Self Expressions : Mind, Morals, and the Meaning of Life: Mind, Morals, and the Meaning of Life
Oxford University Press, USA, Dec 28, 1995 - Psychology - 240 pages
Human beings have the unique ability to consciously reflect on the nature of the self. But reflection has its costs. We can ask what the self is, but as David Hume pointed out, the self, once reflected upon, may be nowhere to be found. The favored view is that we are material beings living in the material world. But if so, a host of destabilizing questions surface. If persons are just a sophisticated sort of animal, then what sense is there to the idea that we are free agents who control our own destinies? What makes the life of any animal, even one as sophisticated as Homo sapiens, worth anything? What place is there in a material world for God? And if there is no place for a God, then what hold can morality possibly have on us--why isn't everything allowed? Flanagan's collection of essays takes on these questions and more. He continues the old philosophical project of reconciling a scientific view of ourselves with a view of ourselves as agents of free will and meaning-makers. But to this project he brings the latest insights of neuroscience, cognitive science, and psychiatry, exploring topics such as 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 such as multiple personality disorder and false memory syndrome. What emerges from these explorations is a liberating vision which can make sense of the self, agency, character transformation, and the value and worth of human life. Flanagan concludes that nothing about a scientific view of persons must lead to nihilism.
What people are saying - Write a review
We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.
What Makes Life Worth Living?
Is a Science of the Conscious Mind Possible?
Neuroscience and Dreams
Neuroscience Agency and the Meaning of Life
Multiple Identity Character Transformation and SelfReclamation
Children Other Minds and Honesty
Ethics as Human Ecology
abuse action agent alters argument articulate assessment awake Bernard Williams brain Cambridge capacities causal character child Churchland claim cognitive communitarian competence complex conception confidence constituted contingency Dennett desires epistemic epistemology ethical ethical naturalism example experiences express fact false belief function Furthermore heterogeneous Human Agency Ibid idea ideal identity important individual involves kind learning linguistic lives matter meaning memories mental mentation mind minimal lie Moral Luck moral network moral realism motivational multiple multiplex narrative natural naturalistic network theory neural neuroscience normative normative ethical NREM one's overridingness Owen Flanagan particular phenomenal dreaming phenomenological philosophical point of view possess possible problem psychoanalysis psychology question reason reflection relevant REM sleep requires sense social sort strong evaluation structure Taylor theory of consciousness thesis things thought tion traits true truth understand University Press virtues of ignorance W. V. O. Quine weak evaluator worth wrong