If there is anything that I can take away from the political science courses I have taken and now this course, it’s that identity is a central element to both the social and political spheres. From closely examining the lack of political identity in a post-Soviet Russia to defining the identity of the post-human, it is clear that identity persists as one of the most important human characteristics. Continue reading
At the start of the week I found myself scrambling to finish different assignments and come up with a good idea for a paper proposal. After having done many annotated bibliographies in the past, I didn’t put much faith into this one in helping me establish at least an idea for an argument. All it took though was a little research and I found myself coming across articles and books that combined topics I never would have thought to combine and eventually I came up with a pretty good idea for my essay. More important to the class though are the arguments and concepts I found along the way. Continue reading
Bynum’s Chapter Four, “Shape and Story” explores three different types of philosophies on identity, and how they are all interconnected. Bynum explores individual identity, identity position, and spatiotemporal continuity. Spatiotemporal continuity as she explores throughout her essay is the one that I found the most interesting, although it did raise some questions.
Bynum’s chapter, Shape and Story, on narrative and spatiotemporal continuity is without a doubt the most interesting take on the philosophy and reality of identity that I have read. I took Philosophy of Knowledge and Reality a couple years back, which was a great course, that put more of an emphasis on categorizing the different theories revolving around space-time concepts, dream theories, identity problems, and mind-body theories in a more general nature using philosophers such as Rousseau and Taylor. Needless to say, these are very interesting philosopher, but also very dry and generic at times. Bynum’s chapters on metamorphosis and identity have brought a whole new piece to the puzzle. Continue reading
I really enjoyed and endorse many of the points Bynum made in the chapter Metamorphosis and Identity. My favorite part was the first point of her conclusion where she discusses how “these dichotomies of nature versus nurture, biology versus social construction… do not seem to me to give us the help we need to deal compassionately with ourselves or with others” (Bynum 187). This point is so insightful to me — these difficult questions that we agonize over and spend so much time thinking about are ultimately obsolete if we are not compassionate and loving to one another. Continue reading
In Bynum’s chapter “Shape and Story,” she touches on certain issues that I think we have alluded to a little bit in class, but maybe not fully discussed. Bynum really emphasizes the need to think and theorize just in binaries, which is why some of our readings have been resistant to just think of the hybrid in terms of only human/animal dichotomies, like the werewolf – which has to be either completely human or completely animalistic. Continue reading
Never Let Go is definitely my favorite reading so far in the class and I have found it interesting how it parallels with many of Graham’s theories. Graham argues that human nature is culturally defined and that we invent ourselves as well as our understanding of ourselves. Kathy and her friends put this theory into action with trying to create an identity or place in the society they live in. I also saw the artwork created by the donors as a cultural definition of human nature. Continue reading