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Matthew W. Binney

Critics have argued that a shift toward the “inward” occurred later in eighteenthcentury travel writing in part because of earlier questions of credibility. However, John Campbell’s fictional The Travels and Adventures of Edward Brown (1739) focuses upon the “inward” by drawing upon a technique already used in novels—that is, depicting the narrator as a consciousness. Consciousness, or personal identity, derives from John Locke and appears in Campbell’s travel account to demonstrate how circumstances define the narrator’s travel experiences. These circumstances at once establish the credibility of the narrator’s descriptions and also promote Campbell’s Tory commercialism. For the first, the narrator’s consciousness offers a credible account by describing how people live in time and place; for the second, the narrator demonstrates how personal identity and political ideology were attached from the outset, promoting commerce and colonialism through the narrator’s depiction of a nation’s circumstances that produce unique customs and commodities.

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Durkheim's 'Dualism of Human Nature'

Personal Identity and Social Links

Giovanni Paoletti

Durkheim's 'Dualism of Human Nature' (1914) is the last scientific work by him published in his lifetime. This circumstance, and the subject of the essay, can suggest it is the definitive exposition of his philosophical view of human nature as homo duplex. But readers do not agree about the description of this view. What kind of dualism has he in mind, and is he consistent about it throughout his work? The problem is that his essay gives different meanings to the doubleness of human nature and combines them in a complex model of explanation. Reconstructing this model can throw new light on what is really at stake in Durkheim's text and on the nature of the dualism he upheld at the end of his career.

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Cameron Bassiri

The present article provides an account of the chapter of volume one of the Critique of Dialectical Reason entitled “The Organization.” It is guided by the following questions: In what ways is the organization an advancement over the group in fusion and the statutory group? How does the organization contribute to the progressive dimension of Sartre’s progressive-regressive method? What is the status of the future within organized groups? It develops Sartre’s theory of power, rights, and duties, and shows that these concepts exist independently of the Polis. This makes possible a contrast with Plato and allows us to develop the implicit Sartrean concepts of moderation and justice in this chapter. I further show the internal structures and functioning of the organized group, Sartre’s concept of personal identity in such action, and the manner in which the future becomes concrete in such articulated action orientated toward an ultimate, collective aim.

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Abraham Mansbach

This article discusses the form in which the “I-We“ relationship is configured in Israel, in terms of its intersection with democracy. It argues that what is usually considered as a sine qua non for a robust democracy, namely, an agonistic tension between the “I,“ that is our individual uniqueness, privacy, and personal liberty, and the “We,“ that is our collective liberty and autonomy, is absent from Israeli society. Moreover, when we examine the distribution, consumption, use, and negotiation of power in the sphere of everyday life in Israel, we find that “the military,“ its discourse, and its practices suffuse precisely those spaces where the social fabric as well as identities are being shaped. The conclusion is that the Israeli society is actually drifting away from democracy in an increasingly oppressive erasure of personal identity claims, as well as of their discourse and praxis.

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Marilyn Strathern

Its author ever hopeful of abandoning nature-culture or nature-society, this brief sketch is an attempt to understand some part of the dyad. It fishes among materials on biological relatedness, ideas about reproduction, and configurations of kinship that might amount to a naturalist cosmology, detectable among other things in the problems it generates. There is nothing new in apprehending how much of society was already ‘in’ the nature that came to be distinguished from it. However, the anthropologist’s net has its own gauge, and thus the argument at once depends on historical niceties and disregards them. What gets caught in the mesh flung over this huge area are certain issues concerning identity and individuality. These demand a closer inquiry into the character of the relations being supposed, the matter with which the article opens.

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Margit Sinka

Launched in 1998 on the eve of the eighth Day of German Unity, the Denk ich an Deutschland television film series was intended to reframe discourses on national identity formation in a positive light through documentaries focused on the present rather than on the dark German past. While Andreas Kleinert's Niemandsland (No Man's Land, 1998) and Andreas Dresen's Herr Wichmann von der CDU (Vote for Henryk!, 2003), the first and last films televised, do center on the present, they highlight dissonances between personal and national concerns. Still, Kleinert deconstructs the dissonances and artificial syntheses he himself invents in order to reveal them as constructs to be reconfigured by viewers. By showing the inability of politicians to bridge the gap between personal and national concerns due to the erosion of their private identities, Dresen also appeals to viewers to initiate needed societal changes themselves.

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Matt Eshleman, Mark William Westmoreland and Yiwei Zheng

Stephen Wang, Aquinas and Sartre: On Freedom, Personal Identity and the Possibility of Happiness Review by Matt Eshleman

Jonathan Judaken, ed. Race After Sartre: Antiracism, African Existentialism, Postcolonialism Review by Mark William Westmoreland

Anthony Hatzimoysis, The Philosophy of Sartre Review by Yiwei Zheng

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Simon Beck

Raymond Martin’s Self-Concern (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1998)1 sets out to put the debate around personal identity on to a new footing. He acknowledges the ground-breaking work of Derek Parfit which shifted the general focus from questions of strict identity to the question of what it is that really should matter in survival, but he thinks the focus should shift further than just this. His book sets out to endorse ‘a shift in the philosophical debate from the normative question of whether this or that should matter in survival to the largely descriptive question of what … actually does or might be brought to matter’ (x).

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Memory, imagination, and belonging across generations

Perspectives from postsocialist Europe and beyond

Haldis Haukanes and Susanna Trnka

The last two decades have witnessed a phenomenal expansion of scholarly work on collective memory. Simultaneously, increasing anthropological attention is being paid to collective visions of the future, albeit through a range of disparate literatures on topics including development, modernity and risk, the imagination, and, perhaps ironically, nostalgia. In this introduction to this special section, we bring together analyses of postsocialist visions of pasts and futures to shed light upon the cultural scripts and social processes through which different temporal visions are ascribed collective meaning, employed in the creation of shared and personal identities, and used to galvanize social and political action.

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Tracey Reimann-Dawe

Between 1848 and 1914 a wave of German academic explorers traveled to Africa, enticed by the promise of geographical, anthropological and botanical discoveries. These Afrikareisende (African explorers) composed narrative accounts of their journeys, which at the time were the main channel for disseminating their experiences to the public. This article focuses on three works from the first three decades of German exploration of Africa prior to German unification in 1871. The common aim of scientific discovery unified Afrikareisende and their passage through foreign space. An inextricable feature of this scientific ideology is the connection to rational, linear time. This article demonstrates how the perception and relevance of time is employed to transfer knowledge of the Self and Other to a German readership. This knowledge reflects not only the explorers’ experience of their personal identity but also the tentative beginnings of a collective German identity as it is defined in colonial space.