Interdependency: The fourth existential insult to humanity

Contemporary Political Theory 17 (2):160-186 (2018)
Sigmund Freud famously described three existential insults to humanity stemming from heliocentrism, evolution, and psychoanalysis. In recent years we are, perhaps, beginning to see the emergence of a fourth: interdependency. Over the last several centuries, Anglo-American culture has modelled itself on a vision of the independent individual – strong, autonomous, and self-sufficient. Yet from feminist theory, communitarianism, disability theory, institutionalist economics, and elsewhere, the evidence mounts that independence is, in most contexts, a myth. We are, in fact, fundamentally social beings: fragile, vulnerable, variously disabled, and intrinsically dependent. In their time, each of the existential insults had profound effects; they forced a re-examination of the self, which rippled throughout the culture and uprooted old practices. This article argues that taking interdependency seriously would similarly lead to profound changes in our culture, our central political concepts, and even our major institutions.
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DOI 10.1057/s41296-017-0167-2
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Anarchy, State, and Utopia.Robert Nozick - 1977 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 7 (1):187-201.
Sources of the Self: The Making of the Modern Identity.D. W. Hamlyn & Charles Taylor - 1991 - British Journal of Educational Studies 39 (1):101.

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