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Relational BeingBeyond Self and Community$
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Kenneth J. Gergen

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199846269

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199846269.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 29 July 2021

Bounded Being

Bounded Being

(p.3) 1 Bounded Being
Relational Being

Kenneth J. Gergen

Oxford University Press

This chapter explains why the concept of relational being offers opportunities to explore new and more promising forms of life. It first examines issues related to the daily characterization of ourselves and the negative consequences of a bounded self. It then looks at the fundamentally independent nature of the sense of self and the broader character of cultural life before presenting an alternative to the tradition of bounded being. It argues that the presumption of persons as bounded units is a threat to the well-being of the world. It also looks at a significant corpus of writing that challenges individualism, along with the ideals of autonomy, individual reason, personal conscience, liberty, free competition, and self-knowledge that are all companions to bounded being.

Keywords:   relational being, bounded self, cultural life, bounded being, individualism, autonomy, individual reason, personal conscience, liberty, self-knowledge

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