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.
Kathleen Wallace is Professor of Philosophy at Hofstra University, USA. She has worked in American Philosophy, and is an expert on the work of Justus Buchler. She has also worked in the areas of Metaphysics of Personal Identity, Hume Studies, and Feminism. Some representative articles include include "Personal Identity of an Intersectional Self," "On-line Anonymity," "Educating for Autonomy: Identity and Intersectional Selves," and "Autonomous 'I' of an Intersectional 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