The Self as a Causal Center of Gravity

  • Michele Di Francesco
  • Massimo Marraffa
  • Alfredo Paternoster


The authors reject the antirealist argument that infers, from the non-primary, derivative nature of the self, a view of it as an epiphenomenal by-product of neurobiological events or, alternatively, of social (or sociolinguistic) practices. The antirealists disregard the inherently defensive nature of identity self-construction. The need to construct and protect the most valid identity possible is rooted in the subject’s primary need to solidly exist as a describable ego, as a unitary subject. The incessant construction and reconstruction of an acceptable and adaptively functioning identity is the process that produces our intra- and interpersonal balances, and thus must be regarded as the foundation of psychological well-being and mental health. The process of self-identity construction, therefore, imposes a teleology of self-defense on the human psychobiological system.


Personality Disorder Subjective Identity Mental Causation Causal Efficacy Narrative Identity 
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

© The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michele Di Francesco
    • 1
  • Massimo Marraffa
    • 2
  • Alfredo Paternoster
    • 3
  1. 1.School of Advanced Studies IUSS PaviaPaviaItaly
  2. 2.University of Roma TreRomeItaly
  3. 3.University of BergamoBergamoItaly

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