(redirected from selfish)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Idioms, Wikipedia.


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 ?
Her behaviour was appallingly selfish, so it's great news she's been hit with a PS1,000 penalty Coun Nigel
But afterwards these very people for their lust of power and for serving their own selfish benefits shunned the path of freedom, sacrificed the interests of Kashmiris and till date are with their full family enjoying the fruits of petty power and authority,' he added.
Power, money, and authority are good, but can be mishandled by those who have unresolved issues in their lives, which make them angry, selfish and proud.
Expecting companies to pick up the tab like that, so SELFISH.
Neuroscientists have shown that men's and women's brains respond differently to selfless and selfish behaviour.
With respect to HRH Prince Philip, I accept that the current British royal family are popular but remember that, during the latter part of the 18th century, George Washington and the American people were forced to fight a war of independence from Britain, thanks to a selfish and vindictive monarch, George the Third, and greedy aristocrats in Parliament.
What is actually selfish is fat cats like him taking extreme amounts of money for doing very little and denying a living wage for the people keeping this country safe and healthy.
Selfish and Misbehavior node only degrade the performance in routing path.
Indeed, you should be selfish every day; your life and happiness require it.
Selected pieces from the Selfish collection will be available online from September 5 with the full collection available online from September 26.
In The Selfish Giant it's the religiosity of the final Christ-like image of the little boy who has come back into the giant's garden.
If researchers aren't careful, they may be hoodwinked into thinking that a selfish gene has some evolutionary advantage, says Daven Presgraves, an evolutionary geneticist at the University of Rochester in New York.