The compatibility of freedom, equality and a communitarian notion of the self
In this paper Werhane takes issue with a communitarian analysis of the self as a personality created solely by reference to the context of one's community. A communitarian notion of the self explains how individuals change and develop their identity, or identities, throughout the course of their lifetimes. This can arise commonly as the result of new experiences and the exposure(s) to differing social relationships, education, cultures, religions and ideas. However, such a description of the self, Werhane argues, cannot explain the existence of the subject or locus of all these activities. For Werhane, this "I," or subject ego, persists throughout these changes. It is that subject self, an idea that is derived from what Kant (1999 (1787) calls the "transcendental unity of apperception," and appealing to the writings of Walzer and Levinas, that Werhane argues accounts for human choices and the ability to step back and study ourselves and, thus, for the ability to make the choices that may steer oneself in another direction.Original publication: Werhane, Patricia H. "The Compatibility of Freedom, Equality, and a Communitarian Notion of the Self," Liberty, Equality, and Plurality, ed. Larry May, Christine Sistare and Jonathan Schonscheck (Lawrence, KA: University of Kansas Press, 1997), pp. 105–15. ©1997 Reprinted with permission.
Werhane, P. (2019)., The compatibility of freedom, equality and a communitarian notion of the self, in D. Bevan & R. W. Wolfe (eds.), Systems thinking and moral imagination, Dordrecht, Springer, pp. 49-57.
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