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Naturalism and the First-Person Perspective


Naturalism and the First-Person Perspective Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Science and its philosophical companion, Naturalism, represent reality in wholly nonpersonal terms. How, if at all, can a nonpersonal scheme accommodate the first-person perspective that we all enjoy? In this volume, Lynne Rudder Baker explores that question by considering both reductive and eliminative approaches to the first-person perspective. After finding both approaches wanting, she mounts an original constructive argument to show that a non-Cartesian first-person perspective belongs in the basic inventory of what exists. That is, the world that contains us persons is irreducibly personal.

After arguing for the irreducibilty and ineliminability of the first-person perspective, Baker develops a theory of this perspective. The first-person perspective has two stages, rudimentary and robust. Human infants and nonhuman animals with consciousness and intentionality have rudimentary first-person perspectives. In learning a language, a person acquires a robust first-person perspective: the capacity to conceive of oneself as oneself, in the first person. By developing an account of personal identity, Baker argues that her theory is coherent, and she shows various ways in which first-person perspectives contribute to reality.

About the Author

Lynne Rudder Baker is Distinguished Professor of Philosophy, University of Massachusetts Amherst. Baker has written four books on metaphysics and the philosophy of mind, and has published many articles in philosophy journals such as The Journal of Philosophy, The Philosophical Review, Philosophical Studies, Noûs, Philosophy and Phenomenological Research and many more.

Table of Contents

Introduction: What is the Problem?

The Claim of Naturalism

A Challenge to Naturalism

What is at Stake

An Overview

Part I: The Core Argument

Chapter 1. Varieties of Naturalism

What Counts As 'Science'?

Reductive Naturalism

Nonreductive Naturalism

Disenchantment and Optimism

Chapter 2. On Naturalizing the First-Person Perspective

What is Naturalization?

The Robust First-Person Perspective

The Rudimentary First-Person Perspective

Chapter 3. Reductive Approaches to the First-Person Perspective

John Perry on an Epistemic Account of the Self

David Lewis on De Se Belief

A Comment on John Searle

Can Cognitive Science Save the Day?

Chapter 4. Eliminative Approaches to the First-Person Perspective

Daniel Dennett on Consciousness

Thomas Metzinger on a Self-Model Theory

My Recommendation

Chapter 5. Arguments Against First-Person Naturalization

From First-Person Concepts to First-Person Properties

A Linguistic Argument: A Complete Ontology Must Include First-Person Properties

A Metaphysical Argument Against Ontological Naturalism

Part II: An Account of the First-Person Perspective

Chapter 6. From the Rudimentary to the Robust Stage of the First-Person Perspective

The First-Person Perspective: Consciousness and Self-Consciousness

Language and the Acquisition of Concepts

How to Acquire a Self-Concept

Human Persons: Wrap Up

Chapter 7. Is the Idea of the First-Person Perspective Coherent?

Personal Identity: A First-Personal Approach

Objections and Replies

Mark Johnston on the Self as Illusory

Johnston's Critique Side-Stepped

Chapter 8. A Metaphysical Framework for The First-Person Perspective

First-Person Properties

Dispositional Properties

Haecceitistic Implications

Chapter 9. Agents, Artifacts, Moral Responsibility: Some Contributions of the First-person Perspective




Moral Responsibility

Chapter 10. Natural Reality


Property-Constitution and Causation

Emergentism and Downward Causation

How Naturalistic is Near-Naturalism?


Product Details

Baker, Lynne Rudder
Oxford University Press, USA
PHILOSOPHY / Metaphysics
Publication Date:
5.5 x 8.2 x 0.9 in 0.65 lb

Related Subjects

Humanities » Philosophy » General
Humanities » Philosophy » Surveys

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