The notion of 'self': Inception, development, and application
Philosophically speaking, the question of the identity of persons is a question that has perplexed philosophers and other thinkers throughout history. In many contexts the question of identity has been represented in inquiries pertaining to theories of 'self'. The term 'self' has consistently been discussed in a variety of contexts and disciplines, yet the expression of 'self' has not been applied in the same way contextually. The 'self' has been, and continues to be, treated as an idiom of confusion rather than an expression that brings clarity to our discourses of 'self'. Therefore, it is necessary that the question be asked: what is the most appropriate definition of the 'self'?; The ambiguity of the term 'self' can be shown to be best understood as a field of family resemblances by critically examining diverse theories of 'selfhood' in Classical Hinduism, Classical and Contemporary Western philosophical thought, in contrast with the most recent conceptions of the 'self' in modern psychology. The 'self' is best understood as a concept having a useful application of our language for expressing 'our selves' as unique, singular individuals.