Self-Consciousness

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Self-Consciousness

 

a person’s awareness and evaluation of his knowledge, moral outlook and interests, ideals, and behavioral motifs; a person’s total evaluation of himself as an actor, as a feeling and thinking being. Self-consciousness is characteristic of not only individuals but also societies, classes, and social groups, when they attain an understanding of their general interests, their ideals, and their position in the system of production relations. Through self-consciousness, a person distinguishes himself from his surroundings and determines his place in the cycle of natural and social events. Self-consciousness is closely associated with reflection, in which it is raised to the level of theoretical thought. It takes shape at a certain stage of the development of the personality, under the influence of a mode of life, which demands that people monitor their actions and behavior and take full responsibility for them.

Because other people are the primary measure and point of departure for a person’s attitudes toward himself, self-consciousness is profoundly social.

A. G. SPIRKIN

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