Galen Strawson's Essay 'The Minimal Subject'

1746 Words4 Pages

Who am I? This question has plagued humanity for as long as we have been asking questions. In an attempt to define the self, philosophers throughout the ages have developed many different theories from whether it is a material thing, a type of accomplishment, a kind of convenient fiction, or question if a self even exists. Ultimately, of all the theories, from Strawson’s idea of a material self to Dennet’s self as a useful fiction, none provide an inerrant definition of selfhood. However, the closest that parallels to the value and significance which humans place on the events in their lives is arguably the idea of the self as a type of accomplishment. Beginning with theories of the material self, Galen Strawson argues in his essay “The Minimal Subject” for the existence of a thin self. This self is initially declared in the phenomenological dimension of experience, and thusly exists only during this experience. Strawson further states that the self exists as a kind of thing, object, or substance (TOS) which is created by the neurological mechanisms of the brain during the moment of experience. Additionally, he claims that a new self is generated by these mechanisms …show more content…

One response I have to this, is that humans have the capability to imagine a self that is better than we are right now. What may be happening in these cases is not that it is not “false” or a lie, but instead they are telling the truth about who it is they want to be, smarter, stronger, or funnier. So by engaging in this behavior, they are telling others about who the person they wish to become. Furthermore, why does it matter whether or not we lie, or exaggerate when we self-narrativize? The truth of falsity of the claims are irrelevant to the concept of the self that is constructed from the

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