David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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In Edward Craig (ed.), Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Routledge (1996)
The English expression “self” is a modest one; in its normal use, it is not even quite a word, but something that makes an ordinary object pronoun into a reﬂexive one: “her” into “herself,” “him” into “himself” and “it” into “itself”. The reﬂexive pronoun is used when the object of an action or attitude is the same as the subject of that action or attitude. If I say Mark Twain shot _himself _in the foot, I describe Mark Twain not only as the shooter but as the person shot; if I say Mark Twain admired _himself, _I describe him not only as the admirer but as the admired. In this sense, “the self” is just the person doing the action or holding the attitude that is somehow in question. “Self” is also used as a preﬁx for names of activities and attitudes, identifying the special case where the object is the same as the agent: self-love, self-hatred, self-abuse, self-promotion, self-knowledge.
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