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The Idea of the Self: Thought and Experience in Western Europe since the Seventeenth Century (Paperback)
  • The Idea of the Self: Thought and Experience in Western Europe since the Seventeenth Century (Paperback)
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The Idea of the Self: Thought and Experience in Western Europe since the Seventeenth Century (Paperback)

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£26.99
Paperback 734 Pages / Published: 17/02/2005
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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.

Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521605540
Number of pages: 734
Weight: 1130 g
Dimensions: 247 x 174 x 46 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
'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

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