“[A sense of self] is a way of classifying the world in terms of your own needs.” – Dr. Antonio Damasio in an interview with the LA Times
Dr. Damasio is a famous neuroscientist and author of Descartes’ Error, Looking for Spinoza, and most recently Self Comes to Mind.
Once again science is making great progress in catching up with 2600-year-old wisdom.
In Buddhist thinking, the egoic self is the conditioning of likes and dislikes with which there is a strong tendency to to identify (ref. The Itch). So when I say, “I like ice cream,” there is the implication that I am the one who is liking ice cream. The sense of self is the sense of a subject (me) in relation to liking and disliking other objects (or sensations).
Part of a strategy of liberation comes from weakening the conditioned preferences leading to a weakened sense of a personal self.