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Table of Contents

Foreword; Introduction: main ideas; 1. Self-conscious species; 2. Six propositions; 3. Variety of self-reflective mind states; 4. Mind states in development; 5. Birth of self-consciousness; 6. Shame and self-knowledge; 7. Roots of guilt; 8. Giving and sharing; 9. Origins of owning and sharing; 10. Social construction of identity; Conclusion: moral space and the self; Post-script note.

Promotional Information

Based on empirical observations, this innovative book explores self-consciousness, how it originates and how it shapes our lives.

About the Author

Philippe Rochat is a professor in the department of psychology at Emory University in Atlanta, GA. Born and raised in Geneva, Switzerland, he earned a Ph.D. at the University of Geneva, where he was trained in psychology by Jean Piaget and his close collaborators. The author of The Infant World (2001), Rochat's current research focuses on learning and creativity and the development of social intelligence and the emergence of a moral sense during the preschool years in children from all over the world in highly contrasted cultural environments, as well as in highly contrasted socioeconomic circumstances.


'Rochat's book combines both theoretical and empirical support for the view that the self is socially constructed through interactions with others. Philosophers and psychologists interested in development, embodiment, the self, or relationships, will find that Rochat's book offers a concise and persuasive account which challenges a traditional internalist conception of the self. In short, it is the kind of work that will prove to greatly benefit the discourse on the nature of the self.' Lucas A. Keefer, Philosophical Psychology
'... an ambitious and fruitful project ... Rochat's theory of the social construction of the self will undoubtedly be valuable for both philosophers and psychologists, with the caveat that there are unexplored theoretical issues in need of development.' Philosophical Psychology

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