• Daniel
    218
    Is the concept of personhood dependent on the interaction of two or more human beings? what about the concept of mind? does the mind require other minds to exist? Would a person who's never seen another mind or another self categorize his thoughts as part of a self? It seems to me that I call myself myself because I observe in other people a unique behaviour that I distinguish from everything else, and from such observation I infer that like them I must have a unique behaviour. Is the mind a social construct, or is it truly a characteristic of the individual, independent of social interaction?
  • Possibility
    1.6k
    Is the concept of personhood dependent on the interaction of two or more human beings? what about the concept of mind? does the mind require other minds to exist? Would a person who's never seen another mind or another self categorize his thoughts as part of a self? It seems to me that I call myself myself because I observe in other people a unique behaviour that I distinguish from everything else, and from such observation I infer that like them I must have a unique behaviour. Is the mind a social construct, or is it truly a characteristic of the individual, independent of social interaction?Daniel

    I think the relational structure exists, but it would be difficult to conceptualise or even manifest personhood without some sort of relation to another person - particularly considering we define ‘personhood’ in a strictly qualitative or relational sense. Having said that, I think as human beings we are structured to relate to the world in such a way that we eventually distinguish a sense of ‘self’ from whatever social construct develops through our relation to the world. But so do most social animals. This ‘self’ is not consolidated as a concept until it is successfully communicated to another - until someone deliberately manifests an arbitrary distinction that cannot be interpreted as a socially constructed interaction. To that end, I think the mind is a unique relation to social construct, but cannot be considered ‘independent’ of social interaction.
  • Daniel
    218


    So, the ability to produce a self (to come up with a sense of self) is intrinsic to the individual, but that the individual produces a self is dependent on his social interactions. Would you agree with that statement? is it clear what I mean?

    This ‘self’ is not consolidated as a concept until it is successfully communicated to another - until someone deliberately manifests an arbitrary distinction that cannot be interpreted as a socially constructed interaction.Possibility

    Could you give an example of one of such "arbitrary distinctions"?
  • Possibility
    1.6k
    So, the ability to produce a self (to come up with a sense of self) is intrinsic to the individual, but that the individual produces a self is dependent on his social interactions. Would you agree with that statement? is it clear what I mean?Daniel

    Well, I think your emphasis on the ‘individual’ as a consolidated invariant is going to complicate things, but basically, yes.

    I don’t think we simply ‘come up with’ a sense of self, though - it evolves from an awareness of the differences between socially constructed and interocepted reality. And that difference is me: my actions and social position, initially.

    Could you give an example of one of such "arbitrary distinctions"?Daniel

    Any potential behaviour or appearance that has no precedent in social reality identifies the self. When interocepted reality says there are no more red hats, and social reality says everyone wears a red hat, then from this difference - ‘the self’ - comes an arbitrary distinction: no hat or something other than a red hat. Recognising one’s ability to orchestrate that distinction develops an awareness of self as a concept. Understanding the purpose of everyone wearing a red hat when they have other options can help one select a more purposeful or effective distinction, instead of a random one.
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