Jack Crittenden's Beyond Individualism: Reconstituting the Liberal Self PDF

By Jack Crittenden

ISBN-10: 0195073304

ISBN-13: 9780195073300

Within the exam of the notion of human nature, a duality is often perceived--the liberal self as atomistic, self-contained, even egocentric; and the communitarian self as socially located and outlined via its atmosphere. Crittenden argues that neither view is suitable, drawing on contemporary mental learn to expound on a conception of "compound individuality." This paintings encompasses a dialogue of the compound person because the self of liberalism, in addition to a dialogue of this type of political association that could generate own id constituted by means of liberal autonomy and communitarian sociality.

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But those limits can certainly not be "found" or discovered. To do that would require reflecting on them. That, in turn, requires separation from those ends, which Sandel states one cannot do. For if, as Sandel insists, reflecting shapes the contours of identity (1982, p. 59), then the reflecting subject must be separate from and prior to the constitution of that identity. Only then can the reflecting agent discern from within a clutter of ends those that constitute his identity. Sandel has an extreme problem with autonomy and community that Taylor and Maclntyre seem to avoid.

16 George Herbert Mead, the renowned social psychologist, described the "essential psychological problem of selfhood" as how to extricate oneself experientially from the self, how to get outside the self, in order to take the self as an object (Mead, 1934, p. 138). There seem to be two persistent theories on how to come to terms with this problem. The communitarian theory, subsumed in all its varieties under the genus "premodern," posits a socially constituted self that is seen in and defined by the ends and values of the community in which the self is situated.

The Disposition of the Self 19 and its public order of references. "The individual has been taken out of a rich community life and now enters instead into a series of mobile, changing, revocable associations" (1989b, p. 502). It is the "conversation of a community . . [that] provides the language by which we draw our background distinctions. . The self-interpretations which define [a person] are drawn from the interchange which the community carries on" (Taylor, 1985b, p. 8). The disengaged self might participate in what he calls a community or association, but with standards inside each self, such groups are at best aggregations of similar individuals pursuing their individual interests, though in concert.

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Beyond Individualism: Reconstituting the Liberal Self by Jack Crittenden


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