Philosophy 232ss - Topics in Metaphysics: The Self and Selflessness

T-Metaphys: Self/Selflessness

Jay Lazar Garfield

W 1:20 PM - 2:35 PM; M 1:40 PM - 2:55 PM

Smith College
Hatfield 204
This course explores a cluster of the most fundamental questions about human nature: What are humans? Do humans have core selves that determine our identity? If so, what is such a self, and how does it develop? Or might humans be selfless? If humans are selfless, what is the nature of their identities? What might the reality or unreality of the self mean for the nature of the human experience, for ethics or for what gives lives meaning? These are questions that have been raised and addressed with great sophistication in both Indian and Western philosophical traditions, and that have been explored empirically in cognitive psychology and by experimental philosophers. The investigation in this class will therefore be both cross-cultural and interdisciplinary.
Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.