Modern Believing

ON THE LIMITS OF FINDING HUMAN IDENTITY IN THE BRAIN

Modern Believing (2016), 57, (2), 121–130.

Abstract

I review different conceptions of the self and how they are treated in neurophilosophy and neuroscience. Although there are a number of neuroscientists who deny that there is such a thing as the self, or argue that the self is an illusion produced by brain processes, the conception of self they argue against is typically based on the notion of substance. This is not the only way to think of the self. I try to show that a pluralist view, which conceives of self as a set or pattern of various aspects or factors, might provide neuroscience with a more precise concept of self and still offer some connection with certain traditional notions of soul or person.

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Gallagher, Shaun