Self

Individual person as the object of its own reflective consciousness / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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The self is an individual as the object of that individual’s own reflective consciousness. Since the self is a reference by a subject to the same subject, this reference is necessarily subjective. The sense of having a self—or selfhood—should, however, not be confused with subjectivity itself.[1] Ostensibly, this sense is directed outward from the subject to refer inward, back to its "self" (or itself). Examples of psychiatric conditions where such "sameness" may become broken include depersonalization, which sometimes occurs in schizophrenia: the self appears different from the subject.

The first-person perspective distinguishes selfhood from personal identity. Whereas "identity" is (literally) sameness[2] and may involve categorization and labeling,[3] selfhood implies a first-person perspective and suggests potential uniqueness. Conversely, we use "person" as a third-person reference. Personal identity can be impaired in late-stage Alzheimer's disease and in other neurodegenerative diseases. Finally, the self is distinguishable from "others". Including the distinction between sameness and otherness, the self versus other is a research topic in contemporary philosophy[4] and contemporary phenomenology (see also psychological phenomenology), psychology, psychiatry, neurology, and neuroscience.

Although subjective experience is central to selfhood, the privacy of this experience is only one of many problems in the Philosophy of self and scientific study of consciousness.