THE SELF FROM VARIOUS
At the end of this lesson, you
should be able to:
1. Explain why it is essential to understand
2. Describe and discuss the different notions
of the self from the points of view of the
various philosophers across time and place;
3. Compare and contrast how the self has been
represented in different philosophical schools;
4. Examine one’s self against the different
4. WHAT IS PHILOSOPHY
Philosophy comes from the Ancient Greek Words: Philos
(Love) and Sophia (Wisdom) refers to “Love of Wisdom” and was
soon applied to a science or the discipline which uses human
reason to investigate the ultimate causes, reasons, and
principles which govern all things.
1. SENSE OF WONDER: confronted with an experience and
2. DOUBT: we are facing ideas and ideas arguments.
3. EXPERIENCE: understanding the adverse or challenging
4. LOVE OF WISDOM: never-ending desire for truth.
5. HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY?
The history of philosophy is replete with men and women who
inquired into the fundamental nature of the self. Along with the question
of the primary substratum that defines the multiplicity of things in the
world, the inquiry on the self has preoccupied the
earliest thinkers in the history of philosophy: the Greeks. The Greeks
were the ones who seriously questioned myths and moved away from them in
attempting to understand reality and respond to perennial questions of
curiosity, including the question of the self. The different perspectives
and views on the self can be best seen and understood by revisiting its
prime movers and identity the most important conjectures made by
philosophers from ancient times to the contemporary period.
For Socrates, every man is composed of body and
soul. This means that every human person is
dualistic, that is, he is composed of two
important aspects of his personhood. For
Socrates, this means all individuals have
imperfect, impermanent aspects to him, and the
body while maintaining that there is also a
Plato, Socrates’ student, basically took off
from his master and supported the idea that man
is a dual nature of body and soul. In addition
to what Socrates earlier espoused, Plato added
that there are three components of the soul:
the rational soul, the spirited soul, and the
10. In his magnum opus, The Republic” (Plato 2000),
Plato emphasizes that justice in the human
person can only be attained if the three parts
of the soul work harmoniously with one another.
The rational soul forged by reason and
intellect has to govern the affairs of the
human person, the spirited part which is in
charge of emotions should be kept at bay, and
the appetitive soul in charge of base desires
like eating, drinking, sleeping, and having sex
are controlled as well. When this ideal state
is attained, then the human person’s soul
12. Augustine’s view of the human person
reflects the entire spirit of the
medieval world when it comes to man.
He defines and explains the doctrine
of Christianity. The body is bound
to die on earth and the soul is to
anticipate living eternally in a
realm of spiritual bliss in
communion with God.
13. SAINT AQUINAS
Aquinas said that indeed, man is composed of
Matter: refers to the common stuff that that
makes up everything in the universe.
Something that he shares even with animals,
like cells of any other living.
Form: essence of a substance or a thing. We
make us human person with our distinctive
inner self and essence. The soul is what
15. RENE DESCARTES
Rene Descartes, The self is a thinking thing,
distinct from the body, with his cognito ergo
sum, “I think, therefore I am”, as I read
about what he says, I noticed that he
believes that people are body, and what they
think is who they are or what their self is.
He separates body and mind if one is
thinking; therefore he/she has a “self” in
16. RENE DESCARTES
Therefore, I think, he is
implying that “self” is how,
what, and/or why we think and
that is separated from the body.
Unlike from the previous two that
believes we know ourselves,
Descartes believes more that we,
as a thinking body, is the “self”
Two distinct entities
1. Cogito- The thing that
thinks, which is the mind.
2. Extenza- extension of the
mind which is body.
The body is nothing else but a machine
that is attached to the mind – Of
course our body is connected to our
mind. What are mind we think the body
18. DAVID HUME
David Hume, An empiricist who believes that one
can know only what comes from the senses and
-Empiricism is the school of thought that
espouses the idea that knowledge can only
be possible if it is sensed and
experienced. Men can only attain
knowledge by experience.
19. DAVID HUME
Hume believes that “self is nothing else but a
bundle of impressions”. Somehow, his idea is
interconnected with Mikhail’s that implying “a
person is a person through other person”. Like
from the other philosopher, he made us also
think that what makes us, is the impression of
others upon us.
20. DAVID HUME
What are impressions? For David Hume, if one
tries to examine his experience.
Categorized into two;
Impressions are the basic objects of our
experience or sensation from the core of our
When we touch an ice cube, the cold
sensation is an impression.
*Impressions, therefore, are vivid
because they are the products of our
direct experience with the word.
21. DAVID HUME
Ideas, on the other hand, are copies of
impressions. Because of this, they are not as
lively and vivid as our impressions. When one
imagines the feeling of being in love for the
first time that is still an idea.
Self- according to Hume is simply
“A bundle or collection of different
perceptions, which succeed each other
with an inconceivable, rapidity, and are
in perpetual flux and movement.
23. IMMANUEL KANT
Immanuel Kant, there is a necessarily a mind
that organizes the impressions that men get
from the external world. Time and Space, for
example, are ideas that one cannot find in the
world, but are built in our minds. Kant calls
these the apparatus of the mind.
24. IMMANUEL KANT
The self is a unifying subject, an organizing
consciousness that makes intelligible
experience possible, and a complex of
appearances whose existence and connection
occur only in our representations, as he said.
“He believes that we have what we he so-called
inner and outer sense. Implying his thought he
says, “Bodies are objects of outer sense” while
“Souls are objects of inner sense”. I think his
thought implies that, in the outer sense, it is
our consciousness of oneself, and that the
inner sense refers to one’s psychological
26. Ryle’s definition of self says “the
self is the way people behave” He
believes that how we act, how we
interact and blend in the society is
our “self” itself. Similar to
Hume’s, our self is defined by
impressions. However, Ryle says that
it is how we behave; therefore, it
could just be how we think we behave
28. MERLEAU PONTY
Merleau Ponty developed the concept of the
body-subject (le corps propre) he believes
that the self is embodied subjectivity. He
sees “self” as how we experience things in
our minds. If we experienced something,
therefore it adds up to the completion of
ourselves, and as we venture, we develop