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Thread: Identity

  1. #11
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cavarice View Post
    I hold the view that internal perceptions of self are an element of our behavior and not something separate from it.

    I speak only for myself, but I have had many moments where inner thoughts clashed with my outer behavior. I have always been keen to notice it, however. I find myself taking on a stance of "I do, therefore I think" rather than "I think, therefore I am". I arrive at conclusions about what I think, based on reflecting on prior behavior, as opposed to the other way around. As such, I tend to give more weight to my outer behavior and trust inner notions less; especially as I see my "inner self" as being largely a product of transactions with the outside world.
    Interesting.... That was an extremely informative answer, you explained it very well -- thank you.

    I'm not really sure where I stand, since I see validity in either angle depending on the context that is relevant at the time.

    I think naturally I'm more like Descartes (to borrow your ref), but I also firmly believe that it's easy to picture oneself any way one would like internally, while not behaving in ways that conform to that inner identity... so in a sense the internal identity then is naught but a fantasy and self-delusion if it is never made manifest (if we consider both internal and external landscapes to be part of the world that an individual inhabits)... at least in terms of character.

    And reality of who we are to ourselves might not be the reality of who we are to someone else, realistically.

    Another point: Supposing that there is an internal view of self that runs in constrast to outer behavior, I think it is important to consider the question of how to "prove" it, or how to verify it. If all we have to go on is a person saying "Inside, I am person XY", it would seem to me to be unfalsifiable. Of course, I am assuming verifiability and falsifiability as being "important."
    True, the latter is an assumption. Does it matter if no one else perceives the person we perceive ourselves as? And who does it matter to? And does that vary from person to person?

    Since we cannot get access to someone's mind directly (at least at this time), it seems the only indication we have of someone being who they say they are is their observable actions (and the motivations they express for said actions).

    Before this question can be answered, I think it is important to consider whether or not there is commonly agreed upon way of measuring validity. Using myself as an example to illustrate, my inclination towards externally derived notions of "self" are in large part of a general inclination I have towards empirical methods of verification (and also perhaps due to my almost absence of "Fi"). Not everybody gives as much weight to this method, however.
    That's true as well. My own concept of validity would suggest whichever view happens to give the more "consistent" description of the person. I'm more of a pattern mapper that notices imbalances within the pattern, rather than checking each point empirically (although I think that is important in order to cross-confirm conclusions).

    My Fi sense has gotten stronger but for many years I didn't have much of an internal ego. I knew what I felt and what I wanted to believe about me but felt the need to validate my internal experience through external means.... which left things in a lot of turmoil for years. it also makes one extremely susceptible to the opinions and observations of others, right or wrong. It seems that to some degree one must develop Fi sense merely to have a holistic sense of self, instead of constantly having to 'step outside' to acquire one...
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  2. #12
    Senior Member tinkerbell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lamp View Post
    Need to check with outside world to be fully aware of identity. Not necessarily asking people what they think of you, but observe how your actions affect stuff.

    edit - your actions (and attitude and approach) dictate who you are. Not what you think, not what your principles are. if we are talking about identity of the person.
    Maybe when I was a lot younger I would self reference, but I really don't need others to tell me who I am, I really get who I am.

    I do however almost need others approval to do something I'm uncertain off. Like stand my ground on an issue or something... it seems strange because I'm super decisive on so many things particuarly at work.

    I'm very different when I'm in groups I dont' know, or with people I do, or at home or out. I'm totally calm at home, and hate argument or atmospher, but I enjoy debate at work and in dicussion with friends.

    I am lousy at home decorating, it looks too eclectic, things don't match/nssesarily go together. I have ecclectic things around my home, like a bird cadge which I bought to keep flowers/plants in, a puppet - cos I thought it was cool and preuvian gods...

    I buy quality, as much as possible, but in terms of dress, I rarely look well held together.

    I cna do the whole girlie thing but I think I prefer people to engage with me not an image. I hate it when men have conversations with my breasts.

    I think because of my dyslexia, I was driven to do too much education when I was younger, I have so many diffeent qualifications, from first aid, to cooking to businesses, to nursing etc etc... Getting a first class degree managed to stop me feeling like I needed to prove myself intellectually.

    I still feel career driven, even though I am doing well.

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    Interesting.... That was an extremely informative answer, you explained it very well -- thank you.

    I'm not really sure where I stand, since I see validity in either angle depending on the context that is relevant at the time.

    I think naturally I'm more like Descartes (to borrow your ref), but I also firmly believe that it's easy to picture oneself any way one would like internally, while not behaving in ways that conform to that inner identity... so in a sense the internal identity then is naught but a fantasy and self-delusion if it is never made manifest (if we consider both internal and external landscapes to be part of the world that an individual inhabits)... at least in terms of character.

    And reality of who we are to ourselves might not be the reality of who we are to someone else, realistically.



    True, the latter is an assumption. Does it matter if no one else perceives the person we perceive ourselves as? And who does it matter to? And does that vary from person to person?

    Since we cannot get access to someone's mind directly (at least at this time), it seems the only indication we have of someone being who they say they are is their observable actions (and the motivations they express for said actions).
    Excellent. I think you understand what I said very well - the bolded being almost precisely my view on the matter.



    That's true as well. My own concept of validity would suggest whichever view happens to give the more "consistent" description of the person. I'm more of a pattern mapper that notices imbalances within the pattern, rather than checking each point empirically (although I think that is important in order to cross-confirm conclusions).
    Durrrrr. I'm highly doubt that I understand this. What's the difference between being a "pattern mapper than notices imbalances within the pattern" and "checking each point empicially"? I could easily see myself as an "empirical pattern mapper" - I check empirically for patterns and look for consistency among different scenarios to verify that it is indeed a consistent pattern - in fact, this is exactly what has led to my conclusion about identity being inherently dynamic and inconsistent - an identity defined by external means is always in flux if the outer environment is always changing (as I am presuming it to be).


    My Fi sense has gotten stronger but for many years I didn't have much of an internal ego. I knew what I felt and what I wanted to believe about me but felt the need to validate my internal experience through external means.... which left things in a lot of turmoil for years. it also makes one extremely susceptible to the opinions and observations of others, right or wrong. It seems that to some degree one must develop Fi sense merely to have a holistic sense of self, instead of constantly having to 'step outside' to acquire one...
    That's fascinating. Assuming a correct interperation of what you're saying, I have a hunch that I've actually been moving in an opposite direction on this. When I was younger, I used to have much "stronger" ego function and I didn't feel the need to check any of my sacred cows externally. However, as years passed I began noticing a pattern that my rigidly held views of myself were often changing every 2-3 months, but being the arrogant snot I was - it was "true" every time. As I noticed this pattern, however, it led to one of the hugest long-term shifts I've experienced in my personality and thought processes. I experienced an immense crisis which demolished my ability to hold strong viewpoints on anything, but I've gone far beyond that since and found myself quite well at home with not having an internal need for a "consistent" self.

  4. #14
    "Everything in its place" fill's Avatar
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    This thread speaks to me as for the past few days I've had some trouble pinpointing who I really am and what I want. The view that our actions define us is also what Jean-Paul Sartre argues in his existentialist writings. And I've been reading those a lot lately- I'm not sure I agree with it 100%, but it's really had me thinking.

    So in science there is data, its interpretation, and its test. And after reading some response, I had this thought: what if we define ourselves by our scientific method? We have all of our actions, which acts as the data we collect, then we have our interpretation of that data, and its test. So if we think of our past actions, the interpretation of those actions is a "theory" of who we are; but as this theory is disproved as we are bound to act inconsistently (or at least I am), we have to rework a new theory. The only snag I have is this: who interprets the data? Us? Others? Is anyone qualified to do so? Hence lies my identity problem. Maybe the data is interpreted two ways: by ourselves, creating our theory of who we are and by others creating a theory of who we are socially. But which one is more liable?

    I think this is why I have a hard time trusting myself, then something happens and I think the opposite: no one is to be trusted.

    Anyone else experience this?
    "Poor bastard. Wait 'till he sees the bats. "
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    Great comments, fill... and i think it sort of leads to what I hinted at earlier -- that maybe we don't have an "identity" but maybe just a scattering of identity facets based on who is viewing us... since no one person really has the inside track 100% of who we are... Is identity dependent on the identifier as much as the subject being identified?
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

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    I don't think I put too much thought into it.

  7. #17
    Senior Member Moiety's Avatar
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    I'm god and you are all a figment of my powerful imagination. In a sense, you could say I created everything. Abstractly speaking. Inside my head, you see.

  8. #18
    "Everything in its place" fill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    Great comments, fill... and i think it sort of leads to what I hinted at earlier -- that maybe we don't have an "identity" but maybe just a scattering of identity facets based on who is viewing us... since no one person really has the inside track 100% of who we are...
    Yes, exactly.

    Is identity dependent on the identifier as much as the subject being identified?
    That's a very good question. I only have another: what is a performer without his audience? Who are we when there is nobody to identify us? Is this who we really are- or is it just our reaction to circumstances?
    "Poor bastard. Wait 'till he sees the bats. "
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  9. #19
    Senior Member tinkerbell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fill View Post
    This thread speaks to me as for the past few days I've had some trouble pinpointing who I really am and what I want. The view that our actions define us is also what Jean-Paul Sartre argues in his existentialist writings. And I've been reading those a lot lately- I'm not sure I agree with it 100%, but it's really had me thinking.

    So in science there is data, its interpretation, and its test. And after reading some response, I had this thought: what if we define ourselves by our scientific method? We have all of our actions, which acts as the data we collect, then we have our interpretation of that data, and its test. So if we think of our past actions, the interpretation of those actions is a "theory" of who we are; but as this theory is disproved as we are bound to act inconsistently (or at least I am), we have to rework a new theory. The only snag I have is this: who interprets the data? Us? Others? Is anyone qualified to do so? Hence lies my identity problem. Maybe the data is interpreted two ways: by ourselves, creating our theory of who we are and by others creating a theory of who we are socially. But which one is more liable?

    I think this is why I have a hard time trusting myself, then something happens and I think the opposite: no one is to be trusted.

    Anyone else experience this?
    and the plot thickens because it changes all the time.

    I'm pretty sure I know who I am (for a certain set of perspectives), and I can make decisions (although don't ask me to buy a sofa cos that was stressful) but what I want from my life next... quank quank oomp.... very very difficult.

    I'm great at time filling between ambisions, I find live easier to goals, but I often don't have goals I want to do right now... which feels floaty

  10. #20
    psicobolche tcda's Avatar
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    I completely reject the idea of personality type as identity. My identity to me is where I come from and what I stand for in the world, and that is collectively forged, through past experiences and bonds with others for a common vision. I feel very sorry for people that establish "identities" purely introspectively.
    "Of course we spent our money in the good times. That's what you're supposed to do in good times! You can't save money in the good times. Then they wouldn't be good times, they'd be 'preparation for the bad times' times."

    "Every country in the world owes money. Everyone. So heere's what I dont get: who do they all owe it to, and why don't we just kill the bastard and relax?"

    -Tommy Tiernan, Irish comedian.

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