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Abstract
What is the Self?
The self has been one of the most widely studied phenomena in psychology, yet there is no
consensus about what it is, and indeed some scholars have boldly proposed that there is no
such thing. This talk argues the reality of the self as a social adaptation at the interface
between the physical body and the social system. It reviews evidence that human groups
function best on the basis of differentiated identities. The conclusion is that the self
emerged not from the inner requirements of the brain or psyche but rather from the
requirements of organized groups.
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