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. #1
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    Where does personal identity come from?

    What do you think is the basis for personal identity? What makes you you, and not someone else?
    Last edited by Kandahar; 02-11-10 at 04:18 AM.
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    Re: Where does personal identity come from?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    What do you think is the basis for personal identity? What makes you you, and not someone else?
    Senses and genetics.

    People are predisposed to certain behaviors and personality traits.
    I was discovering that life just simply isn't fair and bask in the unsung glory of knowing that each obstacle overcome along the way only adds to the satisfaction in the end. Nothing great, after all, was ever accomplished by anyone sulking in his or her misery.
    —Adam Shepard

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Guerrilla View Post
    Senses and genetics.

    People are predisposed to certain behaviors and personality traits.
    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?
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    Re: Where does personal identity come from?

    Genetics and environment.

  5. #5
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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 will be predisposed to the same things but in development they can be affected by their environment in totally different ways.
    Subtle differences can change a person in the long run.
    I was discovering that life just simply isn't fair and bask in the unsung glory of knowing that each obstacle overcome along the way only adds to the satisfaction in the end. Nothing great, after all, was ever accomplished by anyone sulking in his or her misery.
    —Adam Shepard

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

    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.

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

    I am going to go with other, I think I am who I am because I will it to be so. Ultimately my identity is my choice.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by megaprogman View Post
    I am going to go with other, I think I am who I am because I will it to be so. Ultimately my identity is my choice.
    No it is not. You are you regardless. Don't like yourself? Change yourself but it is still you. You are changing the wants and needs and behaviors of yourself, but your identity remains unchanged.

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

    Depends on what you mean by "identity"? The individual proteins that come together to form the features that is my body? Or the way I act and intereact with those around me? I think of "identity" as perceptions, of myself by me and by others I come in contact with.

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    Re: Where does personal identity come from?

    Quote Originally Posted by reefedjib View Post
    No it is not. You are you regardless. Don't like yourself? Change yourself but it is still you. You are changing the wants and needs and behaviors of yourself, but your identity remains unchanged.
    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 [ame="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phineas_Gage"]Phineas Gauge[/ame]. 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.

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