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Our various selves.

DISCOVERMAGAZINE

The Multi-Faceted Nature of Selfhood

The Multi-Faceted Nature of Selfhood

discovermagazine.com

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Who We Are

Most of us seem to possess an underlying essence that makes us who we are — a constant that remains with us throughout our lives.  

This essence has different names according to various spiritual or philosophical traditions. Buddhists call it the "self," but reject the idea that we all have...

The Embodied Self

While people have pondered these concepts for millennia, neuroscientists and psychologists are just starting to unravel many of the neurological and environmental mechanisms that combine to create this perception of integrated selfhood. 

Most people feel that at a certain point, their body ...

The Perspectival Self

The perspectival self allows us to experience the world from a first-person point of view. But there are also certain contexts where this perspective can be disrupted. There are even cases in which our point of view, or the mind’s eye, can appear as if it is operating outside of us. 

Depersonalization Disorder

depersonalization disorder is a condition in which people feel they are watching themselves go about their lives. Individuals with this disorder often say they feel disconnected from reality and are moving through life on autopilot.

The Volitional Self

The volitional self is related to feelings of agency and free will. Human beings, like any other organisms, have to interact with their environment in a way that ensures their ongoing survival. While human beings cannot consciously control the int...

The Narrative Self

The narrative self is associated with the autobiographical nature of our memories. Scientists have observed that dementia and other neurodegenerative conditions can have significant effects on our narrative notions of selfhood. As thes...

The Social Self

The social self relates to the roles we play in different social contexts and how we perceive others perceiving us. As deeply social creatures, most people spend a lot of time considering others’ opinions of us. We crave connection and validation among our peers.

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