The Elusive SelfRobert Howell (Southern Methodist University)
Locating Subjectivity in the study of Consciousness
Abstract for the talk: The existence of a self seems both mysterious and inevitable. On the one hand, philosophers from the Buddha to Sartre doubt its existence. As Hume writes, when we introspect we find thoughts, feelings and conscious states, but nothing that has them. The subject of experience is elusive, but its existence seems certain. Descartes’ cogito is beyond doubt and the thought that “I am thinking” involves an undeniable form of self-awareness. In this talk I explain the sense in which the self is elusive but provide an argument that it nonetheless must exist.
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