Being Yourself: Essays on Identity, Action, and Social Life

Paperback (Print)
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $32.08
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 15%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (8) from $32.08   
  • New (5) from $33.57   
  • Used (3) from $32.08   


Being yourself: living a life that is truly your own, that expresses your unique personality and your distinctive values. Many people want to live such a life. Being Yourself asks what it takes to do so. It examines questions about the self — the individual who acts — together with questions about self-expression — the relations between the self and action. It explains self-knowledge and self-direction in terms of a repertory of skills that gives people insight into who they are, who they want to be, and how they want to engage with the world. Unlike other accounts of self and action, Being Yourself takes into account the multidimensionality of the self — embodiment, interpersonal ties, nonconscious desires, and enculturation as well as rationality. It accents the ways in which atypical emotional responses, empathy, and oppositional imagery can contribute to moral understanding. It argues that repressive regimes cannot completely crush people's determination to live lives of their own, but it shows why it is vital to seek social changes that dismantle obstacles to this kind of life.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Meyers's style is elegant, insightful, and altogether gripping in places. Peppered with personal experiences and analogies, this book is likely to be pleasing to any interested reader.
Elizabeth Grosz
Diana Tietjens Meyers is one of the most subtle and complex philosophers of feminist autonomy and agency writing today. In this book, she has presented a powerful analysis of the forms of autonomy in contemporary social life, and the impasses, ruses, and limitations that can impede autonomous agency. An original contribution to one of the most vexing and contested concepts in feminist philosophy.
Metapsychology Online Reviews
Meyers's style is elegant, insightful, and altogether gripping in places. Peppered with personal experiences and analogies, this book is likely to be pleasing to any interested reader.
Marion Smiley
Diana Meyers's Being Yourself is an important and original theory of autonomy that manages, by virtue of both its philosophical rigor and its keen eye for the realm of practice, to show how moral agents can exercise their authentic selves in a world where socialization and political barriers prevail. Meyers's discussion of autonomy and female genital cutting contains the strongest argument I know for viewing autonomy within culture rather than against it.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780742514782
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 3/28/2004
  • Series: Feminist Constructions Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 344
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Diana Tietjens Meyers is professor of philosophy at the University of Connecticut, Storrs.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Part 3 Preface Part 4 The Autonomous Agent Chapter 5 Personal Autonomy and the Paradox of Feminine Socialization Chapter 6 Intersectional Identity and the Authentic Self? Opposites Attract! Chapter 7 Decentralizing Autonomy: Five Faces of Selfhood Chapter 8 The Personal, the Political, and Psycho-corporeal Identity Part 9 Moral Reflection Chapter 10 The Socialized Individual and Individual Autonomy: An Intersection between Philosophy and Psychology Chapter 11 Moral Reflection: Beyond Impartial Reason Chapter 12 Emotion and Heterodox Moral Perception: An Essay in Moral Social Psychology Chapter 13 Narrative and Moral Life Part 14 Agency in Hostile Social Contexts Chapter 15 Cultural Diversity: Rights, Goals, and Competing Values Chapter 16 Feminism and Women's Autonomy: The Challenge of Female Genital Cutting Chapter 17 Rights in Collision: A Non-Punitive, Compensatory Remedy for Abusive Speech Chapter 18 Gendered Work and Individual Autonomy Chapter 19 Feminine Mortality Imagery: Feminist Ripostes Part 20 Bibliography Part 21 Index

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)