In this paper I will describe and discuss three to four arguments or theories on self and than try to justify which theory according to me is more acceptable or applicable

In this paper I will describe and discuss three to four arguments or theories on self and than try to justify which theory according to me is more acceptable or applicable.
Self is an experience that uniquely distinguishes us from each and every entity in this universe. The concept of self can be considered as an acknowledgement of one’s existence. Self is sometimes connected to person’s identity, consciousness, awareness. Metaphysically the nature of self can be considered that is beyond the materialistic existence. Over the period of time there are various philosophers who have proposed arguments on self both directly and indirectly.
Plato argued that the body and souls are divided identities, the later governing the first. Soul is driving force of our body and it gives us a sense of identity. Plato explains the principle of dualism as the existence of mind/soul together and the body as an entirely separate part of a living being. Soul is capable of to carry its existence alone even after a person is dead.Aristotle on the other hand agrees with plato to a certain extent, the difference lies in the acceptance of a separate existence of soul. Aristotle believes that soul and body exists together and with death is the combined end of them together. I partly disagree with Aristotle, considering the fact that it is biologically proved that certain functions of the human body are solely dependent on the biological and chemical characteristics, i.e. the what kind of nutrition we take is directly responsible for our growth and the decomposition of that nutrients is entirely dependent upon the biochemical composition of the human body. Thus the theory that Aristotle presents in front of us appears to be true but it isn’t.
Indian views on self trace back to the hinduism, self is defined as jiva (life), atman (breath) and jivatman(life-breath), purusa( the essence that lies within body). Like plato, indian theory also defines self as something connected to body but entirely different. Like the self or soul continues the cycle of death and rebirth and accumulation of the effects of deeds or Karma. The body is just the vessel which carries the soul during a birth cycle. Upanishads are hindu philosophical texts that talk about self, all the above mentioned interpretations of self are mentioned in the hindu upanishads. Inquiry towards self is often directed by analysing the nature of a human being. The best thing about the Indian interpretation is the fact that no conclusion has been made directly on the basis of an individual’s senses (both motor and cognitive). The mind as being the self are also ruled out. The body has basically three modes of consciousness walking, dreaming and deep sleep, all these states had some form of self awareness/knowledge collection associated with them. Thus, an argument can be developed that there is a possibility of some sort of inner self that is beyond current scientific explanation.
Daniel Dennett argues self as something that is beyond physical detection, something like a concept that fulfils or requires an explanation. Just something like centre of gravity which is a concept used to mathematically justify or mathematically evaluate the net force acting on a composite body. This is also not entirely true, because if that is the case then what about the thoughts that occur to us during our dreams.
Rene Descartes also agrees somewhat with plato along with the idea of dualism describing a famous term ‘I think therefore I am’.
John Locke talks about personal identity and survival of consciousness after death. What ae the sufficient and necessary conditions for the survival of persons? Is the personal identity just a matter of psychological continuity. Personal identity according to him is a part of consciousness based on memory and not soul or body. The main issue with personal identity is how do we perceive identity and how does one define it? According to locke self is mostly defined by an individual for its own existence. Self is another type of concept that is beyond mind and body.
Thus, according to multiple perspectives it can be concluded that arguments made by different philosophers from different timeline are revolving around the definition of elf as either a concept, a part of mind or soul or an entirely different form of existence.
The best definition of self according to me is presented by Indian Upanishads and Rene Descartes, I agree that the upanishads talk about spirit and the existence of mind which is scientifically not explainable until now, but they also put forward arguments defining different state of consciousness and how do various thoughts or accumulations of experiences occur during these states. Rene descartes talks about self in an entirely different manner, for him the concept of self the entirely based on the thought process and realisation of existence of an individual. People may or may not realise who they are or even there existence is they cannot perceive their existence. If we make a person stand in an entirely dark room which no physical object instead of him and the room also does not contain any form of lumination than it would be still possible that we realise that we are an entity, we may not be able to figure out how we look or what exactly our shape is but we may still figure out that we exist. Rene descartes talks about similar experience, it may not be our body or our mind but something that lies beyond. Overall there are many more theories regarding how we perceive our self, but broadly it revolves around being a concept that explains something unexplainable for the current time period or it is something that exists as an entity beyond scientific explanation.


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