SOPhiA 2018

Salzburgiense Concilium Omnibus Philosophis Analyticis

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Programme - Talk

Strawson's Objection to the Narrative Personal Identity and the Problem of the Privacy of the Self
(Philosophy of Mind, English)

The problem of personal identity is a cluster of issues about the philosophical concept of person. The question "What does it mean to be the same person through time?" concerns the conditions of personal identity over time. This question has mostly dominated analytic philosophy of mind.
The Narrative approach proposes the way to deal with the problem of personal identity in non-mentalistic terms. This approach departs from the Psychological continuity view by refuting the concept of reidentification and Parfit's Extreme claim. According to Schechtman, one needs to postulate a subject who can exist across time and have a consistent narrative of oneself in order to be a person.
Strawson objects the Narrative view by pointing out that not all persons experience their life as narrative. For proving that, he suggests to distinguish between episodic and diachronic self-experiences. A diachronic experiences himself as a self that exists from the past to the future whereas an Episodic does not experience himself this way. The last is aware he has past and will have future as well as the moral responsibility for his actions but he is a not any self. If we can conceive the possibility of Episodics, then the Narrative view is false.
In this paper, I reply to Strawson's objection by paying more attention to the concept of narrative. What Strawson calls the Episodic experience of life it might be nothing but another self-narrative. The narrative is constructed and reproduced by means of language, which influences perception and representation of oneself. Being Episodic is a socially acquired way of telling the story of experiencing of oneself. First-person reports are linguistic entities and not psychological, introspectively accessible only to its owner.
I argue that Strawson's objection is based on his conception of private self-experience. In contrast, the Narrative view is based on the conception of non-private self-experience influenced by language and social interactions.

Chair: Giulia Lorenzi
Time: 10:00-10:30, 14 September 2018 (Friday)
Location: SR 1.003

Olga Kozyreva 
(Ural Federal University, Russia)

Olga Kozyreva is a PhD student in Philosophy at Ural Federal University. She has received her B.A. and M.A. (both with honors) in Philosophy from the same university. Her research interests lie in the intersection between contemporary French philosophy and Analytic philosophy. She investigates the problem of subjectivity and first-person perspective as well as the problem of self and personhood. She has published several articles on these issues and has given different talks on conferences. She has won the RFBR grant ("The Problem of Privacy in Analytic and Post-structuralist Philosophy") for 2018-2020.

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