256 pages | 18 B/W Illus.
The concept of a relational self has been prominent in feminism, communitarianism, narrative self theories, and social network theories, and has been important to theorizing about practical dimensions of selfhood. However, it has been largely ignored in traditional philosophical theories of personal identity, which have been dominated by psychological and animal theories of the self. This book offers a systematic treatment of the notion of the self as constituted by social, cultural, political, and biological relations. The author’s account incorporates practical concerns and addresses how a relational self has agency, autonomy, responsibility, and continuity through time in the face of change and impairments. This cumulative network model (CNM) of the self incorporates concepts from work in the American pragmatist and naturalist tradition. The ultimate aim of the book is to bridge traditions that are often disconnected from one another—feminism, personal identity theory, and pragmatism—to develop a unified theory of the self.
1. Introduction to the Network Self
2. The Relational Process Self: The Cumulative Network Model
3. Identity and the Network Self
4. Fusion and Fission: Thought Experiments, Persons and Personal Identity
5. First Person Perspective and Reflexive Selves
6. Autonomy and the Network Self
7. Responsibility and the Network Self
This series is dedicated to monographs and essay collections that examine, from diverse theoretical perspectives, any aspects of America’s rich web of philosophical traditions, from the 17th Century onwards. Frequently associated with pragmatism, particularly in the United States, American philosophy also encompasses many other schools of thought, and has had a significant impact on the development of contemporary epistemology, ethics, metaphysics, philosophy of language, philosophy of science, and political philosophy. By publishing outstanding treatments of its many diverse threads, this series aims to become the default resource for scholars and students interested in a full picture of American philosophy.