Cognition and community: the Scottish philosophical context of the ‘divided self’

Miller, G. (2001) Cognition and community: the Scottish philosophical context of the ‘divided self’. Janus Head, 4(1), pp. 104-129.

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Publisher's URL: http://www.janushead.org/4-1/miller.cfm

Abstract

This article aims to place the work of R.D. Laing into the context of Scottish history of ideas. It is possible to clarify and strengthen Laing’s arguments by situating them alongside the work of Scottish philosophers such as David Hume, J. B. Baillie and John Macmurray. In particular, it can be shown that Laing is not philosophically naïve. Philosophy – and this is readily apparent in Hume’s account of human nature – tends to say that we are indeed divided selves. The work of Baillie and Macmurray helps to defend Laing from the charge that the "divided self" is, in truth, the logically inevitable account of human being. The study of Laing’s Scottish precursors also has a further consequence. The side of Laing that values social relations emerges in greater clarity, and in greater consonance with his sympathy for the marginalised and the alienated.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Miller, Dr Gavin
Authors: Miller, G.
Subjects:B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
College/School:College of Arts > School of Critical Studies > English Literature
Journal Name:Janus Head
Publisher:Trivium Publications
ISSN:1524-2269
ISSN (Online):1521-9194

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