Self/No Self

 

 “I know that I exist; the question is, what is this “I” that I know? (Descartes 1641)

The soul, so far as we can conceive it, is nothing but a system or train of different perceptions. (Hume 1739)

What was I before I came to self-consciousness? . . . I did not exist at all, for I was not an I. The I exists only insofar as it is conscious of itself. . . . The self posits itself, and by virtue of this mere self-assertion it exists. (Fichte 1794)

The “Self” . . . , when carefully examined, is found to consist mainly of . . . peculiar motions in the head or between the head and throat. (James 1890)

The ego continuously constitutes itself as existing. (Husserl 1929)

Any fixed categorization of the Self is a big goof. (Ginsberg 1963)

The self which is reflexively referred to is synthesized in that very act of reflexive self-reference. (Nozick 1981)

The self . . . is a mythical entity. . . . It is a philosophical muddle to allow the space which differentiates “my self” from “myself” to generate the illusion of a mysterious entity distinct from . . . the human being. (Kenny 1988)

A self . . . is . . . an abstraction . . . , [a] Center of Narrative Gravity. (Dennett 1991)

My body is an object all right, but my self jolly well is not! (Farrell 1996) “


 

What Is Buddhism? An Introduction to Buddhism – Buddhism for Beginners – from About.com

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Author: Albahari, Miri

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