Forum: The idea of the self

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The Idea of the Self is a book which really made me think. Within the history of selfhood that it sets forth (and within which it is inscribed), this is precisely what a book about the self should do. For, as Seigel explains, reflectivity—our ability as selves to think critically about our own positions—is a constitutive, and pre-eminent, aspect or dimension of our selfhood. His work raises important questions about the normative implications of the ways in which we think about selfhood and how we attempt to write its history. As someone whose work has both addressed and been influenced by thinkers (such as Emile Durkheim, Georges Bataille, Michel Foucault, and Jacques Derrida) that Seigel argues have an unsatisfying and overly abstract account of selfhood, these are provocative questions indeed. The Idea of the Self has, as a result, forced me to interrogate the normative assumptions that underlie my own research and writing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)315-322
Number of pages8
JournalModern Intellectual History
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2006
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • History
  • Philosophy
  • Sociology and Political Science


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