Tuesday, October 4, 2011

conscious

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Consciousness, the Self, and Personality Theory A Critical Survey of Theories of


Philosophical Arguments and Modern Psychological Personality Theories.


This paper will concern itself with some main philosophical arguments


and dilemmas and how they correlate with modern psychological personality


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theories. This survey will include dilemmas about the mind and body, the


concept of the self, and inner and outer reality. Also, it will discuss six


personality theorists and their scientific and philosophical developments.


Psychology, science, and philosophy are interconnected and rooted within


each other. In the book Metapsychology, the author, Sam Rakover, states that


Scientific knowledge grows and changes with time, and all three of the


subsystems of science-the philosophical, the theoretical, and the experimental-


are constantly developing (Rakover 7). These developments are systematic


processes. Psychology must engage in pursuit of explanation and causality. As


well as how the mind interacts with the body. Gathering information, drawing


conclusions and finding valid theories; as well as understanding biological and


social problems, constitute psychologys philosophical background.


The concept of the self is a large factor in the study of personality as


well as philosophy. The self, generally speaking, includes subjective


experience and conscious awareness. In the book Philosophy of Mind the author


speaks about self-consciousness, ...the possession of the concept of the self


and the ability to use this concept in thinking about oneself (Guttenplan, 1).


This unique quality of human beings allows for the question of thoughts,


beliefs, desires, emotions, intentions, memories; along with the responsibility


of these qualities, makes us truly unique. The problem with this way of thinking


is that it leads to us thinking we are more than our bodies. That a person is


something more that just the physical body. Another problem with our supposed


uniqueness is that we seem to have a will, drive, and intention. Samuel


Guttenplan continues by saying persons are self-motivated beings with a


considerable degree of autonomy over and above a material body (Guttenplan 14).


This led Renee Descartes to postulate that the only thing he couldnt doubt was


his thinking existence, that there is a soul a non-material part of human beings


that couldnt be denied. Since our bodies dont make decisions the self must


have more than a human body. The pure ego.


David Hume had a different idea about the self in relation to


experience. In a book of readings called Self and World, Hume is quoted as


saying The idea of the self as an entity that owns experiences should be


replaced with the idea of the sum of those experiences themselves (Olgilvy.


107). One can not know about oneself without experience to show it. He


believed that nothing about the self could be concluded without experiential


content. The identity of a person is successive perceptions. The self is not


any one impression. He is quoted in the book of readings as saying memory does


not so much produce as discover personal identity, to give reason why we can


thus extend our identity beyond our memory (Olgilvy 108). He, however held the


Cartesian way of thinking that mental items are the objects of thought in an


interior realm. This view invites the inner observer to witness these.


Immanuel Kant, in the same book of readings expanded on Humes ideas,


he wanted a differentiation between objectivity and subjectivity attempting to


prove that ...there are certain concepts whose application within experience


is presupposed by the very possibility of experience (Olgilvy 144). It is the


judgments that must conform to self-consciousness. There is room within


experience for the thought of experience.


John Lockes view includes a more temporal idea. The idea that the


sameness of a rational beening





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