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1. an individual's consciousness of his own identity or being
2. Philosophy that which is essential to an individual, esp the mind or soul in Cartesian metaphysics; the ego
3. a bird, animal. etc., that is a single colour throughout, esp a self-coloured pigeon


a mental construction of the person, by the person, but inevitably formed from social experience. Thus the person sees him/herself reflected by others, in their reactions, and these are interpreted through the lattice of self-perception. MEAD (1934) is particularly associated with this idea of the self as being a social construction; self cannot exist without society – the self is where knowledge resides, but the knowledge is about society, which surrounds it. Theorists such as Mead and COOLEY (see SYMBOLIC INTERACTIONISM, LOOKING-GLASS SELF) and some sociologists also emphasize the REFLEXIVITY and creativity possessed by social actors. This view of the self and self-identity contrasts sharply with conceptions of DECENTRED SELF recently to the fore within POSTSTRUCTURALISM (e.g. LACAN).

The 'self also receives varied formulation within PSYCHOLOGY and PSYCHOANALYSIS (see EGO-PSYCHOLOGY, OBJECT RELATIONS SCHOOL, LACAN).

The concept of self is particularly important to developmental and HUMANISTIC psychologists. Humanistic theorists (e.g. MASLOW, 1954) see the goal of the individual as SELF-ACTUALIZATION. (See also SOCIAL IDENTITY, PERSONALITY).



in philosophy, the expression of the unity and identity of individual self-consciousness. The self is one of the basic structures of the individual personality as related to other individual personalities—for example, “you” or “we.” It is the central category in various systems of idealist philosophy, such as that of J. G. Fichte.

What does it mean when you dream about yourself?

To encounter one’s self in a dream indicates that one has come face to face with issues and needs that can no longer be ignored.


A small, dynamically typed object-oriented language, based purely on prototypes and delegation. Self was developed by the Self Group at Sun Microsystems Laboratories, Inc. and Stanford University. It is an experimental exploratory programming language.

Release 2.0 introduces full source-level debugging of optimised code, adaptive optimisation to shorten compile pauses, lightweight threads within Self, support for dynamically linking foreign functions, changing programs within Self and the ability to run the experimental Self graphical browser under OpenWindows. Designed for expressive power and malleability, Self combines a pure, prototype-based object model with uniform access to state and behaviour. Unlike other languages, Self allows objects to inherit state and to change their patterns of inheritance dynamically. Self's customising compiler can generate very efficient code compared to other dynamically-typed object-oriented languages.

Version: 3.0 runs on Sun-3 (no optimiser) and Sun-4.

["Self: The Power of Simplicity", David Ungar <> et al, SIGPLAN Notices 22(12):227-242, OOPSLA '87, Dec 1987].
References in periodicals archive ?
Sir Frank Macfarlane Burnet first described the necessity of biological self after watching an ameba ingest and digest another microorganism: "The fact that one is digested, and the other not, demands that in some way or other the living substance of the ameba can distinguish between the chemical structure characteristics of 'self' and any sufficiently different chemical structure as 'non-self'" (2).
Objective self-awareness and causal attributions for self-standard discrepancies: Changing self or changing standards of correctness.
Cutting becomes a desperate ploy to obtain empowerment, control, and self healing.
I am a natural body," Samaras told Barbara Rose in 1978, echoing, intentionally or not, another idiosyncratic New Yorker who likewise grew gray and bearded before his audience, who a century and a half ago also sang the vibrant self, with its many pleasures and terrors.
While the camp in question can feel confident that its programs are positively affecting leadership self-perceptions of its campers, it and other camps must also recognize that implementing a program designed to enhance aspects of leadership may have a profound affect on campers' leadership self perceptions.
This encourages the incorporation of objectivist notions of self into the constructivist approaches of narrative and contextual meaning making.
The traumatics of self-discovery are finished; the self is discovered, an identity completed.
The first is the legacy of Schleiermacher, the turn to the self in a "theology of identity.
Since self-concept represents "only a description of the perceived self and does not involve a value judgment," self-concept should not be depicted as positive or negative.
Rather, it is grounded in the relation one has to one's self as that self stands in relation to the world.
I SPY Scholars have argued for more than 300 years about whether a unified sense of self exists at all.
The psychodynamic-oriented emotional dysregulation theory holds that self-injury is the result of anger turned inward on the self (Feldman, 1988) and that the self-injury results in emotional catharsis (Crowe & Bunclark, 2000).