Idealistic Studies 25 (3):221-229 (1995)

Abstract
One aim of that type of transcendental argument known to us as the cogito is to reveal a self about which there can be no contention, neither about its existence nor its nature. Serious doubts are, of course, perennial over whether there is any such thing as the self, if that is meant to imply that all selves have some essence or structure in common, and whether selves are best understood in terms of their intrinsic nature or external influences. Here is a dialectic that tosses us to and fro between everything and nothing: at one natural extreme is the view that the self is a vector product of social and cultural relations; at the other is the denial that the self has any nature at all, that it is entirely consumed in the project of inventing itself. Those who see self-construction as seriously environmentally conditioned will press to make these ends meet. Here I aim to show that a distinctive cogito can be produced for each of the various conceptions of self that punctuate this spectrum and what is common to them all.
Keywords Continental Philosophy  History of Philosophy
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ISBN(s) 0046-8541
DOI 10.5840/idstudies199525314
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