Self: Philosophy In Transit

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Penguin UK, Apr 24, 2014 - Philosophy - 272 pages

In the third in a new series of short, provoking books of original philosophy, acclaimed thinker Barry Dainton takes us through the nature of Self

When you think 'What am I?', what's actually doing the thinking? Is it a soul, or some other kind of mental entity separate from your body, or are 'you' just a collection of nerve-endings and narratives? In the third in a new series of short, provoking books of original philosophy, acclaimed thinker Barry Dainton takes us through the nature of Self and its relation to the rest of reality. Starting his journey with Descartes' claim that we are non-physical beings (even if it seems otherwise), and Locke's view that a person is self-conscious matter (though not necessarily in human form), Dainton explores how today's rapid movement of people, and information affects our understanding of self. When technology re-configures our minds, will it remake us, or kill us? If teleportation becomes possible, would it be rational to use it? Could we achieve immortality by uploading ourselves into virtual worlds? Far-reaching and witty, Self is a spirited exploration of the idea that in a constantly-changing world, we and our bodies can go their separate ways.

 

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Contents

Prologue
Dreams and Destinations
Routes to the Modern Soul
The Liberation of the Self
The Phenomenal and the Psychological
Selves Powers and Subjects
Taking the Plunge
What Matters and Other Matters
The Place of Mind in the World
Future Selves
Notes
References

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About the author (2014)

Barry Dainton is professor of Philosophy at the University of Liverpool. He works in metaphysics and the philosophy of mind, and is influenced by current and predicted developments in science and technology. He is the author of three books: The Phenomenal Self, Stream of Consciousness, and Time and Space.

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