View Poll Results: Where does personal identity come from?

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  • The cells in my body

    9 22.50%
  • The neurons in my brain

    13 32.50%
  • The molecules in my brain

    7 17.50%
  • The information pattern in my brain

    13 32.50%
  • My five basic senses

    9 22.50%
  • My soul, life force, or something else metaphysical

    18 45.00%
  • Other

    15 37.50%
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Thread: Where does personal identity come from?

  1. #11
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    Re: Where does personal identity come from?

    Quote Originally Posted by megaprogman View Post
    I am not so sure about that. I have seen situations where there is some head trauma, someone goes off to war, or whatever, and comes back changed. Whether it is PTSD or a case like Phineas Gauge. People often respond with phrases like "you seem different" or "you aren't you anymore."

    Personality, I think, is a majority component of identity and it is something that a person has a great amount (but not total) of personal control over.
    I think of it as the identity clothed or decorated. The core identity, even in the case of head trauma, is unchanged. But the behaviors, which dress or decorate the core identity, may very well change dramatically.

    I just saw your comment on personality, so I think we may be saying the same things.
    Last edited by reefedjib; 02-11-10 at 07:18 AM.

  2. #12
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    Re: Where does personal identity come from?

    Well, I thought about it and after thinking of identity theft, I think I see what you might be getting at. The information that makes up an individual. I was thinking of social identity, which I define as personality.

    I think personality is still a huge piece of that though, but ultimately, the question is who owns the information of that person.

    Personally, I think it is that person, and that means everything about them, from their DNA and soul on up to personality, unless that person agrees to give away those rights. This is a part of our right to privacy.

  3. #13
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    Re: Where does personal identity come from?

    Quote Originally Posted by megaprogman View Post
    Well, I thought about it and after thinking of identity theft, I think I see what you might be getting at. The information that makes up an individual. I was thinking of social identity, which I define as personality.

    I think personality is still a huge piece of that though, but ultimately, the question is who owns the information of that person.

    Personally, I think it is that person, and that means everything about them, from their DNA and soul on up to personality, unless that person agrees to give away those rights. This is a part of our right to privacy.
    That's starting to get at it. I am ignoring personality (happy, thoughtful, etc) and physical characteristics (fat, missing a leg, etc) and focusing on self-identity. When I say I am I, I am referring to my self-awareness. If I do lose a leg to an IED explosion, I am still I. If I am bipolar and my mood and personality changes constantly, I am still I.

    Surrounding my self-identity is my personality and then my physical characteristics. These may make up my persona and people may assign them to my public identity (Rob, oh yeah, he's the fat bipolar guy who is running a political party). But none of that affects my self-identity.

  4. #14
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    Re: Where does personal identity come from?

    Quote Originally Posted by reefedjib View Post
    That's starting to get at it. I am ignoring personality (happy, thoughtful, etc) and physical characteristics (fat, missing a leg, etc) and focusing on self-identity. When I say I am I, I am referring to my self-awareness. If I do lose a leg to an IED explosion, I am still I. If I am bipolar and my mood and personality changes constantly, I am still I.

    Surrounding my self-identity is my personality and then my physical characteristics. These may make up my persona and people may assign them to my public identity (Rob, oh yeah, he's the fat bipolar guy who is running a political party). But none of that affects my self-identity.
    I think the two are mixed and cannot be separated.

  5. #15
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    Re: Where does personal identity come from?

    Quote Originally Posted by megaprogman View Post
    I think the two are mixed and cannot be separated.
    How do you explain personality and mood disorders?

  6. #16
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    Re: Where does personal identity come from?

    Quote Originally Posted by reefedjib View Post
    How do you explain personality and mood disorders?
    They are usually caused by neuro-chemical problems.

  7. #17
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    Re: Where does personal identity come from?

    Quote Originally Posted by megaprogman View Post
    They are usually caused by neuro-chemical problems.
    And you think they are part of your identity? Can identity change?

  8. #18
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    Re: Where does personal identity come from?

    Quote Originally Posted by megaprogman View Post
    I People often respond with phrases like "you seem different" or "you aren't you anymore."
    It seems to me that this is an example of the perceptions of others, and has nothing to do with what is "you". I don't see myself as different segments of my personality, but as the sum total. When I was young, I was silly and carefree, over-dominated by my emotions, and rather self-centered in many of my actions. At this age, I take life much more seriously, I consider the needs and feelings of others much more readily, and I contemplate my course of action regularly. These are both me, just different stages of my character development.

  9. #19
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    Re: Where does personal identity come from?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    But twins have the same genes...do you believe they have the same identity?

    As for senses...what if I could mimic everything that you see, hear, taste, smell, and touch? Would you and I be the same person then?
    they do not have the same identity. i am married to an identical twin.

    Originally Posted by johnny_rebson:

    These are the same liberals who forgot how Iraq attacked us on 9/11.


  10. #20
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    Re: Where does personal identity come from?

    Quote Originally Posted by reefedjib View Post
    I have self-awareness that tells me I am I. In my case, as a human, this is rooted in my consciousness. Yet a dog also has a similar self-awareness and knows he is he. The difference is that I can think about myself and make statements like I am I, whereas the dog only has awareness but not self-referentiality.
    a dog is self aware?

    Originally Posted by johnny_rebson:

    These are the same liberals who forgot how Iraq attacked us on 9/11.


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