Acta Cogitata: A Philosophy Journal


Humans construct their identity by constantly measuring themselves against and creating themselves around culturally ingrained systems of rules governing the social, the political, and perceptions of the physical. I call a system of rules a “syntax.” When a syntactical system is broken, a monster is born. Our monsters are the litmus and definition of our selves. Using Michel Foucault’s Abnormal lectures to inform my theory of the self as “syntax,” I posit that it is essential to understand the monster in order to exert social change and it is essential to understand what a monster is in order to understand oneself.

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