Real People: Personal Identity Without Thought Experiments
This book explores the scope and limits of the concept of person-a vexed question in contemporary philosophy. The author begins by questioning the methodology of thought-experimentation, arguing that it engenders inconclusive and unconvincing results, and that truth is stranger than fiction.She then examines an assortment of real-life conditions, including infancy, insanity and dementia, dissociated states, and split brains. The popular faith in continuity of consciousness, and the unity of the person is subjected to sustained criticism. The author concludes with a look at differentviews of the person found in Homer, Aristotle, the post-Cartesians, and contemporary cognitive science.
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