On Knowing one's Self

John Perry

in The Oxford Handbook of the Self

Published in print February 2011 | ISBN: 9780199548019
Published online May 2011 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Philosophy

On Knowing one's Self

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  • Philosophy
  • Metaphysics
  • Epistemology



This article examines issues in resolving the problems concerning personal identity, focusing on how we use the first-person pronoun. It suggests that what we call the self plays a certain role, similar to the role that the present day plays in relation to the word ‘today’ and to our knowledge about today. It discusses the functional role of the self and argues that the idea of a narrative self is just the idea that keeping track of the self across time is what constitutes the self as something more than a minimal self.

Keywords: personal identity; first-person pronoun; narrative self; minimal self; functional role

Article.  11235 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy ; Metaphysics ; Epistemology

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