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Can Material Objects be Part of the Self? Beyond Narrative-Autobiographical Accounts of Self-Extension (Departmental Seminar)

Joining the Seminar face-to-face:
Limited seats for face-to-face seminar. Registrations will be handled on a first come, first served basis.
Register by 9 November 2023: https://cloud.itsc.cuhk.edu.hk/webform/view.php?id=13677471

Joining the Seminar online:
No registration is required.
Link: https://cuhk.zoom.us/j/97384715608
Meeting ID: 973 8471 5608

Tel: 3943 7135
Email: philosophy@cuhk.edu.hk



Can material objects be regarded, at least sometimes, as making up the self? Several philosophers of cognitive science have recently answered “yes” to this question. Sometimes, this view is phrased in terms of “self-extension”: the self extends over (at least a few) objects. Those who defend this view argue that the self should be understood as a narrative self, and that objects constitute such a narrative self as autobiographical objects. I sympathise with the view that the self can extend to include material objects. I think, however, that the narrative-autobiographical account needs to be supplemented by an understanding of selfhood as sedimented (a notion that comes from phenomenology); and that, accordingly, objects should be regarded as constituting the self also tacitly or prereflectively. I also point out that the self, whether narrated or not, is constituted not only by “autobiographical” objects that, as such, refer only or primarily to the past; it also involves objects of the present and of the future.

Delivered in English.
All are welcome.