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Selfhood and Authenticity (Winner of the Erving Goffman Award 2004) [Paperback]

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Item Number 146200  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   181
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.97" Width: 5.91" Height: 0.43"
Weight:   0.5 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Feb 22, 2001
Publisher   State University of New York Press
ISBN  0791449009  
EAN  9780791449004  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
Explores the notion of selfhood in the wake of the post-structuralist debates.

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More About Corey Anton

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Corey Anton is Assistant Professor of Communication at Grand Valley State University.

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Amazing Scholarly Book  Apr 25, 2009
This is one of the most fascinating and useful books I have ever read. It was hard to read but nothing compared to many of the books that it references. I studied continental philosophy in graduate school, and compared to most of the things I read, I wish that I had had this book as my introduction to both Heidegger and Sartre. I think this would have made all the difference. The chapter on temporality is the best.
Selfhood and Authenticity  Dec 10, 2001
Corey Anton's work is rich account of the unique and once occurent ways self and world emerge into meaningful existence. Springing forth from Charles Taylor's, The Ethics of Authenticity, Anton provides a compelling account of selfhood that furthers the modern quest for authenticity, that is, the sense that "many people today feel that it is their right to live personally meaningful lives." Keeping at bay two responses people might take in regard to this quest, as a license for moral laxity or as a moral calling for poetic license, Anton makes recourse to the dialogical nature of self and the requirements of horizons of significance.
With a critical eye towards overly atomistic accounts of self in social scientific research, Dr. Anton, taking up the voice of existential phenomenology, describes the ways the self is primordially out side of its fleshy boundaries thrown into a meaningful world with others. As a matter of emphasis on this insight, Anton provides lucid descriptions of essential features of self: embodiment, sociality, symbolicity, and temporality.

The following are some highlights of the work.

The opening section on embodiment represents an almost mythical account of the body. Here Anton writes of the ground meaning of embodiment as being "thrown-out-from-yet-indigenous-to-earth." And, following Sartre's account of Being-in-itself, he writes "Earth as Earth is a non-existing so full of itself, it exists not." If Earth is to fall into existence it will require "events of existential decompression." As Anton continues, "an embodied self is earth's way of taking flight from its fullness and first coming to itself...humans are not simply things on the earth; we are something it is doing." This section dives further into the phenomenological notion of intentionality, ala Merleau-Ponty, and concludes with the observation: nothing separates my body from the world.

The subject of negativity, of nothing, runs through out the work as a reminder of the self's dialogical/inseparable relation to world and others. For instance, in the chapter on sociality, Anton not only acknowledges that "hortatory don'ts" and "tribal thou shall nots" (a nod to Kenneth Burke) provide social regulations of appropriateness and acceptability, but he also delineates the primordial negativity implicit in face-to-face encounters. Anton writes, "My face as it is for me, is an intentional absence, yet it is the absence by which others' faces come to seeable existence. I do not have a face; other people have mine and I have theirs. Ridged boundaries between others and self need to be loosened because part of me is manifest only through others. Said simply: nothing separates me from others."

Nothing separating world, self, and others means that all talk is talk about others and the world. Hence, in the chapter on symbolicity Anton's account of self turns towards sonorousness (i.e. speech and language). Anton writes, "Human beings are naturally sonorous entities, caring for more than the here and now of their own bodies by releasing and appropriating the sayableness of existence." Being critical of those who would conceive speech and language as inventions, tools, or an unnatural add on to the human being, Anton maintains that such conceptions that hold the belief "that language is alien or not natural (perhaps humanly created) must be carefully scrutinized."

Of the various features of the self temporality is perhaps the most under appreciated in contemporary social theory. "It is so easy to forget (or never even notice) that we are temporality," writes Anton. "The human is more than extant, is not simply a body resting `in' time...World [and] self are happening through earth's internal negations and corresponding existential decompressions." In revealing the meaning of freedom in human beings relation to time, he sums up: "humans are time as temporality, which means that the past remains a future possibility; this is the past we are still moving toward. What we normally call the future is actually the past; it is the past that will-have-been."

The whole of Selfhood and Authenticity provides a compelling account of self that is indebted to others and world. The pursuit of authenticity with in the context of Anton's work, is struggle to meet fitting responses to and from the project of existence. "What could be less original, less authentic, than a job, any and every task, done with less than vital concern?" The inauthentic person is lacking a sense of duty, and harbors an indifference to the moments of existence. Authenticity, in Anton's last account, is a passionate responsibility, "a practice of openness by which we are called to fitting responses...a blissfully seduced obedience...a dutiful autonomy, one liberated by indebtedness."

Corey is the greatest author!!!!!!!  Aug 9, 2001
This book has given me a great deal of insight into my personal life. It is very interesting and kept my interest throughout the entire book. And he is sooooooo cute!!!!!!!!

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