Personhood and Self

Jack Hunter
Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

What is a person?

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

What is a person?
The word ‘person’ derives from the Latin word persona, meaning ‘mask.’

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

What is a person?
The word ‘person’ derives from the Latin word persona, meaning ‘mask.’ There is a difference, however, between personhood and personality.

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

What is a person?
The word ‘person’ derives from the Latin word persona, meaning ‘mask.’ There is a difference, however, between personhood and personality. Personality might be thought of as a mask, but personhood is what lies beneath the mask.

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

What is a person?
The word ‘person’ derives from the Latin word persona, meaning ‘mask.’ There is a difference, however, between personhood and personality. Personality might be thought of as a mask, but personhood is what lies beneath the mask. How do we recognise what is and what isn’t a person?

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

What is a person?
Marcel Mauss conceived of the person as a ‘category of the human mind.’

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

What is a person?
Marcel Mauss conceived of the person as a ‘category of the human mind.’ What kinds of features must an object/entity possess in order to be categorised as a person?

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Agency & Intentionality

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Agency & Intentionality
Agency - defined as “the capacity, condition, or state of acting or of exerting power.”

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Agency & Intentionality
Agency - defined as “the capacity, condition, or state of acting or of exerting power.”
Intentionality - defined as "the power of minds to be about, to represent, or to stand for, things, properties and states of affairs."

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Agency & Intentionality
Agency - defined as “the capacity, condition, or state of acting or of exerting power.”
Intentionality - defined as "the power of minds to be about, to represent, or to stand for, things, properties and states of affairs." Theory of Mind - defined as “People’s intuitive understanding of their own and other people’s minds or mental states, including beliefs and thoughts (Colman 2009:763)

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Agency & Intentionality
Agency - defined as “the capacity, condition, or state of acting or of exerting power.”
Intentionality - defined as "the power of minds to be about, to represent, or to stand for, things, properties and states of affairs." Theory of Mind - defined as “People’s intuitive understanding of their own and other people’s minds or mental states, including beliefs and thoughts (Colman 2009:763) Agency, intentionality and theory of mind can be attributed to many objects/entities (as we shall see)
Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

To What Does Self Refer?

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

To What Does Self Refer?
Melford Spiro (1993) suggests three possibilities:

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

To What Does Self Refer?
Melford Spiro (1993) suggests three possibilities: 1) The psychobiological organism - that which is bounded by the skin.

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

To What Does Self Refer?
Melford Spiro (1993) suggests three possibilities: 1) The psychobiological organism - that which is bounded by the skin. 2) The individual's mental representation of his own person.

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

To What Does Self Refer?
Melford Spiro (1993) suggests three possibilities: 1) The psychobiological organism - that which is bounded by the skin. 2) The individual's mental representation of his own person. 3) Some psychological entity (an ego, a soul, an "I") within the person.
Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Western Individual Self

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Western Individual Self
Individual

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Western Individual Self
Individual Bounded

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Western Individual Self
Individual Bounded Constant

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Western Individual Self
Individual Bounded Constant Autonomous

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Western Individual Self
Individual Bounded Constant Autonomous Private

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Western Individual Self
Individual Bounded Constant Autonomous Private Self-determination

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Western Individual Self
Individual Bounded Constant Autonomous Private Self-determination
...a bounded, unique, more or less integrated motivational and cognitive universe, a dynamic center of awareness, emotion, judgment and action organized into a distinctive whole and set contrastively against other such wholes and against its social and natural background (Geertz 1974:31)
Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

The Non-Western Dividual Self

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

The Non-Western Dividual Self
Dividual

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

The Non-Western Dividual Self
Dividual Porous

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

The Non-Western Dividual Self
Dividual Porous Group

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

The Non-Western Dividual Self
Dividual Porous Group Process

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

The Non-Western Dividual Self
Dividual Porous Group Process Relational
“...the dividual is considered to be divisible, comprising a complex of separable interrelated but essentially independent - dimensions or aspects. The individual is thus monadic, while the dividual is fractal; the individual is atomistic while the dividual is always socially embedded; the individual is an autonomous social actor, the author of his or her own actions, while the dividual is a heterogeneous actor performing a culturally written script; the individual is a free agent, while the dividual is determined by cultural structures; the individual is egocentric, and the dividual is sociocentric.” (Smith 2012:53)
Wednesday, 28 November 2012

The Non-Western Dividual Self
What it means to be a person...in the Japanese sense cannot be understood without reference to the individual’s social ties: the particular, usually tight and limited “human nexus” to which he or she belongs, from which one derives identity, and to which one is totally committed (de Craemer 1983:26)

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

The Non-Western Dividual Self
‘What it means to be a person...in the Japanese sense cannot be understood without reference to the individual’s social ties: the particular, usually tight and limited “human nexus” to which he or she belongs, from which one derives identity, and to which one is totally committed’ (de Craemer 1983:26)

‘Malays on the island of Langkawi become complete persons, that is, kin, through living and consuming together in houses. Identity and substance are mutable and fluid. These perceptions suggest a processual view of kinship and personhood.’ (Carsten 1995:223)

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

The Non-Western Dividual Self
‘What it means to be a person...in the Japanese sense cannot be understood without reference to the individual’s social ties: the particular, usually tight and limited “human nexus” to which he or she belongs, from which one derives identity, and to which one is totally committed’ (de Craemer 1983:26)

‘Malays on the island of Langkawi become complete persons, that is, kin, through living and consuming together in houses. Identity and substance are mutable and fluid. These perceptions suggest a processual view of kinship and personhood’ (Carsten 1995:223) The concept of ‘Noman can be glossed variously as mind, intention, will, agency, social conscience, desire, or personality. It clearly covers a wide range of meanings. These meanings have to be seen processually, in terms of the life-cycle and of social interaction’ (Strathern & Stewart 1998:175)
Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Does This East/West Division Make Sense?

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Does This East/West Division Make Sense?
“While probably fairly accurate for the majority of people the majority of the time, this characterisation of [Euro-American] folk psychology certainly has limitations. For example, religious beliefs (e.g. whether nonmaterial sources like spirits or God can directly influence one’s mind) are a source of variation within [Euro-American] culture, but they are rarely considered in discussions of folk psychology...variation in folk psychological thinking has not received adequate attention from researchers...” (Lillard 1998:3)
Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Does This East/West Division Make Sense?
Tanya Luhrmann describes the way in which American Evangelical Christians develop and experience a personal relationship with God.

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Does This East/West Division Make Sense?
Tanya Luhrmann describes the way in which American Evangelical Christians develop and experience a personal relationship with God.

Fig. 4 Sandy prepares for trance in the cabinet.

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Perspectivism & Other-Than-Human-Persons

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Perspectivism & Other-Than-Human-Persons

Not all persons are necessarily human.

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Perspectivism & Other-Than-Human-Persons

Not all persons are necessarily human. The American ethnographer A. Irving Hallowell coined the term ‘other-thanhuman persons’ to refer to the spiritual inhabitants of the Ojibwa world-view.

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Perspectivism & Other-Than-Human-Persons

Not all persons are necessarily human. The American ethnographer A. Irving Hallowell coined the term ‘other-thanhuman persons’ to refer to the spiritual inhabitants of the Ojibwa world-view. For the Ojibwa the world is inhabited by many different persons, including human beings, ancestral spirits (referred to as ‘grandfathers), animals and even, on occasion, inanimate objects like rocks.

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Perspectivism & Other-Than-Human-Persons

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Perspectivism & Other-Than-Human-Persons

‘Since stones are grammatically animate, I once asked an old man: Are all the stones we see about us here alive? He reflected a long while and then replied, ‘ N o ! B u t s o m e a re ’ . . . t h e O j i b w a recognize, a priori, potentialities for animation in certain classes of objects under certain circumstances. The Ojibwa do not perceive stones, in general, as animate, any more than we do. The crucial test is experience.’ (Hallowell 2002 [1960]:24)

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Perspectivism & Other-Than-Human-Persons

Not all persons are necessarily human. Perspectivism refers to ‘the conceptions, common to many peoples of [South American] according to which the world is inhabited by different sorts of subjects or persons, human and nonhuman, which apprehend reality from distinct points of view’ (Viveiros de Castro 1998:469)

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Theories
Cognitive approaches:

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Theories
Cognitive approaches:
Personhood concepts result from innate cognitive categories:

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Theories
Cognitive approaches:
Personhood concepts result from innate cognitive categories: “Species-specific, naturally emerging cognitive predispositions constrain the range of variability in person-related concepts cross-culturally (e.g., to do with what is intuitively recognizable as an intentional agent/action, how individual identity is construed, how people think about the relation between biological and psychological properties of the person, etc.)” (Cohen & Barrett 2011:104)

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Theories
Cognitive approaches:
Personhood concepts result from innate cognitive categories: “Species-specific, naturally emerging cognitive predispositions constrain the range of variability in person-related concepts cross-culturally (e.g., to do with what is intuitively recognizable as an intentional agent/action, how individual identity is construed, how people think about the relation between biological and psychological properties of the person, etc.)” (Cohen & Barrett 2011:104)

Socio-Constructivist approaches

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Theories
Cognitive approaches:
Personhood concepts result from innate cognitive categories: “Species-specific, naturally emerging cognitive predispositions constrain the range of variability in person-related concepts cross-culturally (e.g., to do with what is intuitively recognizable as an intentional agent/action, how individual identity is construed, how people think about the relation between biological and psychological properties of the person, etc.)” (Cohen & Barrett 2011:104)

Socio-Constructivist approaches
Personhood concepts arise through social interactions and cultural influence.

Are personhood concepts innate or learned?

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

References
Carsten, J. (1995). ‘The substance of kinship and the heat of the hearth: feeding, personhood, and relatedness among Malays in Pulau Langkawi.’ American Ethnologist, Vol. 22, No. 2, pp. 223–241. Cohen, E. & Barrett, J.L. (2011). ‘In Search of “Folk Anthropology”: The Cognitive Anthropology of the Person.’ In J. Wentzel van Huyssteen & Erik P. Wiebe (eds). (2011). In Search of Self: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Personhood. Cambridge: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. Colman, A.M. (2009). Oxford Dictionary of Psychology. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

de Craemer, W. (1983). ‘A Cross-Cultural Perspective on Personhood.’ The Milbank Memorial Fund Quarterly: Health and Society, Vol. 61, No. 1, pp. 19-34.

Geertz, C. ‘“From the Native’s Point of View”: On the Nature of Anthropological Understanding.’ Bulletin of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Vol. 28, No. 1, pp. 26-45.

Hallowell, A.I. (2002 [1960]) “Ojibwa Ontology, Behaviour, and World View.” In G. Harvey (ed.) (2002) Readings in Indigenous Religions. London: Continuum. pp. 17-50.

Lillard, A. (1998). ‘Ethnopsychologies: Cultural Variations in Theories of Mind.’ Psychological Bulletin, Vol. 123, No. 1, pp. 3-32.

Luhrmann, T.M. (2012). When God Talks Back: Understanding the American Evangelical Relationship With God. Knopf.

Mauss, M. (1985). “A Category of the Human Mind: The Notion Of Person; The Notion of Self.” In M. Carrithers, Collins, S. & Lukes, S., (1985). The Category of the Person: Anthropology, Philosophy, History. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 1-26.

Spiro, M. (1993). ‘Is the Western Conception of the Self “Peculiar” Within the Context of the World Cultures?’ Ethos, Vol. 21, No. 2, pp. 107-153

Strathern, A. & Stewart, P.J. (1998). ‘Seeking Personhood: Anthropological Accounts and Local Concepts in Mount Hagen, Papua New Guinea.’ Oceania, Vol. 68, No. 3., pp. 170-188.

Viveiros de Castro, E. (1998). ‘Cosmological Deixis and Amerindian Perspectivism.’ The Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute Vol. 4, No. 3, pp. 469-488. Wednesday, 28 November 2012

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