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

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Overview

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.

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Editorial Reviews

Metapsychology
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.
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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
  • Sales rank: 1,260,419
  • 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.

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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

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