The name of this blog – Basic research on the self – is from an essay by Phillip Lopate:
There is something heroic in the essayist’s gesture of striking out toward the unknown, not only without a map but without certainty that there is anything worthy to be found. One would like to think that the personal essay represents a kind of basic research on the self, in ways that are allied with science and philosophy.
Individual posts on this blog may only occasionally qualify as essays, but the blog as a whole strikes out toward the unknown, with only a rudimentary map and a great deal of uncertainty. I strongly suspect that, in making the self my subject matter, I will discover something of interest. For me, that’s enough to make the endeavor worthy.
See the post Why the self? for a summary of my initial motivations for starting this blog.