Our Practices, Our Selves: Or, What it Means to Be Human

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Overview

This enjoyable book, written in an engaging, colloquial voice, is that rare kind of introduction to philosophy that both (1) shows that philosophy is a distinctive form of lively conceptual activity rather than an inert body of dusty doctrines and (2) makes a contribution to the field it introduces by showing the importance of our multifarious human practices to questions of selfhood and identity. The fundamental thesis of the book--that practices are constitutive of the self in a deep way that has not been sufficiently recognized--is explored through wide-ranging examples, including global-technological capitalism, religious authority and the creationism debate, multiculturalism, psychoanalytical explanation, jazz, baseball, political activism, cooking, and many others. These diverse strands, although they obviously come from far and wide, are convincingly woven into a coherent and illuminating large-scale pattern.This book shows the student, the general reader, or anyone interested in what philosophy--itself a practice--how hard, clear thinking promotes human understanding and how helpful analytical thought can be to numerous hotly debated issues. Readers are given the conceptual tools and philosophical equipment they need as the book progresses, and they will know that they are in the hands of an excellent, confidence-inspiring teacher of the subject. -Garry L. Hagberg, Bard College
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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
A philosophical reflection in which May proposes to use the concept of practices in order to provide an answer to the question of who we are. He explores our practices; our practices and our knowledge; and our practices, our morals, and our politics. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780271020860
  • Publisher: Penn State University Press
  • Publication date: 1/26/2001
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 216
  • Sales rank: 1,442,525
  • Product dimensions: 0.50 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 9.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Todd May is Professor of Philosophy at Clemson University. His previous books are Between Genealogy and Epistemology: Psychology, Politics, and Knowledge in the Thought of Michel Foucault(1993), The Political Philosophy of Post-Structuralist Anarchism (1994), The Moral Theory of Poststructuralism (1995), and Reconsidering Difference: Nancy, Derrida, Levinas, Deleuze (1996), all by Penn State Press.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
1 Our Practices 1
2 Our Practices and Our Knowledge 61
3 Our Practices, Our Morals, and Our Politics 137
Bibliography 203
Index 205
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