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Review: The Self and Its Discontents: Recent Work on Morality and the Self

Reviewed Works: The Varieties of Moral Personality by Owen Flanagan; Oneself as Another by Paul Ricoeur; Selves, People, and Persons by Leroy Rouner; Sources of the Self by Charles Taylor; The Ethics of Authenticity by Charles Taylor; Psychoanalysis and Ethics by Ernest Wallwork
Review by: Paul Lauritzen
The Journal of Religious Ethics
Vol. 22, No. 1 (Spring, 1994), pp. 187-210
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40017846
Page Count: 23
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The Self and Its Discontents: Recent Work on Morality and the Self
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Abstract

Views of the self may be plotted on a set of coordinates. On the axis that runs from fragmentation to unity, Rorty and Rorty's Freud champion the decentered self while Wallwork, Taylor, and Ricoeur argue for a sovereign, unified self. On the other axis, which runs from the disengaged, inward-turning self to the engaged and "sedimented" self, Wallwork, would be positioned near Rorty, defending self-creation against the narrative identity affirmed by Taylor and Ricoeur. Despite his skepticism concerning the communitarian agenda of the narrativists, Flanagan grants that the self is social and relational--a position further explored by Oliver, Stendahl, Deutsch, and Mack in "Selves, People, and Persons".

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