In The Hand, the first volume of his trilogy, Raymond Tallis looked at how humans have avoided the constraints of biology. I Am focuses on two crucial aspects of the escape from being a mere organism: selfhood and agency. These are seen as originating in what Tallis calls the Existential Intuition - the sense 'That I am this' - within the human body. The nature and origin of the Existential Intuition is described in outline and it is related to the certainty of his own existence that Descartes established through his Cogito argument. The primary reference point for the sense 'That I am this' is the body. Raymond Tallis describes the logical and existential necessity of embodiment and the complex relationships we have to our bodies such as being, using, having, suffering and knowing. He goes on to argue that bodily continuity and psychological connectedness through memory both require the Existential Intuition in order to underpin an enduring self.Moreover, the self-realising intuition 'that I am this' creates a new point of departure in the physical world enabling persons to be the origins of their acts and to establish a vantage point from which they are able to influence the course of events.
I Am is full of fascinating insights into the nature of personal identity and offers an entirely new way of reconciling human freedom with the deterministic universe in which humans act. Key Features: *Addresses fundamental philosophical questions. *Approaches these questions from a novel view point. *Reconciles Darwinism with Humanism. *A major attempt to redefine what it is to be a human being and the scope of human possibility.
Raymond Tallis is Professor of Geriatric Medicine at the University of Manchester
CONTENTS; PREFACE; CHAPTER 1 THE EXISTENTIAL INTUITION: AN INTRODUCTION; 1.1 The Epiphanic Moment; 1.2 The Biogenesis of the Existential Intuition; 1.3 Preliminary Engagements; CHAPTER 2 "THEREFORE I AM!" THE COGITO ARGUMENT AND THE BIO- LOGIC OF FIRST PERSON IDENTITY; 2.1 First-Person Being and the Existential Intuition: Introductory Observations; 2.2 The Enduring Significance of the Cogito Argument; 2.3 The Boring Logic of Third-Person Identity Statements; 2.4 Kripke Tries to Liven Things Up; 2.5 The Anomalous (and Interesting) Logic of First-Person; Identity Statements; 2.6 The Existential Intuition as a Bio-Logical Assumption; 2.7 The Necessary Truth of the Existential Intuition; 2.8 The Scope of What is Guaranteed by the Existential Intuition; 2.9 The Porosity of the Cartesian Prison; 2.10 Cartesianly Preferred and Non-Preferred Thoughts; 2.11 The Essential Impurity in the Project of Pure Inquiry; 2.12 'I': From Philosophical Grammar to Existential Grammar; 2.13 Concluding Comments: The Cogito Argument and the Existential Intuition; CHAPTER 3 FIRST PERSON AUTHORITY AND IMMUNITY FROM ERROR; 3.1 What Does the Existential Intuition Place Beyond Doubt?; 3.2 The Idea of First Person Authority and its Limits.; 3.3 The Bounds of First-Person Certainty; 3.4 Widening the Bounds of Certainty; CHAPTER 4 THE LOGICAL NECESSITY OF EMBODIMENT; 4.1 Escaping the Cartesian Prison; 4.2 "I Think Therefore I Am Embodied"; 4.3 Discarnate Existence; 4.4 Scepticism about the Necessary Embodiment of the 'I'; 4.5 Self-Consciousness, Identity and Embodiment; CHAPTER 5 THE EXISTENTIAL NECESSITY OF EMBODIMENT: NO DA-SEIN WITHOUT FORT-SEIN; 5.1 Introduction; 5.2 An Ontology that By-Passes Descartes: Exposition; 5.3 An Ontology that By-Passes Descartes: Critique; 5.4 Some Preliminary Reflections on Fort-sein; 5.5 The Body Underwrites Fort-sein; 5.6 Conclusion; CHAPTER 6 REPORTS FROM EMBODIMENT: ON BEING, SUFFERING, HAVING, USING AND KNOWING A BODY; 6.1 The Case for Embodiment: A Retrospect; 6.2 Modes of Embodiment: Introduction; 6.3 Being; 6.4 Suffering (with a Glance at Enjoying); 6.5 Having and Using; 6.6 Caretaking; 6.7 Knowing (and Not Knowing); 6.8 Bodiless Being: A Cartesian Flashback; 6.9 Being-a-Body Revisited; 6.10 Embodiment: Conclusion; 6.11 Delivering Fort-sein: Touching and Seeing; 6.12 Further (Even More Puzzled) Reflections on the Body as the Guarantor and Curator of "Here".; 6.13 Here and I: Some Final Thoughts; CHAPTER 7 THE EXISTENTIAL INTUITION AND PERSONAL IDENTITY; 7.1 Introducing Personal Identity; 7.2 Entity and Identity; 7.3 Instantaneous and Enduring Identity; 7.4 The Existential Intuition and the Enduring Self; 7.5 The Persistence of Self: Personal Identity over Time; 7.6 Enduring Identity over Time: Inner Aspect Theories; 7.7 Enduring Identity over Time: Outer Aspect Theories; 7.8 The Unthinkability of Parfit's (and Others') Thought Experiments; 7.9 The Diagonal Self; 7.10 Being (or Not Being) Oneself; 7.11 Concluding Reflections: Identity, "Am", "Is" and the Body; CHAPTER 8 AGENCY AND FIRST-PERSON BEING; 8.1 Introduction; 8.2 The Encroachment of Determinism; 8.3 The Existential Intuition and the Agentive Self; 8.4 The Am-Ground of Agency: I as Origin; 8.5 The Parallel Expansion of Selfhood and Agency: The Self- Fulfilling Illusion; 8.6 The Field of Freedom; 8.7 Conclusion; EPILOGUE.