Thursday, May 21, 2009

self? (part III)

The definition of archive as given by the New Oxford American-English Dictionary is “a collection of historical documents or records providing information about a place, institution, or group of people.” In the archive of self as I have explored it, there appears to be five species of content (article, document, record, etc): body, memory, prosthesis, impression, and phenomenon. While these articles are not necessary for creating a general philosophy of identity, they are essential to any attempt at procuring knowledge of the self as the articles themselves are the precondition for positing and pursuing any question that falls within the classes outlined above. The content of the archive acts as evidence from which a sense of person can be ascertained. As Paul Ricoeur puts it:

In the notion of a document the accent today is no longer placed on the function of teaching which is conveyed by the etymology of this word… rather the accent is placed on the support, the warrant a document provides for a history, a narrative, or an argument. This role of being a warrant constitutes material proof, what in English is called ‘evidence’… (TA 67)

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

self? (part II)

The project at hand is to further my understanding of my own identity, my sense of personhood, by exploring the contents, structure, and laws of the archive that is me. In interrogating the archive, a daunting array of questions arises, each interrogative seemingly as important as the next. Fortunately the mass of questions can be parsed into four classes, providing for a more systematic and coherent analysis:

person (Who am I?): These questions are aimed at determining those qualities, properties, traits, experiences, circumstances, etc that make you an individual. It encompasses issues of psychology, experiences, memory, dispositions and values.

persistence (Am I still me?): These questions deal with the persistence of personhood over time. Persons can and do change. So how is it that I am the “same” person that I was when I was born? When I was seven? Will I still be me in twenty years? More specifically, these questions are aimed at determining exactly what it is that has persisted that makes you the same person as the child in the photograph.

evidence (What makes me me?): This class of questions address matters of evidence related to personhood. It asks of any answers garnered to the first question, “How do you know?” Also covered under this category are matters of how self knowledge might be obtained.

metaphysics (What am I?): This class is ontological in nature. Am I a rational being? An animal? A rational animal? Am I body or mind?

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

self? (part I)

"This puzzling problem arises when we ask, 'Who is the I that knows the bodily me, who has an image of myself and a sense of identity over time, who knows that I have propriate strivings?' I know all these things, and what is more, I know that I know them. But who is it who has this perspectival grasp? …It is much easier to feel the self than to define the self."

G.W. Allport (PGP 128)

Sunday, May 3, 2009

a note aobut poiēma

sorry about the confusion. the poems that I mentioned a couple of posts ago are not here. to view them follow this link: poiēma

I have also created a link to the page in the links section of this blog.

cheers, pii