The I

Norman N. Holland

Cover Page

The I offers nothing less than a model of human nature. I hope it is a simple enough model to serve people in the social sciences and humanities for thinking about such questions as nature-nuture, our free will or lack of it, the validity of various psychological theories and approaches, why we humans are both a species and individuals, and, of course, for the reader-response critic, why people read both similarly and differently.

In a nutshell, the model posits an identity that one can think of as a theme on which the individual plays out variations as he or she deals with the world. A person deals with the world by means of a variety of feedback loops that test and and act on the environment, and one's identity governs these. The lowest-level loops are physical, common to humans in general. The next level, codes, are invariable within a culture, like red-light-means-stop. The next level up is canons, hypotheses common to groups of individuals (Marxism, psychoanalysis, deconstruction). At the highest level, the loops are individual, enactments of identity. For further explanation, you'll just have to see the book.

I offer The I on the Web in seven files, including this one.

This file.

The I, Front Matter (title page, preface, table of contents). The Preface has a useful summary of the book's ideas. 33K.

The I, Part I, The Aesthetics of I. One's identity as a holistically reasoned theme. 243K and 32K of explanatory graphics.

The I, Part II, A Psychology of I. Chapters on symbolization and perception develop the model described above, an identity governing a hierarchy of feedbacks. 209K and 481K of explanatory graphics.

The I, Part III, A History of I. How an identity develops by means of a question-and-answer process through the libidinal stages described by psychoanalysts. 362K.

The I, Part IV, A Science of I. Is this "scientific"? Can there be a science of I? What are the right directions for psychology and psychoanalysis? 135K and 157K of explanatory graphics.

The I, Back Matter (appendix, bibliography, index). The extensive appendix is useful as an introduction to psychoanalysis and as a way of situating this book in psychoanalytic thought generally. 190K.

I hope you enjoy and profit from it. If you would like to comment to me, you can do so by email.

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