Physical Persons. An Essay on Reconciliatory Physicalism

Jan Hartman

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis (monograph)


<i>Physical Persons</i> explores the nature of mind and self, and their relation to the body. It argues that folk-psychological expressions about persons are indeed irreducible and true, however, this can be reconciled with the view that persons are physical beings. Not only is it argued that what we call 'mental properties' are in fact physical properties, but also that what we refer to as 'the self' is the physical brain.

The solution to both these problems is based on the idea that what we refer to as 'mental properties' and 'the self' are systematically elusive, or transcendent. What we know of 'mental properties' is only their content, the 'virtual' objects they have. But since such objects do not exist, they constitute no threat to physicalism. The self, on the other hand, is a theoretical entity which gives a person his identity and unifies his mind. Since the self is theoretical, it can be identified with the brain.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Theoretical Philosophy
  • [unknown], [unknown], Supervisor, External person
Award date1999 Dec 18
ISBN (Print)91-88820-85-8
Publication statusPublished - 1999

Bibliographical note

Defence details

Date: 1999-12-18
Time: 10:15
Place: Sal 104 Kungshuset

External reviewer(s)

Name: Stjernberg, Fredrik
Title: Dr.
Affiliation: Växjö University


Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Philosophy

Free keywords

  • self-brain
  • unity of mind
  • personal identity
  • self
  • mental properties
  • physicalism
  • mind-body
  • Philosophical logic
  • Teoretisk filosofi
  • logik


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