This article advocates an extensive definition of self as the totality of what an organism is physically, biologically, psychologically, socially, and culturally. This definition departs from the narrower definition of self as self-representation - as culturally shaped constructs of the self that one applies to oneself - that is current in cultural anthropology today. The article goes on to elucidate recent neurobiological thinking - specifically, the model of the interpreter developed by Michael Gazzinaga and his colleagues, and Joseph LeDoux's idea of the synaptic self - in support of the extensive definition favored here. Finally, the article compares two divergent analyses by Katherine Ewing of the same case material, showing that the second analysis, that implicitly assumes an extensive definition of the self, provides a more satisfying explanation of the case than the earlier analysis, that is explicitly framed by a definition of the self as self-representation. Copyright © 2006 SAGE Publications.
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