No-Self and the phenomenology of agency

Authors
Monima Chadha
Monash University
Abstract
The Buddhists philosophers put forward a revisionary metaphysics which lacks a “self” in order to provide an intellectually and morally preferred picture of the world. The first task in the paper is to answer the question: what is the “self” that the Buddhists are denying? To answer this question, I look at the Abhidharma arguments for the No-Self doctrine and then work back to an interpretation of the self that is the target of such a doctrine. I argue that Buddhists are not just denying the diachronically unified, extended, narrative self but also minimal selfhood insofar as it associated with sense of ownership and sense of agency. The view is deeply counterintuitive and the Buddhists are acutely aware of this fact. Accordingly, the Abhidharma-Buddhist writings are replete with attempts to explain the phenomenology of experience in a no-self world. The second part of the paper reconstructs the Buddhist explanation using resources from contemporary discussions about the sense of agency.
Keywords No-self doctrine  Abhidharma-Buddhism  Sense of agency  Phenomenology of agency
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DOI 10.1007/s11097-016-9455-1
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References found in this work BETA

Physicalism, or Something Near Enough.Jaegwon Kim - 2005 - Princeton University Press.
Philosophical Conceptions of the Self.Shaun Gallagher - 2000 - Trends in Cognitive Sciences 4 (1):14-21.
Full-Body Illusions and Minimal Phenomenal Selfhood.Olaf Blanke & Thomas Metzinger - 2009 - Trends in Cognitive Sciences 13 (1):7-13.

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Citations of this work BETA

Consciousness and No Self?Sebastian Watzl - 2018 - Ratio 31 (4):363-375.
Reconstructing Memories, Deconstructing the Self.Monima Chadha - 2019 - Mind and Language 34 (1):121-138.

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