Performing Oneself


Book Section

Abstract: I explore the ancient idea that life is some kind of dramatic or artistic performance. How seriously and literally ought we to take this idea that life is like a dramatic performance, even that it is one? There are metaphysical and logical questions about whether and how self-creation and self-constitution are possible; and there are normative questions about which norms sensibly govern self-constituting performances. Here I discuss the normative questions associated with the ideas that life is a performance and that the self is something that both emerges in and is constituted by the performance. Three contemporary psychopoetic conceptions of persons – “day-by-day persons,” “ironic persons,” and “strong poetic persons” are examined in order to discuss whether there are legitimate normative constraints on “performing oneself,” and, if so, what these might be.

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Flanagan, O

Cited Editors

  • Paul, E; Kaufmann, SB

Published Date

  • 2011

Book Title

  • Philosophy and Creativity

Published By