Thursday, February 27, 2020

Identity, community, and conflict Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 1000 words

Identity, community, and conflict - Essay Example Chapter 4 of the book by Solomon, Higgins, and Martin (2011) begins with the quote from Alice in Wonderland where the Caterpillar questions the very importance of self (p. 285). In Carroll's (1996) text, neither the caterpillar nor actually Alice care too much about their identities. They choose the selves they want to be, as if they were Sartrians, but in much more playful manner. Yet in one of the responses to the caterpillar Alice remarks: â€Å"Oh, I'm not particular as to size, only one doesn't like changing so often, you know† (Carroll, 1996). That means that there are still limits to human will as Alice’s will is overcome by her perceived irritation by the repeated change. In this paper, I will be arguing for the contradictory nature of self-identity that establishes itself through choice, as Existentialists assert (Solomon, Higgins and Martin, 2011, p. 303), but necessarily encounters the opposition to its choice from the parts of the larger context (â€Å"Othe rs†). I believe that the working momentary compromise between the assertions of human will (internal factors) and such external factors as natural circumstances, or the will of other(s), is a possible solution of the problem of self-identity. Such thinkers as Locke and Sartre strictly associated self with consciousness: Locke believed this because he relied on the separation of mind and substance (Solomon, Higgins and Martin, 2011, p. 291) while Sartre emphasized such act of consciousness as choice. This notion is very controversial for a number of reasons. Firstly, there are states of brain in which the presence of self is either not registered or not controlled by 'consciousness', the ones that are conceptualized as different brain waves in contemporary neurology (Hall, 1998). Beta wave is associated with awake condition while alpha (relaxed) or theta (sleep) waves are slower in frequency preventing humans from performing all the actions they would be capable of in an awake state (Hall, 1998).. Secondly, returning to the domain of philosophy, it is still unclear what is the entity that is responsible for the conscious decision (Solomon, Higgins and Martin, 2011, p. 293) as opposed to Existentialist worldview in which â €Å"existence precedes essence† (Solomon, Higgins and Martin, 2011, p. 305) that totally denies existence of a decision making entity, as in such states when something â€Å"essential† (if any) is not subjected to any existential choices. This was Hume's objections to Locke (Solomon, Higgins and Martin, 2011, p. 293). Still, the notion that self should be associated with choice appeals to me for the reason that 'self' is never alone. One of the possible answers to the need of question of self lies in manifestations of identity. People usually establish their identities through either promoting selected positive values and corresponding or contradicting other conflicting ideas and deeds. They might require openness to negotiation, like communitarianism (Jayaram, 2012); they can also broaden human self to other human and non-human creatures and other elements of material world, like done in deep ecology (Taylor, 2005, p. 457) relating the personal identity to community as a whole in terms of one’s relations to surroundings over time. However, communitarianism and deep ecology encounter opposition on the ground that they suppress diverse values (Taylor, 2005, p. 458). If assumed, that an identity is manifested through the difference with other identities, it becomes clear that identity is a ma tter of choice. How? The choice may be conscious (on which Sartre insisted) (Solomon, Higgins and Martin, 2011, p. 304) or unconscious, the notion introduced in psychoanalysis and partially covered by Hume in his debate with Locke (Solomon, Higgins and Martin, 2011, p. 293). Like Freud, Hume asserted that there is something in the work of human mind that makes it deceive itself (Solomon, Higgins and Martin, 2011, p. 294). This lack of human mind’

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