On 16.09.2012 21:56 Stephen P. King said the following:
On 9/16/2012 12:34 PM, Evgenii Rudnyi wrote:

You may want to look at

Galen Strawson, Selves: An Essay in Revisionary Metaphysics

He proves that selves exist. Interestingly enough he does it based
on the materialist framework.

p. 11 “For the moment, though, the brief is to show that selves
exist, and that they’re things or objects or ‘substances’ of some
sort, and hence, given materialism, physical objects. One
possibility is that there are in fact no better candidates for the
title of ‘physical object’ than selves – even if there are others
that are as good.”

p. 11 “This last suggestion is likely to strike many as obviously
false, but this reaction may stem in part from a failure to think
through what it is for something to be physical, on a genuine or
realistic materialist view, and, equally, from a failure to think
through what it is for something to be a thing or object.”

Dear Evgenii,

I disagree. Strawson does not "prove" or offer a proof here. He
merely states an equality. TO prove that equality he must show that
the necessary and sufficient condition of "selves" exists in
(assuming materialism), "physical objects". I have read his papers,
he fails.

Hi Stephen,

You are right that this is not a mathematical proof. On the other hand, he discusses assumptions assuming which one comes to the existence of selves, as he defines this term. Nagel has nicely characterized his book at "a work of shameless metaphysics“ and it seems to be the very right description of the book.

I would also say that it is unclear how useful would be his definition and proofs.

Interestingly enough, at the end of this book he comes to an eternal question of metaphysics whether in the Universe there is one object or several and he does not exclude the possibility that there is only one object in the Universe. My thought at this point (while reading the discussion on religion here) was that in this case it does not matter how we refer to this object.


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