Self Expressions: Mind, Morals, and the Meaning of Life

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Oxford University Press, Jan 25, 1996 - Philosophy - 240 pages
In this trailblazing collection of essays on free will and the human mind, distinguished philosopher Owen Flanagan seeks to reconcile a scientific view of ourselves with an account of ourselves as meaning makers and agents of free will. He approaches this old philosophical quagmire from new angles, bringing to it the latest insights of neuroscience, cognitive science, and psychiatry. Covering a host of topics, these essays discuss whether the conscious mind can be explained scientifically, whether dreams are self-expressive or just noise, the moral socialization of children, and the nature of psychological phenomena. Ultimately, Flanagan concludes that a naturalistic view of the self need not lead to nihilism, but rather to a liberating vision of personal identity which makes sense of agency, character transformation, and the value and worth of human life.
 

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Contents

What Makes Life Worth Living?
3
2 Is a Science of the Conscious Mind Possible?
12
Neuroscience and Dreams
32
4 Neuroscience Agency and the Meaning of Life
53
5 Multiple Identity Character Transformation and SelfReclamation
65
6 I Remember You
88
7 Children Other Minds and Honesty
99
Ethics as Human Ecology
117
9 Identity and Reflection
142
10 Virtue and Ignorance
171
11 Admirable Immorality and Admirable Imperfection
181
12 SelfConfidences
201
Save the Last Dance for Me
216
Index
219
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