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By Joan Mccarthy

The most thesis during this e-book is that, the self is better conceived as a story cohesion and that this belief is a good replacement to standard philosophical recommendations to the matter of human identification which solid the self as both sizeable or illusory.

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Let's call this realist picture of , the self, the idea of a "proper self. ,14 52 DENNETI AND RICOEUR ON TH E NARTIVE SELF P U ZZLE CAS E S Dennett makes positive use of puzzle cases in order to draw out the differences and, also , the similarities between his fictive self and the Cartesian proper self. The particular cases he selects-multiple personality, immortality, and split-brain (explained below)-muddy the waters for the Cartesian view and support the narra­ tive view, because they are not simply pathological excep­ tions to the norm; rather, for Dennett, they are examples of the normal fragmentation of human experience and behavior.

2 . 1 8 . Dennett, CE, p . 84. 1 9 . Ibid. , p . 85 . 20. Ibid . , pp . 1 0 1 - 102 . 2 1 . Ibid . , p . 3 3 . For more recent defenses o f Cartesian dualism , see John Foster, The Immaterial Self (London: Rout­ ledge , 1 99 1) and David J. Chalmers, The Conscious Mind: In Search oj a Fundamental Theory (Oxford : Oxford University Press, 1 996) . 2 2 . 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 .

Applied to the phenomenon of the self, what emerges is the following: First, the narrative self is cast as a unity based on life stories (autobiographical and biographical accounts). Third, ontolog­ ical questions are bracketed: the concept of the narrative self is considered to be theoretically useful even though it is not considered real (scientifically determinable) . Fourth, the narrative self is viewed as the product of evolutionary design and as theoreticaly useful because it is possible to better predict human behavior by treating human beings as purposeful and integrated decision makers (the inten­ tional stance) .

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