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Virtual Subjects, Fugitive SelvesFernando Pessoa and his philosophy$
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Jonardon Ganeri

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780198864684

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198864684.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 27 July 2021

Virtual Subjects

Virtual Subjects

(p.87) 12 Virtual Subjects
Virtual Subjects, Fugitive Selves

Jonardon Ganeri

Oxford University Press

Our task now is to talk about the types of entity which occupy the central position. What occupies that position? Given that it is evidently a self or subject which does so, the task is to say more about the nature of selves. What makes Pessoa’s heteronymic philosophy of self so fascinating is, precisely, that it stands as much opposed to both the Cartesian and the animalist pictures as it does, evidently, to the Humean account of selfhood. Heteronyms are virtual subjects. A virtual subject is an abstract entity, and there is a standard way to introduce and define abstract entities of any type. This is the method of definition by abstraction, first proposed by Gottlob Frege.

Keywords:   virtual subjects, Cartesianism, animalism, the self, nominative of manifestation, Brian O’Shaughnessy

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