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Holding and Letting Go – The Social Practice of Personal Identities - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Holding and Letting Go: The Social Practice of Personal Identities

Hilde Lindemann


The social practice of forming and maintaining personal identities makes human interaction, and therefore society, possible. Our identities give us our sense of how we are supposed to act and how we may or must treat others, so how we hold each other in our identities is of crucial moral importance. To hold someone in her identity is to treat her according to the stories one uses to make sense of who she is. If the identity is to represent accurately the person who bears it, the tissue of stories that constitute it must continue to change as the person grows and changes. Here, good holding is ... More

Keywords: personal identity, stories, holding, letting go, moral philosophy, bioethics

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2014 Print ISBN-13: 9780199754922
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199754922.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Hilde Lindemann, author
Michigan State University