This title was first published in 2001: We are all persons or selves. But what exactly does it mean that we possess an identity and autonomy as persons or selves? This book explores the related problems of self-identity and personal autonomy within the framework of contemporary analytical anthropology, a blend of analytical philosophy of mind and action with moral psychology. Cuypers critically examines the empiricist bundle theory and metaphysical ego theory of self-identity as well as the hierarchical Frankfurt / Dworkin model of personal autonomy. Arguing that all these standard views are found wanting, Cuypers then offers an alternative 'personalist' theory of personal identity, plus an innovative 'moderately heteronomous' theory of autonomy without ever going beyond the analytical frame of reference. In critical discussion with analytical philosophers such as Derek Parfit, John Perry and Harry Frankfurt, this book develops an original perspective on the nature of persons or selves that is orthogonal to the received views in analytical anthropology. Stefaan E. Cuypers is Professor at the Institute of Philosophy, Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium
Table of Contents
Contents: Preface; Introduction: analytical anthropology; Self-Identity: The problem of personal identity; Parfit’s and Perry’s impersonal solution; Atomistic self-identity and analytical personalism; Personal Autonomy: Hierarchical autonomy, self-identification and self-evaluation; Frankfurt on the nature of the will; Community and authenticity of the self; Appendix: the memory theory of personal identity; Bibliography; Index of names.
'... this is an important, theoretically rich book in which Cuypers advances the debates over the nature of both personal identity and personal autonomy. It should be read by all who are interested in current research in either of these areas.' The Journal of Value Inquiry