October 11, 2012 · 7:00 PM
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Building on certain ideas discussed at our meeting "Mind and Identity" (May 10), let's refine the contrast between the moral self, on the one side, that may be blamed or credited for its actions, and the bundled collection of subatomic particles and impressions, on the other side, that undergoes constant change and exchange.
What consequences come from accepting one or the other theory of the self, as they pertain to the moral traveler and the moral adventure (Sept. 6, Sept. 27)?
Which view of selfhood is conducive to bringing into reality the meaning of life (Oct. 4)?
Is it a matter of liberty or necessity that a theory of the self relates to (or correlates to) a theory of causality (July 26)? Is either determinism or indeterminism the causal explanation of human action? What about the current, popular alternative of compatibilism: that while everything is determined, I can still choose?
What has moral nihilism got to do with the self? What has absurdism got to do with a meaningful life?
If we finish early, which I doubt, we can resume elaborating on existential angst, alienation, loss of meaning, loss of self, the goal of losing oneself.