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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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(p.135) 5 Alternatives
The Phenomenal Self

Barry Dainton (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Accounts of personal identity that are grounded in experiential continuity are by no means new. This chapter compares the merits of C-theory with some of its competitors. According to one tradition, the self is an experiential ingredient within consciousness. The doctrine can be found in William James, C. O. Evans, Stephen Priest (the latter holds that the self can be identified with phenomenal space), and Galen Strawson. These accounts all have the disadvantage of restricting the self to a single stream (or burst) of consciousness, the C-theory does not. John Foster and Peter Unger also defend experience-based accounts which allow subjects to survive periods of unconsciousness, but their accounts also prove problematic, albeit for different reasons.

Keywords:   C-theory, C. O. Evans, John Foster, William James, Stephen Priest, Galen Strawson, Peter Unger

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