031. Self

A discussion on us by us.

Questions to ponder

  1. Who are you? Who/What/Where is “your” “self”?
  2. Which of the Borges wrote “Borges and I”?
  3. What does it feel like to “be a self”?
  4. Per Blanke and Metzinger (2008), “what are the minimally sufficient conditions for the appearance of a phenomenal self” or put differently, what is the bare minimum necessary for “the fundamental conscious experience of being someone”?
  5. Blanke and Metzinger posit three defining features necessary for the conscious experience of being a self: (1) “a globalized form of identification with [a] body as a whole”; (2) “spatiotemporal self-location” and (3) “a first-person perspective”. Do you agree that these three elements are the minimal requirements for a sense of self?
  6. (In what ways) Can one be wrong about one’s self?
  7. (In what ways) Can one distinguish between self and others?
  8. Caldwell (2010) identifies “five ethical duties owed to the self which enable individuals to deal more productively with themselves, with others, and with the world around them”. Namely,
    1. “understand how vulnerable we can be when we are unwilling or unable to address incongruity in our lives”,
    2. “acknowledge the underlying internal factors that cause us to deny reality”,
    3. “thoughtfully examine our core beliefs and [] reflect upon those beliefs on a regular basis”,
    4. “evaluate the stresses that cause us to become vulnerable to self-deception, acknowledge those stress factors, and seek to mitigate the potentially destructive influences of stress in our lives”, and
    5. “periodically examine whether our conduct is consistent with the beliefs we proclaim and [] confront incongruities between our beliefs and our behaviors”.

Do you agree that these circumscribe ethical duties owed to one’s “self”?

  1. Do “you” “own” “your” “self”?
  2. Should the individual self be the basis of healthcare?
  3. Are there unethical ways/means by which you can modify your self?
  4. Should there be more or less “selves” in the world? Is there an optimal amount of selfhood for the planet? The universe?

Essays to consider

  1. Borges and I
  2. Full-body illusions and minimal phenomenal selfhood
  3. Identity, Self-Awareness, and Self-Deception- Ethical Implications for Leaders and Organizations
  4. Individuals are Inadequate: Recognizing the Family-Centeredness of Chinese Bioethics and Chinese Health System

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