Saturday, October 31, 2009


A week from today I'm supposed to share some trenchant, cogent, or at least consecutive thoughts in response to a paper to be delivered at the Tennessee Philosophical Association's annual meeting in Nashville. conference program

It pleases me that a scheduling conflict is moving the meeting out of Vanderbilt's Furman Hall, my old grad school stomping ground, into Sarratt Student Center, my other old Vandy "missing years" stomping ground. (Best job ever: "Night Manager"... but that's another story.)

The paper's thesis: psychological continuity may not be enough to establish personal identity and stable selfhood. "If psychological continuity is sparse," writes my colleague Andrew Naylor, "there may be nothing to distinguish one person from another... persons may get lost."

I wonder if it will impress any of the TPA folk if I reply by citing local singer/songwriter Jana Stanfield: "I'm not lost, I'm exploring." My goal: be just a bit more lucid on this strange topic than Mr. Deity was.


Anonymous said...

I've been thinking a lot about the self lately. I've been focusing on the "no self" aspect. To me personally, I seem to be reinventing my self every second or so. I feel there is not so much a permanent self, but rather a flowing self. An ever changing self that only exists in the now. But of course you can mold your self into your ideal self. Molding can be very positive. And I think letting your self flow is important too.

Anonymous said...

The self as a river... by sight it appears to be the same. One knows it's color, it's texture, and with some regularity it's depth. BUT it is never the same. it is altered every second...yet it is still a river.

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