Discuss the different representations and conceptualization of the self from
various disciplinal perspectives.
Examine the different influences, factors and forces that shape the self; and
Compare and contrast how the self has been represented across the different
disciplines and perspectives.
It is rooted in the human need to understand
the basis of the experiences of the “self.”
Numerous studies have been conducted and
various approaches have been developed from
concepts about it.
“The unexamined life is not worth living.”
Examination of one’s self, as well as the question about how one ought
to live one’s life, are very important concerns because only by knowing
yourself can you hope to improve your life
Realities: physical and ideal realms.
Physical- changeable, transient, imperfect (BODY)
Ideal- unchangeable, eternal, perfect (SOUL)
Self is the essence of soul.
Reason- a tool used by soul to achieve perfection.
As long as soul tied to the body, soul cannot achieve it’s perfect state
(continuous reflection is a must).
GREEK PHILOSOPHER, FOUNDED THE ACADEMY
Man is a dual nature of body and soul.
Composition of the Soul:
Reason — our divine essence that enables us to think deeply, make wise choices, and achieve a
true understanding of eternal truths.
Physical Appetite — our basic biological needs such as hunger, thirst, and sexual desire.
Spirit or Passion — our basic emotions such as love, anger, ambition, aggressiveness, empathy
Man- omniscient or all-knowing before he came to be born into this world.
Contemplation- allows man to regain perfections.
Defined the soul as the core essence of a living being, but argued against its
having a separate existence.
Body and soul: not separate entities.
Soul is not ghostly occupant of the body. It is the first activity in the body, it cannot
Humans have bodies for rational activity
Three classifications of soul: vegetative, sentient, rational
He believed that the human being was both a soul and body.
Augustine emphasized the importance of the will, the ability to
choose between good and evil.
The fundamental religious duty is to love and serve God; if we can succeed
in this, we will also choose the good and avoid the evil. But humans are
now constantly attracted towards evil, that is, toward excessive
satisfaction of our lower desires for material things and pleasures.
Early in his philosophical development he describes the body as a “snare”
and a “cage” for the soul. He considers the body a “slave” to the soul, and
sees their relation as contentious: “The soul makes war with the body.”
Infused Christianity but focused on Aristotle’s philosophy.
Self is composed of matter and form.
Matter: common stuff that makes up everything
Form: essence of substance or thing
Theory of Self-knowledge- all our self-knowledge is dependent on our experience of
the world around us.
Soul animates the body.
Cogito, Ergo Sum—“I Think, Therefore I Am.”
Man- thinking entity distinct from the body
No one has ever doubt his own existence.
All of us exist because of our thinking ability.
Believe in body-mind dualism.
Self as thinking entity.
Self as physical body.
Must use his mind and thinking abilities to investigate and develop himself.
“SELF” - He defines the self as "that conscious thinking thing, (whatever substance,
made up of whether spiritual, or material, simple, or compounded, it matters not) which
is sensible, or conscious of pleasure and pain, capable of happiness or misery, and so
is concerned for itself, as far as that consciousness extends".
Locke posits an "empty" mind, a tabula rasa, which is shaped by
experience; sensations and reflections being the two sources
of all our ideas.
There is no self.
Man- has no clear and intelligible idea of himself.
Self- bundle or collection of different perceptions.
Hume divided the mind’s perceptions into two groups: impressions and ideas.
Impression- basic objects of our experience or sensation
Ideas- copies of impressions.
We construct the Self
Our primary experience of the world is not in terms of a
disconnected stream of sensations (feelings).
All our knowledge begins with experience, but it does not follow that it all arises out of
Two components of self: Inner self and outer self.
Man- only creature who governs and directs himself and his actions.
Respect for self.
Should not be treated as tool.
Should be treated equally.
I act therefore I am.
Self is the same as bodily
Mind is a concept that
expresses the entire system of
thoughts, emotions, actions,
and so on that make up the
The way we act is the same as
who we are.
Believe that to fully understand
the nature of the mind we have to
fully understand the nature of
Views that we need to develop a
vocabulary that will enable us to
think and communicate clearly
about the mind, consciousness,
and human experience which he
call as “eliminative materialism.”
Views that the division
between the “mind” and the
“body” is a product of confused
Self is embodied subjectivity.
Body and mind are
body acts what the mind
perceives as a unified one.
Anthropology views the “self” as a culturally
shaped construct or idea. Anthropologists assert
that it is an autonomous participant in the society
as much as it is submerged in the community.
Anthropologist and professor
“Self” is illusory. “People construct a series of self-
representations that are based on selected cultural
concepts of person and selected chains of personal
memories. Each self-concept is experienced as whole and
continuous, with its own history and memories that
emerge in a specific context to be replaced by another self-
representation when the context changes.”
Conceptualized the implicit and explicit aspects of the self.
explicit self- aspect of the self that you are consciously
implicit aspect - the one that is not immediately available
to the consciousness.
Self is not static; it is added to and subtracted from by
genetic maturation, learning, forgetting, stress, ageing,