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The Curse of the SelfSelf-Awareness, Egotism, and the Quality of Human Life$
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Mark R. Leary

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780195172423

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195172423.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 06 March 2021

The Self-Aware Animal

The Self-Aware Animal

(p.3) 1 The Self-Aware Animal
The Curse of the Self

Mark R. Leary

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the nature of self-awareness and the consequences of self-reflection for thought, behavior, and emotion. Attention is devoted to self-awareness in nonhuman animals (research suggests that other animals do not have the capacity to think about themselves as human beings do) and the question of when and why the human capacity for self-reflection evolved. The benefits of having a self (such as planning, introspection, and self-evaluation) are discussed before turning to the central theme of the book: that the same capacity for self-reflection that has led to the greatest human achievements also leads to the greatest human problems.

Keywords:   self-awareness, self-reflection, introspection, self-evaluation, evolution of the self, animal self-awareness

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