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Making and Finding Oneself

  • Jan Bransen
Chapter
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Part of the Library of Ethics and Applied Philosophy book series (LOET, volume 11)

Abstract

This paper attempts to develop a philosophically acceptable account of what it means to say that certain claims of self-knowledge generate reasons for action. The paper concentrates in detail on the imagined case of a Dutch fanner who sincerely believes that deep down he really is a Surma warrior, and that this self-knowledge requires him to undergo a series of ‘trans-cultural’ plastic surgeries. It is claimed that many ordinary practical problems share significant features with this bizarre case. Some useful concepts are introduced and discussed: the idea of an alternative of oneself, a response-dependency account of evaluative properties, and three levels of self-knowledge, involving the ideas of intelligible order, explanatory power and peace of mind.

Key Words

alternative of oneself evaluative property peace of mind personal identity practical problem reason for action response dependency self-knowledge. 

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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jan Bransen

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