Ten Reflections on Mark Amerika’s PHON:E:ME .02

Postmodern theory suggests that the "self" is a fiction. This is not the same thing as saying that the self is not real. The self is perfectly real; it just isn’t substantial. The self is real in the way that a reflection in a mirror is real. Or better, it is real in the way that processed food is real. The self is an illusion--a "phony me"--because it seems to stand by itself, when in fact it is an effect of other processes. We think of ourselves as selves because of our capacities for self-conscious reflection on the one hand, and social agency on the other. But introspection and self-consciousness can only exist within the framework of language-as-structure. And action and agency can only exist within the framework of language-as-communication. The "phony me" resonates at the intersection between the "phoneme" and the "phone me."

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