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Appears in Collections:Law and Philosophy Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: The 'We' in 'Me': An Account of Minimal Relational Selfhood
Author(s): Higgins, Joe
Keywords: Minimal selfhood
Social constitution
Shared experience
Mother–infant interaction
Issue Date: Jul-2020
Citation: Higgins J (2020) The 'We' in 'Me': An Account of Minimal Relational Selfhood. Topoi, 39 (3), p. 535–546.
Abstract: Many philosophers contend that selfhood involves a uniquely first-personal experiential dimension, which precedes any form of socially dependent selfhood. In this paper, I do not wish to deny the notion of such a “minimal” experiential dimension as encapsulating the very givenness of experience as for a certain subject, such that experiences are accessible to this subject in a way that they are not for others. However, I do wish to deny any temptation to view minimal experiential selfhood as ontogenetically more primitive than socially constituted selfhood. That is, the ‘thinnest’ construal of minimal experiential selfhood fails to properly account for characteristics that are essential to human selfhood; namely, the intimate, embodied interactions that unfold at the incipient moments of human life. I argue that taking the ontogenesis of embodied human existence seriously involves accepting the de facto equiprimordiality of minimal experientialiasm with a ‘minimal’ form of relational selfhood, i.e. the co-constitution of experience through engagements with others.
DOI Link: 10.1007/s11245-018-9564-2
Rights: © The Author(s) 2018 This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.
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