‘To Set Free the Idea of the Self’: Bosanquet’s Relational Individual

  • Avital Simhony


A common charge against Bosanquet holds that he depreciates the value of the social individual because of its ultimate absorption in the metaphysical Absolute. In this paper it is argued that, although not wholly without foundation, such criticism obscures, and deflects from the proper appreciation of, a conception of selfhood that merits our closer attention, a conception we can refer to as the relational individual. It is argued that the same idea of a ‘confluence of selves’ that so worries his critics in fact forms the basis for Bosanquet’s concept of the relational self. By focusing on the active, energetic and self-governing capacities of such relational individuals, it is shown that this need not be thought of as the concept of something fundamentally lacking in value.


Relational Individual Legal Personality Lateral Identity Numerical Identity Common Life 
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© The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Avital Simhony
    • 1
  1. 1.Arizona State UniversityTempeUSA

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