Self-Shaping and Self-Acceptance

Anthony Rudd

in Self, Value, and Narrative

Published in print October 2012 | ISBN: 9780199660049
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191744976 | DOI:
Self-Shaping and Self-Acceptance

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The chapter explore a tension in our conception of selfhood, identified by Marya Schechtman; we are inclined to think of the true self both as what we consciously will to be and as what we are anyway, independent of our conscious efforts. Hence we are torn between rival ideals of ‘self-shaping’ and ‘self-acceptance’. The chapter then sets out a series of distinctions: between a subject (simply a bearer of mental states); a character (a subject with a distinct personality); a person (a self-conscious subject); and a self (a subject which is both a character and a person). As a character, the self has a distinctive and determinate nature; as a person it has the capacity to step back from that nature and call it into question. The tension between these aspects of selfhood is at the root of the tension in our thinking about what the self really is.

Keywords: character; person; Schechtman; self; self-acceptance; self-shaping; subject

Chapter.  8753 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Mind

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