Conceptions of Self: An Analytical Taxonomy
This chapter develops an analytical framework within which conceptions of self can be identified and classified. A conception about self supplies an answer to the question “What am I?” Until very recently, virtually all western discussion about the self explored three conceptions: the Cartesian, the Humean or Reductionist, and the Strawsonian or Materialist views. This chapter demonstrates that these three are far from exhaustive, and indeed identify eleven broad conceptions of self, grounding the classification in an orthogonal pair of distinctions: between adjectival and collective modes of exemplification, and between considerations about individuation and considerations about ownership. Thus, as well as the three views just mentioned, Indian theory discusses Ownership, Pure Consciousness and Phenomenal views, three types of (Buddhist) No Place view, the Tornado view and the Flame view.
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