From Anatta To Agape
Johnston (Mark)
Source: Johnston (Mark) - Surviving Death, 2010
Paper - Abstract

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Review1

  1. Chapter Three begins with a discussion which highlights the second difficulty of this work. Johnston begins with a discussion of some rather technical philosophical terrain concerning de re thoughts and de se reasons. Johnston includes such discussions in various places throughout the book in a manner that does not clearly further his argument. Although these discussions may be relevant in a certain manner, they often distract the reader from the central concerns of the argument and such is the case here. Johnston is turning to explaining the connection between his commitment to the doctrine of no self and his commitment to a certain kind of life as being the good life. The discussion of de re thoughts and de se reasons seems peripheral, at best.
  2. The substance of Chapter Three is to provide the argument for anatta and then to connect this commitment to the command of agape. The argument for the non-existence of persisting selves is based upon attempting to support the claim that all of the important facts of an individual's experience of her own arena can be described without any reference to any such thing as a self, or some such substance. If the substance of a self does not do any explanatory work, then it is unnecessary and should be eliminated. Johnston's argument here relies quite heavily upon a certain phenomenological account of persons relying upon the notion of an arena of presence and action mentioned earlier. If one accepts this notion, then the argument provided here has a chance to succeed; however, the argument cannot succeed if one does not accept the notion. Johnston then points out that the command of altruism, or agape, makes perfect sense because there can be no personal reasons as there is no personal you. In other words, all reasons must be impersonal so the altruist does not put someone else's interests or reasons ahead of her own, which is how altruism is often construed, but is instead simply doing what reason recommends. Thus, agape is simply the rational course of action in Johnston's conception.

Contents
  1. Basic De Se Reasons
  2. "I"-Thought
  3. Not Ambiguity but Synecdoche
  4. Two Kinds of Rigidity
  5. Three Responses to the Paradox of Auto-alienation
  6. An Available Self-Identity Is Always "Strict''
  7. "I*" Denotes A Self
  8. Have We Built Too Much Into "I"-Use?
  9. The Concept of the Self versus the Metaphysics of the Self
  10. The Proviso: An Alternative to Offloading
  11. Tracing Selves versus Tracing Neo-Lockean Persons
  12. Do We Trace Selves Or Trace Persons?
  13. Resurrection Again
  14. A Comparison with Thomas
  15. Self As Determined By Consciousness, But the Bed Not the Stream
  16. Divine Justice and the Self
  17. The "Constitution View2"
  18. Resurrected Selves?
  19. Consciousnesses?
  20. Deferring to the Victim of Hallucination
  21. The Vanishing Importance of the Self
  22. Giving Up On the Self
  23. Is The Birth of Others As Good As Rebirth?
  24. The Incoherence of Non-Derivative De Se Reasons For Action
  25. A Summary of the Foregoing
  26. Questions And Replies



In-Page Footnotes

Footnote 1: From "Caldwell (Christopher M.) - Review - 'Surviving Death' by Mark Johnston".


Text Colour Conventions (see disclaimer)

  1. Blue: Text by me; © Theo Todman, 2018
  2. Mauve: Text by correspondent(s) or other author(s); © the author(s)



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