Advertisement

What Is It to Be a Human Being? Rom Harré on Self and Identity

  • Jens BrockmeierEmail author
Chapter
Part of the Theory and History in the Human and Social Sciences book series (THHSS)

Abstract

Rom Harré has held different views at different times on self and identity. He liked to keep these terms open and flexible, in line with his opinion that, “for the most part, selves are fictions”. These fictions take form (and change their form) in the ongoing flow of activities that people produce in interaction with one another—which is one reason why it is difficult, if not precarious, to use well-defined concepts to capture these “fictions.” Concepts tend to fix what they are meant to identify. In fact, this is the reason why we usually need and want well-defined concepts. But how then, drawing on Rom Harré, do we have to conceive of such unstable and unfixable phenomena as self and identity? How do we combine concepts and fictions?

Keywords

Human being Self Identity Person 

References

  1. Brockmeier, J., & Harré, R. (2001). Narrative: Problems and promises of an alternative paradigm. In J. Brockmeier & D. Carbaugh (Eds.), Narrative and identity: Studies in autobiography, self and culture (pp. 39–58). Amsterdam & Philadelphia: John Benjamins.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Geertz, C. (1983). From the native’s point of view: On the nature of anthropological understanding. In C. Geertz (Ed.), Local knowledge: Further essays in interpretive anthropology (pp. 55–70). New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  3. Hacking, I. (1995). Rewriting the soul: Multiple personality and the sciences of memory. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  4. Harré, R. (1998). The singular self: An introduction to the psychology of personhood. London et al.: Sage.Google Scholar
  5. Koselleck, R. (1979). Vergangene Zukunft. Zur Semantik geschichtlicher Zeiten. Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp [Engl. translation: Futures past: On the semantics of historical time]. New York: Columbia University Press (2004).Google Scholar
  6. Montaigne, M. de (2009). Les Essais. Ed. A. Lanly. Paris: Gallimard.Google Scholar
  7. Taylor, C. (1989). Sources of the self: The making of the modern identity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The American University of ParisParisFrance

Personalised recommendations