The idea of the ‘self’ is like supernatural powers – it just ...

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The idea of the ‘self’ is like supernatural powers – it just doesn’t exist

Not even our bodies are truly ‘us’, says a prof. In fact, the whole idea of being individual is bad for us

Sarah Knapton

John Donne, the English cleric and poet, wrote in the 17th century: “No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main.”

And now a British academic has claimed that human individuality is indeed just an illusion, because societies are far more intertwined at a mental, physical and cultural level than people realise.

In his new book, The Self Delusion, Prof Tom Oliver, a researcher in the Ecology and Evolution group at the University of Reading, argues there is no such thing as “self” and not even our bodies are truly “us”. ..

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