Panpsychists do not, nowadays, claim that everything exhibits psychological features but, more modestly, that psychological features are among the most fundamental features there are. A version of panpsychism is to be seen at work in one of the principal schools of Buddhism, the Abhidhamma of Theravāda philosophers writing in Pāli, and especially in the writings of the fifth-century scholar Buddhaghosa. Pessoa was, surprisingly, well acquainted with Buddhaghosa’s philosophy, even if he didn’t know it under that description. There are hints of the sort of psychological constructivism that we find so elaborately worked out in panpsychist Abhidhamma in some of Pessoa’s remarks. Yet within his heteronymic philosophy of self a quite different approach to the topic of ‘building subjects’ is available. In the pages of this book I have described in some detail one Ego Machine, one system capable of generating a conscious self: Fernando Pessoa. Any system with the capacity to create and simulate heteronyms is an Ego Machine. Evidently enough, only a self-conscious being which already is an I can be ‘an other I’. The question, then, is not how to construct subjects ex nihilo out of impersonal sensations, but rather how, as a subject, to make oneself into another subject.
Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.
If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.