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The Phenomenal Self$
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Barry Dainton

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199288847

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199288847.001.0001

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Mind and Self

Mind and Self

(p.1) 1 Mind and Self
The Phenomenal Self

Barry Dainton (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Neo-Lockeans rely heavily on our intuitive responses to imaginary cases. Is it plausible to suppose these responses can be a guide to metaphysical truth? This chapter argues that thought experiments have a legitimate but limited role to play in our investigations into our own nature. After a brief outline of the orthodox psychological continuity approach, a series of imaginary scenarios are developed, involving different grades of virtual reality. These aim to establish firstly that the psychological approach lacks the intuitive appeal often claimed for it, and secondly that an account grounded in experiential continuity would have considerably greater credibility — provided that it could be developed in a satisfactory manner. When the orthodox Lockean methodology is taken as far as it can go, it ends up at pointing in different direction than is usually supposed.

Keywords:   thought experiments, imaginary cases, Lockean methodology, virtual reality, psychological continuity, experiential continuity

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