more from Daniel Dennett

Single Idea 7385

[catalogued under 16. Persons / B. Nature of the Self / 4. Presupposition of Self]

Full Idea

Many people are comfortable taking the pragmatic approach to night/day, living/nonliving and mammal/premammal, but get anxious about the same attitude to having a self and not having a self. It must be All or Nothing, and One to a Customer.

Gist of Idea

People accept blurred boundaries in many things, but insist self is All or Nothing


Daniel Dennett (Consciousness Explained [1991], 13.2)

Book Reference

Dennett,Daniel: 'Consciousness Explained' [Penguin 1993], p.422

A Reaction

Personally I think I believe in the existence of the self, but I also agree with Dennett. I greatly admire his campaign against All or Nothing thinking, which is a relic from an earlier age. A partial self could result from infancy or brain damage.