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Philosophical History of Identity

  • In: Encyclopedia of Identity
  • Edited by: Ronald L. Jackson II & Michael A. Hogg
  • Subject:Self & Identity, Identity, Self & Identity

The philosophical history of identity in the West begins with the ancient Greeks and carries forth through textured evolutions of philosophical inquiry. Each engagement that follows meets the well-known phrase from Socrates: “To know thyself.” Such a commonplace phrase finds constitutive significance that is both varied and, at times, contrasting throughout the historical horizon of the West. The following sections, beginning with the Greeks and ending in postmodernity, reveal not so much the complexity of the term to know thyself, but the confounded nature of ...

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