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The Origins of Self - An Anthropological Perspective - cover

The Origins of Self - An Anthropological Perspective

Martin P. J. Edwardes

Publisher: UCL Press

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The Origins of Self explores the role that selfhood plays in
defining human society, and each human individual in that society. It considers
the genetic and cultural origins of self, the role that self plays in
socialisation and language, and the types of self we generate in our individual
journeys to and through adulthood.

Edwardes argues that other
awareness is a relatively early evolutionary development, present throughout
the primate clade and perhaps beyond, but self-awareness is a product of the
sharing of social models, something only humans appear to do. The self of which
we are aware is not something innate within us, it is a model of our self
produced as a response to the models of us offered to us by other people.
Edwardes proposes that human construction of selfhood involves
seven different types of self. All but one of them are internally generated
models, and the only non-model, the actual self, is completely hidden from
conscious awareness. We rely on others to tell us about our self, and even to
let us know we are a self.

Developed in relation to a range of subject areas –
linguistics, anthropology, genomics and cognition, as well as socio-cultural
theory – The Origins of Self is of particular interest to
students and researchers studying the origins of language, human origins in
general, and the cognitive differences between human and other animal

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