The Pre-Modern Self & the Liberal Self

In this module, we look back to the European pre-modern period for the origins of our conceptions of self and identity. We will look at what distinguishes so-called “ancient” and “modern” conceptions of the self and arrive at what is arguably the most pervasive notion of the self operative today: the liberal self. Here we will unpack “liberalism” not in its modern parlance as the “opposite of conservative”, but rather explore it as the guiding ideology of “liberalism”, a philosophical movement that informs those pervasive socio-political perspectives that today go by the names of “liberal”, “libertarian”, and “conservative”.