An Ancient Jewish Christian Source on the History of by F. Stanley Jones, JONES

By F. Stanley Jones, JONES

Publication via Jones, F. Stanley, JONES

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Indeed, for some thinkers the self is the site of the interacting, conflicting, multiple discourses that vie for ascendancy in some description of the self: There is no core, or essence, or nature of the human person either lying behind the structures, against which these can be measured as adequate, or transcending the structures as a free, thoughtful agent.  Stressing the constructed character of selfhood raises the problem of agency, as Seyla Benhabib shows. Benhabib notes both a weak and a strong version of the thesis that the modern subject has died.

Because it views the self as a creature, this enhancement is indexed not to the will’s creation of value in acts of power but to goods encountered in creaturely life, and to a source of value that transcends and establishes these goods. Also, the enhancement of the self is not over and against others. The goods discovered in creaturely life comprise objective reference points and situate the self in a world and in relation to others. This is not a neutral space but one the self encounters and in which she moves through interpretive and evaluative activities.

Human beings have desires, in positive forms of attraction and negative forms of aversion. Human beings also are desire, creatures who live by devotion or faith (St. Paul), or servitude or love (St. Augustine) or concern (Paul Tillich), whose identity is conferred in relation to some dominant care, cause, or commitment. These various ways of putting the matter highlight important experiential and theoretical differences, but the basic point is that the human condition of desiring (which has psychic and physical dimensions), manifests itself for better or worse in particular desires.

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