The Idea of the Self

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The Idea of the Self

By Jerrold Seigel

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What is the self? The question has preoccupied people in many times and places, but nowhere more than in the modern West, where it has spawned debates that still resound today. In this 2005 book, Jerrold Seigel provides an original and penetrating narrative of how major Western European thinkers and writers have confronted the self since the time of Descartes, Leibniz, and Locke. From an approach that is at once theoretical and contextual, he examines the way figures in Britain, France, and Germany have understood whether and how far individuals can achieve coherence and consistency in the face of the inner tensions and external pressures that threaten to divide or overwhelm them. He makes clear that recent 'postmodernist' accounts of the self belong firmly to the tradition of Western thinking they have sought to supersede, and provides an open-ended and persuasive alternative to claims that the modern self is typically egocentric or disengaged.

Subject: Social Sciences -> History -> European History

The Idea of the Self
Thought and Experience in Western Europe since the Seventeenth Century
1st edition
Publisher: Cambridge University Press 2/17/05
Imprint: Cambridge University Press
Language: English

ISBN 10: 0511252846
ISBN 13: 9780511252846
Print ISBN: 9780521844178

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