Today, of course, we often tend to look to science rather than philosophy to develop our understanding of a wide range of fundamental issues. To what extent is the problem of the self a scientific issue? Can insights from the study of neuropsychology and cognitive development in infancy provide a new perspective? Can the study of schizophrenia and dissociative identity disorders tell us anything about the nature of human self-consciousness?
Many would answer yes to the above questions, but then is it not also the case that the study of exceptional 'self-actualised' human experience is equally relevant? And can the phenomenological tradition, dedicated to the systematic study of human experience, and contemporary analytic approaches in philosophy help us out of some of the impasses that have bedevilled the empiricist tradition?
MODELS OF THE SELF includes all these perspectives in an attempt to cast light on one of the most intractable problems in science and the humanities.
Keywords: Human nature, self, self-knowledge, ethics, brain, cognitive science, embodiment, spirituality, philosophy, neuropsychology, self-consciousness, psychology, mysticism, personhood, neurology, qualia, evolution, self-function, dynamical systems theory, phenomenology, agency, self-awareness, selfhood, schizophrenia, pathology, Buddhism, subjectivity