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Continental Philosophy Review

, Volume 38, Issue 1–2, pp 19–39 | Cite as

Creatures of habit: The problem and the practice of liberation

  • Clare Carlisle
Article

Abstract

This paper begins by reflecting on the concept of habit and discussing its significance in various philosophical and non-philosophical contexts – for this helps to clarify the connections between habit and selfhood. I then attempt to sketch an account of the self as ”nothing but habit,“ and to address the questions this raises about how such a self must be constituted. Finally, I focus on the issue of freedom, or liberation, and consider the possibility of moving beyond habit. I emphasize the body since it is through the body that the un-doing of habit must take place. Deleuze and Merleau-Ponty are distinguished from the many philosophers who have recognized the importance of habit by their more radical claim that we not only have habits, but are habits – and for this reason I draw on their work in the first two sections of this paper.

Keywords

Human Nature Buddhist Teaching Radical Claim Spiritual Exercise Book VIII 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Clare Carlisle
    • 1
  1. 1.University of LeedsLeedsEngland

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