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Related: ego - individual - person - self consciousness - self medication - self injury - self-referentiality - identity

Contrast: other


  1. The total, essential, or particular being of a person; the individual: “An actor's instrument is the self” (Joan Juliet Buck).
  2. The essential qualities distinguishing one person from another; individuality: “He would walk a little first along the southern walls, shed his European self, fully enter this world” (Howard Kaplan).
  3. One's consciousness of one's own being or identity; the ego: “For some of us, the self's natural doubts are given in mesmerizing amplification by way of critics' negative assessments of our writing” (Joyce Carol Oates).
  4. One's own interests, welfare, or advantage: thinking of self alone.
  5. Immunology. That which the immune system identifies as belonging to the body: tissues no longer recognized as self.
  6. --American Heritage Dictionary

Self (philosophy)

In philosophy, the self is the idea of a unified being which is the source of an idiosyncratic consciousness. Moreover, this self is the agent responsible for the thoughts and actions of an individual to which they are ascribed. It is a substance, which therefore endures through time; thus, the thoughts and actions at different moments of time may pertain to the same self (See John Locke's theory of consciousness as the basis of personal identity). As the notion of subject, the "self" has been harshly criticized by Nietzsche at the end of the 19th century, on behalf of what Gilles Deleuze would call a "becoming-other".

To another person, the self of one individual is exhibited in the conduct and discourse of that individual. Therefore, the intentions of another individual can only be inferred indirectly from something emanating from that individual.

The particular characteristics of the self determine its identity. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self_%28philosophy%29 [Feb 2006]

Self (psychology)

The self is a key construct in several schools of psychology. Usages differ between theorists and fields of study, but in general the self refers to the conscious, reflective personality of an individual. The study of the self involves significant methodological problems, especially concerning consciousness. Some of these are taken up in philosophy of mind and metaphysics.

A psychological school of thought focused on the self was originally proposed by Heinz Kohut (1913-1981).--http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self_%28psychology%29 [Feb 2006]

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