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 Identity Theory: Humanistic View of Self


Self Consciousness - William James

The prominent American pragmatist, William James, developed his definition of self consciousness in his Principles of Psychology, published in 1890. It is available as a digital text through the Classics in the History of Psychology. James discussed the components of Self as "I " and "Me." He further explores the three dimensions of the Me as the material, social and spiritual constituents in relation to the pure ego. He also articulated a theory of self esteem as the ratio of an individual's actual behavior relative to pretensions.

Mind, Self and Society - George Herbert Mead

This is a digital copy of Mead's work that was first published in 1934.

The Social Self - George Herbert Mead

This essay, first published in the Journal of Philosophy, Psychology, and Scientific Methods in 1913, explains Mead's discussion of self as an "I" in relation to the "Me." This formulation serves as one of the foundations of Mead's theory of symbolic interactionism. It is available as a digital text through the Classics in the History of Psychology.

The Mechanisms of Social Consciousness - George Herbert Mead

This essay, first published in the Journal of Philosophy, Psychology and Scientific Methods in 1912 examines Mead's views of inner consciousness and the interaction of "I" and "Me."

A Behavioristic Account of the Significant Symbol - George Herbert Mead

This essay, first published in the Journal of Philosophy in 1922, develops Mead's idea that "The self arises in conduct, when the individual becomes a social object in experience to himself." Mead reflects upon how individuals are able to develop Mind in relation to significant symbols. He explains the emergence of self as a process of "generalizing himself in the attitude of the other." This is the basis of Mead's theory of symbolic interactionism and the concept of the Generalized Other.

Heidegger on Throwness

This page by Robert G. Fox examines Heidegger's concept of throwness; how individual existence is a matter of having possibilities. The concept of throwness in relation to freedom is discussed from the standpoint of Heidegger's existential philosophy.

Kenneth J. Gergen

This is a home page for Kenneth Gergen. It includes links to some of his essays that are published online as well as to information about his work.

Social Theory in Context: Relational Humanism - Kenneth Gergen

In this essay, Kenneth Gergen examines concepts of social constructivism in the tradition of humanism. Key themes of the piece are assumption of human agency, moral responsibility and personal freedom.

Constructivism and Narrative Psychology

This essay by Luis Botella draws on the overall theory of constructivism to examine how we develop a sense of self by writing our own self-narratives as we create a self-theory. Professor Botella is affiliated with Ramon Llul University in Barcelona, Spain. This page is also part of the Virtual Faculty offerings at Massey University in New Zealand.

Technology and the Self: From the Essential to the Sublime - Kenneth Gergen

In this essay, Kenneth Gergen explores the post modern perspective that self is better understood through relationism as an alternative to psychological essentialism. He observes that technology is the chief instrument for the dismantling of the traditional concept of self.

Interpersonal Communication and Modernity

This page, authored by Timothy Stephens of Bowling Green State University, explores how identity is shaped today. Special emphasis is placed upon how a breakdown of traditional ways of defining self have broken down.

Theory, Gender and Identity Resources

This page by David Gauntlett from the Institute of Communications Studies in Great Britain explores post modern theories of identity with emphasis on the works of Theodor Adorno, Judith Butler, Michel Fouccault, and Antonio Gramsci.

Identity Theory from the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy

This link provides the entry in the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. It discusses identity theory as an alternative to behaviorism.

A Theory of Motivation - Maslow

This is a Web version of the original formulation of Abraham Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs.

An Analysis of Carl Rogers' Theory of Personality

Degmar Pescitelli provides an introduction to key concepts and terms of Roger's views on self and self actualization. He also distinguishes Roger's concepts of the fully functioning human being and the maladjusted individual. Organismic valuing of self is also contrasted with self assessments based in conditions of worth.

Core Personality

This page outlines Carl Rogers' insights about core personality and the development of self. Rogers observes that while all forms of life strive to actualize full potential, human beings seek self actualization.

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Copyright, 2000-05 by Terrence A. Doyle, Ph. D.
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