existence 378

12.6 Personal and phenomenal time 381

12.7 Non-linearity 385

12.8 Time and times 389

12.9 Issues and objections 393

12.10 Fusion 400

12.11 The many shapes of life 406

13 Appendix: Reductionism 409

Bibliography 418

Index 427

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