So It Goes: The Illusion of Self & Temporal Passage

source: Philosophical Overdose    2015年5月16日
Buddhists believe that the existence of an enduring self is an illusion and that this illusion is the root of the suffering inherent in the human condition. In this talk, J. David Velleman explores whether this particular Buddhist thought can be understood in terms familiar to analytic philosophy. How might the illusion of an enduring self lie at the root of human suffering? After explaining the sense in which the enduring self is indeed an illusion, it is argued that this illusion goes hand-in-hand with another — namely, the illusion of the passage of time. Seeming to be an enduring self, even though one is not, is what makes time seem to pass, even though it does not. And the appearance that time passes, it is argued, is the source of the suffering that is alleviated when both illusions are dispelled.
"Change presupposes a certain position which I take up and from which I see things in procession before me: there are no events without someone to whom they happen and whose finite perspective is the basis of their individuality. Time presupposes a view of time. It is, therefore, not like a river, not a flowing substance. The fact that the metaphor based on this comparison has persisted from the time of Heraclitus to our own day is explained by our surreptitiously putting into the river a witness of its course...Time is, therefore, not a real process, not an actual succession that I am content to record. It arises from my relation to things." Merleau-Ponty
The paper for this talk can be found here: http://www.amherstlecture.org/vellema...
This lecture was given at Amherst College. I don't own it.

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