Graduate studies at Western
|Abstract||What is the relation between time and self? Well, one rather obvious and quite venerable suggestion is that the relation is first and foremost of a negative nature. Consider the claim that experiences never occur in isolation, and that the stream of consciousness is an ensemble of experiences that is unified both at and over time, both synchronically and diachronically. According to a classical view, we need to appeal to a self in order to account for this diachronic and synchronic unity. To think of a simultaneous or temporally dispersed plurality of experiences is to think of myself as being conscious of this plurality, and as the argument goes this requires an undivided, invariable, unchanging me. The self is a principle of identity. It is that which persists and resists temporal change. This is why it has even occasionally been ascribed a certain supratemporal or atemporal character. On such an account, the unity of self is taken to be something with explanatory power rather than something that itself is in need of an explanation|
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