Short Paper on Aristotle
Hume said that the “self” is an illusion created by closeness and
proximity (much like our erroneous believe in “cause and effect”). A
modern example of Hume’s ideas about the “self” might be to look at
movie film. At 30 frames a second, the individual pictures come so
quickly that it looks like continuous movement instead of thousands of
individual pictures. And the changes between each successive picture is
so slight that we would hardly notice if we examined successive pictures
one frame at a time. Since we have not been watching our “self movie”
while sleeping, in the morning the projector is still running, and our
minds simply fill in the blanks for the frames we missed, falsely giving
us a notion that we are still same “self” from yesterday.
not all philosophers are as radical as Hume in denying that there is a
continuous self. But, even those who admit there is a “self” do not
agree as to what it is, how it is formed, and whether or not it changes.
Week 8, we’ll be re-addressing the “essential self” as necessary in
order to experience freedom and to make moral decisions that are truly
freely made. So, the whether or not a continous “essential self” actally
exists is an important philosophical concept.
For this week’s assignment:
your “essential self”—that is, the set of characteristics that defines
what makes you a particular person. If you do not believe an essensial
self exists, explain why not.
- Explain why you think the essential self can or cannot change during a person’s lifetime.
the essential self will (supposedly) actively resists anything that is
not in our genuine best interest, how could self-sacrifice and martyrdom
be regarded evidence of a person who lacked an essential self?
Alternately, would voluntarily subjecting oneself to those things be a
true indicator of an essential self? Explain your answers.
ensure that your essay addresses each component of the assigned
questions and that your answer is well-organized, uses excellent,
college-level prose, and makes judicious use of textual evidence. Your
essay must follow APA formatting and should be 500-750 words long.
you quote, paraphrase, or summarize from the textbook or any other
source, you must include in-text citations and a References page.