Narrative Self II
Language generates stories or narratives. And these in turn create the self, inverting common sense. It is not the self that tells tales; initially at least, it is a narrative that generates the self. The distinctively human self is a narrative self and is a construct of language: our tales are spun. But for the most part we don't spin them they spin us.
Every individual is born into an objective social structure within which she encounters the significant other who are in charge of her socialization. These significant others are imposed upon her. Their definitions of her situation are positioned upon her as objective reality. She is thus born into not only an objective social structure but also an objective social world.
In other words, the self is a reflective entity, reflecting the attitudes first taken by their significant others toward it. The individual becomes what she is addressed as by the significant other.
It should be clear that the statement that man produces himself does in no way Imply some sort of Promethean vision of the solitary individual. Man’s self production is always and by necessity, a social enterprise.
-Peter L. Berger and Thomas Luckmann
"Seek simplicity, but mistrust it."
-Alfred North Whitehead
Genes must carry out programmed responses to environment - otherwise there would be no conserved form. But they must also leave exactly enough room for the vagaries of chance to stick. We call this intersection "fate". We call our response to it "choice". An upright organism with opposable thumbs is thus built from a script, but built to go off script. We call one such unique variant of one such organism a "self".
All that man is, All mere complexities.
- W. B. Yeats, "Byzantium "