Chapter 4 of the book by Solomon, Higgins, and Martin (2011) begins with the quote from Alice in Wonderland where the Caterpillar questions the very importance of self (p. 285). In Carroll's (1996) text, neither the caterpillar nor actually Alice care too much about their identities. They choose the selves they want to be, as if they were Sartrians, but in much more playful manner. Yet in one of the responses to the caterpillar Alice remarks: “Oh, I'm not particular as to size, only one doesn't like changing so often, you know” (Carroll, 1996). That means that there are still limits to human will as Alice’s will is overcome by her perceived irritation by the repeated change. In this paper, I will be arguing for the contradictory nature of self-identity that establishes itself through choice, as Existentialists assert (Solomon, Higgins and Martin, 2011, p. 303), but necessarily encounters the opposition to its choice from the parts of the larger context (“Others”). I believe that the working momentary compromise between the assertions of human will (internal factors) and such external factors as natural circumstances, or the will of other(s), is a possible solution of the problem of self-identity.
Such thinkers as Locke and Sartre strictly associated self with consciousness: Locke believed this because he relied on the separation of mind and substance (Solomon, Higgins and Martin, 2011, p. 291) while Sartre emphasized such act of consciousness as choice. This notion is very controversial for a number of reasons. Firstly, there are states of brain in which the presence of self is either not registered or not controlled by 'consciousness', the ones that are conceptualized as different brain waves in contemporary neurology (Hall, 1998). ...