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This work explores the nature of the self and its response to legal commands. It mounts a challenge to some prevailing tenets of legal theory and the neighbouring moral, political and economic thought. Dan-Cohen looks first at the ubiquity of legal coercion and considers its decisive impact on the nature of legal discourse and communication, on law's normative aspirations and claims to obedience and on the ideal of the rule of law. He moves on to discuss basic values, stressing the preeminence of individual identity and human dignaty over the more tradtional liberal preoccupations with preference-based choice and experimental harm. Dan-Cohen then focuses more directly on the normal ramifications of the socially constructed self. Fundamental concepts such as responsibility and ownership are reinterpreted to take account of the constitutive role that social practices - particulary law and morality - play in the formation of the self.;Throughout, Dan-Cohen draws on a uniquely productive mix of philosophical traditions and subjects, blending the methods of analytic philosophy with the concerns of Continental philosophers to reconceive the self and its relation to ethics and the law.