Talk:Philosophy of self

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Stub[edit]

I have expanded the article to something substantially larger than what it originally was. I hope someone amends it further to something worthy of an encyclopedia article. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 211.28.247.130 (talkcontribs)


Ive done my best and added some sections, the 'Introduction' and the sections 'To Know Thyself' and 'Others' all need to be reworked, and i will come back to them when i get a chance (unless of course someone else would like to!) I may re-order the sections, and maybe, once more are added, categorize them under headings like 'First Person Self' 'Third Person Self' etc... what do you think? Orgone 16:33, 13 December 2006 (UTC)

Personal identity merge[edit]

The two should be merged here. It is an unnecessary fork. And "self" denomination is more precise than "personal identity", which is more a common word than a technical term. Besides, self is opposed to the Other, which personal identity is not. Lapaz 17:34, 15 February 2006 (UTC)

The "self" and the "person" are too different linguistically to be identified. In fact, the ways both concepts are used in ordinary speaking, and within technical subjects such as social psychology, philosopy of mind, anthropology, etc. are quite distinct. For example "person" often refers to a relatively holistic phenomenon, like a person as a psychophyical whole embedded within an ecosystem or physical space. "Self" ofen refers to isolated attitudes and experiences. The concept of the "self" ordinarily indicates psychological phenomena. I do not think they should be merged at all. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 69.86.41.78 (talkcontribs)
They definately should not be merged. In Philosophy specifically concerns with the "self" are a totally different persuit (in most cases) to questions of Personal Identity. In general questions said to pertain to personal identity regard how we know a person at time t1 is the same person as a person at time t2. This is quite different from attempting to establish the definition or importance of "self". In a general usage sense, yes, the two are somewhat the same. In regards to Philosophic enquiry they are extremely different. Please do not merge these two stubs. They are not the same.
Also, to respond to Lapaz, personal identity is most DEFINATELY a technical term if you're a philosopher. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 140.211.115.139 (talkcontribs)
Please sign your posts on talk pages per Wikipedia:Sign your posts on talk pages. Thanks. Hyacinth 08:14, 15 March 2006 (UTC)

Questions about personal identity pertain to problems of the self. These questions (about personal identity) can be split into two general areas - questions about the unity of self at a particular time (synchronic problem), and questions about the continuity of self through time (diachronic problem). This is even stated in the wiki article itself (about personal identity), so I'm not sure what the person above is talking about when he says: "In general questions said to pertain to personal identity regard how we know a person at time t1 is the same person as a person at time t2." The questions about the synchronic problem of personal identity pertain directly to "attempting to establish a definition... of "self"." As such, I believe these two articles (because both refer to the determining of "self" in philosophy, not in other areas) should be merged. 211.31.40.141 23:34, 18 March 2006 (UTC)


Discussions about personal identity address a number of issues; of which the nature of the self is only one (see. Eric T. Olson: [plato.stanford.edu/entries/identity-personal/]). The articles should therefore be kept separate.--81.153.139.42 17:03, 3 April 2006 (UTC)

I strongly object to this proposed merge. Of course, it is true that debates about personal identity are a sub-set of debates about the self. The question is really whether it is a significant enough topic to require its own article. And I think it clearly is. It's an enormous area of discussioni in analytical philosophy in its own right. The article at present doesn't really stand by itself, but one day it may be huge. Mgekelly - Talk 05:44, 1 May 2006 (UTC)


I am also opposed to the merge, with a view to expanding the Personal Identity article, i have started a discussion Here, i hope this helps! Orgone 19:13, 8 May 2006 (UTC)

Merge Both articles are approximately equal in their brevity. I wish I were more intimately familiar with both of these topics, but I'll have to go with my passing familiarity for now. The controversies surrounding the unproven concept of the self and personal identity seem relatively equivalent. Breakthroughs or new ideas regarding one topic will (necessarily?) impinge on the other. I would say the concept of the self rests on the concept of personal identity. If lower animals lack the psychology ability to experience a personal identity, then they can't develop the concept of a self. Or in other words, personal identity is the neuropsychology foundation upon which rests the purely psychological concept of the self. (Or maybe this is all original research). Given that self is already a longer, better formed article, I would like to see a section on Personal Identity, and a subsection for the diachronistic problems. If one is looking for philosophical information regarding personal identity, would they be shocked to find it as a section of Self? I would think not. Xaxafrad 14:59, 17 May 2006 (UTC)

Since you admit to not knowing much about this, I think you should have held back with this comment. Your premises are wrong. A philosopher would not expect to find PI as a subsection of "self" (I wouldn't at any rate) and I don't think that these are intimately related fields of research. Personal identity has long been an autonomous field of research. mgekelly 00:52, 18 May 2006 (UTC)
That's right, my only qualification is a high school diploma and 2 certificates of achievements from a piddly community college. I should make very few comments. I'm glad you consider yourself a philosopher. I have better things to do than devote the majority of my life to some one specialty. I took an intro to philosophy course, I've turned several intriguing concepts and propositions over and over in my head, wondering what if this, and what if that, and why this, and what does that mean, and does anything have meaning at all. So I represent the average user while you represent a specialist. I see two short articles talking about damn near the same thing. Let's put both of them together, and then at the top for the introduction, include the results of our discussions of why "self" and "personal identity" are different. Or maybe the introduction should talk about the 80% similarity between the two concepts, and the first section under the as-yet-unmade table of contents would discuss the finer details that specialists care about. (Please excuse the snippy tone of writing) Xaxafrad 14:29, 18 May 2006 (UTC)

The references for this article are either nonexistent, or skimpy at best. Under the See Also section, which I think should only include links to other, similiarly themed wikipedia articles (such as personal identity, at the moment), there's one off-site link (which should be in a References section). If this one site is taken as the only reference, it's not even titled something like "The Self and the Others", it's about identities and how they're influenced by socially distant governing groups, or something. Maybe the highest level concept pertinent to this discussion would be Identity, which is a disambig page, giving links to the law of identity, identity theory of mind, and personal identity. Given that, maybe self should be merged into personal identity. Xaxafrad 14:42, 18 May 2006 (UTC)


Both articles are currently inadequate, whilst it may be true that as they stand, it appears as though they might as well be merged, they are in fact sufficiently different subjects. 'Self' covers a potentially much wider area than 'Personal Identity', and if you turn to any respectable dictionary or encyclopaedia of philosophy, you will find that both subjects are accorded separate entries. I agree that in many respects, discussion of ‘Personal Identity’ is of course contingent on a definition of ‘Self’, but it is not true that discussion ‘Self’ is contingent on a definition of ‘Personal Identity’.

I would argue that so many great thinkers have offered discussions of the nature of ‘Self’ from so many perspectives, that the article is potentially huge, fascinating and useful. ‘Personal Identity’ is a relatively small, but significant and interesting, topic in metaphysics, which would be too big, and fit uneasily, amongst the wider discussion of ‘Self’.

I believe that the weight of informed opinion in this discussion is against the merger of the two subjects, and unless there are any new, significant, points raised in favour, the merger proposal should be dropped. Orgone 00:10, 23 May 2006 (UTC)

Reopened merger discussion (2013)[edit]

I just stumbled across this article and my first thought was "This looks almost identical to the article on Personal identity. They should probably be merged." Checked Talk here and sure enough, it's been proposed. I don't have a lot to add to the discussion at this point, but just weighing in with tentative support for a merger. --Pfhorrest (talk) 18:58, 7 March 2013 (UTC)

γνῶθι σεαυτόν[edit]

I don't know what Thales actually said or is reported to have said, but "γνῶθι σεαυτόν" does not mean "to know thyself". "γνῶθι" is the aorist imperative singular, so it means "know thyself!" It is correct in reference to the inscription of the Temple of Apollo. —Blotwell 09:36, 9 June 2006 (UTC)

Historical order[edit]

Would the article make more sense if the various thinkers mentioned were placed in historical order? 1Z 23:32, 27 February 2007 (UTC)

Ramana Maharshi[edit]

The above-named dude occupies a space in the article disproportionate to his contribution to the concept of self. That section was obviously stuck in by a devotee with a bee in their bonnet. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 58.6.102.214 (talk) 17:00, 26 April 2007 (UTC).

I think thats true, would you like to fix it? Maybe just summarise the subject? BE BOLD! This article was something i was working on improving but i don't have time at the moment, it needs quite a bit of work! Orgone 23:40, 26 April 2007 (UTC)

Merge with real self[edit]

The real self article is a stub that cannot stand on its own. Because it is a subset of the self as concieved by philosophy, it should be merged with this article.

Neelix (talk) 13:29, 6 April 2008 (UTC)

Copyright problem removed[edit]

One or more portions of this article duplicated other source(s). The material was copied from this URL: http://www-csli.stanford.edu/~jperry/PHILPAPERS/self-enc.pdf. Infringing material has been rewritten or removed and must not be restored, unless it is duly released under a license compatible with GFDL. (For more information, please see "using copyrighted works from others" if you are not the copyright holder of this material, or "donating copyrighted materials" if you are.) For legal reasons, we cannot accept copyrighted text or images borrowed from other web sites or printed material; such additions will be deleted. Contributors may use external websites as a source of information, but not as a source of sentences or phrases. Accordingly, the material may be rewritten, but only if it does not infringe on the copyright of the original or plagiarize from that source. Wikipedia takes copyright violations very seriously, and persistent violators will be blocked from editing. While we appreciate contributions, we must require all contributors to understand and comply with these policies. Thank you. --Moonriddengirl (talk) 01:25, 1 December 2008 (UTC)

Cleanup per tag added in September 2006[edit]

This article has been marked for cleanup since September 2006, but I am inadequate to the task, so I added it at Wikipedia:WikiProject_Philosophy/To_do/to_do. In frustration, GeorgeLouis (talk) 05:14, 27 March 2009 (UTC)