A quote from The Conspiracy against the Human Race

Everything comes back to the self and must come back to the self, for it is the utmost issue in our deciding whether we are something or nothing, people or puppets.

What does "come back to the self" means generally? and hence what the quote mean as a whole?

The section is discussing the issue of free will vs determinist. The writing style of the book has been quite pretentious and confusing. It maybe difficult for you guys to interpret with merely the quoted passage. Please speak if more context is needed.

1 Answer 1


To say that "everything comes back to X" in this sort of context means that all the questions, discussions, decisions, definitions, or whatever activity it is that you're involved in depend finally on X.

It is impossible to tell from this brief passage what exactly the author means by self. Just what the self is has been more or less the central question of Western ethics, psychology and art since the Romantic Revolution, and the term has dribbled down into pop philosophizing without any very clear definition. I think about as far as you can take the term-in-general is to say that the self is a name for the individual's attribution to himself of a unique personal identity. But whether or in what sense the self is a real entity is disputed.

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