Friday, February 02, 2018

Self, Selves, and Persons: Questions of Human Nature & Personal Identity—A Very Select Bibliography

I have been reading about human nature and the notion of “self” (and selves) after being inspired by P.M.S. Hacker’s consecutive chapters on “the self and the body” and “the person” in Human Nature: The Categorial Framework (Blackwell, 2007), as well as several titles by Raymond Tallis. I thought I’d share a list of books I’ve found helpful in thinking about human nature and personal identity. It is comparatively short, and I cannot claim it well represents the philosophical literature on these topics although several of the titles have, in fact, been very influential among professional philosophers. This compilation is therefore unabashedly idiosyncratic, yet I’m convinced its contents would be of help to anyone leisurely or systematically exploring questions of human nature and personal identity.
  • Albahari, Miri. Analytical Buddhism: The Two-Tiered Illusion of Self (Palgrave Macmillan, 2006).
  • Cassam, Quassim, ed. Self-Knowledge. Oxford University Press, 1994.
  • Duerlinger, James. Indian Buddhist Theories of Person: Vasubandhu’sRefutation of the Theory of a Self” (RoutledgeCurzon, 2003).
  • Elster, Jon, ed., Multiple Selves (Cambridge University Press, 1986).
  • Fingarette, Herbert. The Self in Transformation: Psychoanalysis, Philosophy and the Spirit of Life (Basic Books, 1963).
  • Ganeri, Jonardon. The Concealed Art of the Soul: Theories Self and Practices of Truth in Indian Ethics and Epistemology (Oxford University Press, 2007).
  • Ganeri, Jonardon. The Self: Naturalism, Consciousness, and the First-Person Stance (Oxford University Press, 2012).
  • Gillett, Grant. Subjectivity and Being Somebody: Human Identity and Neuroethics (Imprint Academic, 2008).
  • Hacker, P.M.S. Human Nature: The Categorial Framework (Blackwell, 2007).
  • Hacker, P.M.S. The Intellectual Powers: A Study of Human Nature (Wiley-Blackwell, 2013).
  • Hacker, P.M.S. The Passions: A Study of Human Nature (John Wiley & Sons, 2018).
  • Hutto, Daniel, D., ed. Narrative and Understanding Persons (Cambridge University Press/Royal Institute of Philosophy, 2007).
  • Midgley, Mary. Beast and Man: The Roots of Human Nature (Routledge, revised ed., 1995).
  • Parfit, Derek. Reasons and Persons (Oxford University Press, with corrections, 1987).
  • Ram-Prasad, Chakravarthi. Divine Self, Human Self: The Philosophy of Being in Two Gītā Commentaries (Bloomsbury Academic, 2013).
  • Rorty, Amélie Oksenberg. Mind in Action: Essays in the Philosophy of Mind (Beacon Press, 1988).
  • Schechtman, Marya. The Constitution of Selves (Cornell University Press, 1996).
  • Siderits, Mark, Evan Thompson, and David Zahavi, eds., Self, No Self? Perspectives from Analytical, Phenomenological, and Indian Traditions (Oxford University Press, 2011).
  • Smith, Christian. What Is a Person? (University of Chicago Press, 2011).
  • Sorabji, Richard. Self: Ancient and Modern Insights about Individuality, Life, and Death (University of Chicago Press, 2006).
  • Strawson, Galen. Selves (Oxford University Press, 2009).
  • Strawson, Galen. Locke on Personal Identity: Consciousness and Concernment (Princeton University Press, 2011).
  • Tallis, Raymond. The Explicit Animal: A Defence of Human Consciousness (Palgrave Macmillan, with a new preface, 1999).
  • Tallis, Raymond. I Am: A Philosophical Inquiry into First-Person Being (Edinburgh University Press, 2004).
  • Tallis, Raymond. Aping Mankind: Neuromania, Darwinitis and the Misrepresentation of Humanity (Acumen, 2011).
  • Taylor, Charles. Sources of the Self: The Making of Modern Identity (Cambridge University Press, 1989).
  • Velleman, J. David. Self to Self: Selected Essays (Cambridge University Press, 2006).


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