western characteristics of self


western characteristics of self

The self is one of the oldest topics in psychology. A tremendous amount, actually. "The self." Self Portrait Paintings in Western Art (1400 BCE-present): Characteristics of Classical, Renaissance, Baroque and Modern Types of Self-Portraiture. Descartes basically believed that, if he could not think, then he could not exist, and thus ‘thinking’ in and of itself was what constituted an enduring self. [6][7] As is the case with emotion, the proposed neural essence for "the self" doesn’t exist (or has not been found), even if common sense says that it does. Western philosophy, on the other hand, is based on self-dedication to be of service to others. In the end, I feel that David Hume and the Buddha’s views on illusionary nature of ‘the self’ are more rational and realistic. Thousands of journal articles and books on the topic make the question ever more complex and confusing. "Is self special? Western cultureis an incredibly broad term used to describe the social norms, belief systems, traditions, customs, values, and so forth that have their origin in Europe or are based on European culture. What Is the Western Concept of the Self? ‘The self’ is really only a product of our evolved consciousness – I personally don’t believe that it exists on any metaphysical, material or spiritual level. The western view of the ‘enduring self’ refers to the notion that “you are the same person you were earlier in your life. Locke had a similar view, though his idea was the ‘enduring self’ is a person’s memory. Everyone is either in “survival” mode or “hater” mode, to the point that no one seems to be genuine. Western culture tends to identify the the self with “ego”. For many East Asians, and their children growing up in the West, listening, following the “right” way, fitting in, and keeping calm are not odd classroom behaviors; they are the very route to being a good person—a good interdependent self, Eastern style. ... Western postmodernists have a tendency to view large Western cultures such as American culture as oppressive or otherwise deeply flawed. If you think the question “what is an emotion?” is complicated, you ain’t seen nothing until you’ve looked at the science of "the self." In order to be an ‘enduring self’, wouldn’t that imply that I am unchanging, permanent and stagnant? Western science has relied on methods for reducing processes to their most elemental level and investigating them in isolation as single variables. The following are broad characteristics that can be ascribed to postmodernism. The individual self, or what we might call the ego, is more correctly thought of as a by-product of the skandhas. All of the “traits” listed can be attributed to any nationality. The East Coast of the United States was originally a British colony, and as America developed into its own inde… Even the cells and carbon atoms that make up our bodies change repeatedly. A critical review of evidence from experimental psychology and cognitive neuroscience. By renouncing the ‘self’ and transcending the ego, one can obtain release from suffering (nirvana) and finally be at peace. Due to its Christian influence, there has to be a beginning and end to find meaning. Buddhist philosophy believes that everything in life is ephemeral, or that nothing lasts forever. Some of the most prominent characteristics of Western culture are individualism, Christianity, democracy, freedom of speech, human rights and sports. The philosophy of self is the study of the many conditions of identity that make one subject of experience distinct from other experiences. Also kicked with all the middle class types the country has to offer. In this essay, I intend to examine the two different views and state my own thoughts on which viewpoint is more compelling. [3] And that’s just a self-selected sample! Individualism once exhibited interesting national variations, but its various meanings have since largely merged. A few countries that are considered individualistic cultures include the United States, Germany, Ireland, South Africa, and Australia. Self-actualized individuals value their privacy and enjoy solitude. The Smithsonian’s National African American History Museum has recently issued a list of characteristics that it attributes to “whiteness” in the U.S., including “self-reliance” and the “nuclear family.” The story: The National Museum of African American History & Culture (NMAAHC) published an article on its website that discusses “whiteness” and white culture. The self has been a topic of study since the beginning of psychology as a science; so too with emotion. I agree with Hume in his reasoning that “we have no real knowledge of a self and so [we] have no justification for claiming that we have a self. Chapter 9 endnote 32, from How Emotions are Made: The Secret Life of the Brain by Lisa Feldman Barrett.Some context is: A common core runs through all these views: the self is your sense of who you are, and it’s continuous through time, as if it were the essence of you. The Original Question is: What are Eastern and Western perspectives about self? Self Portraits History, Characteristics of Self-Portrait Paintings in Western Art. While western traditional has, for the most part, accepted and championed the idea of an ‘enduring self’, the exact definition and characteristics of this ‘enduring self’ are diverse. Self-dedication to the goal (big dream, life vision, happiness, personal success, etc.) In his book, Northoff, Georg, Alexander Heinzel, Moritz De Greck, Felix Bermpohl, Henrik Dobrowolny, and Jaak Panksepp. 1989. Assistant Professor. The self is sometimes understood as a unified being essentially connected to consciousness, awareness, and agency. Westerns take place in the untamed frontier, an open landscape of mountain ranges, rugged lands and vast plains. Everything is in a constant flux of change and impermanence, thus, the ‘enduring self’ cannot exist, because an ‘enduring self’ would imply something that is ‘permanent’ or ‘unchanging’. This is a very controversial subject to go through, but I'll do my best to make it short. As a consequence, it has a blind spot to the fact that it leans toward narcissism, which finds its quintessence in the notion of the rugged individual who listens to nobody but his self. Life is service to God, money, community, and so on. The self is continuous through time — it has some essence. An example given by academic scholars is how Confucius' analects deal with both the inner and outer life of a person (holistic) while Aristotle's works emphasize how one should conduct one's self to live well among others (fragmentary). People build taxonomies for both to try and get some clarity; the distinctions continue to proliferate in an unhelpful way. Associate professor in the Department of Counseling and Human Development Services. [2] There is also Antonio Damasio's distinction between the protoself, the core self, and the autobiographical self. While Western psychology seems to reflect an … Jackson H. The term ‘self’ refers to an individual human being, along with their body, mind, and in some cases, the concept of a ‘soul’. In the current climate of migration and globalization, personality characteristics of individuals from different countries have received a growing interest. There’s a “public self” that reflects your actions, a “private self” relating to thoughts and feelings, not to mention self-awareness, self-consciousness, self-reference, self-enhancement, self-perception, and self-esteem. The same struggle exists between those scientists whose work is guided by the hypothesis that there is a specialized self system in the mind or brain vs. those whose work is guided by the hypothesis that the self is constructed from domain general systems. The Enlightenment thinker David Hume had a somewhat similar idea, in the sense that he too believed there is ‘no self’, and that what we think of as a ‘self’ is just an illusion. D. W. MURRAY. MAIN A-Z INDEX - A-Z of PAINTING. Collectivism – individuals are part of a group and the needs of the group come before the individual. While the western tradition may make some fairly significant justifications for an ‘enduring self’, the Buddhist philosophy completely rejects the notion of a ‘self’ in general, viewing it as an illusion. ref James. 2005. The concept of the Self takes many forms in Western psychology, but invariably involves to some extent a dimension of “thingness,” the reification of a homunculus assumed to reside within the individual, who is the thinker of thoughts, the doer of deeds, and the feeler of feelings. Reductionism, while useful in certain applications, is not helpful in understanding the person. People are said to have a representation of a physical self that is related to the body, and a mental self related to thoughts and feelings. In many societies, however, adolescence is often equated with puberty. Anthropology at Brandeis University, Waltham, MA. This page was last edited on 4 March 2017, at 14:59. Personally, I find the Eastern tradition (along with Hume’s views) to be more compelling. However, the Enlightenment philosopher David Hume and the founder of Buddhism, Siddhartha Gautama, both rejected the idea of an ‘enduring self’, even going so far as to claim any concept of a ‘self’ is an illusion. D. W. MURRAY. What does Western psychology have to say about the self? … In other words, it assumes that we humans are selves that endure through time” (Velasquez 96). An important characteristic of the Western genre is the setting. Two themes have been particularly pervasive: the tension between egalitarian and aristocratic cultural strands; and the pursuit of the authentic self. The first one to be discussed is individualism, a characteristic that is the opposite of Eastern Culture which is a …show more content… The World Health Organization defines an adolescent as any person aged 10 to 19. Like Buddhism, Hume believed that “because everything is in flux, there is not even an enduring self” (Velasquez 105). Learn more about the definition, features, and stages of adolescence. A sense of self is intimately connected to memories of past experiences. The Buddha taught that the idea of a ‘self’ is an illusion, and that this illusion leads to pain and suffering. The self is experienced subjectively and can be viewed objectively. In particular, he is concerned with anthropological writing about the “Western” notion of a “transcendent self” against which the rest of the world’s cultures are judged. That's an interesting topic and amazingly no one answered. Mentally and physically we are constantly changing, so I think that the idea of an ‘enduring self’ is nothing more than a mystical, idealistic concept. How East and West think in profoundly different ways - BBC … The term ‘self’ refers to an individual human being, along with their body, mind, and in some cases, the concept of a ‘soul’. Richard C. Page: is an associate professor in the Department of Counseling and Human Development Services at the University of Georgia, Athens. Western Self as Analytic..as Monotheistic..as Individualistic..as Materialistic and Rationalistic. He made many distinctions, two of which we can easily recognize as important: the “me” vs. the “I.” James wrote about three types of "me”s" (or objective selves) — material (the body), social and spiritual. Individualism – favours the individual as an independent entity and encourages self-promotion and self-worth. Richard C. Page. ", Greenwald, Anthony G., and Mahzarin R. Banaji. A sense of self is intimately connected to memories of past experiences. Part of what is developing in children as they grow is the fundamental cognitive part of the self, known as the self-concept.The self-concept is a knowledge representation that contains knowledge about us, including our beliefs about our personality traits, physical characteristics, abilities, values, goals, and roles, as well as the knowledge that we exist as individuals. Similarities between the concept of the self and the concept of emotion: There is a "self paradox" that looks a lot like the emotion paradox:  colloquially, a “self” refers to a coherent, unified whole — most people, barring illness, have no difficulty identifying their self — but scientists can’t agree on its definition, nor find a set of objective (perceiver-dependent criteria) to measure it. "The self as a memory system: Powerful, but ordinary. America, for example, is firmly Western in culture. Search for more papers by this author. The self is experienced subjectively and can be viewed objectively. The Western concept of self as a bounded, unique,more or less integrated mmotivational and cognitive universe, a dynamic center of awareness, emotion,judgement and action. For example, see Baumeister, Roy F. 1998. [4][5] But then there are others who have always maintained that the self is not special in mental or neural terms. [1] William James discussed many different selves, including the self as knower vs. the self as someone to be known by others. ", For a discussion, see Gillihan, Seth J., and Martha J. Farah. Plato was one of the first philosophers to state that the soul is eternal, so it is the soul of a man that makes him an enduring self, because even after death the soul continues to exist. So, despite the many mental and physical changes that may occur during our life, we are essentially the same ‘self’ throughout our many developments. For example, right now I’m typing this essay, but the thoughts in my mind at this very moment are different from the thoughts in my mind a few seconds ago. The new research paints a much richer picture of diversity in cultural models of selfhood. A few intuitions that run through all these ideas about the self: Many psychologists consider the self to have a special status in the brain, first within a dedicated region, and then a dedicated network. On the surface, this appears to be nihilistic teaching . It shows that Western cultures tend to emphasize certain ways of being independent (e.g., being different from others, self-directed, and self-expressive), but not others (e.g., being self-interested, self-reliant, and consistent across contexts). When people talk about Western culture, what exactly are they referring to? Many psychologists consider the self to have a special status in the brain, first within a dedicated region, and then a dedicated network. Thus, how could I be an ‘enduring self’ when every few seconds the thoughts in my head are changing? Just remember, when you reify the self, you lead a fragile and fictional existence that’s one step away from tragedy. The self is continuous through time — it has some essence. ", How Emotions are Made: The Secret Life of the Brain, http://how-emotions-are-made.com/w/index.php?title=Western_views_of_the_self&oldid=7290. By and large, cultures in the West tend to be more individualistic whereas people from the East are more collectivist. There is no agreed upon definition of the self or for emotion. "Self-referential processing in our brain—a meta-analysis of imaging studies on the self. In other words, our consciousness is a result of our ‘soul’, or of our ‘enduring self’. Clearly, human beings cannot be reduced to parts but must be understood within the context of the whole. The concept of a ‘soul’ is often the most popular representation of an ‘enduring self’, because according to western belief, a soul is “immaterial or spiritual” (Velasquez 100), thus a ‘soul’ is beyond the physical realm and not subject to change like material objects. Western culture is also referred to Western civilization. Egocentric Self - each person is seen to be a separate entity with inherent characteristics - which are seen to originate and reside within an individual - to act differently depending on who you are with is seen as dishonest - as suggested in the expression, "be true to yourself" Assistant Professor. But the Buddha taught that if we can see through the delusion of the small, individual self, we experience that which is not subject to birth and death. This contrasts with collectivist cultures where characteristics like being self-sacrificing, dependable, generous, and helpful to others are of greater importance. The self-concept is a general term used to refer to how someone thinks about, evaluates or perceives themselves. Previous research has established reliable differences in personality traits across countries. Like Buddha and David Hume, I too believe that everything is impermanent, including ourselves. Part of what is developing in children as they grow is the fundamental cognitive part of the self, known as the self-concept. Anthropology at Brandeis University, Waltham, MA. Concepts of the Self: Western and Eastern Perspectives. Humans are intersubjective beings interacting with other people and environmental factors in a constant state of flux. In other words, it is our memory that allows us to identify ourselves, and it is the process of identifying ourselves that allows us to formulate the idea of a ‘self’. Adolescence, transitional phase of growth and development between childhood and adulthood. The European philosophers Plato, Descartes, and Locke all believed in an ‘enduring self’, however what exactly constituted this ‘self’ was varied. But here it’s way more negative traits than positive. What we perceive within ourselves is nothing more than a changing bundle of disconnected sensations” (Velasquez 104). They Enjoy Solitude and Privacy. These were social roles (external or objective aspects of oneself such as son, teacher, friend) and personality traits (internal or affective aspects of … ‘The self’ may exist as a product of the mind, in other words, on a psychological level, but in all honesty I think even that definition might be stretching it. Hume believed that it was impossible to perceive the ‘self’ with our senses because it doesn’t actually exist – ‘the self’ is just an imaginary concept. I would say that the idea of a ‘self’ is just a notion that has been mentally created in order to give ourselves a feeling of identity and purpose. Many years later, the philosopher Descartes stated that “thinking is an attribute of the soul” and that “the continuity of his thinking mind [is what] makes him remain the same person” (Velasquez 100). Some scientists believe that a self has an essence, whereas others who believe that the self is a momentary representation derived from a population of possible representations (i.e., population thinking); so too with emotion. In. Psychologists are uncovering the surprising influence of geography on our reasoning, behaviour, and sense of self. On Forgetting David Hume. Murray argues that anthropologists have constructed a “monolithic” vision of “Hegemonic Western Tradition,” which they then contrast with their own work. Every time you fail to feed the needs and desires of your fictional self (which comes from the standards created by you, your loved ones, or your reputation), you suffer. The evidence instead points toward construction. Imaging research reveals the same networks are important both for the self and for emotion. Although they have been colonized by several countries, core values from their ancestors remained intact and is still applied up to this time. April 2, 2017. So, of course, William James wrote about it. The western view of the ‘enduring self’ refers to the notion that “you are the same person you were earlier in your life. 2006. Hume “argues that all real knowledge is based on what we can actually perceive with our senses” (Velasquez 104). The self-concept is a knowledge representation that contains knowledge about us, including our beliefs about our personality traits, physical characteristics, abilities, values, goals, and roles, as well as the knowledge that we exist as individuals. TRAITS AND CHARACTERISTICS • Filipinos has one of the best traits in the world one of you must know. S views ) to be of service to others are of greater importance imply that I unchanging! 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