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The Primacy of Metaphysics$
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Christopher Peacocke

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780198835578

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198835578.001.0001

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The Self

The Self

Chapter:
(p.106) 4 The Self
Source:
The Primacy of Metaphysics
Author(s):

Christopher Peacocke

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198835578.003.0004

This chapter presents a metaphysics-first treatment of subjects and the first-person way of representing subjects. It develops a new explanation of the metaphysical principle that it is in the nature of mental events that they have subjects. It advocates the view that the identity of a subject over time involves the identity of a subpersonal integration apparatus, and contrasts the resulting position with Johnston’s conception of personites. A new treatment of the first person is developed that gives a greater role for agency than in previous accounts. Only by doing so can we explain how the first person brings a subject, rather than something else, into the contents of the states and events in which it is involved. Some of the consequences of the resulting agency-involving account of the first person are traced out.

Keywords:   subject, first person, perception, action, ownership, Kit Fine, Derek Parfit, Mark Johnston, metaphysical principles, integration apparatus

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