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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 ?
Through its Character Development Program, the Foundation reaches out to the citizens of America, and particularly to young Americans, to promote an awareness of the values embodied in the Medal and to teach that ordinary citizens, through courage, sacrifice, selfless service and patriotism, can make a difference in the lives of others.
Each year, One World Adoption Services' board presents its "Child Advocate of the Year Award" to one individual who goes "above and beyond the reasonable call of duty to demonstrate a true, selfless commitment to helping the children of our state.
The key is to be totally selfless and to be willing to do whatever it takes to make the team successful.
It could be said that the name dia, a Greek word that translates as "through," has, in a manner of speaking, become doubly allegorical: Originally devised to characterize the institution as a selfless agent for the ideals and ambitions of the art, it is also now an inadvertent figure for open space.
Today we honor the airmen who serve on the frontlines in the war on terror--those who risked much for their mission and their fellow warriors, and those whose selfless devotion delivered victory in conflict.
Speaking as a devoted father and the son of a selfless single mother and an absent father, I think this is a wonderful idea.
Yet while the fate of the prostitute was to fall under tighter public control, the grisette became a romanticized figure in the 1840s, one more closely associated with the student and with selfless if socially self-destructive love for him.
FedNor salutes all northern volunteers for their ongoing commitment and selfless dedication.
Even on a super-narcissistic day, I'm probably only about 60 percent selfish, 40 percent selfless.
This isn't an entirely selfless mission, however: artists who turn a profit must give a percentage back to the Foundation.
He shows us just how much we can change the world with sheer good will, because his actions are so honestly selfless.
Love that is free, selfless and honest renews the lover as well as the loved.