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Donna Thomas, PhD

Social Sciences

A short introduction

Dr. Donna Thomas (PhD Linguistics and the Social Sciences, Lancaster University, UK, 2013) is an independent researcher and part-time research fellow at the University of Central Lancashire. Her research interests include exploring the nature of self and human experience, ontology and epistemology in the social sciences. Donna is currently developing an interdisciplinary research study, exploring the nature of self with children from different cultural contexts across the world. This work involves the development of research methodology to capture and understand experiences that go beyond conventional space-time. In a voluntary capacity, Donna has established a webspace to support children and young people who experience self and the world in different ways (childrenselfandanomalousexperiences.co.uk). This work is framed by children as philosophers and researchers.

Publications:

Keeping a close ‘I’ on ‘reality’ in social science

In seeking to ameliorate social injustices by debunking the egoic self as measure of all things, the social sciences risk inadvertently abolishing the very notion of a subject of experience, argues Dr. Donna Thomas. The way forward, according to her, is to embrace metaphysics and understand the self not as a separate social agent, but as the ontic ground of all reality, common to all of us.

Re-thinking identity: Children’s experiences of self

Dr. Thomas argues that children, before a conceptual, culture-bound notion of self is inculcated in them, have a more spontaneous, broader sense of identity that defies our current worldview. She argues that their more natural, fluid self is more conducive to overcoming the despair characteristic of our present situation, and that it has much to teach us about reality itself. 

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