The Self as Narrator
Velleman (David)
Source: Autonomy and the Challenges to Liberalism: New Essays, eds. John Christman & Joel Anderson, Chapter 3
Paper - Abstract

Paper StatisticsBooks / Papers Citing this PaperNotes Citing this PaperDisclaimer

Philosophers Index Abstract

  1. Daniel Dennett argues that the self is a "center of narrative gravity" - a fictional character in the autobiography composed by a human brain, which neither is nor includes a real self.
  2. I agree with Dennett that a human being improvises a character that is fictive in the sense of being made up; but I argue that this fictive character is not fictional in the sense of being merely imaginary or unreal.
  3. The persona improvised by a human being is what it purports to be, because it purports to be a human improvisation, by virtue of being the persona of an autonomous agent.
  4. And the self whose reality Dennett denies is the improvisor, who is perfectly real.


See Link.

Text Colour Conventions (see disclaimer)

  1. Blue: Text by me; © Theo Todman, 2019
  2. Mauve: Text by correspondent(s) or other author(s); © the author(s)

© Theo Todman, June 2007 - August 2019. Please address any comments on this page to File output:
Website Maintenance Dashboard
Return to Top of this Page Return to Theo Todman's Philosophy Page Return to Theo Todman's Home Page