Selves: An Essay in Revisionary Metaphysics

Galen Strawson, Selves: An Essay in Revisionary Metaphysics

A review by Thomas Nagel, The I in Me

Galen Strawson’s book Selves, a work of shameless metaphysics

A review by Sydney Shoemaker, Cornell University

Strawson’s paper in Internet that is close to the idea of the book

From Section 1.7 Thing, object

p. 11 “For the moment, though, the brief is to show that selves exist, and that they’re things or objects or ‘substances’ of some sort, and hence, given materialism, physical objects. One possibility is that there are in fact no better candidates for the title of ‘physical object’ than selves – even if there are others that are as good.”

From Section 1.8 Object, physical

p. 11 “This last suggestion is likely to strike many as obviously false, but this reaction may stem in part from a failure to think through what it is for something to be physical, on a genuine or realistic materialist view, and, equally, from a failure to think through what it is for something to be a thing or object.”

From Section 8.12 The one and the many

p. 422 “Should we retain the notion of an object in fundamental metaphysics? There can, I think, be no reasonable objection to it in the case in which we hold with Spinoza and others that there is only one object – the universe, spacetime, deus sive natura.”

p. 423. “The assumption that the term ‘object’ has plural application may be more trouble than it’s worth in fundamental metaphysics, given some of the traditional associations of the term ‘object’ (and ‘substance’) and the bent of present-day physics.”