The Idea of the Self: Thought and Experience in Western Europe since the Seventeenth Century

The Idea of the Self: Thought and Experience in Western Europe since the Seventeenth Century

by Jerrold Seigel
ISBN-10:
0521844177
ISBN-13:
9780521844178
Pub. Date:
03/14/2005
Publisher:
Cambridge University Press
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Overview

The Idea of the Self: Thought and Experience in Western Europe since the Seventeenth Century

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. Jerrold Seigel combines theoretical and contextual approaches to explore the ways key figures have understood whether and how far individuals can achieve coherence and consistency in the face of inner tensions and external pressures. Clarifying that recent "post-modernist" accounts belong firmly to the tradition of Western thinking they have sought to supercede, Seigel provides a persuasive alternative to claims that the modern self is typically egocentric or disengaged. Both a Fulbright Fellow and a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellow, Jerrold Seigel is currently William R. Keenan Professor of History at NYU. His previous books include The Private Worlds of Marcel Duchamp (University of California Press, 1995) and Bohemian Paris: Culture, Politics and the Boundaries of Bourgeois Life (Viking Penguin, 1986).

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780521844178
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 03/14/2005
Pages: 736
Product dimensions: 5.98(w) x 9.02(h) x 1.73(d)

Table of Contents

Part I. Introductory: 1. Dimensions and contexts of selfhood; 2. Between ancients and moderns; Part II. British modernity: 3. Personal identity and modern selfhood: Locke; 4. Self-centeredness and sociability: Mandeville and Hume; 5. Adam Smith and modern self-fashioning; Part III. Society and Self-Knowledge: France from Old Regime to Restoration: 6. Sensationalism, reflection, and inner freedom: Condillac and Diderot; 7. Wholeness, withdrawal, self-revelation: Rousseau; 8. Reflectivity, sense-experience, and the perils of social life: Maine de Biran and Constant; Part IV. The World and the Self in German Idealism: 9. Autonomy, limitation, and the purposiveness of nature: Kant; 10. Purposiveness and Bildung: Herder, Humboldt, and Goethe; 11. The ego and the world: Fichte, Novalis, Schelling; 12. Universal selfhood: Hegel; Part V. The Past in the Present: 13. Dejection, insight, and self-making: Coleridge and Mill; 14. From cultivated subjectivity to the polarities of self-formation in nineteenth-century France; 15. Society and selfhood reconciled: Janet, Fouill, Bergson; 16. Will, reflection, and self-overcoming: Schopenhauer and Nietzsche; 17. Being and transcendence: Heidegger; 18. Deaths and transfigurations of the self: Foucault and Derrida; 19. Conclusion; Bibliography; Index.

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