What is the "self?"

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11 Answers

Virginia Lou Profile
Virginia Lou answered

Dear Pea Nuts you are contemplating all these amazing questions! I should have guessed this one was from you...I am smiling with delight...

* * *

I think of the 'self' simply as an event...no intrinsic existence.

 It's easy to see how a baseball game is an event, everybody coming together for an afternoon, but if you consider, well, a mountain is an event, also...in that everything just comes together for some millions of years, and ultimately disassembles, just like the ball game.

* * *

And thus do we...we ultimately disassemble...we are events.

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Virginia Lou
Virginia Lou commented
Yes...Dozy you have always given me good hope there, because now I know tomorrow is guaranteed, because it's already tomorrow in Australia
Didge Doo
Didge Doo commented
I don't like to boast but that puts us way ahead of the good old USA. >:-/
Virginia Lou
Virginia Lou commented
...in more ways than one, I am afraid, Dozy...
Matt Radiance Profile
Matt Radiance answered

A person's essential being that distinguishes them from others, especially considered as the object of introspection or reflexive action.

(Of a trimming or cover) of the same material and color as the rest of the item.

Oneself, in particular.

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Matt Radiance
Matt Radiance commented
-Reflexivity refers to circular relationships between cause and effect.
-Introspection is the examination of one's own conscious thoughts and feelings
Perry Nuttal
Perry Nuttal commented
Who does the examination of thoughts and feelings if you are your thoughts and feelings?
Tom  Jackson
Tom Jackson commented
Didn't see your answer until after I had posted mine.
Ancient Hippy Profile
Ancient Hippy answered

To me, self is my personal reaction to and the acceptance of my body's 5 senses.

Rooster Cogburn Profile
Rooster Cogburn , Rooster Cogburn, answered

I agree mostly with the others but here is some interesting reading.

What Is the Self? It Depends - The New York Times

The Illusion of the Self | Issue 97 | Philosophy Now

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Virginia Lou
Virginia Lou commented
I am book marking those R...get to them as soon as more notifications get deleted...number getting smaller and smaller now...
Didge Doo
Didge Doo commented
I'll be sure to check those out later. Thanks Rooster.
Virginia Lou
Virginia Lou commented
...and they are fascinating. I think I have to look into reading David Hume, his name came up occasionally on old Ask...and here he is again, he has explored this concept of self!
Soul Fly Profile
Soul Fly answered

It's the "Shelf" with a lisp.

Didge Doo Profile
Didge Doo answered

Easy peasy. It's that part of us that thinks in Latin and says things like cogito ergo sum

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Virginia Lou
Virginia Lou commented
Oh I just love it! Always glad when sunrise arrives Down Under, and you make your way to the computer...
Didge Doo
Didge Doo commented
And -1°C so my fingers don't want to play.
Virginia Lou
Virginia Lou commented
Oh my goodness, there is frost on those Australian pumpkins...
Michael Poland Profile
Michael Poland answered


A dance of the many,

pretending to be the one.

Tom  Jackson Profile
Tom Jackson answered

Interesting answers.

And here's a benchmark you can measure from:

a person's essential being that distinguishes them from others, especially considered as the object of introspection or reflexive action.

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Perry Nuttal
Perry Nuttal commented
But who is doing the introspection?
Tom  Jackson
Tom Jackson commented
You.

We possess our being in parts (it is a great limitation).

God "is"; we, on the other hand are not coextensive with our "components" since we are not the "first" cause (an absolute actuality that is perfect.)

You (or me), an individuated human being, is doing the introspection.
Perry Nuttal
Perry Nuttal commented
So are we separate to our mental processes?
Jaimie  JT Profile
Jaimie JT answered

Lol :) I wanna post a divinals song to answer this question ... But I think I'm gonna be good instead :p EDIT : I changed my mind ... I'm posting song then ... Cos I said so 

Darik Majoren Profile
Darik Majoren answered

It is the culmination of our conscious thoughts and our subconscious thoughts that make up who we are in both cognitive thinking and impulsive behaviors. It is also encompasses out instinctual side passed on through evolution.

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Perry Nuttal
Perry Nuttal commented
What does it matter if your mortality is passed on by a book or film or action if it doesn't mean anything because in the end we all die, humanity ends and it was all for no reason other than a random chance. Also if we are just a bunch of chemical processes how can you put an value or meaning to life. The reason you are the way you are is based purely on your conditioning, not on any free choices, in that way you cannot take credit for anything you do, because at some point it was bound to happen because of circumstances beyond control. You are in essence just a relay machine of data.

With no self or no soul or no afterlife there can be no meaning to anything you do. Materialism gives no meaning, if you wish to take meaning because the delusion of self allows you to then so be it, but it appears that it isn't based in the logic.
Perry Nuttal
Perry Nuttal commented
As I said before I believe in something good, and we can all draw from that. When we all act towards each others benefit we are strong, when we act towards our own selfishness that takes and takes it can even be violent and we become weak.
Like I said on the other question, to me society is becoming more violent and sick, we are bombarded with adverts that tell us to worship our egos, care about our vanity (now everyone can be celebrity a star, and advertise there lives online with selfies), and rob peter to pay Paul. Programs are violent and sex is exploitative, no family values or love. If someone is controlling this, promoting this then they want our society to be this way. The internet and mobile phones are making people disconnect from each other on a personal level. We are becoming a disconnected society within a fence of CCTV. If your life has a meaning to be meaningful then nothing matters more than quality of life. It is our disconnectedness from good or love from each other that is causing society to become what it. I don't know much about religion. I am not that clever, most words that are used here I have to search to find out what they mean. But I do look around me and see that something is wrong.
Thank you for your time Dark Majinn, much appreciated.
Darik Majoren
Darik Majoren commented
Pea Nuts, I have thoroughly enjoyed our exchange of ideas and feeling that help us relate better to each other and those around us.
Stay curious, and steadfast on the path that leads you to personal fulfillment my friend. I look forward to more of your wonderful inquiries my friend.
Pepper pot Profile
Pepper pot answered

Me. My thinking, my feelings, my reactions, my experiences, my body. Only I can experience myself and only you can experience yourself. We can relate to things because our mind allows us to imagine, and most of the time we have experienced at least on some level similar things or feelings.

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