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PREPARED BY: PROF. LIEZEL P.

MOISES MA, RPM EDITED BY IVY MARIE ZARRAGA


Learning Outcomes
At the end of the chapter, you should be able to:
•explain the role of philosophy in understanding the concept of self

•discuss the different concepts of the self from the philosophical


perspective

•differentiate the various concepts of the self and identify their


similarities; and

•develop you own philosophy of the self


PHILOSOPHY DEFINED
•It is often called the mother of all disciplines, simply because of all
fields of study began as a philosophical discourses.

•Ancient philosophers have striven to explain natural and social


phenomena, coming up with their own definitions of how the world
works and what factors contribute to such phenomena.

•Thus, it was inevitable that they would come up with various


conceptions of what it means to be human, and in doing, the
definition of self.
THE SELF
• Has been defined as “as a unified being, essentially connected to
consciousness, awareness and agency (or at least with the faculty of
rational choice).

•Different philosophers have come up with more specific


characteristics of the self, and over time, these meanings have
transformed from pure abstractions to explanations that holds
scientific evidences.
THE ANCIENT PHILOSOPHY OF SELF
• Greek aphorism (one of 147 aphorisms
prominently inscribed in the temple of
Apollo at Delphi) “Know thy self”

• The aphorism (or principle) was used by


Socrates as his guiding principle that he
passed on to his students not by writing
but through untiring discussed concepts
and principles.
THE ANCIENT PHILOSOPHY OF SELF
Socrates (know thyself)

• An unexamined life is not worth living

• Believe that the real self is NOT the


physical body, but rather psyche (or soul).
• The appearance of body is inferior to its
functions.
THE ANCIENT PHILOSOPHY OF SELF
Socrates (know thyself)

• full power of reason on the human self:


who we are, who we should be, and who
will become.

• 2 dichotomous reals
• physical
• ideal
THE ANCIENT PHILOSOPHY OF SELF
Socrates (know thyself)

• Suggests that man must live an examined


love and a life of purpose and value.

• Man can have a meaningful and happy life


only if he becomes virtuous and knows the
value of himself

• That can be achieved through soul-


searching and introspection
THE ANCIENT PHILOSOPHY OF SELF
Plato (The Self is an Immortal Soul)
• It was Plato, Socrates’ prized student who
thoroughly expounded on Socrates ideas of self.
• The self is synonymous with the soul
• His philosophy can be explained as a process of
self-knowledge and purification of the soul.
THE ANCIENT PHILOSOPHY OF SELF
Plato (The Self is an Immortal Soul)
• Three-Part Soul/Self
• Reason - enable us to think deeply, make
wise choices, and achieve a true
understanding of eternal truths
• Physical Appetite - basic biological needs
such as hunger, thirst and sexual desire
• Spirit/Passion - basic emotions such as love,
anger, ambition, aggressiveness, and
empathy
THE ANCIENT PHILOSOPHY OF SELF
Plato

In his Theory of Forms, he introduces the concepts of the two worlds

•The world of forms (non-physical ideas) - real and


permanent
•The world of sense (reality) - temporary and only a
replica of the ideal world where the concept of the
soul belongs
THE ANCIENT PHILOSOPHY OF SELF
Plato

•Since the soul is regarded as something


permanent, man should give more
importance to it that the physical body which
resides in the world of sense
THE ANCIENT PHILOSOPHY OF SELF
Aristotle (The Soul is the Essence of the Self)

• Plato’s prized student


• he believes that the soul is merely a set of defining
features and does not consider the body and soul
as separate entities.

• Anything with life has a soul.


THE ANCIENT PHILOSOPHY OF SELF
Aristotle (The Soul is the Essence of the Self)

• Three Kinds of Soul

• Vegetative - physical body that can grow


• Sentient - sensual desires, feelings and
emotion
• Rational - what makes man human; includes
the intellect that allows man to know and
understand things
THE ANCIENT PHILOSOPHY OF SELF
Aristotle (The Soul is the Essence of the Self)

• Aristotle suggests that the rational nature of the


self is to lead a good, flourishing, and fulfilling life
(self-actualization)

• Rational soul is characterised by moral virtues such


as justice and courage.
THE ANCIENT PHILOSOPHY OF SELF
St. Augustine (The Self has an Immortal Soul)

• An African philosopher who integrates the ideas of


Plato and teachings of Christianity
• he believes that the physical body is radically
different from and inferior to its inhabitant, the
immortal soul.
• he believes that the soul governs and defines man
THE ANCIENT PHILOSOPHY OF SELF
St. Augustine (The Self has an Immortal Soul)
• he describes that humankind is created in the image
and likeness of God
• Everything created by God who is all good is good.
• human person, being a creation of God is always
geared towards the good.
• Reflection, prayers and confessions will help us to
know the existence of God
THE ANCIENT PHILOSOPHY OF SELF
Rene Descartes (I think therefore I am)

• a French Philosopher and the father of modern
philosophy

• the act of thinking about the self - of being self


conscious - is in itself proof that there is a self.

• a thinking entity that doubts, understands,


analyzes, questions, and reasons
THE ANCIENT PHILOSOPHY OF SELF
Rene Descartes (I think therefore I am)

• Two (2) Dimensions of the Human Self

• Thinking Self - (soul) as non-material, immortal,


conscious being, and independent of the
physical laws of universe
• Physical Body - is a material, mortal, non-
thinking entity, fully governed by the physical
laws of nature
THE ANCIENT PHILOSOPHY OF SELF
John Locke (The Self is Consciousness)

• English philosopher

• human mind at birth is tabula rasa or a blank slate

• the self or personal identity is constructed primarily


from sense experiences - what people see, hear, smell,
taste and feel.

• conscious awareness and memory of previous


experiences are the keys to understanding the self
THE ANCIENT PHILOSOPHY OF SELF
David Hume (There is no Self)

• Scottish philosopher
• people experience is just a bundle or collection of
different perceptions
• Distinct Entities
• Impressions - basic sensations of people
experience; vivid perceptions and are strong and
lively
• Ideas - thoughts and images from impressions
THE ANCIENT PHILOSOPHY OF SELF
Immanuel Kant (We Construct the Self)

• German philosopher

• the self is an organising principle that makes a unified and


intelligible experience possible

• it is metaphorically above or behind sense experience and it


uses the categories of our mind to filter, order, relate, organise
and synthesise sensations into a unified whole

• the self constructs its own reality, actively creating a world


that is familiar, predictable, and most significantly, mine.
THE ANCIENT PHILOSOPHY OF SELF
Gilbert Ryle (The Self is the way People Behave)

• British philosopher
• he believes that the self is a pattern of behaviour, the
tendency or a disposition of a person to behave in a
certain way in a certain circumstances.
• "I act, therefore I am"
• mind and body are linked
THE ANCIENT PHILOSOPHY OF SELF
Paul Churchland (The Self is the Brain)

• Canadian philosopher

• the self is inseparable from the brain and the


physiology of the body (eliminative materialialism)

• the physical brain and not the imaginary mind,


gives people the sense of self
THE ANCIENT PHILOSOPHY OF SELF
Maurice Merleau-Ponty (The Self is Embodied
Subjectivity)
• French philosopher

• all knowledge about the self (understanding the


nature of the self) is based on the “phenomena” of
experience.

• The “I” is a single integrated core identity, a


combination of the mental, physical, and emotional
structures around a core identity of the self.
END-THANK YOU!