Virtual Selves, Real Persons
How do we know and understand who we really are as human beings? The concept of 'the self' is central to many strands of psychology and philosophy. This book tackles the problem of how to define persons and selves and discusses the ways in which different disciplines, such as biology, sociology and philosophy, have dealt with this topic. Richard S. Hallam examines the notion that the idea of the self as some sort of entity is a human construction and, in effect, a virtual reality. At the same time, this virtual self is intimately related to the reality of ourselves as biological organisms. Aiming to integrate a constructionist understanding of self with the universalizing assumptions that are needed in natural science approaches, this text is unique in its attempt to create a dialogue across academic disciplines, while retaining a consistent perspective on the problem of relating nature to culture.