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Concepts of Selfhood


Admission requirements

Admission to this course is restricted to:

  • BA students in Philosophy

  • Pre-master’s students in Philosophy who are in possession of an admission statement, and for whom this course is part of their programme.


This course introduces students to the philosophical study of the self. Questions to be discussed may include what elements constitute the self; what makes one the same person at two different times; whether there are special methods like introspection for gaining knowledge about the self; whether self-knowledge has a greater degree of certainty; what if any ethical implications follow from accepting a certain conception of the self; can a social self-exist? Sessions will draw upon readings from Western, Indian and Chinese traditions.

Course objectives

This course aims to introduce students to philosophical theorizing about the self in a cross-cultural and multilingual context.

Students who successfully complete the course will have a good understanding of:

  • how the self has been theorized in different intellectual traditions;

  • how these philosophical articulations of the self are related to morality and modernity.

Students who successfully complete the course will be able to:

  • present this knowledge in written form;

  • critically analyze ideas and notions presented in primary and secondary resources;

  • develop skills in academic writing and cross-cultural communication.


The timetables are available through MyTimetable.

Mode of instruction

  • Lectures

Class attendance is required.

Assessment method


  • Group presentations are required but are not graded

  • Midterm take-home exam (50%)

  • Final take- home exam (50%)


The final mark for the course is established by determination of the weighted average of the two subtests (see above).


The resit consists of one examination for all parts at once: one take home essay (paper) that covers the whole course. The mark for the resit replaces all previously earned marks for subtests.
Students who have obtained a satisfactory grade for the course after the first examinations cannot take the resit.

Inspection and feedback

How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organized.

Reading list

The reading list will be posted on Brightspace prior to the start of the course.


Enrolment through MyStudyMap is mandatory.
General information about course and exam enrolment is available on the website


  • For substantive questions, contact the lecturer listed in the information bar at the right hand side of the page.

  • For questions about enrolment, admission, etc., contact the Education Administration Office Huizinga


Not applicable.