The Self Before and After Psychology

Jack Martin and Ann-Marie McLellan

in The Education of Selves

Published in print February 2013 | ISBN: 9780199913671
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199315949 | DOI:
The Self Before and After Psychology

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This chapter critically examines the history of selfhood in Western society. A brief and selective history of the self from the classical Greek philosophers to the end of the twentieth century is presented with an emphasis on traditional psychological conceptions of the self. The views of Locke and Rousseau on the natural and social self and their influences on contemporary psychological theorizing about the self are discussed. The historical development of forms of psychological selfhood is traced (e.g. Freud, James), and those conceptions that have been of particular interest to educational psychologists are explored in depth. Work in the history of psychology and selfhood by Baumeister, Taylor, Danziger, Guignon, and others is discussed. The chapter concludes with a brief account of Ian Hacking’s ideas concerning the ways in which psychology has contributed to the making up of new ways of being persons, what Hacking refers to as historical ontology.

Keywords: greek philosophers; psychological selfhood; historical ontology; locke; rousseau; freud; james; hacking

Chapter.  11235 words. 

Subjects: Social Psychology

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