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.

jan-with-friedrichIndividual 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.