Social and Moral Aspects of the Self

  • Majid Davoody BeniEmail author
Part of the New Directions in Philosophy and Cognitive Science book series (NDPCS)


The chapter accounts for social and moral aspects of the self along structural terms. There are already fine neuroscientific theories that account for the embodiment of the relational self in the manifold of interpersonal relations. Vittorio Gallese has developed such a theory. Gallese’s theory indicates that the structure of the social self is based on the mirror neuron system’s information processing. In this chapter, I outline a comprehensive theory of structural self on the basis of a synthesis between Gallese’s relational self that is embodied in the web of social relations and structural realist theory of the self (SRS) which—according to what I said in previous chapters—thus far takes care of reflective and phenomenal aspects of the self. To consolidate the synthesis I draw attention to the integration (via dynamical interconnection) between the mirror neuron system, which embodies the social aspects of the self, and the Default Mode Network, which realises the reflective aspects of the self-structure. The chapter also deals with the moral aspects of the structural self. Firstly, I argue that recent findings in moral neuroscience can support a structural account of the moral aspects of the self. Then, by drawing on Peter Railton’s work, I argue that the SRS provides a chance for finding a middle ground between egotism and alienation, so as to develop a viable theory of moral judgements.


Social cognition Relational self The mirror neuron system The Default Mode Network Social self Moral neuroscience Alienation 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of History, Philosophy, and Religious StudiesNazarbayev UniversityNur-Sultan cityKazakhstan
  2. 2.The Amirkabir University of TechnologyTehranIran

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