The Self – body, mind or illusion?

The Lit & Phil Philosophy Forum

philosophy forum time lapse style image of night sky with silhouette of figure and tress in the foreground
This is a past event
Date and time
18 April 2023
7.00 pm
Free to members. Donations from non-members welcome at the event.


The most essential and intimate puzzle of our lives – what is the self? What is our nature? Are we just a body with a brain as its central controller? Can we think about our self in the same way as we think about the rest of the universe? Or is the self a ghostly manifestation of the brain’s workings, a secret ‘soul’ which only we know?

Why do we feel that we are one thing, one person, one self? Perhaps instead are we like an orchestra with many different parts, each coming to the fore at different times … but hopefully in harmony?

Can we ever know our self? Many philosophers, both Eastern and Western, consider the self as an illusion. But are they saying we are not really here?

This month the Forum takes a selfie.

Good to know: We take pride in our friendly and respectful discussion involving different levels of experience of philosophy. This session will be based on a focus paper The Self – body, mind or illusion for reading before the event. Don’t worry if you find some of it difficult … everybody does!

We are usually oversubscribed, so if you book but find out later that you cannot attend, please cancel your ticket to free up a place for someone else. Thank you.

Sign up to our newsletter

Sign up to our e-newsletter to receive exclusive content and all the latest Lit & Phil news

* indicates required