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What is the self and how can we know it, or can we know it at all - Term Paper Example

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What is the self and how can we know it, or can we know it at all

Ascribing from the above definition it can be argued that the self refers to what someone perceives or thinks about himself. The self concept can be known when one becomes aware of oneself. An individual can know this concept when he belief on himself or herself and achieves a higher level of personal attributes awareness. It can be generally the self can be viewed o three strands perspective. First is the physical self who basically comprise the sense of embodiment, psychological self which is the ability to differentiate between self and others (Mitchell 56). Finally is the higher level sense which summarizes the actions attributed to the psychological and the physical self. The self can also be identified by the discourse and the conduct of the individual. In regard to this, the intentions of an individual and the actions which emanates can also be used to describe the self. The identity of the self concept of an individual is determined particularly by the distinct characteristics and attributes of an individual (Mitchell 98). Descartes’ position on self Descartes’ position and perception of self is the ascription of the self to being the transcendent agent which can be referred to as homunculus. Descartes provides that the self is a non-natural entity citing the soul which basically determines the various human components and perceptions. On this agent causation view the concept of free is the cause of the actions which is attributed to the self and that it is free from the natural causation (Mitchell 115). This Descartes’ position on self can be referred to as indeterminism where the argument is basically based on the free will of the individuals. The argument is further based on the moral responsibility and it asserts that the existence of the self leads to existence of the free will which is responsible for an individual actions. This position in is perceived voidable because of the belief of the existence of the soul which basically affect the human way of thinking and how bodies react. The self of an individual is highly connected to the source of the personal identity (Mitchell 120). Descartes’ position on self ascribes to the fact that the soul is relevant in determining the identity of an individual. This is further attributed to the soul imperceptibility and being the source of the identity. The weakness of this view is the fact that the soul may change having the same memoires attributes and the doubt in regard to the change and dynamism of personal behaviors (Mitchell 146). Locke’s empiricism and the self Locke’s empiricism and the self are based on the argument which considers the self as immortal and attributes it to the personal immortality. Locke asserts that the self doesn’t know the nature it ought to have in order to be able to think. The determination of the soul identity is also ascribed since matter is basically in a continuous flux. He further argue that the key to the self of a person is individual is memory. What makes a person attributed to the self is the ability to posses the living awareness of the personal interest which basically makes a person who he or she is. In this Locke’s view of the self the aspect of memory having substantial basis is taken into account. There is the possibility of the self having immortality without opposing anti-dogmatism. The strengths associated to this perception are that it justifies the belief of individual self, its gives a common ground of discussing the validity of the personal self (Mitchell 78). The weaknesses of this stand are that it does not clearly explain the demarcation ...Show more


The philosophical concept of self is the notable essential qualities and attributes making an individual person different from any other person…
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What is the self and how can we know it, or can we know it at all essay example
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