Depending on Strangers: Freedom, Memory, and the Unknown Self

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Author: David P. Levine

Publisher: Phoenix Publishing House

Published: 01/03/2021

ISBN: 9781912691890

In this book, David Levine explores the unknown self. The unknown self is the self existing as a potential to become something yet to be determined. The shape our personalities and life experiences take depends on a process. At the outset of this process, the self is, in a sense, a stranger; both to us and to others. The more this is the case, the greater the openness of the process of self-formation to a kind of freedom, which is the freedom from predetermination of its outcome. In exploring this process, the book considers such topics as: the nature of inner freedom and its relationship to deliberation and choice; stranger anxiety and its connection to group dynamics and social connection; the internal factors that enable us to make the decisions that shape our lives and through our actions realise the ends embedded in our decisions; how our memories shape our choices and the lives we lead that result from them; what makes it possible for us to live comfortably with and depend on people we do not know; concern for the welfare of strangers and how our welfare can be secure in a world where others do not care about us or us about them.