Our Practices, Our Selves, Or, What It Means to Be Human

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Todd May, «Our Practices, Our Selves, Or, What It Means to Be Human»
Penn State University Press | ISBN 0271020865 | 2001-04 | PDF | 1.6 Mb | 206 pages



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Book Description
A book for everyone interested in learning how philosophy is done and what it can tell us about who we are.

"This book is extremely thought-provoking, readable, and clear. It will appeal to readers of all ages who ponder what it is to be a human being." — Ladelle McWhorter, University of Richmond

"This enjoyable book, written in an engaging, colloquial voice, is that rare kind of introduction to philosophy that both (1) shows that philosophy is a distinctive form of lively conceptual activity rather than an inert body of dusty doctrines and (2) makes a contribution to the field it introduces by showing the importance of our multifarious human practices to questions of selfhood and identity.

The fundamental thesis of the book–that practices are constitutive of the self in a deep way that has not been sufficiently recognized–is explored through wide-ranging examples, including global-technological capitalism, religious authority and the creationism debate, multiculturalism, psychoanalytical explanation, jazz, baseball, political activism, cooking, and many others. These diverse strands, although they obviously come from far and wide, are convincingly woven into a coherent and illuminating large-scale pattern.

This book shows the student, the general reader, or anyone interested in what philosophy–itself a practice–is how hard, clear thinking promotes human understanding and how helpful analytical thought can be to numerous hotly debated issues. Readers are given the conceptual tools and philosophical equipment they need as the book progresses, and they will know that they are in the hands of an excellent, confidence-inspiring teacher of the subject." —Garry L. Hagberg, Bard College

About the Author
Todd May is Professor of Philosophy at Clemson University and the author of four books previously published by Penn State Press, most recently Reconsidering Difference: Nancy, Derrida, Levinas, Deleuze (1997).