Who Am I? Who Is She?: A Naturalistic, Holistic, Somatic Approach to Personal Identity

Who Am I? Who Is She?: A Naturalistic, Holistic, Somatic Approach to Personal Identity

by Gerard P. Montague

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Overview

Are ‘persons’ physical things, members of the species homo sapiens which exist solely in materialist form, continuous in structure with other living things? Or is the issue a more complex one: are there more dimensions to being a person than mere physical, biological existence? These are matters of interest and discussion in many fields of study in this age of individuality. In this wide-ranging essay, the author addresses various aspects of the issue, including the history of self and identity. The ancient tradition of dualism is rejected in favour of a straightforward holistic and naturalistic account of selfhood; it is argued that the mind arises in an emergent sense from the body and personal identity is best expressed in terms of a self-reflective and meaningful narrative. The approach is principally from an analytic philosophy point of view but also takes on–board psychological and sociological aspects of self and identity.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9783868381443
Publisher: Ontos Verlag
Publication date: 02/28/2013
Pages: 331
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.50(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Gerard P. Montague is a philosophical counsellor and consultant and teaches at a number of institutions in Germany and elsewhere, including a recent sojourns as guest lecturer in South Korea.

Table of Contents

1 Quintessence, Aims and Structure 7

1.1 General Introduction 7

1.2 Working Definitions 9

1.3 Who Am 1? Who Is She? 10

1.4 Methodological Considerations 14

1.5 Structure of the Argument 18

1.6 Note on Orthography and Typography 20

1.7 Building Arches 21

2 Self and Identity in Historical Context 23

2.1 Origins of Mind, Soul, Self and Identity 23

2.2 Pre-History to Plato 25

2.3 Early Christian Dualism 35

2.4 The Middle Age and the Soul 41

2.5 Renaissance and Reason: Descartes to Locke 45

2.6 Science Intervenes: Darwin to Freud 57

2.7 The Story so Far 66

2.8 General Historical Inferences 68

3 Dualism, Monism and the End of the Debate 73

3.1 Death of the Soul? 73

3.2 Predicate Dualism 79

3.3 Property Dualism and the Mind-Body Problem 81

3.4 The Zombie Debate 84

3.5 Two Classes of Dualism? And Monism? 99

3.6 Perspectives for Mind and Personal Identity 101

4 Body, Brain and Mind 103

4.1 Embodiment 103

4.2 What the Mind Cannot Be 109

4.3 Things. Functions and Processes 118

4.4 Body, Mind and World 123

4.5 What Do We Need the Body to Do? 132

4.6 The Making of the Mind 139

4.7 Conscious and Unconscious Mind 153

4.8 'My' Philosophy of Mind 158

5 Aspects of Personal Identity 161

5.1 Dimensions of the Debate 161

5.2 Conditions of Personhood - Dimension( A) 162

5.3 Unity of Person-Dimension (B) 175

5.4 The Meaning of Identity 181

5.5 Persistence of Person-Dimension (C) 185

5.6 Structure of Personality - Dimension (D) 193

5.7 The Body in Philosophy 195

5.8 Summing up on Personal Identity 200

6 Some Reductionist Approaches 203

6.1 Aspects of Reductionism 203

6.2 Psychological Continuity and Replication 206

6.3 Body Transplant and the Somatic Aspect 217

6.4 Further Reductionist Discussions 223

6.5 Frankenstein's Monster 225

6.6 Reflections on Reductionist Debate 226

7 Qualitative Aspects of Self and Identity 233

7.1 Introductory Remark 233

7.2 Constitution of the Self 234

7.3 Cultural Aspect of Identity 238

7.4 Relating Self to Other 241

7.5 Memory. Continuity and Identity 243

7.6 Broader Aspects of Memory 250

7.7 Additional Aspects of Continuity 252

7.8 Phenomena of Identity 253

8 The Narrative Approach 255

8.1 Living a Life and Narrating a Life 255

8.2 Narratives as Stories or Plots 258

8.3 Analytic Reconstruction of Narrative 266

8.4 Narrative Approach as Resolution and Solution 274

8.5 Beginning and End of Personal Narrative 277

8.6 From a Narrative Approach to an Ethical Aspect 279

8.7 Questioning Narrativity 281

8.8 From Narrativity to Meaning 289

8.9 Conclusions on Narrative 293

9 Holistic Identity in a Naturalistic World 295

9.1 Naturalistic, Holistic, Somatic Identity 295

9.2 The Core of Personal Identity 299

Appendix I On Method 301

Appendix II The Problem of Philosophical Intuition 315

Bibliography 325

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