The Self in Social Theory: A Psychoanalytic Account of Its Construction in Plato, Hobbes, Locke, Rawls, and Rousseau

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9780300049220: The Self in Social Theory: A Psychoanalytic Account of Its Construction in Plato, Hobbes, Locke, Rawls, and Rousseau
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The self is a topic that crosses a great many disciplinary boundaries; concepts of the self are central to political science, psychoanalysis, philosophy, sociology, and classical studies. In this book, C.Fred Alford sets forth a psychoanalytic account of the self and applies it to texts by Plato, Hobbes, Locke, Rawis, and Rouseau in order to draw out their implicit, often inchoate, assumptions about the self. Alford argues that these philosophers are willing to sacrifice important aspects of the self to ostensibly higher goals, such as social peace; they weaken, split, or shatter the integrity of the self in order to make it more tractable within society. Alford sets out to rescue the self from the attempt to make it suit other goals, to treat it as an independent variable rather than a corrolary to a given social theory. His book clarifies what it means to talk about the self, reinvigorates the study of selfhood in general, and shows its significance for social and political theory.

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Alford, Professor C. Fred
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