Chapter

Exploring the Design Plan: Myself and My Past

Alvin Plantinga

in Warrant and Proper Function

Published in print July 1993 | ISBN: 9780195078640
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199872213 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0195078640.003.0003
Exploring the Design Plan: Myself and My Past

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In the first two chapters of Warrant and Proper Function, I presented my account of warrant; in the next seven chapters, I provide an explanation of how my account works in the main areas of our cognitive life. In this chapter, I begin this explanation by examining how warrant works with respect to self‐knowledge (or introspection) and memory. In the course of examining self‐knowledge and its relationship to warrant, I first argue against Derek Parfit's claim that we do not know and cannot justifiably believe that there is such a thing as a persisting subject of experience that is distinct from any of those experiences of which it is the subject. Second, I briefly argue that the beliefs that we are neither our brains nor our bodies (nor something like computer programs) are beliefs that have a good deal of warrant for us. Turning next to memory, I (first) provide a brief discussion of the phenomenology of memory and (second) argue that typical memory beliefs are basic (i.e., not accepted on the evidential basis of other beliefs) and are capable of having a great deal of warrant for us.

Keywords: introspection; memory; Derek Parfit; phenomenology; self‐knowledge; subject of experience; warrant

Chapter.  10292 words. 

Subjects: Metaphysics

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