The Imaterial Self: The Self Of The Human Body

1113 Words5 Pages
Myself, yourself, herself and himself are words we, as humans, often use to refer to our ‘selves’. It is extremely important to understand what constitutes the self because it gives us our personal identity. But what is the self? Jerry Fodor argues that the self is the brain and there is no immaterial self. John Locke claims that the self is our consciousness. Sigmund Freud says that a transcendental unifying principle of consciousness. For me, I come to believe that the self is immaterial and multi-layered.
Firstly, I will address my view of the self being immaterial.
Fodor, a functionalist, argues that “there is no immaterial self that exists independently from the brain or the body ”. To him, “mental states are explainable in terms of
…show more content…
This lead me to think that there is an immaterial self governing the human body to explain why humans can come up with different solutions to give the same answer to the same mathematical problem. The cause affects the immaterial self. The immaterial self governs the brain by shaping its mental state with immaterial thoughts and makes the decision to adopt a certain behavioural method. Various behavioural methods can arise from the same mental state and lead to the same effect to the cause.
Thus, I believe in the presence of an immaterial self that governs the brain and the body. I disagree that “mental states are explainable in terms of physical brain states”. This is because mental states cannot be reduced to physical brain states. Physical brain states can only give rise to a definitive method to an outcome while immaterial thoughts of a mental state can give rise to various methods to an outcome. These immaterial thoughts of a mental state are made possible by the immaterial self.
Secondly, I address my view of the self being
…show more content…
I disagree with Locke as there are instances when we are able to do things without being conscious of our self. Suppose that I am thirsty and I pick up a cup. My ‘self’ is focused on drinking to quench my thirst. In the midst of willing my ‘self’ to drink, I not consciously pick up information of the cup – the colour of the cup with my sense of sight, the shape of my cup and the material of the cup with my sense of touch, and more. I was not aware that I had picked up all these information about the cup at the moment when I was drinking. It is our five senses of sight, taste, touch, hearing and feeling that actively perceives but the self may not be aware. This shows that while the self has consciousness, it also has the potential to be conscious as it can at times be not conscious of itself. Thus, I disagree with Locke that the self is merely
Open Document