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The Self – recent and forthcoming books

Here is a list of books on the self, published in 2007-09 or coming soon, the start of a cumulative list.

Narcissus by Caravaggio

Philosophy of Personal Identity and Multiple Personality (Routledge Studies in Contemporary Philosophy) by Logi Gunnarsson
Product description from the publisher:

As witnessed by recent films such as Fight Club and Identity, our culture is obsessed with multiple personality—a phenomenon raising intriguing questions about personal identity. This study offers both a full-fledged philosophical theory of personal identity and a systematic account of multiple personality. Gunnarsson combines the methods of analytic philosophy with close hermeneutic and phenomenological readings of cases from different fields, focusing on psychiatric and psychological treatises, self-help books, biographies, and fiction. He develops an original account of personal identity (the authorial correlate theory) and offers a provocative interpretation of multiple personality: in brief, “multiples” are right about the metaphysics but wrong about the facts.

Rethinking the Western Understanding of the Self by Ulrich Steinvorth

Product Description
In this book, Ulrich Steinvorth offers a fresh analysis and critique of rationality as a defining element in Western thinking. Criticizing revelation, tradition, and collectivism, Western thinking champions rationality, human rights, and individualism, and culminates in a unique understanding of the self. The prevailing understanding of the self was formed by the Lockean conception and utilitarianism. Compatible with classical physics, it does not, however, explain the cataclysms that occurred in the twentieth century. Steinvorth argues that Descartes’ understanding of the self offers a more plausible and realistic alternative. When freed from the dualism in which Descartes conceived it, such a conceptualization enables us to distinguish between self and subject. Moreover, it enables us to understand why individualism – one of the hallmarks of modernity in the West – became a universal ideal to be granted to every member of society; how acceptance of this notion could peak in the seventeenth century; and why it is now in decline, though not irreversibly so. Most importantly, as Steinvorth demonstrates, the Cartesian concept of the self presents a way of saving modernity from the dangers that it now encounters.

Who One Is: Book 1: Meontology of the “I”: A Transcendental Phenomenology by James G. Hart

The Impertinent Self: A Heroic History of Modernity (Cultural Memory in the Present) by Josef Früchtl (tr Sarah Kirkby)

Product Description
The Impertinent Self provides a philosophical and cultural theory of modernity by constructing a parallel between the philosophical self and the hero figure found in certain cinematic genres. Früchtl argues that modernity is not unified and should be conceived as a phenomenon consisting of three strata: the classical, the agonist, and the hybrid. He demonstrates this by following a dual trajectory: the shift in the concept of the self from German idealism to Romanticism and so-called postmodernism, and the evolution of the hero figure in the Western and in crime and science fiction movies. Früchtl takes a clear position within the ongoing discussion in the humanities and social sciences about modernity, a discussion that, in light of the work of Foucault, Lyotard, and Habermas, has too often neglected the importance of Romanticism. Similarly, he embraces the role of film and popular culture in modern society.

Personal Identity and Fractured Selves: Perspectives from Philosophy, Ethics, and Neuroscience
From the publisher’s description:

This book brings together some of the best minds in neurology and philosophy to discuss the concept of personal identity and the moral dimensions of treating brain disease and injury. The contributors engage a crucial question: When an individual’s personality changes radically because of disease or injury, should this changed individual be treated as the same person?

Titles featured in previous posts:

The Ego Tunnel by Thomas Metzinger

Virtual Selves, Real Persons by Richard S Hallam

Me (Art of Living) by Mel Thompson

Relational Being by Kenneth Gergen

Andre Masson and the Surrealist Self by Clark V Poling (New Haven, Conn.; London: Yale University Press, 2008)

Belief about the Self: A Defense of the Property Theory of Content by Neil Feit (Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 2008)

Crossing Horizons: World, Self, and Language in Indian and Western Thought by Shlomo Biderman (New York: Columbia University Press, 2008)

Cult of the Will: Nervousness and the Forging of a Modern Self in Germany, 1890-1914 by Michael A. Cowan (University Park, Pa.: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2008)

Multiplicity: The New Science of Personality, Identity, and the Self by Rita Carter (Little, Brown, 2008)

The Phenomenal Self by Barry Dainton (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008)


Berkeley’s Philosophy of Spirit: Consciousness, Ontology and the Elusive Subject by Talia Mae Bettcher (London ; New York : Continuum, 2007).

The Concealed Art of the Soul: Theories of the Self and Practices of Truth in Indian Ethics and Epistemology by Jonardon Ganeri (Oxford : Clarendon, 2007)

Concepts of the Self (Key Concepts) 2nd ed. by Anthony Elliott (Cambridge: Polity Press, 2007)

Feeling, Being and the Sense of Self: A New Perspective on Identity, Affect and Narcissistic Disorders by Marcus West (London: Karnac, 2007)

The First Person Singular by Alphonso Lingis (Evanston, Ill.: Northwestern University Press, 2007).

I Am a Strange Loop by Douglas R Hofstadter (New York : Basic Books, 2007)

The Messy Self ed. by Jennifer Rosner (Boulder : Paradigm Publishers, 2007). [“an edited volume that challenges the idea and the ideal of a coherent, harmonious self”]

Narrative and Understanding Persons (Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement) ed. by Daniel D. Hutto (Cambridge; New York: Cambridge University Press, 2007)

On Willing Selves: Neoliberal Politics and the Challenge of Neuroscience ed. by Sabine Maasen; Barbara Sutter (Basingstoke : Palgrave Macmillan, 2007).

Personal Identity, the Self and Ethics by Ferdinand Santos; Santiago Sia (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007).

Otherness in Question: Labyrinths of the Self ed. by Livia Mathias Simão; Jaan Valsiner (Charlotte, N.C. : Information Age Pub., 2007).

The Politics of Our Selves: Power, Autonomy, and Gender in Contemporary Critical Theory (New Directions in Critical Theory) by Amy Allen (New York : Columbia University Press, 2007)

Plotinus on Self: The Philosophy of the ‘We’ by Pauliina Remes (Cambridge : Cambridge University Press, 2007).

Self and Social Change by Matthew Adams (Los Angeles; London: Sage, 2007)

Self-Consciousness by Sebastian Rödl (Cambridge, Mass. : Harvard University Press, 2007).

Self-Knowing Agents by Lucy O’Brien (Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 2007)

The Situated Self by Jenann Ismael (Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2007)

Subjectivity: Ethnographic Investigations (Ethnographic Studies in Subjectivity) ed. by João Gulherme Biehl, Byron Good, Arthur Kleinman (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2007)

What Are We?: A Study in Personal Ontology by Eric T. Olson (New York : Oxford University Press, 2007)

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