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Gillespie, Alex ORCID: 0000-0002-0162-1269 (2013) Self. In: Oviedo, Lluis and Runehov, Anne, (eds.) Encyclopedia of Sciences and Religions. Springer Berlin / Heidelberg, New York, USA. ISBN 9781402082641

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Although it has been a subject of fascination for thousands of years, self is an ill-defined concept in philosophy and psychology, generally taken to refer vaguely to the "inner" being of the individual that is, at times, both the subject and object of experience. It should be seen as distinct from both person (the totality of an individual being) and identity (an individual's sense of who they are in relation to a social and physical world). When people refer to the "problem" of the self, they are, in fact, referring to a great many problems. Is there really a self at all? What sort of methodology should be used to investigate it? Does a person have one self or many selves? Where is the self located? How does the self develop? How does one self interact with another? What is broadly agreed is that the experience of self is somewhat paradoxical since the self can appear to be simultaneously unified yet fragmented, continuous yet disparate, immanent yet transcendent, apparent yet elusive, private and personal yet social. These problems, as they arise in the behavioral sciences, share a history with the world's religions. Theologians and philosophers alike have attempted to address them.

Item Type: Book Section
Official URL:
Divisions: Psychological and Behavioural Science
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BL Religion
Q Science > Q Science (General)
Date Deposited: 11 Oct 2011 15:33
Last Modified: 01 Apr 2024 08:05

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