Journal of Applied Ethics and Philosophy;vol. 7


A Realist Self?

Oberg, Andrew

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JaLCDOI : 10.14943/jaep.7.24
KEYWORDS : anti-realist self;Hume;Kristjánsson;nonself;realist self


Since the demise of the Cartesian dualist view of the self a number of possible definitions of what the self could be, if indeed it can be said to be anything, have been put forward but no consensus has yet been reached. In fact, such seems a long way off. In what follows four accounts of the self that are representative of the broad trends in the literature are analyzed for theoretical vigor and empirical accuracy in light of recent advances in cognitive studies and the findings of psychological research into behavior and decision-making. The self-concepts examined are of both the anti-realist and realist varieties, with one particular realist account found to be most apposite. The account is not without its flaws, however, and as such an alternative self view is offered that builds on and adds to its strengths. Finally, some ethical implications of adopting the proffered self-concept are considered.