Experience, Agency and the Self

Dissertation, University of Oxford (United Kingdom) (1988)

Available from UMI in association with The British Library. Requires signed TDF. ;The manifest image is 'a sophistication and refinement of the image in terms of which man first came to be aware of himself as man-in-the-world' and in its methodology 'limits itself to what correlational techniques can tell us about perceptible and introspectible events'. The scientific image, on the other hand, 'postulates imperceptible objects and events for the purpose of explaining correlations among perceptibles'. This thesis is centred on a consideration of two difficulties facing anyone who takes the manifest image seriously as an autonomous image of man. In chapter 1 I consider the connection between perception and its objects, and argue that there is a disharmony between the manifest and scientific accounts of this connection. But I also suggest that the manifest image, which incorporates a certain Cartesianism or internalism, cannot lightly be dispensed with in our understanding of the nature of experience. In chapter 2 I argue that the manifest view of experience accords a certain metaphysical priority to secondary over primary qualities in the constitution of any world capable of being experienced; I also suggest that the scientific image is dependent on the manifest image, and so cannot subvert it. In chapter 3 I argue that free will as the incompatibilist contrues it is constitutive of the time-order; but that it carries with it implicit internal contradictions. The conflict here lies within the manifest image; the scientific image discerns no such freedom, and so incurs no such problems. I also argue that there is a relation of mutual dependence between freedom, incompatibilistically construed, and internalism. Chapter 4 shows how no parallel difficulties attend the constitution of experiential space, because space is not transcendental. In chapter 5 I examine the commitments of the notion of the transcendental self, whose existence was deduced in chapter 3 as a condition of freedom
Keywords Agent   Experience   Self
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