Dennett and Ricoeur on the Narrative Self by Joan Mccarthy

By Joan Mccarthy

The most thesis during this booklet is that, the self is better conceived as a story harmony and that this notion is a good substitute to conventional philosophical recommendations to the matter of human identification which forged the self as both huge or illusory.

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Similar and more detailed versions have appeared in Cogito (Daniel Dennett, "The Origin of Selves," Cogito 2 1 [ 1 989] : 1 63-73). See also Nicholas Humphrey and Daniel Dennett, " Speaking for Our Selves," Brainchildren by Daniel Dennett (London: Pen­ guin, 1 998), pp . 3 1 - 5 5 . Originally published in Quarterly Review 9 Raritan: A (Summer 1 989) : 68-98. 2. Dennett, CE, pp . 426-27. 3 . Ibid. , p . 429 . Dennett starts chapter 5 of CE with an interesting quotation from Wtlliam James, who claims there is no material evidence for the existence of a "keystone" or "center of gravity" in the brain.

Descartes suggests that the location of interaction between mind and body is the pineal gland (described by Den­ nett as "the turnstile of consciousness " in CE, p . 105) . " Dennett draws the latter in far cruder terms than Descartes himself might have been happy with. For a more sympathetic reading of Descartes' account of the relationship between mind and body, see Anette Baier's chapter, "Cartesian Persons," in her book, Postures oj the Mind (Mineapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1 985), pp .

1 0 1) . 4 . " 5 . Dennett, Brainchildren, p . 97. 6. Dennett , "Why Everyone Is a Novelist," p . 1 0 16. The distinction between abstracta and illata was first made by Hans Reichenbach ( 1 89 1 - 1 953), who was closely associated with the Logical Positivist movement and is the author of The Rise of SCientific Philosophy (Berkeley: University of Cali­ fornia Press, 1 9 5 1 ) . As far as I know, Dennett first made use of the distinction in The Intentional Stance. 7. Dennett, "Why Everyone Is a Novelist," p .

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