Thursday, 16 November 2017
When: 16 November, 17:00-18:30.
Where: Geoffrey Manton GM 226.
Title: ‘Lit From Within: a cognitive illusion about the self’
Abstract: Philosophical treatments of the self in a range of traditions have positioned it outside the realm of ordinary worldly objects: the self—which is to say, the ‘true’ self, or the self ‘as it is in itself’—is not easily apprehended or described. In the pretheoretical arena too there is a tenacious instinct for the idea that we are really, at our most fundamental, something much more exotic and otherworldly than socially situated animals. It is striking that these views further mystify rather than elucidate their targets, so there is a real question why they seem to be so unshakeably tempting. One approach to this question would be to consider and assess the historically influential arguments for views positing transcendental selves, and think about how their influence has trickled into pretheoretical discourse. In this talk I try a different approach. I set out to characterize a cognitive illusion about the self’s transcendentality, that, I argue, is apt to arise in the distinctive epistemic conditions of first person thought.
Talks last for 40-45 minutes, followed by an answer and question session. After the talk we take the speaker for drinks and dinner, all of which everyone is welcome to join.
The Human Sciences Seminar Series is a research seminar organised by the Philosophy section of Manchester Metropolitan University’s Department of History, Politics and Philosophy. It continues thanks to the generous support of the Royal Institute of Philosophy. Meetings are held regularly in at 5pm on Thursdays during the autumn and spring term. The series was founded by David Melling and Wolfe Mays in 1979 out of a desire to explore the various human sciences in a systematic way from the standpoint of critical philosophy. It has now run without break for nearly forty years.
The fourth RIP HSS invited speaker research seminar is on 1 December, featuring Dr Jennifer Corns of the University of Glasgow.