The Early Modern Subject explores the understanding of self-consciousness and personal identity-two fundamental features of human subjectivity-as it developed in early modern philosophy. Udo Thiel presents a critical evaluation of these features as they were conceived in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. He explains the arguments of thinkers such as Descartes, Locke, Leibniz, Wolff, and Hume, as well as their early critics, followers, and other
philosophical contemporaries, and situates them within their historical contexts. Interest in the issues of self-consciousness and personal identity is in many ways characteristic and even central to early modern thought, but Thiel argues here that this is an interest that continues to this day, in a form still
strongly influenced by the conceptual frameworks of early modern thought. In this book he attempts to broaden the scope of the treatment of these issues considerably, covering more than a hundred years of philosophical debate in France, Britain, and Germany while remaining attentive to the details of the arguments under scrutiny and discussing alternative interpretations in many cases.