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Freedom and TimeA Theory of Constitutional Self-Government$
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Jed Rubenfeld

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780300080483

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300080483.001.0001

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Being over Time

Being over Time

(p.131) Seven Being over Time
Freedom and Time

Jed Rubenfeld

Yale University Press

This chapter examines the ontological objection against popular commitments and argues that, contrary to what is often assumed, it applies to both persons and peoples. It shows how the way the objection is answered in the case of persons further explains the place of time and of commitment in an adequate account of human self-government. It also considers how the ontological argument against peoples can be thought to apply to persons based on the claim that we are composed of many different selves over time rather than at a particular moment. The chapter analyzes philosopher Derek Parfit's case for the factitiousness of the self, the unitary I, over time, as well as the distinction between the ontology of most objects (such as stereos) and that of persons.

Keywords:   ontology, persons, peoples, time, commitment, self-government, Derek Parfit, self, objects

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