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Transcendence of the Ego (The Non-Existent Knight)

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Abstract

I exist, but I am not a thing among things; X exists if and only if there is something such that it=X. This is consistent, and it is a view that can be supported. Calvino’s novel The Non-Existent Knight can be read so as to illustrate this view. But what is my relation to the things there are if I am not identical with any of them – things such as my arms, my garden, the city I live in? I name this the Gurduloo problem, after the Knight’s page. This relation must be one that admits of degrees; I suggest that we say that I manifest myself through the things thus associated with me. Several pseudo-problems, pertaining to volitional action, supervenience, observability, and the emergence of consciousness, dissolve upon inspection.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Princeton University, Princeton, NJ USA

Publication date: 2004-12-01

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