• Corvus
    963
    psychological aspects of identityJack Cummins

    For psychological aspect of self identity, I would presume Freud and Jung has something to say about it?

    I think that we define ourselves as human individuals on the basis of past history, but who we are in terms of ego identity and connection with reality is far more complex.Jack Cummins

    I was under impression that David Hume, being the champion of scepticism, denies idea of self identity, because one cannot grasp the impressions and ideas of the corresponding self in perception ??? ... something like that. What did you think of it after reading Hume?
  • boagie
    54
    I believe humanity would be shocked to really appreciate what it is as a multicellular organism, it is a community. Individuality, the sense of self is a functional illusion as is the sense of free will. Someday we will recognize these things and start to develop an understanding of the functioning of said community in relation to the physical world of which we are part and understand that apparent reality is also a functional illusion. Our reality is much weirder than we presently entertain. Neurology I believe will be the begining of an awakening of humanity as to its true nature. Hume states what should be obvious in today's world that self-identity is an illusion a bundle of experiences.
  • Jack Cummins
    3.6k

    Generally, I am trying to think about the idea of self as a philosophical rather than psychological problem, and I can see why Hume questions the existence of self. Even though I came up with some kind of idea of what it may consist of, in the post which I wrote previous to this one, I do still have some reservations about how it stands. This is because it is not completely cohesive as a structure, or it has some kind of fluidity.

    However, working on the assumption that each of us has some underlying centre, which we call the self, definitely was addressed by Freud and the Jung. I think what is essential to both thinkers is an emphasis on aspects of the self being conscious and other parts being subconscious. They work from the assumption that there is more to the self than one is aware of being at any given moment in time. Personally, I would agree with this basic approach because the subconscious, and I think that most philosophers recognize the subconscious as an important aspect of consciousness.
  • Jack Cummins
    3.6k

    I think that your post about 'Madfool' in relation to others is interesting. But, what I do wonder about here is whether you are speaking about the persona rather than the self. We all may have slightly different aspects of ourselves which we present in different life situations and, presumably, you are not even seen as Madfool in every part of your life.

    Generally, I think that we are social actors and show different parts of ourselves in different situations. I think we vary according to how we differ according to different roles which are adopting. But, nevertheless, my understanding of the self is that it is behind the scenes rather than being traced to what may be seen as 'the front' which we may present to others.

    In addition, I think that as a colloquial term, the idea of the self is often about basic facts, and this is different from the experience of self. I remember shortly after leaving school, I was doing an exercise on a course in which we were asked to write about 'yourself'. The main way I interpreted this was to write about my 'self' in terms of my own mental states of consciousness. However, we had to read it out to the group and everyone else wrote about the factual aspects of their lives. I felt a bit foolish really, because I had interpreted the task of writing about self in an entirely different way from everybody else in the group. But, in such a colloquial way, self is about the facts, and this sense of self is different from the sense of self as a mental or philosophical concept.
  • TheMadFool
    12k
    persona rather than the selfJack Cummins

    If I'm reading you correctly, you can't hide all the time Jack. You may filter out some aspects of yourself you wanna keep under wraps but sooner or later it breaks through the containment zone and escapes with usually unsavory results.

    That said, I doubt whether the side to us that we try to keep a secret is unique in any way at all - for better or worse, the thoughts, feelings we wish to conceal themselves are generic, everyone has them and ergo, if one insists it's got something to do with nature, it can only be human nature and not Jack's or TheMadFool's or any other individual's.

    social actorsJack Cummins

    I think this concept squares with what I said above. I like to see it as pretend-play but I don't view it as deception with intent to harm/injure/kill. In fact most of the time, social acting is done to keep things civil, cordial, and productive. The real world, as I said in another thread, is messy - errors will occur, people will get hurt, some even come to a sticky end. That's life!

    self is about the factsJack Cummins

    That has a familiar ring to it. The self, at the level of mind, can only acquire it's unique identity if it itself is a one-of-a-kind approach to/take on reality - the lens with which to view reality a unique self offers is distinct from all others. So, the self isn't about (objective) facts as such but is actually about a (subjective) point of view.
  • Jack Cummins
    3.6k

    I think that your response is interesting because it moves from Hume's idea of the human being as 'a bundle of experiences' to the question of free will, which is interlinked to the nature of the self. The view which you are stating has a basis in the perspective of B F Skinner, who regarded the sense of self and free will as illusory, as expressed in his book, 'Beyond Freedom and Dignity'

    I personally don't agree with Skinner because I think that he ignores the human ability for self reflection, which involves being able to gain distance From one's basic impulses. But, I can see that the argument he presents is fairly strong. I know that many philosophers go even further and regard consciousness itself as an illusion.
  • Corvus
    963
    I can see why Hume questions the existence of self.Jack Cummins

    I find Hume's account on Self Identity interesting too. His denial of self identity has brought the speculations that could Hume had been into Buddhism's No Self philosophy? I was being sceptical about the speculations, but then why not.

    Freud and Jung's idea of subconsciousness being integral part of self is also very interesting. I wonder if they were meaning the link between the self hidden in the subconsciousness and past and after life alchemy.
  • counterpunch
    1.6k
    Shelves are tricky! Wait until you encounter drawers!
  • Jack Cummins
    3.6k

    I am inclined to think that Hume may have arrived at a conclusion about no self independently. However, I admit that I find the Buddhist idea of there being no mind to be very interesting indeed. I see it as being interconnected with the idea of impermanence. I believe that many people take the idea of self for granted, but when one stops and thinks about it the notion is much more complicated.

    I think that Jung takes a much broader perspective on the self than many psychologists and philosophers. That is through seeing the symbolic nature of experience, including his insights on alchemy, he challenges the view of the self which sees it simply arising in the individual brain. He sees the individual self as being interconnected with the idea of the collective unconscious. In this sense, he is perceiving the idea of the self as being linked to a source beyond the individual's own consciousness. I am aware that this idea may not be accepted by many current philosophers but it think that it may fit more with Leibniz's ideas of monads, or with Hegel's philosophy of mind.
  • Jack Cummins
    3.6k

    I do agree that we can't hide our 'true' self all of the time because that would be about an inauthentic form of existence, and I think that it is probably dangerous to have to pretend. It may be a source of people becoming unwell mentally, or even physically because many physical aspects of health have a psychosomatic basis or origin. I think that the truth of the matter is that people have differing degrees of outlet for expressing certain sides of themselves. I certainly know which friends I can share different aspects of myself more than others. I think that most friendships or relationships probably work or fail according to this.

    But, definitely the subjective aspect of self, as lens as well as the objective or intersubjective is what we know of being, as a self. I think that some people people probably find it hard to be alone, for the reason that they wish to block out this subjective encounter, or even block this out with distractions, ranging from light tv and media entertainment, shopping and addictions. The self, and its exploration may be in itself a dangerous territory, and we may be back again with the existential thoughts of Sartre and Camus.
  • TheMadFool
    12k
    I certainly know which friends I can share different aspects of myself more than others.Jack Cummins

    Seems like you have it good Jack. I would've put in a word for you in the Oscar Awards Committee but, luckily or not, I don't have that much clout. Keep it up. You're doing what I expect you and everyone else to do. Tell them what they want to hear, not what they need to hear! This formula has been around since time immemorial (hyperbole alert!), withstood the test of time - I'm sure it works like a charm!

    The self, and its exploration may be in itself a dangerous territoryJack Cummins

    I concur! I have my ups and downs! It's part of the job description of an explorer. A vine that one grips for support turns out to be a venom-spitting viper. All this assuming of course that I am exploring which I highly doubt. Barely scratching the surface I would say but good enough for government work insofar as I'm concerned.

    In summary, stick to the script, stop sacrificing something doable - good acting for something only the rarest of rare can pull off - perfect acting. I think I went off-script here. Do pardon if you forgot your lines because I got a little adventurous/distracted, I can never tell the difference. :lol:

    Jack! Lights, camera, and ACTION!

    Cut, cut, cut. Where the hell is Jack?

    Retakes, anyone?
  • 180 Proof
    5.7k
    https://thephilosophyforum.com/discussion/comment/566511 ^

    :up: Spot on! Our "intuitive" folk psychology blinds each of us to the fact that one is not who or what one believes one is – as the great (I think groundbreaking) neuroscience title by T. Metzinger alludes: Being No One^ is human being.

    ^A popularized, summary version by the same author is mentioned in the link at the top of this post.

    Yes! (more or less) :clap:
  • Jack Cummins
    3.6k

    Actually, I am almost still in bed today. I had a lot of trouble sleeping last night, so I am lacking in action today, but plan to go out exploring tomorrow. I often have one day in and one day out and I spend so much time exploring the corners of music and bookshops. I often feel that the books or CDs I find are aspects of myself, but I would rather be creating rather than just consuming. I would like to do art, but I need to buy a table first.

    I do like to go out and spend time with others but have not really done much of this since lockdown, especially as I had to move. I am wishing to go out and find more activities but life has not gone back to normal at all really here. I am just hoping that we don't have any further lockdowns or else I would really become an exploding self.
  • TheMadFool
    12k
    I'll get back to you if I have anything interesting to say, Jack. Until then, adieu!
  • Jack Cummins
    3.6k

    I think that your idea of self as being an aspect of self organisation does make a lot of sense to me, although if someone had suggested it to me about 2 or 3 years ago, I would have found the idea as being rather absurd. I grew up in a Catholic background and had a strong belief in the soul. However, I have questioned my initial beliefs, including the idea of a soul in connection to views about consciousness, especially since using this site.

    Currently, I do see us as living systems, and see self and consciousness in connection with this, although I still remain open to Jung's ideas on the collective unconscious, and to Rupert Sheldrake's ideas of memory inherent in nature, in the context of morphic resonance. But, it think that we do develop systems of information, as evident in memories and this is inherent in our sense of identity and self.

    When I think about my own development of self and identity, it is bound up with significant memories, like I can remember clearly so much of my own experiences going back to when I was at primary school and, a lot of memories before that. It does make me wonder what happens to the sense of memories in people who have dementia. I have done some work with people who have dementia, and did find that they respond so well to listening to music from previous eras, and it could be that the songs enable them to gain more connections with aspects of their fragmenting selves.
  • Jack Cummins
    3.6k

    I think that your discussion of the idea of the tension which the idea of an immortal soul vs the idea of lack of a self in Buddhism. It is an area of conflict which I have thought about. However, I don't believe that it is absolute because the idea of rebirth could still work with an idea of mind as being immanent, like in the thought of Gregory Bateson in, 'Steps to an Ecology of Mind'. However, definitely the idea of self, or as soul, in dualism definitely is in opposition to the Buddhist emphasis on no self. For me, it mainly shows how these matters have been thought about for a very long time.
  • NOS4A2
    4.9k


    But, surely, a regular ID card will only be about identifying the basics, such as name, and date of birth and, and has little to do with identity and the philosophical aspects of identity.

    Surely it all has much more to do with the philosophical aspects of identity than we care to admit. The basic facts such as name, eye-color, height etc. may not intrigue a being who is unable to see beyond his own limited periphery, but to others who must contend with this being as an object moving about in their lives, this information means a great deal. It is why we search for identification among the deceased and injured, or why such identification is stolen for nefarious purposes.
  • MondoR
    278
    Self is our history/memory. It is our duration imbued with an creative impetus to evolve/continue.
  • MondoR
    278
    Buddhist emphasis on no selfJack Cummins

    This does not embody Buddhism. Some teachers believe that to find the Eterrnal, one must drop them Self. I have found in my own meditative practices, it is quite the opposite. You shouldn't believe what you read. Believe in what you experience.
  • Jack Cummins
    3.6k

    Yes, I have to admit that the basics of ID, as indicated are mostly likely more essential to our sense of self than I initially credited them. In particular, aspects of identity, such as gender, race, sexual orientation are vital to our understanding of who we are. We are bound up with other social beings and do define ourselves in such ways, even when we are alone at home . It probably goes very deep as well, to being about our bodies and whether we are happy with them or not. For example, if a person feels ugly it can have a crippling effect on self esteem. Similarly, a person's idea of bodily self is at the core of eating disorders and some other disorders. I do acknowledge that social identity and, the body are central to viewing the self. We are in mere fragmented selves, living in tunnel vision.
  • dimosthenis9
    353


    I am not sure at all about what it can be. But at least at practical and at conscientious level for me, is like the "guy" that I keep living all my life on. The "person" that I discuss the most, via my thoughts.
    But imo that question is a really great philosophic mystery. And I think that not many philosophers dealt deeply with that matter (or maybe I haven't read them of course). But always seemed like an underestimated matter to me.
  • Jack Cummins
    3.6k

    I would imagine that many Buddhists view the self differently from one another. What you lead me to think about is how I must be careful of making generalisations in this complex area. I am sure that this applies to people in the Christian tradition and many other religions, as well as people in a secular context. Based on my own experience, I would say that my own thinking about self changes. I think that the notion of self is complex and not that clear at all, which is why I wrote a thread on the topic.
  • Jack Cummins
    3.6k

    I am glad that you appreciated the way in which the concept of self is extremely fuzzy. After I had just written the thread, I began to worry that people may think that I was asking a stupid question, but I do struggle around thinking that the idea, and this goes as far as my thinking is myself, as well as the others with whom I interact.
  • dimosthenis9
    353
    Ever notice how that image in the mirror is constantly changing?Joshs

    And it changes indeed! It's like the image of the mirror is also a"living" thing defining from your thoughts, ideas, all that invisible world that give your eyes the order to see that image.The way it changes, image "changes" too. I always found that really fascinating.
  • dimosthenis9
    353


    The actual idea is really absolutely majestic.
    How and in which way all these invisible world connects and reforms in an invisible "entity" that we can't see but we have total consciousness about it.
    All ideas, memories, psychological matters, thoughts everything in general come and unite in such way that all of us we recognize it as the "person" who answers to our thoughts and you have all that dialogue.
    I know sounds stupid but for me is a huge lie that we come to this world alone. We are always 2.
  • Manuel
    1.4k


    It's been pointed out before, but when Hume says:

    "For my part, when I enter most intimately into what I call myself, I always stumble on some particular perception or other, of heat or cold, light or shade, love or hatred, pain or pleasure. I never can catch myself at any time without a perception, and never can observe any thing but the perception."
    (Bold added)

    He refers to himself four times, to then say that he only sees a perception. That's not very persuasive if the attempt is not show that the self is an illusion, which is not entirely clear.

    As to what a self is, is an incredibly hard question and likely a mystery. Coincidentally I was looking at some very interesting interviews with people who have been diagnosed with dissociative personality disorder. Some of these people had up to 11 selves! If that's not baffling, I don't know what is.

    And I'm no less clear on what a self is.

    Here's a link for anyone interested:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ek7JK6pattE

    EDIT: At around minute 17:45 you can see a person witching to another one.
  • Jack Cummins
    3.6k

    It is indeed interesting to see that Hume keeps referring to himself, despite him trying to suggest that the idea of self is illusory. I think that it is extremely difficult to think outside of it framework of self because it is the basis from which we observe everything else.

    I have seen a few people with dissociative states of consciousness in which the person has what appears to be multiple personalities. It does appear to be so unusual, although I am familiar with the idea of sub personalities, and this is not even clinical. I think that these can be like inner characters or archetypes, but the individual does not identify with them litrerally, but draw upon them as fantasy figures, or even use them as a basis for creativity. But, it does show that the self is not always in charge, and many forms of breakdown do show aspects of ego consciousness and the fragility of the self for some individuals.
  • PoeticUniverse
    1.1k
    multiple personalitiesJack Cummins

    Not me, nor I.

    3hhy6bl28f62exs7.jpeg
  • Manuel
    1.4k


    Sure.

    We also often rationalize things away as if we were going to do whatever we ended up doing anyway. So it's not as if by having a self, we have absolute control of ourselves all the time. Often times we don't.

    What I wanted to point out in the cases of DID goes in a different direction. One thing is to behave or even feel differently around types of people. Another thing altogether is being a completely different person and often not having a clue you were more than one person. So a self need not be unitary at all.

    Which makes the whole topic very hard to grasp.
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