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In search of self VI

October 26, 2015

We will then move to the third and final phase, wherein we consider the practical fallout of the conclusions above. Insofar as the groundwork for our project must first be carried out at a theoretical level, namely, in the description and delineation of a new grammar of self and identity, this will result in a formal set of rules capable of application in a range of settings as developed and laid out in Part II. Although this grammar is precise enough to identify the various processes at work in this new identity, it must remain flexible enough to make sense of the widely varied, personal identities already formed.

For this, something in the way of demonstration is required. Accordingly, the project will then shift to the practical level as we bring the conclusions of the second phase to bear on concrete cases in political philosophy. It is only following the consideration of several real-world cases that the validity of our findings can be determined and this by the extent to which this new understanding of self and identity enables us to resolve political conflicts in new and fruitful ways or, more weakly, to come to a better understanding of their source.

Without being parochial, possible case studies might include the formation of the American Tea Party movement. Other cases might move the inquiry farther afield, such as survivals of the Indian caste system or calls for greater individual freedoms following the Arab Spring. In each case, it will be crucial to seek out both the faultline between the subject and the individual, between identity and self and new possibilities for their articulation, so as, at the very least, to bring these zones and openings to the fore. What interlocutors may then make of them will, naturally, be left to them.

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