Puzzling Identities by Vincent Descombes, Stephen Adam Schwartz PDF

By Vincent Descombes, Stephen Adam Schwartz

ISBN-10: 0674732146

ISBN-13: 9780674732148

As a logical suggestion, identification refers to at least one and an identical factor. So why, Vincent Descombes asks, will we repeatedly use “identity” to explain the sentiments linked to club in a few various groups, as once we communicate of our ethnic id and spiritual identification? and the way will we ascribe an analogous “identity” to multiple person in a bunch? In Puzzling Identities, one of the best figures in French philosophy seeks to bridge the abyss among the logical that means of identification and the mental experience of “being oneself.”

Bringing jointly an analytic belief of id derived from Gottlob Frege with a psychosocial knowing stemming from Erik Erikson, Descombes contrasts a conscientiously philosophical inspiration of id with principles of collective identification that experience develop into the most important in modern cultural and political discourse. He returns to an issue of old Greek philosophy concerning the impossibility of swap for a fabric person. Distinguishing among reflexive and expressive perspectives of “being oneself,” he exhibits the connections among subjective identification and one’s existence and achievements. We shape profound attachments to the actual groups in which we outline ourselves. while, turning into oneself as a contemporary person calls for a means of disembedding oneself from one’s social milieu. this can be how present process a situation of id whereas coming of age has turn into for us an ordinary level in human life.

Puzzling Identities demonstrates why anyone has multiple resolution to the fundamental query “Who am I?”

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He explains this by reference to the education of Sioux adolescents, which is shaped by two distinct moralities. According to the traditional morality of the Sioux, a man worthy of the name must prove himself to be generous such that whenever he comes into the possession of wealth, he must share it. By contrast, according to the morality of non-­Sioux American teachers and authorities, a man worthy of the name proves himself to be moral by behaving in a sober and rational manner. He must calculate his expenditures, put money aside, etc.

We only imagine ourselves able to apply it because we are insensitive to this instability. Perhaps we do not have the penetrating acuity to have noticed it. Or perhaps we do not want to notice it. Or maybe, despite being entirely aware of this fluidity, we nevertheless have decided to act as if things were stable and unchanging or at least possessed of a stable and unchanging core. Whatever the case may be, there is a critical lesson to be drawn from these considerations. According to the “physical” argument, we do of course have the concept of identity within our intellectual vocabulary.

Gleason mentions several classics of what he calls the “pop sociology” of the 1950s: David Riesman, The Lonely Crowd: A Study of the Changing American Character (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1950); William H. Whyte, The Organization Man (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1956); Vance Packard, The Status Seekers: An Explanation of Class Behavior in America and the Hidden Barriers That Affect You, Your Community, Your Future (New York: David McKay, 1959). Gleason, “Identifying Identity,” 923. 31.

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Puzzling Identities by Vincent Descombes, Stephen Adam Schwartz

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