News and Events

Tang Chun-I Visiting Professorship Public Lecture: The Socially Distributed Self: Perspectives from Anthropology, Cultural Psychology, and Philosophy

Face-to-face: Room 220, Fung King Hey Building (Please register by 8 March 2023)
Join synchronous online broadcast (Zoom link: https://cuhk.zoom.us/j/92320637608)
For inquiries, please email to philosophy@cuhk.edu.hk


Is selfhood socially constituted and distributed? Although the view has recently been defended by some cognitive scientists, it has for long been popular within anthropology and cultural psychology. Whereas older texts by, say, Mauss, Geertz, and Markus and Kitayama often contrast a Western conception of a discrete, bounded and individual self with a (supposedly more correct) non-Western sociocentric conception, it has more recently become common to argue that subjectivity is a fluid intersectional construction that is fundamentally relational and conditioned by discursive power structures. I will assess the plausibility of these claims and argue that many of these discussions of self and subjectivity remain too crude. By failing to distinguish different dimension of selfhood, many authors unwittingly end up advocating a form of radical social constructivism that is not only incapable of doing justice to first-person experience, but which also fails to capture the life of a real community.

Conducted in English
All are welcome