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Grant number: FT-55225-07

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John M. Doris
Washington University in St. Louis (St. Louis, MO 63130-4899)

A Natural History of the Self

In philosophy, persons are often distinguished by a propensity for reflection -- a conscious and concerted mentation effecting control of behavior. In psychology, quantities of research on automatic processing suggest that this philosophical conception of persons is unrealistic; much human behavior is not consciously controlled, and evaluatively incongruent with the deliverances of reflection. A psychologically lifelike conception of persons will therefore de-emphasize reflection; instead, the human ethical distinctiveness marked with such philosophical honorifics as “person,” “agency,” and “the self” is to be found in the narrative transactions by which humans living in groups create and sustain consensually validated systems of value.

Project fields:
Philosophy, General

Summer Stipends

Research Programs

Total amounts:
$5,000 (approved)
$5,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2007 – 7/31/2007