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PHILOSOPHICAL

PERSPECTIVES OF
THE SELF
LEARNING OBJECTIVE:

At the end of today’s session students


will be able to differentiate the various
perspectives of Philosophy in defining
the self.
DIFFERENT VIEWS OF
PHILOSOPHERS IN ANSWERING
THE QUESTION “ WHO AM I”
SOCRATES
“KNOW THY SELF”
 Know Thyself to be wise, that the unexamined life is not worth
living. Thus it is a cruel irony that Socrates was condemned to
death for corrupting the youth (for educating them to
Philosophy and arguing that people are ignorant of the Truth).
 SELF – is not just the physical body, but rather the PSYCHE (soul).
 Every man is composed of body and soul (dualistic)
 Soul- perfect and permanent
 Body- imperfect and impermanent

SOCRATES – THE FATHER OF MODERN


PHILOSOPHY
- The knowledge of oneself can be achieved only
through the Socratic method, that is to say, the
dialogue between the soul and itself, or between a
student and his teacher.
- His assertion, indicates that man must stand and live
according his nature. Man has to look at himself. To
find what? By what means?
- Knowledge is necessary to become virtuous and
virtue is necessary to attain happiness, personification
of good.
- All evil are committed out of ignorance and hence
involuntary.

IDEAS OF SOCRATES
Introspection

Observation

Feedback

Assessment tools

THE PROCESS OF SELF DISCOVERY


PLATO
 The Development of self knowledge is emphasized the
social aspect of human nature – that we are not self-
sufficient, we need others, and we benefit from our social
interactions, from other person’s talents, aptitudes, and
friendship.
 Identifiedthe 3 components of Soul (appetitive, rational
and spirited)
 Justice
can only be attained if the 3 are harmoniously
working with one another

PLATO (MIND AND BODY)


1. The appetitive- includes our countless desires for various
pleasures, comforts, physical satisfaction, and bodily
ease like drinking, eating, sleeping and sex.
2. The spirited or hot blooded part – in-charge of emotions
3. The rational/conscious awareness – the part of us that
thinks, analyzes, looks ahead, rationally weights options,
and tries to measure what is best and truest overall.
When ideal state is attained, the human person’s soul becomes just and
virtuous

3 ELEMENTS OF THE PSYCHE (SOUL)


 Plato
defined self as fundamentally an intellectual entity
whose nature exists (essence) independent from the
physical world.
 For
example – A knife has a soul, the act of cutting
would be that soul, because “cutting” is the essence of
what it is to be a knife. Plato – a dualist – there is both
immaterial mind( soul) and material (body).
 Wisdom and knowledge lead to virtue.
 Moral
virtue is rooted in the intellect and lead to
happiness
He argues that human is
bifurcated nature. An
aspect of man dwells in the
world and is imperfect and
continuously yearns to be
with Divine and the other is
capable of reaching
immortality ST.AGUSTINE
Augustine believes that the body dies whereas the
soul can stay after death in an eternal realm with an
all-transcendent GOD.
Augustine tries to reconcile his beliefs about freewill,
especially the belief that humans are morally
responsible for their actions, with his belief that one’s
life is predestined.
GOAL: attain communion and bliss with the DIVINE

ST. AGUSTINE
Humans always choose to do good, it's just a matter of
whether one chooses a lesser "good."
This occurs when one chooses to allow passions and
desires rule the soul, which tend toward things of this
world.
Why man chooses to do ‘lesser good’?
When reason rules the soul, "the more perfect [reason] is
made subject to the less perfect [desire and passion].

THE IDEA OF GOOD AND EVIL


RENE
DESCARTES

“The body is nothing else but a


machine that is attached to
the mind. “

‘The self is composed of COGITO and EXTENZA’


I think, therefore I am’
*A philosophical conclusion from René Descartes,
who in order to work out what he really, really did
know for sure, started by doubting everything.
*He knew that he definitely could and did think
(what he thought about being irrelevant), and so
concluded that if he could think, he must exist.

RENE DESCARTES
Existenceof self for Descartes becomes necessary
because the self thinks.
****Because I am the one doubting, it rationally
means that all can be doubted except me.
*Self that logically exists is the thinking element and
not the body.
*Self is reason or consciousness. ( rationalism turns
idealism)
JOHN LOCKE
Locke rejected thinking,
learning or knowledge.
The self Locke has perceived is
one with complex ideas.
He rejects Descartes innate
ideas and believes that ideas
are representations or
perceptions.
Tabula rasa (empty slate)
He is of the view that soul is clear and empty at birth.
Ideas come from our experience and that is what fills
the soul.
Theseideas come into us through our sense
apparatus and they come in the form of sense data.

JOHN LOCKE
DAVID HUME  Self is a unified combination of
all experience of a person.
 Men can only attain
knowledge by experiencing.
 Allknowledge passes through
the sense.
 Selfis a bundle of different
perceptions with
inconceivable rapidity and
are in perpetual movement.
 Hume ideas are all necessarily based on intuitive impressions.
*based on direct copied of impressions.
Perceptions give us what we use to give attributes to
substances (we do not know the impressions)
 Self as a bundle of perceptions of consciousness/impressions
(self has no reality its just imagination)
 He does agree with Descartes with ‘I doubt therefore I am.’
(Cogito ergo sum)
 For example…Ice cube is cold , thus it is an impression
because of direct experience. Like you know Jill because she
is seen, heard and touched.
DAVID HUME
IMMANUEL KANT “Disputing Hume’s ideas he thinks
that impressions around them are
not just randomly infused into the
human person without an
organizing principle that
regulates the relationship of all
these impressions.”
Self is the seat of knowledge
acquisition for all human persons.
Without it, one cannot organize
the different impressions how
man can exists.
 Self is transcendental.
 Being is not in the body for Kant, it is out of the body and it is
out of the qualities of the body.
 Bodyand the qualities are rooted in the self but the self does
not mingle with them.
 Kant
uses knowledge (apparatuses) to bridge self and
material things together.
 Ideas
are what connect us and the external world. This
means there is a unity.
 The
connection is what he calls the Transcendental Unity of
Apperception.
IMMANUEL KANT
GILBERT RYLE
Self is not an entity one
can locate or analyze,
simply a convenient
name that people use to
refer all behaviors that
people make. (i.e.
university)
 The Concept of Mind – which challenges the traditional
distinction of body and mind.
 The Concept of Mind, shows how we can eliminate the
misleading language expressions in the broad sense (words,
description, statements), that is to say the words that can
make believe in the existence of objects or ‘species’.
 Ryle cites the relationship between mind and body and
particularly against the “ghost in the machine”, that is to
say, the myth of the inner mental life.
 The behaviour that manifest in a day to day life

GILBERT RYLE
PAUL CHURCHLAND  The
mind and the body are
separate
 MIND-BODY Problem:
What is the mind? What is the
body?
 MATERIALIST theories – state
of the mind/ soul are
physical states – states of the
brain.
Advantages of materialism:
1. More parsimonious
2. Materialism can explain things that dualism cannot in
understanding the function of the brain.
MATERIALISM – nothing but matter exist
Eliminative Materialism - is the claim that people's common-
sense understanding of the mind (or traditional psychology) is
false and that certain classes of mental states that most
people believe in do not exist.
*Churchland argue that eliminativism is often necessary in
order to open the minds of thinkers to new evidence and
better explanations.
PAUL CHURCHLAND
MAURICE MERLEAU-
 “We are our bodies”…
PONTY
 Our bodily experiences do not
detach the
subject/object/mind/body,
rational/irrational.
 The body and mind are
inseparable. The living body,
his thoughts, emotions, and
experiences are all one.
 Unity of soul and body as well
as their relative distinction.
 Mind,the symbolic level of form that Merleau-Ponty identifies with
the human, is organized not toward vital goals but by the
characteristic structures of the human world: tools, language,
culture, and so on.
 Mind or consciousness cannot be defined formally in terms of self-
knowledge or representation, but is essentially engaged in the
structures and actions of the human world and encompasses all of
the diverse intentional orientations of human life.
 Mind is an integration that remains essentially conditioned by the
matter and life in which it is embodied; the truth of naturalism lies in
the fact that such integration is essentially fragile and incomplete.

MERLEAU- PONTY
TO DO:

Prepare for a quiz next meeting.


Choose a partner. Compare and contrast the
10 philosophical perspectives in defining self
through a chart or table. Write in a short bond
paper computerized( see sample chart).