Each person tends to see himself or herself as a single conscious subject or self, with identity and continuity over time, and with no other or rival subject involved in the same brain. This chapter pursues the topic further, attempting to justify its preoccupation with conscious subjects or selves, rather than complete physical-mental persons. It looks briefly at Descartes's famous argument for the existence of selves, and at how this fares from the consensus viewpoint. Next, it outlines philosopher Derek Parfit's reductionist view of the self, which seems to be the plausible outcome of the consensus approach. Finally, it cites reasons for holding that, contrary to Parfit's view, there is a deep further fact of personal identity or continuity, over and above physical and psychological continuity as generally understood.
Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.
If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.