Investigations into the Trans Self and Moore's Paradox

  • Linda A. W. Brakel

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-x
  2. Introduction

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Linda A. W. Brakel
      Pages 3-22
  3. Extant Philosophical Views of Self

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 23-23
    2. Linda A. W. Brakel
      Pages 25-51
    3. Linda A. W. Brakel
      Pages 53-92
  4. Biological Considerations

  5. Future Investigations

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 141-141
    2. Linda A. W. Brakel
      Pages 143-165
    3. Linda A. W. Brakel
      Pages 167-172
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 173-176

About this book


This book explores how the trans phenomenon can challenge the existing concept of the Self and its nature. The catalyst is Moore’s Paradox: can a trans person coherently state ‘I am a girl but I don’t believe that’? More deeply, three fundamental philosophical questions arise, of ontological, epistemological, and conceptual significance: what Self understands that the natal-gender is ‘wrong’? How does the trans person know that the natal-gender is ‘wrong’ and what counts as evidence? And finally, how does this effect the concept of Self itself? 

Seeking answers, Brakel considers various theories of the Self, including classical accounts, modern views, and models developed by selected gender theorists. The book then takes a biological turn, first developing an evolutionary proper-function analysis of gender and trans-gender and subsequently proposing the possibility of a new ontological phenotype. With a review of cutting-edge neuroscientific research conducted over the last twenty-five years, Brakel propels this timely and important investigation toward the future, using experimental philosophy empirical studies adapted from classic thought experiments on the nature of the Self. 


theories of self transgender selfhood gender binary natal gender Descartes Hume Kant Freud Bach Bettcher McKitrick Experiental Philosophy X-PHI

Authors and affiliations

  • Linda A. W. Brakel
    • 1
  1. 1.University of MichiganAnn ArborUSA

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, Cham
  • eBook Packages Religion and Philosophy
  • Print ISBN 978-3-030-44644-4
  • Online ISBN 978-3-030-44645-1
  • Buy this book on publisher's site