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Faking Itby William Ian Miller
"William Ian Miller's fascinating book argues that this distance between self and self, and the constant possibility of fakery it introduces, is not a pathological feature of the morally less than salubrious, but a fundamental and necessary feature of human nature....This reconstruction of Miller's project and approach simply does not do justice to the subtlety and sophistication of his investigation, nor the fluency, elegance and charm of his writing." Mark Rowlands, The Times Literary Supplement (read the entire Times Literary Supplement review)
Synopses & Reviews
Explores identity, and our engagement in everyday roles, alongside doubts over identity and authenticity.
"Intelligent, articulate...[T]he book as a whole makes a fine introduction to that voice, and to the 'ancient tradition of moral writing' that integrates serious thinking with everyday contexts." Publishers Weekly
"William Ian Miller's Faking It...is a brilliant, insightful and very funny study of the tendency to lay claim to more power, knowledge and authority than you really have." Newsday
"Miller...has written an erudite, accessible and relentlessly lively book." San Diego Union Tribune
"Wonderfully wry, satirical, comical, and of course extremely widely read, he's apparently all-knowing about every low personal dodge by which we maneuver to appear better in the eyes of others than we really are....What a glorious delight of a book for the ethical self-flagellant!" Valentine Cunningham, Oxford University
Miller discusses the intrusive fear that we may not be what we appear to be, or worse, that we may be only how we appear and nothing more. It explores identity and our engagement in the roles we play, our doubts about our identities and about anxieties of authenticity.
This book is about roles and identity and our engagement in the roles we play.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 266-277) and index.
This book is about roles and identity and our engagement in the roles people play.
About the Author
William Ian Miller is the Thomas G. Long Professor of Law at the University of Michigan Law School. He has also taught at Harvard, Yale, Chicago, and the Universities of Bergen and Tel Aviv. His previous books include The Mystery of Courage (Harvard University Press, 2000) and The Anantomy of Disgust (Harvard University Press, 1997).
Table of Contents
Acknowledgements; 1. Introduction: split in two; 2. Hypocrisy and Jesus; 3. Anti-hypocrisy: looking bad in order to be good; 4. Virtues with natural immunities to hypocrisy; 5. Naked truth: hey, wanna ...?; 6. In divine services and other ritualized performances; 7. Say it like you mean it: mandatory faking and apology; 8. Flattery and praise; 9. Hoist with his own petard; 10. The self, the double, and the sense of self; 11. At the core at last: the primordial Jew; 12. Passing and wishing you were what you are not; 13. Authentic moments with the beautiful and sublime?; 14. The alchemist: role as addiction; 15. 'I love you': taking a bullet vs. biting one; 16. Boys crying and girls playing dumb; 17. Acting our roles: mimicry, makeup, and pills; 18. False (im)modesty; 19. Caught in the act; Afterword.
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