Self

  • Affects (affectivity, emotions)
  • Own (property)
  • Perceptions
  • Knowledge
  • Centre (ego, “I”)

Aristotle’s Thesis:

There is no modern sense of self; rather there is a soul that perceives, thinks, and nourishes.

[the soul must be in common, public, and justified]

Background to Aristotle (384 – 322 BCE)

  • Macedonia
  • Tutor of Alexander the Great
  • Life separated into three phases:
    • Travels with Alexander
    • Return to Athens which he encounters Plato → style of philosophy changed
    • Flees Athens

Aristotle’s Method

  • Begins with general definitions
  • Asks two fundamental questions
    • That something is? (Does it exist?)
    • What it is? (What is it?)
  • Detailed responses
    • Give the argument/content
    • Prove it –  evidence
    • Consider counter-evidence
  • Articulates a clearer position [sometimes]

Aristotle’s Arguments

  • Soul – the principle which causes movement
  • Principle
  • Movement – life is a movement
  • Humans are a combinations of body (matter) and soul (form) > soul actualises body (matter)
  • Essence – what makes you, you.
  • Self Nutrition and Reproductions
    -autonomic biological systems = life = begins/generates & corrupts (dies)
  • Perception
    -5 senses – you perceive atoms which causes your eyes, ears, nose, etc… to take –form of what you believe you are perceiving
    -selects focus
    -helps discriminate
  • Thinking
    -reason and logic, attention, knowing and understanding
  • Desire
    -body and soul are “in love”
  • Practical Reason
    -discriminate
    -choose
Cite this article as: William Anderson (Schoolworkhelper Editorial Team), "What is a Self? (Aristotle)," in SchoolWorkHelper, 2019, https://schoolworkhelper.net/what-is-a-self-aristotle/.

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