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

The Idea of the Self

Thought and Experience in Western Europe since the Seventeenth Century

Hardcover Published: 1st March 2005
ISBN: 9780521844178
Number Of Pages: 736

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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. 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).

'The Idea of the Self is quite simply the most important and convincing book about Western thinking about the self that I have encountered. The scholarship is both deep and sweeping. Seigel's readings of a wide variety of texts over more than three centuries are cogent and beautifully nuanced, and he is remarkably adept at placing his texts in their relevant national contexts. The result is intellectual history at its very best ... quite an event.' Anthony la Vopa, Professor of History, North Carolina State University '... an overwhelming accomplishment, not only in its panoramic scope but also in its intense critical engagement with so many complex texts by so many important thinkers.' John E. Toews, University of Washington 'The Idea of the Self will inevitably provoke thought, discussion and debate. It should. It is simply the best book we now have on the subject, comprehensive, astute and profound, original in approach, forthright in the presentation of its own interpretation of the self ... Any account of the idea of the self in modern times from now on will have to confront and absorb this magnificent accomplishment.' Modern Intellectual History 'In its scope, depth, richness and occasional brilliance, it is an astonishing achievement; in its insistence on the historical and structural complexity of ideas of the self, it is a necessary corrective to overschematic histories. It deserves - and will likely get - the closest attention.' Metapsychology Online Review 'Seigel has written an important and invaluable book.' The New Republic

Acknowledgmentsp. vii
Dimensions and contexts of selfhoodp. 3
Between ancients and modernsp. 45
British Modernity
Personal identity and modern selfhood: Lockep. 87
Self-centeredness and sociability: Mandeville and Humep. 111
Adam Smith and modern self-fashioningp. 139
Society and Self-Knowledge: France from Old Regime to Restoration
Sensationalism, reflection, and inner freedom: Condillac and Diderotp. 171
Wholeness, withdrawal, and self-revelation: Rousseaup. 210
Reflectivity, sense-experience, and the perils of social life: Maine de Biran and Constantp. 248
The World and the Self in German Idealism
Autonomy, limitation, and the purposiveness of nature: Kantp. 295
Homology and Bildung: Herder, Humboldt, and Goethep. 332
The ego and the world: Fichte, Novalis, and Schellingp. 361
Universal selfhood: Hegelp. 391
Modern Visions and Illusions
Dejection, insight, and self-making: Coleridge and Millp. 427
From cultivated subjectivity to the culte du moi: polarities of self-formation in nineteenth-century Francep. 469
Society and selfhood reconciled: Janet, Fouille, and Bergsonp. 508
Will, reflection, and self-overcoming: Schopenhauer and Nietzschep. 537
Being and transcendence: Heideggerp. 568
Deaths and transfigurations of the self: Foucault and Derridap. 603
Epiloguep. 651
Notesp. 660
Indexp. 714
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780521844178
ISBN-10: 0521844177
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 736
Published: 1st March 2005
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 23.4 x 16.0  x 4.8
Weight (kg): 1.23