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Talking to Our SelvesReflection, Ignorance, and Agency$
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John M. Doris

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780199570393

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199570393.001.0001

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(p.178) 8 Selves
Talking to Our Selves

John M. Doris

Oxford University Press

This chapter extends the dialogic theory of agency to the problems of self deferred from Chapter 1: continuity and identity. In each case, the treatment is emphatically social, and draws on anthropological material on cultural devastation, particularly the genocide of Native Peoples in North America. The central thesis is that continuity, identity, and agency are all culturally contingent: where human organisms achieve these, they do so as members of groups. This contingency suggests that there is substantial cultural variation in notions of the self, and the importance assigned them, but there may also be substantial commonalities. If the approach of this chapter is right, there should be increased attention to sociality in moral psychology and ethics.

Keywords:   cultures, cultural devastation, genocide, Native Americans, identity, continuity, survival, cross-cultural commonalities, sociality

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