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Freedom and Belief$
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Galen Strawson

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199247493

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199247493.001.0001

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(p.126) 9 Self‐consciousness
Freedom and Belief

Galen Strawson (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter considers self-consciousness, i.e., condition (5) from Chapter 7. It offers a conventional definition of ‘full’ or ‘express’ self-consciousness, i.e., self-consciousness of the kind possessed by nearly all human beings. According to the definition, to be fully self-conscious is to be able to think of yourself conceived of specifically as yourself. This raises a question: must any creature that is self-conscious have some sort of conception of itself as somehow single just qua mental, i.e., as a thing which has some sort of singleness considered purely in its mental aspect — even if it also has, and believes itself to have, singleness considered in its physical or overall psychophysical aspect? This seems unlikely to most analytic philosophers, but this chapter argues that it may well be the case. Independently of that, our ability to be fully self-consciously aware of ourselves as choosing, in a situation of choice, seems to be one of the crucial foundations of our conviction that we are radically free to choose even if determinism is true.

Keywords:   self-consciousness, singleness, determinism, radical freedom, single just qua mental, analytic philosphy

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