Talons Philosophy

An Open Online Highschool Philosophy Course

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self care is doing cocaine behind a Denny’s at 3 am – Katherine

I’ve been tying to find a way to phrase my question that isn’t “what is the self” because we already kinda covered that in class with the four theories of the self. I personally subscribe to the bundle theory, or that the “self” is made up of experiences and memories that we collect as we live. then again, talking about it in class clearly didn’t finish it for me because I have SO MANY MORE QUESTIONS so, here we go:

  • What is the “self”?
    1. Is there a unique part of yourself that you are born with?
    2. Does that make up a part of your “self” even if most of you is made up of the memories and experiences you collet?
    3.  Can you find out more about your “self” by meditating or “looking inside yourself”?

After doing some reading on my topic, I’m starting to realize that I liked bundle theory based only on what it said in our short reading: after learning more, I see its flaws. I was searching on websites and I found this one definition that explained it quite well:

  • According to bundle theory, an object consists of its properties and nothing more

  • Hence, there can not be an object without properties nor can one even conceive of such an object

  • For example, a ball is really a collection of the properties green (color), 50cm in diameter (size), 5kg (weight), etc.

  • Beyond those properties, there is no “ball.”

(this is from bewarephilosophy.weebly.com, link in the bottom)

See the problem? I believe that the “self” is more that just the properties I posses. But if I dont subscribe to any of the other theories, what is my “self” made of??

Now onto answering the questions:

  • What is the “self”
    • Is there a unique part of yourself that you are born with?
    • There must be. While I still believe most of bundle theory, I cannot deny that there must be something within me that made me who I am before my experiences kicked in. I was struggling to explain it before I saw the dog metaphor, as I call it. If you took your dog to the vet and picked up a qualitatively similar dog (same size, same colouring, same eyes, etc.), you would notice in fairly short order that the dog you’ve picked up is not yours. Doesn’t this indicate that your dog does have an identity that remains unchanged? This must mean that there is a unique quality in you dog that makes it who it is.
    • Does that make up a part of your “self” even if most of you is made up of the memories and experiences you collet?
    • I belive both. The problem is, Bundle Theory tends to exclude all other options. In bundle theory, you are only your properties: there is no substance connecting them. This makes sense to me: All my properties, how I look, how I sound, how many cells I have, how I think, what I know, what I remember. These are all the properties that create who I am. As I age, I will remember more, look different, sound different, feel different, yet I am still me. The rest of the artical had deeper ideas on how you percieve the world and your own unchanging essesnce, but I’ll stick to what I know for now.
    • Can you find out more about your “self” by meditating or “looking inside yourself”?
    • This was a little harder to research. Searching for articles about “looking inside yourself” led me to How To Find Yourself In 15 Steps (With Pictures!) on Wikihow… not what I was hoping for.  Some articles I found toldme how calming my thoughts through meditation could “still the ripples of my mind and look deeper into the water”, while others seemed to think that finding yourself was simply a matter of accepting who you are. Are they both right? I don’t know, but I think I’ll end up trying the meditation soon. 

Sources:

http://bewarephilosophy.weebly.com/bundle-theory.html

http://mywholesomehome.blogspot.ca/2011/08/meditation-made-easy-10-steps-to.html

schoolworkhelper.net/hume’s-bundle-theory-of-the-self/

 

 

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