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Document Type

Campus-Only Access for Five (5) Years

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Program


Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded


First Advisor

Hilary Kornblith

Second Advisor

Peter Graham

Third Advisor

Vanessa de Harven

Fourth Advisor

Andy Rotman

Subject Categories

Metaphysics | Philosophy


The Rationalist conception of the self identifies the subject, the “I”, as a “captain” wielding autonomous rational authority over his subservient attitudes and behaviors—his “crew”. I argue that such a conception of the self is metaphysically untenable and that its practical and ethical ramifications are unattractive. In its place I recommend an alternative, Holistic, “Crew of Captains” conception of the self, and explain its metaphysical, practical and ethical advantages.