Historical Development of Self Concept Theory Essay

Historical Development of Self Concept Theory Essay

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Historical Development of Self Concept Theory
The development of idea of self or self-concept can be traced back into the times of classical philosophy, as traced by Hattie (1992). A sense of self was related to Greek philosophers such as Plato and Aristotle to identity, individuality and the knowledge of self (). Further, Renaissance philosophers promoted a sense of “self” and “knowing self” as the basis of existence through their debates. Hume (1711-1776) brought about a diversion from the intellectual mainstream and rejected the idea of a distinct stable self-concept, and instead emphasized upon the fluidity of “knowing self” and primacy of experience as a well-spring for a constantly changing perception of reality.
The psychological aspects of self, including references to identity, style, and self knowledge was addresses by James in 1890. He divided self into three parts: it’s “constituents”, the feelings and emotions they arouse, and actions they prompt (James, p. 292). According to James, the self and self-concept were core constructs within the person and he described “self-as-knower”. This implied that the “self” is known, and labelled it as “I”. In contrast, the sense of self related to experience and the environment was labelled the “ME”, and the feeling of the self was linked to the process that generated both the “I” and the “ME”.
Further, the objective self or “ME” comprised of four levels or components which were organised in a hierarchical structure. These were “bodily self”, “social self”, “material self” and “spiritual self”.
By ‘spiritual self’ James meant thinking and feeling, i.e. what we most truly seem to be. "We take a purer self-satisfaction when we think of our ability to argue and discriminate, or our m...

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...personality and other areas of mental health also used experimental approaches to find out the relationship between self esteem and poor mental health associated with poor self-regard.

Carl Jung’s Self
In his earlier writings Jung considered the self equivalent to the psyche or total personality. However, when he began to explore the racial foundations of personality and discovered the archetypes, he found one that represented human striving for unity (Wilhelm & Jung, 1931).
The self is the midpoint of personality, around which all of the other systems are constellated. It holds these systems together and provides the personality with unity, equilibrium, and stability.
If we picture the conscious mind with the ego as its centre, as its centre, as being opposed to the unconscious, and if we now add to our mental picture the process of assimilating the unconscious.

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