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This paper shall look at the history of this discourse and attempt to trace the individuality that is ascribed to human beings by Western philosophical thought and the discourses of humanism that have shaped the very notions of the self and the other. One can also read into these the notions of the self and the other that came into being as a result of the humanist movements of the Renaissance. The paper shall also look at the distinction between the mind and the body, as was propounded by Rene Descartes. These developments shall be looked into during the course of this paper. The developments that happened in this area have been significant in the development of later theories of the self and the unconscious, especially as they were articulated by the psychoanalysts like Sigmund Freud. Plato’s concept of the self revolved around the notion of the division of the self into the rational, the spirit and the appetitive (Campbell, n.d.). This was accompanied by a privileging of the spirit. According to Plato, there was the level of the idea and the level of the material that needed to be addressed while analyzing the self and its relation to the rest of the cosmos. Everything on the earth had an equivalent in the realm of the idea. For instance, a table on the earth has an equivalent at the level of the idea. ...
This division has great relevance for the understanding of the human psyche as it effects a difference in each and every human being on the basis of their dependence on the different aspects of the self. Therefore, it helps one understand that there are no fixed truths that can serve to explain the behavior of every person on the planet. The framework thus believes in the difference between different individuals. This is true even in the case of Aristotle. Aristotle understands the human self in relation to the other. In this sense, it is the other that shapes the sensibilities of the self. There is, however, the fact that the other shapes the self. There is, hence, in this case, an emphasis on the self as the point of reference (Owens, 1988). The world is a collection of such selves that shape the sensibility of others selves. There is, thus, the result of difference that is produced through such a system of thought. Since every self is produced through an external object or a collection of external objects, it would stand to reason that no two selves would be produced through the same configuration of external objects. This is because one person would not influence himself as he would others. There is a constant flux in the self in such a framework of thought, and this leads to the idea of changing selves. There are, thus, different people who may be similar to others but would not be the exact replicas. There are similarities in the works of Aristotle and Plato as Aristotle was the latter’s student. There are also divergences between the thought of the two as can be seen from the above analysis. The two philosophers are a part of a tradition of thought that was then taken forward by others. However, with the breakup and decline ...Show more


Universal Truth and Psychology Your Name Name of of Professor Universal Truth and Psychology The philosophy of the self is a very important aspect of psychology. To understand this philosophy better, it is important that one traces the history of this idea…
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Reflection paper essay example
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