In this paper, I begin by briefly showing how the problem of self has been understood and approached historically in Western philosophy. I follow this by focusing on some of the recent literature in the philosophy of mind that suggests that the self is extended, meaning it is not solely located within the boundaries of the brain (Clark and Chalmers 1998). It will be evident that this is in conflict with the traditional Western understanding of the self. Since it seems to be the case that there are strong arguments for endorsing the view that the self is extended (to some degree), we ought to give the proper philosophical attention to such views, and using Daoist ideas will help to theorize about these unorthodox views. This will be the focus of the remainder of the paper, pulling primarily from the Dao De Jing (道德經) and Zhuangzi (莊子). It will be shown that some of these unorthodox views arising from the philosophy of mind bear a close connection to certain Daoist ideas; therefore, making it likely that they share common conceptual resources. I will conclude with some possible objections and responses to those objections. Ultimately, if the self is indeed extended, then this is unfamiliar to the Western mind. However, analyzing these unorthodox views using Daoist ideas may be a suitable tool in progressing our understanding of the self.
"Theorizing about the Self in Panpsychism and the Extended Mind Using the Dao De Jing (道德經) and Zhuangzi (莊子),"
The Hilltop Review: Vol. 11
, Article 8.
Available at: https://scholarworks.wmich.edu/hilltopreview/vol11/iss2/8