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Self-Identity and Personal Autonomy: An Analytical Anthropology (Ashgate New Critical Thinking in Philosophy)
by:Stefaan E. Cuypers
Dealing with one of the big issues in philosophy - the perplexity and puzzle of our own existence - Stefaan Cuypers explains his views on the closely related problems of self-identity and personal autonomy within the framework of contemporary research in analytical philosophy of mind and action and analytical moral psychology, which he calls "analytical...
Dealing with one of the big issues in philosophy - the perplexity and puzzle of our own existence - Stefaan Cuypers explains his views on the closely related problems of self-identity and personal autonomy within the framework of contemporary research in analytical philosophy of mind and action and analytical moral psychology, which he calls "analytical anthropology". After introducing the problem of self-identity in Chapter 1 and critically discussing the influential impersonal solution of Parfit and Perry, he outlines a third theoretical approach - which he calls "analytical personalism" - pointing towards a theory of nature and the importance of personal identity. Regarding the issue of personal autonomy, Cuypers presents the "Frankfurt/Dworkin" model and critically argues that the process of self-identification cannot entirely be rooted in autonomous "acts of will". He states that the process of self-evaluation depends in an important sense on the normative impact of other people's attitudes. As an alternative, he offers a view of personal autonomy in terms of "passive" self-identification on the basis of volitional necessity and in terms of "social" self-evaluation based on recognition by others. Although passivity and social dependence are commonly treated as incompatible with autonomy, Cuypers maintains that both volitional necessity and other-directedness are constitutive of authentic personal autonomy.
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