Monday, January 30, 2006

Campbell on Self-Consciousness and the Substantival Self

Self-consciousness, it must be insisted, is a fact, a datum from which we have to start. And in self-consciousness the subject of which we are conscious is a subject which in some sense has, not is, its different experiences, and is identical with itself in its different experiences. Even if it were possible for self-consciousness to be illusory, its mere occurrence is enough to refute those who take the view that the notion of a substantival self is as 'meaningless' as the notion of an unknowable substratum of material things. It is idle to deny that the former of these notions has any meaning for us if that is in fact what the self is for itself in self-conscious experience.

[from C. A. Campbell, On Selfhood and Godhood]

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