“Richard Sorabji’s books typically display a remarkable combination of virtues: meticulous scholarship, amazing historical range, philosophical insight and precision, and a vivid sense of the issues that a nonphilosophical reader will find interesting and engaging. Self may be his best, displaying all those virtues at a very high level. Sorabji has mastered not only the obvious texts of Plato, Aristotle, and Hellenistic philosophy, but also later texts that many philosophers ignore. Sorabji has a missionary enthusiasm for these texts, and writes about them with the sort of élan that will captivate readers.”
(Martha Nussbaum 2006-05-17)
“Richard Sorabji has accomplished what Vico envisioned and what Foucault, Taylor, and other philosophical anthropologists have variously attempted—namely, to provide a road map to the self. While others have explored the archaeology of the self with highly-selective demonstration excavations, Sorabji has taken up this same project with an astonishing breadth of systematic scholarship encompassing much of literate human history, ranging from the ancient Greco-Roman invention of the persona, Hindu and Buddhist explorations of personal identity to Christian, Islamic, and contemporary variants of the question, ‘what is it to be myself.’ With astonishing erudition and deep thinking, this is a rare work that captures the mystery of philosophy, its wondrously multi-faceted ineffability, as each of us looks into the mirror of the soul and wonders who we are exactly.”
(David Glidden, University of California, Riverside 2006-05-17)
“This is an extraordinarily rich, learned, thoughtful and personal study of a fascinating subject. While exploring a remarkably wide range of subjects—embracing Eastern religion as well as classical Antiquity, the classical tradition and modern Western philosophy—the book maintains a clear focus on a specific set of issues and concepts. Overall, a distinctive vision of the complex, many-layered subject of the self emerges, as well as an exceptionally informative and perceptive review of philosophical perspectives.”
(Christopher Gill, University of Exeter 2006-05-17)
"There has never been a book remotely like this one in its profusion of ancient references on ideas about human identity and selfhood and the sheer quantity of information it provides. . . . Readers unfamiliar with the subject also need to know that Sorabji breaks new ground in giving special attention to philosophers such as Epictetus and other Stoics, Plotinus and later Neoplatonists, and the ancient commentators on Aristotle (on the last of whom he is the world's leading authority)."
(Anthony A. Long Times Literary Supplement
"A very rich and suggestive study; though personal in approach and shaped by Sorabji's combination of intellectual curiosity and humanity, it is also incisive in presentation and highly informative."
(Christopher Gill Phronesis
"Sorabji brings to life and makes compelling complex philosophical debates that have been pursued for millennia. There is something for everyone in this magnificent study, and it represents a precious resource for those interested not only in questions of self, but more generally in the evolution of human thought."
(Marya Schlechtman Review of Metaphysics
"The range of Self is breathtaking. Sorabji displays a mastery of Greek, Roman, Medieval, early Christian, Islamic, Modern, Buddhist, and Hindu sources, as well as the work of contemporary philosophers in fields as diverse as ethics, metaphysics, ancient philosophy, and philosophy of language. . . . Self is an important book, and deserves to be read by all interested in its subject matter, whether they are philosophers, classicists, or psychologists."
(James Stacey Taylor Metapsychology