Summary paper on Ganeri’s The Self

Philosophical Studies has recently published a short summary by Jonardon Ganeri of the project he has undertaken his ground breaking book, The Self: Naturalism, Consciousness, and the First-Person Stance. For those who don’t have the time to engage at length with the book, it is an excellent way to understand his (multi-work) investigations into the self and the way he integrates both contemporary philosophy of mind/cog-sci, and the classical Indian thinkers.

Link to pdf here, via PhilPapers.

About Matthew Dasti

Matthew R. Dasti is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Bridgewater State University.

2 thoughts on “Summary paper on Ganeri’s The Self

  1. Self is taken as meaning soul, which survives beyond death. With
    this assumption, Dvaita point of view is attempted to be presented.
    All souls are reflections of God. God has infinite good qualities. Soul has very limited good qualities. We can never be good without God.
    A lamp kept in front of a mirror is seen in reflection. But if you touch
    the mirror you don’t feel the heat. This is in case of plane mirror.
    There are convex mirrors which distort the object while reflecting the
    image. These are evil souls. There are concave mirrors.Images are
    smaller than the object. Pious souls. Is the mirror medium necessary ? Madhva says no. Madhva cites example of rainbow.
    Raindrops themselves constitute rainbow. Dignified apartness is assumed and presumed in God–Self or soul relationship. That
    image soul which is different from God is ever dependent on God.
    Out of infinite mercy God never moves away from the front of mirror and keeps the image ” alive “. Just as we love our mirror images, God loves the souls/selves.
    This theory of Object–Image is derived from the scriptural statement, NITHYO NITHYANAM. Nithya means absence.of destruction. When absence is projected among two entities,
    where is the hierarchy ? If I say there are no chairs in a room,
    you cannot ask how many NO chairs are there . Does it mean there is advaitic merger of God and soul.? But scriptural statement
    can never be wrong. HOW ? Object is permanent. Image is permanent. But object is more permanent than the image, Hence Nithyo Nithyanam is thus explained in Madhwa’s school in a discussion of the selves or souls. Souls are experiencers. The highest experience they can hope to get is experience of dependence. It is not hopeless dependence. But hopeful dependence, hoping for liberation unto His land, for eternal happiness. Since God is Happiness manifest, He sure is ready to
    beam eligible happiness on us, provided we are rightly oriented to
    Him.

  2. Bodies only experience and consciousness reveals experience.Together living body and consciousness make up empirical self.
    Empirical self has feelings of ownership towards an object when
    1.Empirical self intends the object,participates in building the object and inhabits within the object,like in imagined
    object and
    2.Empirical self endorses the authenticity of object,participates in its building and commit itself to its use like
    abstract thought.
    The ownership expands ego which is attributed to the bond between living body and consciousness in empirical self.
    Feeling of ownership comes from ego.

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