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Thread: Socrates says “know thyself”: I say which self?

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    Socrates says “know thyself”: I say which self?

    Socrates says “know thyself”: I say which self?

    I don’t know what happened to me. I was beside my self with worry.

    My pet dog Fido uses his imagination to create image schemas to help him to comprehend and move about in his world. I use my imagination in much the same way but because my species can create abstract concepts I also use my imagination to create these abstract concepts.

    I have the ability to use linguistic metaphors to help me comprehend my world and also my cognitive processes uses conceptual metaphors (structures from concrete experience) to construct abstract ideas while I am unconscious of this happening.

    The concrete concepts, structured from experience, become primary metaphors that my unconscious imagination utilizes to construct image schemas for my abstract ideas.

    SGCS (Second Generation Cognitive Science) has developed a set of theories using these metaphors, both linguistic, and conceptual to examine such abstract concepts as what is self, time, causality, etc.

    If we examine linguistic metaphors that are common to our culture regarding “self” we can determine much information regarding what we normally think about this matter.

    SGCS inform me that we have many different common metaphors for “self”:

    The General Subject Self “A person is divided into a Subject and one or more Selves.” The Subject experiences consciousness only in real time. This Subject is the center of reason, will, and judgment. The Subject is thought of as the essential self that encompasses our self as a person.

    The Physical-Object Self“Self-control and object control are inseparable experiences from early childhood…Self Control is Object Control.”I lifted my hand—I lost my voice—I couldn’t control myself—the boy picked himself up from the ground.

    The Locational Self I was besides my self with worry.

    The above quotes from Philosophy in the Flesh by Lakoff and Johnson

    We are born recognizing our self as a ‘me’. The ‘me’ is an object before ‘me’ becomes ‘I’, i.e. an executive subject. Only after this happens in an infant’s life can s/he “back away” from her or him self.

    The child discovers first that s/he is a social product. Perhaps this will show us why we are so often mere puppets jerked around by alien symbols and sounds. Perhaps this is why we are so often just blind ideologues (blindly partisan).

    In order to separate the ego from the world it seems that the ego must have a rallying point. It must have a flag about which to rally. That flag is the “I”. The pronoun ‘I’ is the symbolic rallying point for the human’s ego; it is the precise designation of self-hood. It is concluded by those who study such matters that the ‘I’ “must take shape linguistically”. The self or ego “is largely a verbal edifice”.

    “The “I” signals nothing less than the beginning of the birth of values into a world of powerful caprice…The personal pronoun is the rallying point for self-consciousness.” The wedding of the nervous ability to delay response, with the pronoun “I”, unleashed a new type of animal; the human species began. The ‘I’ represents the birth of values.

    Upon the discovery of the “I” the infant human becomes a precise form, which is the focus of self-control. The creatures previous to the arrival of humans in the chain of evolution had an instinctive center within itself. When our species discovered the “I” and its associated self-control centers a dual reality occurred. “The animal not only loses its instinctive center within itself; it also becomes somewhat split against itself.”

    Becker, the winner of the Pulitzer for “The Birth and Death of Meaning”, notes that Kant was perhaps the first to impress upon us the importance of the fact that the infant becomes conscious first of itself as a “me” and then only as “I”. This order of discover has been shown to be universal.

    I have noticed when an infant becomes an ‘I’, when all of a sudden they behave in a self-conscious manner. Have you noticed such a change taking place in a child?

    Quotes from The Birth and Death of Meaning—Ernest Becker

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    Orwellian The Atheist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by coberst View Post
    I have noticed when an infant becomes an ‘I’, when all of a sudden they behave in a self-conscious manner. Have you noticed such a change taking place in a child?

    Quotes from The Birth and Death of Meaning—Ernest Becker
    Can't say I have and I've seen a few now.

    I see that the "I" starts as soon as they open thei eyes.

    From birth, a baby is its own universe, and you can watch that universe slowly expanding, with the first stage being the knowledge that it doesn't control the universe. That seems to take place pretty early on.
    Go to work, get married, have some kids, pay your taxes, pay your bills, watch your tv, follow fashion, act normal, obey the law and repeat after me: "I am free."

    Anon

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    Ghost in the Machine Michael T's Avatar
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    Children become 'self-aware' at around eighteen months. Child Psychologists developed a test using just a mirror and 'stick-on spot' that is surreptitiously stuck on to the child’s face in a prominent position by a parent during play. When placed in front of the mirror, if the child has reached/passed this point of self-awareness, he/she will notice and perhaps attempt to remove the sticker. A child that has not yet reached this stage will completely ignore it.

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    Orwellian The Atheist's Avatar
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    I wouldn't bet that's not some spatial awareness thing rather than self-awareness.

    Our little guy is a mirror freak, and I'm certain he understands it's him and has done for several months and he's only 11 months now.
    Go to work, get married, have some kids, pay your taxes, pay your bills, watch your tv, follow fashion, act normal, obey the law and repeat after me: "I am free."

    Anon

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    γνῶθι σεαυτόν or 'know thyself' isn't attributed to Socrates; it's attributed to the Delphic Oracle.

    I've only just started reading works by linguistic psychologists like Steven Pinker and unfortunately I'm too uninformed to add anything but this correction to the thread. Sorry!

    (T__T)

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    holy fool _Shannon_'s Avatar
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    You ask, "Which self?"

    I answer, "All of them!"

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    Have you read Socrates' related works? It might be helpful to seek an answer within the relevant historical discourse before comparing it with other kinds of discourse.

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    Haribol Acharya blazeofglory's Avatar
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    In fact there are similar statements in the Vedas also. In fact if we know ourselves we know the entire universe or to put it differently or we come to know what we need to know or self realization in point of fact. The fact that man is a macrocosm and carry the whole universe microcosmically and towards this all of us have timelessly been running and of course atheists or skeptics cannot subscribe to this truth. But nothing will stop or nor the earth stops orbiting the sun if they do not believe the fact the earth revolves around the sun. That is our ancient sages have already arrived at this great truth and most religions at times come closer when it comes to understanding the truth.

    Of course what Socrates has urged is manifest in the Vedas

    “Those who seek to satisfy the mind of man by hampering it with ceremonies and music and affecting charity and devotion have lost their original nature””

    “If water derives lucidity from stillness, how much more the faculties of the mind! The mind of the sage, being in repose, becomes the mirror of the universe, the speculum of all creation.

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