2 thoughts on “Self and World: Who are you?

  1. It is simplistic to imagine that Darwinism teaches rugged individualism. Dawkins himself showed how ‘selfish’ groups of genes benefit from the sacrifice of individuals to the tribe or group but Kropotkin had already written about it about a century earlier.

    Seems to me there’s a question about how you approach ‘transactions’ in different ‘Circles of the Self’. If it’s all part of the self it’s all part of self-determination but it seems to me that the ethical questions and responsibilities will be different within each ‘circle’. Maybe some people believe they have different scope for moral discretion in family, community or humanity as a whole. Maybe they think some domains should be ‘public’ and ‘utilitarian’ with others ‘private’ and ‘principled’. Speaking in terms of Darwinism and genetics it’s all down to game theory – morality doesn’t come into it.

    All the spheres look pretty arbitrary to me anyway.

    You can shrink your ‘self’ down to nothing, expand it to everything or choose any borders you like anywhere in between. Maybe where you draw the lines and how you respond to those borders can tell you something about yourself. I sure can draw a lot of different blobs labeled ‘community’.


    1. Yes, it’s a whole lot more complicated than I’ve gone into here. If I’d deconstructed how this works in great detail I would’ve ended up with a book – and others have been there and done that and way better than I could, so…

      The diagram is just an illustration – it isn’t meant to be scientifically rigorous.


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