Thursday, 4 February 2016

The self and its experiences

Is helpful to distinguish between the self and its experiences. What is the self? I suggest it is that underlying reality making one the very same individual from when one were a toddler, to the present time when we are adults, to when one is drunk and so on and so forth. Throughout these different times our interests, intelligence, behaviour and so on all change . Therefore these latter attributes cannot constitute the self since that would entail that the self quite literally changes after, for example, one has had a few alcoholic drinks. The self changes when one is drunk, but only in a comparable manner to which a table might change if we paint it a different colour, and not change in the sense of smashing the table up and replacing it with a similar one. 

Think of a container and lots of objects filling that container. Compare the container to the self, and the objects within it to one's personality characteristics. Just as the objects themselves are not the container, so our experiences, intelligence, interests etc are not the very same thing as the self. Moreover, the objects are all different shapes and not any shape will fit into any container. Likewise not any personality characteristic will go with any self. The nature of one's self will limit the possible personality characteristics.

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