- This pseudo-Paper is intended as the mechanism to record time spent on the Note 'Cartesian Ego1' during my Thesis research, as from 2011.
- For the actual time recorded, click on "Paper Statistics" above.
Write-up2 (as at 07/09/2020 11:49:55): Cartesian Ego
- That we are Cartesian Egos has been a popular suggestion in answer to the question of what we are4. It is presumably what those who first supported the Psychological View5 of personal identity had in mind, but may not be what the majority of philosophers these days – most of whom continue to hold some form of the PV – accept.
- Cartesian Egos are robustly criticised these days, but I’ve not been able to find any paper on JSTOR that has the term in its title. Maybe the papers I’ve read have defined it, but I’ve forgotten the precise definition. Anyway, I assume that the Ego is the “I” that Descartes thought that introspection revealed. Presumably it is also supposed to be an immaterial substance, which is what Descartes thought he – a “thinking thing” – was.
- There is some overlap with Lynne Rudder Baker’s focus on a First-Person perspective6. Just what is it that’s supposed to look out on the world if not a Cartesian Ego? But Baker is not a dualist7 (at least not in the Cartesian8 sense) – she thinks of us as belonging to the PERSON9 substantial10 kind11, presently constituted by12 a human body13. The person does not have separate existence to the human body, in the way in which the Cartesian Ego does – which is (allegedly) separable from the body (and capable of living in disembodied14 form). I think for Baker we are essentially embodied – just not by15 the same body.
- I say more about dualism in the Note16 thereon.
- With respect to the Cartesian Ego, we need to consider just how psychologically unified human persons17 are, and whether or not the mind is formally modular. In particular, is there massive modularity, or is there an executive? And is it the executive that is the Cartesian Ego?
- In this connection, I must consider psychological accounts of modularity18 of mind from the identity perspective, rather than straying too far into philosophy of mind and psychology. This will feature mainly in discussion of objections to Animalism19.
- There will be overlap between this Note and that on I20.
- For a Page of Links21 to this Note, Click here.
- Works on this topic that I’ve actually read22 the following:-
- "Blackburn (Simon) - Has Kant Refuted Parfit?", Blackburn
- "Bourgeois (Warren) - Modern Philosophers' Views on Persons: The Renaissance and the Early Moderns", Bourgeois
- "Cargile (James) - Review of Hintikka - Cogito, Ergo Sum: Inference or Performance?", Cargile
- "Chalmers (David) - How Cartesian Dualism Might Have Been True", Chalmers
- "Dennett (Daniel) - The Cartesian Theatre and 'Filling In' the Stream of Consciousness", Dennett
- "Duncan (Matt) - I Think, Therefore I Persist", Duncan
- "Fodor (Jerry) - The Modularity of Mind: An Essay on Faculty Psychology", Fodor
- "Parfit (Derek) - How We Are Not What We Believe", Parfit
- "Parfit (Derek) - Nagel's Brain", Parfit
- A further reading list might start with:-
- "Baker (Lynne Rudder) - Beyond the Cartesian Self", Baker
- "Brink (David) - Rational Egoism and the Separateness of Persons", Brink
- "Carruthers (Peter) - Fragmentary consciousness and the Cartesian theatre", Carruthers
- "Flew (Anthony) - The Cartesian Assumption", Flew
- "Flew (Anthony) - The Cartesian Turn", Flew
- "Foster (John) - A Brief Defense of the Cartesian View", Foster
- "Glover (Jonathan) - I: Philosophy and Psychology of Personal Identity", Glover
- "Gorham (Geoffrey) - Descartes on Persistence and Temporal Parts", Gorham
- "Harrison (Jonathan) - The Embodiment of Mind or What Use Is Having a Body?", Harrison
- "Hawthorne (John) - Cartesian Dualism", Hawthorne
- "Hintikka (Jaakko) - Cogito, Ergo Sum as an Inference and a Performance", Hintikka
- "Hintikka (Jaakko) - The Cartesian Cogito, Epistemic Logic and Neuroscience: Some Surprising Interrelations", Hintikka
- "Hintikka (Jaakko) - Cogito, Ergo Sum: Inference or Performance?", Hintikka
- "Kerr (Fergus) - The Modern Philosophy of Self in Recent Theology", Kerr
- "Lowe (E.J.) - Identity, Composition, and the Simplicity of the Self", Lowe
- "Lowe (E.J.) - Real Selves: Persons as a Substantial Kind", Lowe
- "Parfit (Derek) - Experiences, subjects, and conceptual schemes", Parfit
- "Swinburne (Richard) - From Mental/Physical Identity to Substance Dualism", Swinburne
- "Valberg (J.J.) - Imagination and the Cartesian Self", Valberg
- "Van Fraassen (Bas) - Transcendence of the Ego (The Non-Existent Knight)", Van Fraassen
- "Wong (Hong Yu) - Cartesian Psychophysics", Wong
- This is mostly a place-holder23.
Footnote 8: Footnote 15:
- This is the write-up as it was when this Abstract was last output, with text as at the timestamp indicated (07/09/2020 11:49:55).
- Link to Latest Write-Up Note.
- Or, rather than “embodied by”, “embodied “as”?
Text Colour Conventions (see disclaimer)
- Blue: Text by me; © Theo Todman, 2020