Personal identity and cosmopolitan philosophy
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- Coseru, C. Philos Stud (2017) 174: 1749. doi:10.1007/s11098-016-0829-6
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Jonardon Ganeri’s The Self: Naturalism, Consciousness, and the First-Person Stance is a trailblazing study in cross-cultural philosophy of mind. Its liberal conception of naturalism makes room for a rich analytic taxonomy of conceptions of personal identity that go well beyond the standard models of Cartesianism, Physicalism, and Reductionism. But this naturalistically respectable model of the self must contend with the fact that the findings of the cognitive sciences are also compatible with ontological antirealism about the self. And while the book opens new avenues for systematic reflection that thoroughly engages the historical material (specifically, the views of influential first millennium Indian and Buddhist philosophers), its solutions to the problem of personal identity and the problem of self-knowledge often shortcut descriptive accounts that take agency and self-awareness to be constituted by their proprietary phenomenology.