The Unity of the Self

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In these essays Stephen White examines the forms of psychological integration that give rise to self-knowable and self-conscious individuals who are responsible, concerned for the future, and capable of moral commitment. The essays cover a wide range of basic issues in philosophy of mind, metaphysics, moral psychology, and political philosophy, providing a coherent, sophisticated, and forcefully argued view of the nature of the self.

Beginning with mental content and ending with...

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Overview

In these essays Stephen White examines the forms of psychological integration that give rise to self-knowable and self-conscious individuals who are responsible, concerned for the future, and capable of moral commitment. The essays cover a wide range of basic issues in philosophy of mind, metaphysics, moral psychology, and political philosophy, providing a coherent, sophisticated, and forcefully argued view of the nature of the self.

Beginning with mental content and ending with Rawls and utilitarianism, each essay argues a distinctive line. Together they are a unified and powerful philosophical position of considerable scope, one that provides a unique vision of the mind, consciousness, personhood, and morality.

White argues that the unity of the self revealed in personal identity and moral responsibility is best understood in normative terms. Basic to such features of the self are the patterns of self-concern in which they are characteristically displayed and the internal justification that supports such concern. The treatment of intentionality and consciousness that grounds this account emphasizes privileged self-knowledge and practical rationality and their corresponding contributions to the unity of the self. A final source of unity emerges from the analysis of our fundamental commitments, an analysis that ensures a central place in moral theory for the notion of the self.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
In these essays White (philosophy, Tufts U.) examines the forms of psychological integration that give rise to self-knowable and self- conscious individuals who are responsible, concerned for the future, and capable of moral commitment. The essays cover a wide range of basic issues in philosophy of mind, metraphysics, moral psychology, and political philosophy, providing a coherent, sophisticated, and forcefully argued view of the nature of the self. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Stephen L. White is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Tufts University.
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Table of Contents

Preface
Introduction 1
Pt. I Content
Ch. 1 Partial Character and the Language of Thought 27
Ch. 2 Narrow Content and Narrow Interpretation 51
Pt. II Qualia
Ch. 3 Curse of the Qualia 75
Ch. 4 Transcendentalism and Its Discontents 103
Pt. III Identity and Consciousness
Ch. 5 Metapsychological Relativism and the Self 135
Ch. 6 What Is It Like to Be a Homunculus? 163
Pt. IV Rationality and Responsibility
Ch. 7 Self-Deception and Responsibility for the Self 193
Ch. 8 Moral Responsibility 225
Postscript 255
Ch. 9 Rationality, Responsibility, and Pathological Indifference 259
Postscript 283
Pt. V Moral Theory
Ch. 10 Rawls and Ideal Reflective Equilibria 287
Ch. 11 Utilitarianism, Realism, and Rights 323
Postscript 371
Notes 377
Bibliography 405
Index 411
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