No Self to be Found: The Search for Personal Identity

University Press of America (1997)
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Abstract

This book is a exploration of the notion of personal identity. Here it is shown how the various attempts to give an account of personal identity are all based on false assumptions and so inevitably run aground. One of the first Western thinkers to realize this was David Hume, the 18th century empiricist philosopher who argued that self was a fiction. A new interpretation of Hume's no-self theory is put forward by arguing for an eliminative rather than a reductive point of view of personal identity, and by approaching the problem in terms of phenomenology, Buddhist critiques of the notion of the self, and the idea of a constructed self-image. No Self to Be Found explores the problem of personal identity from the most basic level by raising the question of the existence of personal identity itself.

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James Giles
Roskilde University

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