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Title: Conceptualising the person in personal and social education
Author: Coia, Lesley Kathryn
Awarding Body: Institute of Education (University of London)
Current Institution: UCL Institute of Education (IOE)
Date of Award: 1992
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The purpose of this thesis is to explore implications of a necessary presupposition of a theory of the person in the aims of Personal and Social Education (PSE), with the aim of furnishing a conception of the person which retains a significant concept of personal agency in light of constraints on action. From the position that the concept of the person as agent is central to the aims of PSE, it is argued that given the tension between the conception of the person as autonomous and recognition of the plasticity of persons, the justification of the unity of persons suggests itself as a relevant and useful approach. This is held to provide a means of approaching issues of personhood which are central to the concerns of PSE and which also provides important insights into the some issues of agency. It is argued in the second chapter that the relation between a theory of personal identity and the aims of PSE which presuppose such a theory is best understood as one of interdependence. From this position, it is argued that the conception of the person as potentially autonomous does not necessitate acceptance of a strict identity or non-reductionist theory of personal identity. It is argued, on the grounds of internal coherence and the ideals evident in discussions of PSE, that the alternative, a continuity theory is preferable. In the fourth chapter the issue of constraints on the concept of the person and their effect on the acceptability of theories of personal identity is addressed. It is argued that certain constraints lead to the rejection of reductionism with respect to persons but do not affect the acceptability of a continuity theory or its importance. The argument supports the view that the concept of personal identity and the concept of the person are indeterminate and allow a qualified form of social ascriptivism. Implications of the conception of the person which has been argued for, are illustrated and explored in the fmal two chapters, where the discussion focuses on the use of students' autobiographical writing in PSE. The argument is made that the conception of the person argued for in the previous chapters has advantages over that contained in the traditional understanding of autobiography. Consideration of narrative and its role in making sense of experience leads to supplementation and refinement of the conceptualisation of the person advocated.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Humanities and Social Sciences