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How would you define your "self"?


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This is something I've been wondering about lately.

 

What exactly is a person's "self"? Is it purely a combination of different characteristics obtained through observation of others, your environment, and life experience? Or is there something that is uniquely you that decides to grasp onto these characteristics to better define it? A bit of both? Something else entirely?

 

We know that people learn how their surrounding society works through socialization and cognitive development, especially in their younger years. We also know that children that had been neglected in their younger years and had grown up in social isolation lack the necessary knowledge and skills that would allow them to be self-reliant, such as the case of Anna. In other words, they lacked the characteristics we would associate with a "normal person."

 

So, my question is this: Take away those characteristics you have and what are you? Are "you" still there? Is there still something there that makes you "you"? Some definitive core that will still be there once all your characteristics are taken away?

 

There seem to be two different views on this, the avocado and artichoke. The avocado view states that there is still a "core" to a person, like the seed in an avocado. The artichoke view states that if you peel away the layers that make up an artichoke, you are presented with no central core.

 

What do you think?

Edited by ATGG
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"Self" is defined in relation to others. Though commonly seen as opposites, they are co-constitutive. We do not, and cannot, exist outside of a social context because it is the very thing that impresses and shapes our embodied experience. We are forever changing, and never exactly the same as we once were.

 

On the note of how I define my "self": I don't have one to define.

Edited by Starlight Sky
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Why do you have to be so deep? I think that ''yourself'' is nothing but the definition of both your body and soul.

 

Because being shallow gives you a false point of departure.

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Hmm. I've heard it said by psychologists and neurologists that the 'self' is nothing but an illusion created by the brain while it processes external and internal stimuli. That, indeed, a person without external contacts would never really obtain a 'self'.

 

While I almost revere science, I struggle to accept such conclusions. There is a name for the human tendency to see importance where there really is none, but I can't find it right now. Even so, I really want to believe there is more to a person than just some chemical reactions in a mushy pile of cells. I want to believe in the concept of a soul, of a world beyond the physical one.

 

In short, I don't currently think there is a real core to one's 'self', but I really want to be wrong in thinking that.

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Here is just a basic overview of me:

 

I am a fairly chill person. It takes quite a bit to annoy me or get me winded up.

Although I am calm and collected, I am also very sensitive. I feel insulted and judged easily.

 

I am introverted, but I can be pretty crazy and loud when i'm around friends. 

I try to enjoy the samller things in life.

 

I am an honest person and I tend to speak my mind, so I can come across as blunt.

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How I define my''self''? -> ''The Japanese say you have three faces. The first face, you show to the world. The second face, you show to your close friends, and your family. The third face, you never show anyone. It is the truest reflection of who you are.''

 

That ''third face'' is my true ''self''.

Edited by The Cerberus
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I think of it this way... if you came into the universe as just a soul without experiences, history, or memories... what would you do? What would you think? What would you feel?

 

I think that initial moment probably would be the "self" you're talking about, in my opinion anyway. But hey, that's just me. :P

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How would I define my "self"? I'm logically compelled to conclude "I" am merely a compilation of unique life experiences manifested as a personality, as processed by a brain. In other words, it's the unique way I think about the world. If I had a perfect clone, we would be the same "person" until something made us behave differently.

 

I'd like the concept of a soul to be true though. I think of it as a backup hard drive for your personality when your brain eventually dies. It'd be a shame to lose a lifetimes worth of character development, right?

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