Inventing Our Selves proposes a radical new approach to the analysis of our current regime of the self, and the values of autonomy, identity, individuality, liberty, and choice that animate it. It argues that psychology, psychiatry, psychotherapy and other 'psy' disciplines have played a key role in 'inventing our selves', changing the ways in which human beings understand and act upon themselves, and how they are acted upon by politicians, managers, doctors, therapists, and a multitude of other authorities. These mutations are intrinsically linked to recent changes in ways of understanding and exercising political power, which have stressed the values of autonomy, personal responsibility, and choice. This critical history diagnoses and destabilises our contemporary 'condition' of the self, to help us think differently about the kind of persons we are, or might become.
1. Introduction; 2. How should one do the history of 'the self'?; 3. A critical history of psychology; 4. Psychology as a 'social' science; 5. Expertise and the 'techne' of psychology; 6. Psychology as an 'individualizing' technology; 7. Social psychology as a science of democracy; 8. Governing enterprising individuals; 9. Assembling ourselves; 10. Notes; 11. Bibliography.