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HTS Theological Studies

On-line version ISSN 2072-8050
Print version ISSN 0259-9422


DU TOIT, Cornel W.. The metaphysical self and the self in metaphysics and religion: Ambiguities of mind and reality. Herv. teol. stud. [online]. 2019, vol.75, n.1, pp.1-9. ISSN 2072-8050.

The thesis of this article is that the self is a construct or illusion and simultaneously real. The notion of self is constitutive in metaphysics and operates subconsciously and indirectly in all human activities. The metaphysical self constitutes its own reality. The article is critical of developments in cognitive science and neuroscience where neurocentrism reduces self to brain processes. The tenet is that the self is more than its biological make-up and the measurement of brain processes. The metaphysical as well as illusory aspects of self are discussed. Some important aspects of self that are visited include the construction of the self, its bodylines, contextuality, intentionality and unity. The nature of human intuition as grounded in our evolutionary make-up is proposed as a basis for the unity of the self. The role of the self in religion is briefly dealt with, focusing on the link between the notion of self and the concept of God.

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