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Croatian Journal of Philosophy

Volume 1, Issue 2, 2001

Josep E. Corbí
Pages 87-116

Self and Sense in a Natural World

A subject is a being who has a life to lead. In this paper, I explore the array of resources that are available to us (i.e., Westerners at the turn of the millennium) to articulate and assess our lives. Specifically, I shall reflect on the impact that such matters may have on our naturalist conviction that the world ultimately consists of a causal network where notions such as sense and value have no direct bearing. Some tend to assume that an implication of our naturalist world-view is that the notions of sense and value are inevitably relative to the subject’s desires and inclinations. This is, however, a line of reasoning that I would like to resist. For I am convinced that this approach unnecessarily restricts the number of resources to which we can legitimately appeal in order to lead our lives. This restriction will turn out to be quite serious because, as we shall see, it dramatically distorts our perception of the relevance that social ties may have in the life of a subject, as well as the conditions under which a human life may escape the absurd.