Who is the person, or self, associated with personality disorder and its treatment? How are we to account for a self conceptualized in terms of schemas and representations, that at the same time - as self - scrutinizes these schemas and representations (as in cognitive therapy for personality disorders)? Five approaches to personhood are examined: metaphysical, empirical, transcendental, hermeneutical, and phenomenological. An elementary sense of selfhood is tied to all one's experiences and activities; this sense of self is experientially irreducible and conceptually connected to a primordial form of self-relatedness. After examining these issues, I formulate four provisional conclusions: (a) the separation between person and roles (functions, personality features) is a modern fiction - persons are not neutral bearers of roles and functions; (b) the concept of personality in DSM-IV refers to nonhomogeneous behaviors such as feelings, moods, inclinations, temperaments, and habits, and these behaviors differ with respect to their distance to the core self; (c) there exists an enormous variety of ways of self-relating and this variety may affect the contents of the core self under certain circumstances; and (d) the concept of person may be primitive; that is, irreducible and referring to a background of unity and integrity.