International Studies in Philosophy Monograph Series


The Gift of Self

Stephen David Ross
Pages 7-21

The Subject of Myself

[I]t is I, I and no one else, who am a hostage for the others. In substitution my being that belongs to me and not to another is undone, and it is through this substitution that I am not "another," but me. (Levinas, 5, 116) The ideas of being "true to oneself," of being one's own person, of being a self-actualized individual each refer us to the assumption that what is essential about the self is its separation from others: that it is "ownness" or "mineness" which defines the experience of self. (Wikse, AP, 1)1