Lewis Hyde: "Any human being can be made to look like a self-reliant unique if you adjust the lighting properly and drop a gray canvas behind the figure; but let history enter, and sufficient sunlight, and of a sudden will appear the horizonless, thousand-knotted net of human interdependence. The genius of a man like [Benjamin] Franklin is as much *dividual* as it is individual."

In a footnote, Hyde cites anthropologists who "seem to have revived this useful old word, as in this observation by McKim Marriott: 'Persons -- single actors -- are not thought in South Asia to be 'individual,' that is, indivisible, bounded units...Instead...persons are generally thought...to be 'dividual' or divisible." Dividual persons exist, Marriott explains, by absorbing materials from the world around them and, in turn, giving out material from themselves. [cited in Strathern, p. 348]

Marilyn Strathern follows Marriott in a different context: 'Far from being regarded as unique entities, Melanesian persons are as dividually as they are individually conceived. They contain a generalized sociality within." p. 179, Common as Air

Full Strathern quote ends with: "Indeed, persons are frequently constructed as the plural and composite site of the relationships that produced them." Strathern, Marilyn. The gender of the Gift. (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1988).

Other sources:

LiPuma, Edward. "Modernity and forms of personhood in Melanesia." Bodies and Persons: Comparative Perspectives from Africa and Melanesia. Ed. Michael Lambek and Andrew Strathern. (Cambridge, U.K.; New York: Cambridge University Press, 1998): 53-79. Bird-David, Nurit. "'Animism' Revisited. Personhood, Environment, and Relational Epistomology." Current Anthropology. Vol. 40, Supplement (February 1999): 67-90. * * *

"...The state of autonomy is effective not because a person has set him/herself against 'social' interest, but rather celebrates his/her own self-contained sociality." [Strathern 349] Strathern speaks of the "enchainment of relations" for persons who "are multiply constituted." [Strathern 165] LiPuma's critique of Strathern amounts to saying that there shouldn't be such a contrast made between Western and Melanesian images of personhood. "In all cultures...there exists both individual and dividual ... aspects of personhood." [LiPuma 56] The foregrounding of one and hence the transparency of the other will vary in each culture and in each context. "...Persons emerge precisely from that tension between dividual and individual aspects/relations." [LiPuma 57; ital deleted] Geertz apparently also has a critique of imagining the individual as a single thing, "bounded and integrated, and set contrastingly against ... natural and social backgrounds." [cited in Bird-David 72] Individuation enactments the right to exclude; dividuation enacts the right to common.

See also Geothe quote on his identity as an agglomeration of everyone he has had dealings with.