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    1. #1
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      Personal and social identity

      An interesting book excerpt:

      "At one level, the theoretical, the existence of both personal and social identity is merely a definitional trick: an arbitrary boundary can be drawn between them for theoretical purposes and this is perfectly permissable as long as subsequently there is consistency in usage. The real question then becomes: does the theoretical distinction reflect any phenomenological reality?

      There is some evidence to suggest that people really do experience both aspects of identity. Turner (1976) found that people do distinguish between times when they behaved according to the precepts of their 'true self' or 'real self' (equated with personal identity) and times when they behaved out of character or purely because of social constraints. The circumstances under which people considered themselves to be their 'real self' differ. Turner found that for some the 'real self' was manifested when they acted out their social obligations. The distinction is there for both groups; it is what is considered 'real' that differs."

      What do you personally consider as 'real' self?

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      I equate the personal self as being the 'real self'. You are the real you when there is no outside influence to sway you one way or the other. One becomes more aware of what they're doing after being placed in a social situation (so as to not do anything socially unacceptable) and therefor changes their set of actions to fit said situation.

      I don't think it's impossible to be your real self in both personal and social situations, though. Good luck keeping friends that put up with your annoying habits.
      Last edited by Invader; 07-17-2009 at 07:17 PM.

    3. #3
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      The question is: what is it that you consider as real in yourself? What is left once there's no outside influence?

      Judging by your last sentence, you think that your real self would be disliked by other people, what is it that would be disliked?

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      Quote Originally Posted by Arutad View Post
      The question is: what is it that you consider as real in yourself? What is left once there's no outside influence?
      If there is no outside influence at all, then it boils down to the way in which you express yourself in a "blank" medium. If you are given tools to work with, what do you do with them? What do you build with them? Your actions essentially detail what kind of person you are. Maybe you make yourself a pair of hunting tools, or maybe you make a job for yourself as a repairman. You may design things for others to build, or you could be the kind to demolish or sabotage the work of others. You express yourself based solely upon everything you believe in and everything you find enjoyable. The mix of those two things (beliefs and enjoyments) make you.

      Judging by your last sentence, you think that your real self would be disliked by other people, what is it that would be disliked?
      I find a great deal of humor in the harmless mistakes people make (including my own). What resulted was that I ended up making one too many smart-ass remarks at the expense of my close circle of friends.

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      So as I understand, one of your features that you consider real is real opinions about other people that social constraints prevent you from expressing. What else is the real you?

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      People shift a lot according to the social situations they are in. The difference between "true self" and "social self" becomes almost undetectable, if there is even any way to separate them. I think that while LDing I am very much.. well me. After I found lucid dreaming years ago I began straight away to use it for introspection.

      I am very much of *me* in daily life. I usually say things out loud quite bluntly and directly, without caring if it might offend somebody else. I see no reason in restraining my opinions unless expressing them threathens me too much, which might be the greatest reason why people restrain themselves from saying or doing something. However, I have noticed that I change a lot. I cannot say many traits that seem to stay always, since I adapt to different situations well.

      Of course people are mostly afraid of being picked, teased, bullied, humiliated or even attacked if they are what they truly are. I encourage people to be what they want to be. That's how it should be. It just matter of courage and strength.
      Jujutsu is the gentle art. It's the art where a small man is going to prove to you, no matter how strong you are, no matter how mad you get, that you're going to have to accept defeat. That's what jujutsu is.

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      Our brains change constantly. We learn stuff. We forget stuff. We form opinions. We change opinions. We change behavior with different persons. We change behavior with different emotions. Hell, we even change behavior when certain chemicals and hormones get up there. Still, it all happens up there. It's just that which we do. It's that which we are.

      And that's basically what I'd call the "self". The collection of those things, beliefs and values that are at the core of what we do, what we learn and how we act.

      Now, because all of that changes time and time again, the self is subject to that same constant change also.

      Through all of that change, could we possibly get something that's our "real self"? First of all, "real self" implies that there is an element that is fundamental to ourselves. That truly is not subject to change. That stays the same always. Something that's basically determined, programmed and utterly fundamental to yourself, that at the same time is different for everyone in some way (or maybe not...?).

      Maybe our instincts and emotional circuitry are those things. But those can be changed as well. Diseases of the mind or damage to the brain may change these things. Hell, even the rational, human mind is capable of triumphing these things when a real effort is made.

      So can we say those are the things that make us our "real self"?

      No, I don't think so. To me, it certainly looks like there is no such thing as a "real self", something that's fundamental and programmed, something that's determined in our brains.

      So what's left is simply an ever-changing identity. This may simply be "true self". "True self" or "real self" may simply be another term for "identity".


      On another note, the things most people usually call their "true self" (and that others use also to manipulate you, actually), is simply their "normal behavior" or the behavior they exhibit when they're alone or with a certain someone. The behavior that they usually engage in. What they do not understand, though, is that aside from this "normal behavior", you also have other behaviors, socially-dependant ones, situation-dependant ones, more radical ones, that only come out in great fear, in great anger, or in any other radical emotional situations. People alsohave a dark side (bad thoughts and behaviors). It is certainly understandable that they will not want to identify themselves with their bad behavior, but this still IS a part of their identity, of their true self. It's not their normal behavior, granted (hopefully, at least), but it is part of their identity, their self.

      In other words:
      "You didn't act like yourself"
      "No? Then why was I even capable of doing it? I cannot do things that are not in me. Therefore, I cannot do things that aren't me. That does not mean that this is the way I normally behave, but it doesn't mean automatically that it 'isn't me'."


      In summary, I'll have to say that in my opinion:

      1) "True self" or identity are interchangable, refer to normal behavior + situation-dependant behavior + radical behavior + "dark side"-behavior + instincts + emotions + personal values + personal opinions + personal beliefs. These are all things that happen and are located inside the brain, and some of the things up there may not even be known to you, may even dictate things unconsciously, or may not even come to action in your life. Still, if I had to sum it up in just a few words: identity/true self = your brain.

      2) Identity or "real self" is not just "normal behavior" or "behavior you exhibit when you're with a certain person or when you're alone". You cannot do things that are not in you, that you are not, so all your socially dependant, radical and dark side behaviors are part of your "real" self too.

      3) Because the brain is subject to change, always, and because it actually does change all the time, your identity does so too. "True self" is therefore subject to constant change also, and therefore shouldn't be seen as a fundamental, programmed, determined, or otherwise utterly unchangable.


      Right... That's all from me.

      Bye, and have a great day! ^^


      -CD
      Last edited by TimB; 07-19-2009 at 06:30 PM.

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      Quote Originally Posted by Arutad View Post
      What do you personally consider as 'real' self?
      "I" consider....

      Who is it that is considering?

      Just what is it that is considering?



      Most cannot "see" beyond the nose on the face



      That which is true must be that which is unchanged from one to another

      Untainted from one identity to another

      That which sees itSelf within all selves


      "I"

      The primal thought

      Shining from within all conscious life


      Shining yet hidden under layers of existant identity

      Signature work courtesy of Cloud

    9. #9
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      Quote Originally Posted by CryoDragoon View Post
      And that's basically what I'd call the "self". The collection of those things, beliefs and values that are at the core of what we do, what we learn and how we act.

      Now, because all of that changes time and time again, the self is subject to that same constant change also.
      Hmm that's a provoking thought. I'd say that if components of something change from time to time, it doesn't mean that the whole thing is changing. If you draw a circle you can fill it with the red color, then change your mind and fill it with the white color, and it's still the same circle. And in the case of ourselves not only we fill it with different colors, but we do it in the same ways most of the time, repeatedly. True, values may change, but so many things would remain unchanged that it's like recoloring a single tiny dot inside of the circle.

      First of all, "real self" implies that there is an element that is fundamental to ourselves. That truly is not subject to change. That stays the same always. Something that's basically determined, programmed and utterly fundamental to yourself, that at the same time is different for everyone in some way (or maybe not...?).

      Maybe our instincts and emotional circuitry are those things. But those can be changed as well. Diseases of the mind or damage to the brain may change these things. Hell, even the rational, human mind is capable of triumphing these things when a real effort is made.
      If the self is a collection of loads of other things, as you said before (believes, values, and I'd add memories, habitual reactions, skills), then does it mean that there's nothing stable at all? This collection isn't easily changeable, it's almost completely stable.

      So what's left is simply an ever-changing identity. This may simply be "true self". "True self" or "real self" may simply be another term for "identity".
      Hm... My identity is not changing, let alone ever-changing

      In other words:
      "You didn't act like yourself"
      "No? Then why was I even capable of doing it? I cannot do things that are not in me. Therefore, I cannot do things that aren't me. That does not mean that this is the way I normally behave, but it doesn't mean automatically that it 'isn't me'."
      Funny enough in the same book I quoted this topic was raised, and the author discussed a defensive mechanism that we use to deny our behavior when it goes outside of what we consider ours. That must mean that there is something that we do consider ours! So despite of your example, it seems that it's only easy to incorporate alien behavior if it doesn't stray too far from the habitual one. If it strays too far, it can be as much as mind-damaging.

      Identity or "real self" is not just "normal behavior" or "behavior you exhibit when you're with a certain person or when you're alone".
      I wonder if that's true that when we're alone we lose "social identity". It doesn't seem true to me. I don't pick my nose when I'm alone because I think it's ugly, but in my childhood I couldn't understand why my mother hated that.

    10. #10
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      Quote Originally Posted by Unelias View Post
      People shift a lot according to the social situations they are in. The difference between "true self" and "social self" becomes almost undetectable, if there is even any way to separate them.
      The author of the quotation (not yours, the one in the first post) has mentioned a very good way to tell one from another, imho.

      I am very much of *me* in daily life. I usually say things out loud quite bluntly and directly, without caring if it might offend somebody else. I see no reason in restraining my opinions unless expressing them threathens me too much, which might be the greatest reason why people restrain themselves from saying or doing something.
      You're like Invader then, honesty is "you", and it's restrained by social standards. Well if you're really speaking your mind, then you don't seem offensive. He has more problems with it.

      But I wonder what it is that you described as speaking your mind. Maybe it's just speaking under the influence of mood and has nothing to do with what you really mean to say. You know, like those people who run into a personal trouble and then go to work attacking everybody, including their clients. Venting their anger. Acting on the mood. Identifying with their feelings completely. Is that what you meant?

      Of course people are mostly afraid of being picked, teased, bullied, humiliated or even attacked if they are what they truly are.
      People who think so must have a very low opinion about themselves.

    11. #11
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      Quote Originally Posted by Arutad View Post
      People who think so must have a very low opinion about themselves.
      I have to say I fit into that category, and I don't do so because I have a low opinion of myself. I live in a very... shall we say, "traditional" area, and my religion, morals/ethics, interests, and political standpoints have gotten me alienated, bullied, and deserted in the past.
      198.726% of people will not realize that this percentage is impossible given what we are measuring. If you enjoy eating Monterey Jack cheese, put this in your sig and add 3^4i to the percentage listed.

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      You said you were deserted? Well people who desert you for differences could hardly be called friends, so good riddance.

      Does it really threaten your social status so much to speak out that you absolutely have to hide your believes and values? Will you be fired or despised?

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      Quote Originally Posted by Arutad View Post
      You said you were deserted? Well people who desert you for differences could hardly be called friends, so good riddance.

      Does it really threaten your social status so much to speak out that you absolutely have to hide your believes and values? Will you be fired or despised?
      When you live in a Mormon-dominated society and you maintain strictly logical views of the world, you don't make a lot of friends or end up being very social... It would be illegal to fire me from what I understand, but that doesn't mean I can't be avoided in public.

      I mean absolutely no offense to any Mormons that may read this.
      198.726% of people will not realize that this percentage is impossible given what we are measuring. If you enjoy eating Monterey Jack cheese, put this in your sig and add 3^4i to the percentage listed.

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      Quote Originally Posted by Arutad View Post
      T
      You know, like those people who run into a personal trouble and then go to work attacking everybody, including their clients. Venting their anger. Acting on the mood. Identifying with their feelings completely. Is that what you meant?
      I know this type and I don't support it. Everything would go a lot smoother if people didn't let their own moods and feelings cloud their perception and interaction with other people. I don't let my feelings come into the way of my rational thinking, which makes me seems quite cold person. In a way I am too. People who are calm appear usually cold for others. I just don't want my problems to become someone else's problems and I don't want it in return either. I am more like.. consuming those feelings myself and venting them out by ways that don't disturb others.

      People who think so must have a very low opinion about themselves.
      They do. Sadly, that is a common problem in the world since most of us are quite dependable of other people's opinions and support.
      Jujutsu is the gentle art. It's the art where a small man is going to prove to you, no matter how strong you are, no matter how mad you get, that you're going to have to accept defeat. That's what jujutsu is.

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      Quote Originally Posted by Arutad View Post
      Hmm that's a provoking thought. I'd say that if components of something change from time to time, it doesn't mean that the whole thing is changing. If you draw a circle you can fill it with the red color, then change your mind and fill it with the white color, and it's still the same circle. And in the case of ourselves not only we fill it with different colors, but we do it in the same ways most of the time, repeatedly. True, values may change, but so many things would remain unchanged that it's like recoloring a single tiny dot inside of the circle.
      I don't know about that... I think I know what you mean, but I'm personally wondering about that "whole thing not changing when you change a small part". It makes sense, but isn't that small part a part of the "whole thing" to begin with? Therefore, if you'd change that small part, then the whole thing would change. It's not much, and might not be very significant, but it would change the entire picture.

      To phrase it in your own words: if you draw the dot in the circle, your "whole picture" wouldn't be a circle anymore. It'd be a circle with a dot. The change isn't very significant, but the change is there.

      And that's what I myself was thinking. What if our brain, our identity, is this "whole thing", a "collection of small parts that may be subject to change". Then, if even the smallest of parts would change, the entire identity would change, if only by just a little bit.

      So then the question becomes "are there any fundamental things in our identites that are NOT subject to change?". Is there a never-changing "circle".

      And to my current knowledge, all aspects of our identity CAN be subject to change. We can change everything if we'd want. Even our most primal urges: fear, the want for sex, even hunger, we can all "control" these to a degree, we can all change how we handle these things (just think about people who are celibates, or who go on a hunger strike). So apparently, even the most primal, instinctive mechanisms and programs are not fundamental to our "personal identity".

      Maybe these urges and tendencies, genetics, etc. are the only things that are truly fundamental to us. But then again: these can change by damage to the brain and psychological conditions, etc. ... So I'm still wondering whether there really is a "circle" in our identity.

      I'd love to hear others' views, opinions or insights on this.

      If the self is a collection of loads of other things, as you said before (believes, values, and I'd add memories, habitual reactions, skills), then does it mean that there's nothing stable at all? This collection isn't easily changeable, it's almost completely stable.
      I'm not sure if I understand what you mean with "stable".

      Hm... My identity is not changing, let alone ever-changing
      That depends on what we define as "identity", doesn't it?

      If we define identity as "a collection of loads of other things, as you said before (believes, values, and I'd add memories, habitual reactions, skills)", then it is constantly changing. Every moment of every day, for one, you are subject to experience. All of these create changes in our moods, and therefore in our behaviors. We may even learn new stuff, or form new opinions. That's a change in "identity", there. Again, it may be very small and not very significant, granted, but as said above, with the circle+dot-example, it is a change from the first form.

      Now you mention it, I might've gone a bit too far with that "everchanging" part. Granted, in your sleep you may not change behaviors or opinions, etc., so you're not changing constantly, but in (most) daily interactions, maybe from encounters at work, or when watching the television, or maybe even when discussing on internet forums, you will most likely learn new things, form new opinions, etc. etc., which does equate to change.

      So it just boils down to the question of "what do you consider identity". You can only say that your identity isn't changing when you clearly define what you think is identity.

      So just out of curiosity: what is your viewpoint on this? What do you think that identity is?

      Funny enough in the same book I quoted this topic was raised, and the author discussed a defensive mechanism that we use to deny our behavior when it goes outside of what we consider ours. That must mean that there is something that we do consider ours! So despite of your example, it seems that it's only easy to incorporate alien behavior if it doesn't stray too far from the habitual one. If it strays too far, it can be as much as mind-damaging.
      Exactly... What I was trying to tell there is that the thing is that most of us consider "normal behavior" as "ours" or our entire "identity". Radical behavior and "dark side"-behavior, even if they are part of our identity, aren't "accepted" or sometimes aren't even faced by us. And that's understandable. Who would actually like to identify themselves with their angry-part or their irritated-part? Nobody, of course not! And that's healthy, but that doesn't mean that it isn't a part of identity.

      I wonder if that's true that when we're alone we lose "social identity". It doesn't seem true to me. I don't pick my nose when I'm alone because I think it's ugly, but in my childhood I couldn't understand why my mother hated that.
      Yeah... That'd be pretty weird . But I didn't actually mean it like that. I didn't try to convey that message, so I'll try again.
      It's not like your superego goes out of the window when you are alone. It's just that when you're alone, you behave differently than when you're with other people. And you even behave differently between groups of people. You don't talk to your boss like you'd talk to your mother. You don't talk to the queen like you'd talk to your little baby brother. Different social situations have different social behaviors. And that's what I meant with that. Those are the "social behaviors".
      And yes, of course you don't "lose" them. That was the entire point I was trying to make: both social behavior as well as "alone-behavior" are a part of your identity. The only thing that happens when you get into a social situation or an "alone-situation", is that you just change your behavior. Not your identity.


      Anywhoooo, have a great day! ^^

      -CD

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      Quote Originally Posted by CryoDragoon View Post
      I don't know about that... I think I know what you mean, but I'm personally wondering about that "whole thing not changing when you change a small part". It makes sense, but isn't that small part a part of the "whole thing" to begin with? Therefore, if you'd change that small part, then the whole thing would change. It's not much, and might not be very significant, but it would change the entire picture.
      Yeah I understand. The picture can be turned different ways. We can say that when something in the bycicle breaks, it's still the same bycicle. But we can also say that it's not. Our thinking and language is very tricky. In many cases we have rules to speak about things for comfortable communication, but once we start talking about something to which rules don't have to be applied, multiple ways to think about it might be found out and all might seem just right.

      So maybe such things can only be purely subjective. If you decide that identity is subject to change, you can sort of prove with language that it is so. If I decide otherwise, I can prove it with language, too.

      So then the question becomes "are there any fundamental things in our identites that are NOT subject to change?". Is there a never-changing "circle".

      And to my current knowledge, all aspects of our identity CAN be subject to change. We can change everything if we'd want. Even our most primal urges: fear, the want for sex, even hunger, we can all "control" these to a degree, we can all change how we handle these things (just think about people who are celibates, or who go on a hunger strike). So apparently, even the most primal, instinctive mechanisms and programs are not fundamental to our "personal identity".
      I wanted to say that body doesn't change for long periods of time, but remembered plastic surgery

      There are things that can't be changed biologically, like for example the ability to give birth is only women's. Up to now nobody has invented anything to change the situation, so we can think that it's unchangable. I think it does have a relation to identity, as awareness of what sex we belong to is a part of it. The same can be said about general physiological functions, like a necessity to go to toilet . Do you agree, or do you know how to think about it in ways that would make these things seem unimportant to the definition of identity?

      Now you mention it, I might've gone a bit too far with that "everchanging" part. Granted, in your sleep you may not change behaviors or opinions, etc., so you're not changing constantly
      Do you think that we have awareness of ourselves when asleep? There are two different views on this as far as I know, that we're aware to a lesser degree and that dreams happen automatically.

      So it just boils down to the question of "what do you consider identity". You can only say that your identity isn't changing when you clearly define what you think is identity.

      So just out of curiosity: what is your viewpoint on this? What do you think that identity is?
      True. I think that we all go by feeling about what our identity is. For me it's a sum of some facts that I know about myself. First, facts about where I lived\live and what education I had, all that can be called "memories of the past". Second, my patterns of behaviour. I know that in some situation I always will behave in the same ways unavoidably, they would call forth the same feelings. Although I also know that it can be changed to some extent, but I feel like it doesn't make identity changeable. Most of these reactions will never change, the whole life wouldn't be enough to find and change them all.

      Everything else like what kind of body I had\have can be grouped into "memories of the past". As every moment become the past after we move on to another moment, generally everything falls into the memories category, I selected behavior as a special category only because for me it's paramount to identity. And memories aren't changeable ever, all facts that they represent might change, but memories themselves are going to stand forever as they were.

      What about you, what's identity for you? Only I ask you to talk about how it feels for you in daily life, not in philosophical discussion only

      It's not like your superego goes out of the window when you are alone. It's just that when you're alone, you behave differently than when you're with other people. And you even behave differently between groups of people. You don't talk to your boss like you'd talk to your mother. You don't talk to the queen like you'd talk to your little baby brother. Different social situations have different social behaviors. And that's what I meant with that. Those are the "social behaviors".

      And yes, of course you don't "lose" them. That was the entire point I was trying to make: both social behavior as well as "alone-behavior" are a part of your identity. The only thing that happens when you get into a social situation or an "alone-situation", is that you just change your behavior. Not your identity.
      I see... Interesting. The point of the quotation in the first post was that we do change the identity, that we have the two of them that people can roughly determine by feeling whether they behaved "not natually". In that case what you describe as social behaviors fall into the social identity category, and what remains is to be thought of as personal identity. Do you disagree with that division?

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      Quote Originally Posted by Arutad View Post
      Yeah I understand. The picture can be turned different ways. We can say that when something in the bycicle breaks, it's still the same bycicle. But we can also say that it's not. Our thinking and language is very tricky. In many cases we have rules to speak about things for comfortable communication, but once we start talking about something to which rules don't have to be applied, multiple ways to think about it might be found out and all might seem just right.

      So maybe such things can only be purely subjective. If you decide that identity is subject to change, you can sort of prove with language that it is so. If I decide otherwise, I can prove it with language, too.
      Both trains of thought have something going for them. But I just can't shake the idea of when something changes, it changes the entire thing. If the wheel of the bicycle flies off, then it will still be the same bicycle, sure, but it will have changed in such a way also, that I don't want to ride on it anymore, even if it is the same bicycle that once had two wheels... Bad analogy, maybe, but it gets to the point, I guess.

      I once came across this philosophical thought experiment that went something like this:
      Imagine you have a ship. But due to old age we replace all the old planks with new ones. We replace the sails, we replace everything. Is it still the same ship?
      Up to this point in time no-one has gotten a conclusive answer out of this issue, so I'm not going to pretend that I do. All I can say is that the individual parts that were replaced somehow changed the entire ship, you can't get around that: a ship with no new planks is entirely different from that same ship with new planks, even if it's logically still "the same ship".

      I'll just leave this problem to the real philosophers.

      I wanted to say that body doesn't change for long periods of time, but remembered plastic surgery

      There are things that can't be changed biologically, like for example the ability to give birth is only women's. Up to now nobody has invented anything to change the situation, so we can think that it's unchangable. I think it does have a relation to identity, as awareness of what sex we belong to is a part of it. The same can be said about general physiological functions, like a necessity to go to toilet . Do you agree, or do you know how to think about it in ways that would make these things seem unimportant to the definition of identity?
      That's a very interesting point... Maybe the only thing that's really fundamental to our identity is indeed the genetic influences we underwent... I was thinking about this earlier, actually, but I stumbled upon the phenomenon of emotions, and how we can easily negate these...
      But on my vacation I actually thought of that notion as being wrong: the emotions ARE fundamental, while the way we cope with them may change.
      But then I remembered that emotions can actually be shut off if we remove a bit of the brain (the amygdala, if I remember correctly)... So...
      I have no idea anymore XD I'll solve this stuff someday

      Do you think that we have awareness of ourselves when asleep? There are two different views on this as far as I know, that we're aware to a lesser degree and that dreams happen automatically.
      Well, awareness to some extent, anyways. We are able to experience and remember dreams by being aware of them. It's not conscious awareness, that's for sure, more of an unconscious type of awareness, I guess...
      I'd conclude that dreams happen automatically, from the info that I have available, but we are still aware of them. I don't really see how the two can be opposite, really...

      True. I think that we all go by feeling about what our identity is. For me it's a sum of some facts that I know about myself. First, facts about where I lived\live and what education I had, all that can be called "memories of the past". Second, my patterns of behaviour. I know that in some situation I always will behave in the same ways unavoidably, they would call forth the same feelings. Although I also know that it can be changed to some extent, but I feel like it doesn't make identity changeable. Most of these reactions will never change, the whole life wouldn't be enough to find and change them all.
      Yes, of course, practically it would we near-impossible to change your entire personality, but that's not what I was saying. I said it was merely possible to change these parts. Therefore, they were not fundamental to the identity. They may have been big, important parts, but these are not things that have been with you from beginning to end, and that will never change.

      Everything else like what kind of body I had\have can be grouped into "memories of the past". As every moment become the past after we move on to another moment, generally everything falls into the memories category, I selected behavior as a special category only because for me it's paramount to identity. And memories aren't changeable ever, all facts that they represent might change, but memories themselves are going to stand forever as they were.
      Well, I don't think that's entirely true, either... I know that memories can change a bit. You forget stuff that was in the memory sometimes, other times, there are holes in your memory and you basically automatically fill them up (especially in stressful situations like being a witness of a crime). We sometimes even colour the memories we've had with the current emotional state that we're in right now. So... I'm not entirely sure if memories are untouchable, per se. (a quick google seach gave me this, really interesting, no matter what position you hold: http://www.crimepsychblog.com/archiv..._expert_i.html)

      What about you, what's identity for you? Only I ask you to talk about how it feels for you in daily life, not in philosophical discussion only
      Well, alright... I guess we can stop this little talk, then XD... Here I was getting all philosophical with fundamental identity and stuff...

      Oh well...

      Well, in daily life, I'd just say that what I said before is my identity: identity = brain. Our beliefs, our memories, all our behaviors, etc. I'd call that my identity.

      I see... Interesting. The point of the quotation in the first post was that we do change the identity, that we have the two of them that people can roughly determine by feeling whether they behaved "not natually". In that case what you describe as social behaviors fall into the social identity category, and what remains is to be thought of as personal identity. Do you disagree with that division?
      Yes I do disagree... I think this is just a confusion in the terms that I've used... Personal identity, to me, is the total identity of a person. It is ALL the behaviors + memories + beliefs, etc.
      Social identity, to me, is just the identity you set up for yourself in social settings, the impression of identity that others get of you (think labeling, social behavior, the type of friends, etc.).


      Have a great day ^^

    18. #18
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      The distinction made between the 'real' self and the self we project in social interactions is one I find most perplexing. We often consider our 'real' self to be more substantial as this is the way in which we would define ourselves in our own terms.

      However it is also true that if we are shy when first meeting people then in a very real sense this is also who we are.

      And given that both images of self are equally derived from the world what reasons other than personal choice do we have for assuming one to be anymore ourselves than the other.

      When you really think about it each of us is a good deal more complicated than either the person we project or the core person we think of as ourselves.

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      Abundant Dreamer Bizarre Jester's Avatar
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      You used a few words that were a little too hard for me to understand, but I think I get what you're saying. That we all have "fake personalities" We act a certain way when we're by our selves and with other people. But is our conscious personality really who we are?

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      Looking for you Arutad's Avatar
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      The main idea in the quotation was the author's observation that despite people agreeing that there are two identities, personal and social, people would often define their personal identity in ways that differ from definitions of other people. I found that interesting.

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      people would often define their personal identity in ways that differ from definitions of other people
      It really is interesting that we often do this and in some ways we know ourselves better than others do but at the same time I think it can be said that the observations others make about us are often more pertinent than we would sometimes like to admit.

      From my own personal experience I used to dismiss the person I projected socially as not who I was but when I thought about the internal image I had of myself and why it was any more real than the social image I presented I couldnít find a reason for this choice.

      At the end of the day both are images of who we are but the truth is neither truly represents who we are.

      We act a certain way when we're by our selves and with other people. But is our conscious personality really who we are?
      I think this really hit the nail on the head of what I was trying to get at.

      I did quite a bit of soul searching on this when I was having some trouble with some friends earlier this year. The hard lessons I took from it were that we should accept the social image we project to be as much a part of us as any other. And equally understand that the people around us are a good deal more complicated than any image we have of them.

      Anyway thatís my 50cents worth.

    22. #22
      Looking for you Arutad's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Grey Owl View Post
      From my own personal experience I used to dismiss the person I projected socially as not who I was but when I thought about the internal image I had of myself and why it was any more real than the social image I presented I couldnít find a reason for this choice.
      That's a rare point of view. The usual trend is to reject the social identity, not to integrate it.

      That's about a natural social identity, however, about the one that you can see only in retrospect and think "oh, that was not entirely myself". But often you're completely aware that you're not being yourself. You may think that your boss is a total moron but behave decently around him without letting it show. Or you think that your friend's story is boring like hell but you supress yawning and make unintelligible sounds to show that you're listening. In case you're fully aware of that it's more like deliberate lying, instead of a social identity ruled by social rules.

    23. #23
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      BAH! I think I am socially who I act like. How is this even a debate!? Some people think too darn hard!
      John 3:16

      For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

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      Member Bonsay's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Noogah View Post
      BAH! I think I am socially who I act like. How is this even a debate!? Some people think too darn hard!
      And apparently some people think too little. No offense, but seriously: "I think I am socially who I act like." Isn't this obvious and not connected to the debate at hand? I don't intend to judge, but why is thinking and debating things like this strange? Especially when it has actual implications.
      C:\Documents and Settings\Akul\My Documents\My Pictures\Sig.gif

    25. #25
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      Lol. Your right. I was sort of trying to be funny.
      John 3:16

      For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

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