Who are you?—Even a cursory take on this potent question reveals an important truth: your metaphysical commitments matter. What you take to be real about yourself and the world through which you move has immediate and profound consequences: what is the best life for you to live? What weight do your ethical claims have? This talk explores four powerful concepts of the self—Plato’s notion of our immortal intellect; Kierkegaard’s individual, forged by an infinite commitment; Nietzsche’s ‘person as a cultural artifact;’ and, finally, Sartre’s ‘no self’ view: these accounts are connected in curious ways, and may influence your thinking more than you might suspect.
Sheridan Hough, Professor of Philosophy, College of Charleston
NYU Abu Dhabi Institute
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