Rene Descartes Definition Of Self

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If someone walked up to a stranger on the street and asked them, “who are you?” What would they say? Would they start by stating their name, or would they use adjectives to describe themselves as a person? The natural thing to do is to simply state one’s name and let others make their own observations based on their view of who they perceive they are at that present moment. For centuries, the question of self has been studied by various philosophers, and many of them have come to different conclusions of what the self really is. They’ve spent their lives questioning and refining what they believed to be the perfect definition of self. The theories that these philosophers have proposed shape my own beliefs and allow for me to create my own perception …show more content…
Descartes was a rationalist, basing everything off the question, “what if everything we have learned is wrong?” I agree with Descartes’ questioning the factuality of everything we learned. We settle with the idea that those in the past supposedly knew everything and we base all of our opinions off of what those in the past have made us believe. As a rationalist, Descartes believed in using reason as the basis of actions and opinions. This belief allows for us to understand all that we think we know by analyzing the questions we pose within our minds. How can anyone believe that they exist in reality? When Descartes stated, “I think therefore I am”, he embodied the foundation of what the “self” truly was. A person exists based solely on the fact that they have thoughts and their own beliefs. This causes the person to question the things they already know, but is that enough to explain what the self is? While Descartes and the other rationalist based their beliefs on reasoning as the central source of knowledge, this limits us to thought alone and prevents us from perceiving anything outside of our own mind. Up until the early 18th century, there had been many philosophers who tried to describe how the mind and the body were connected and they created various theories of what made up the …show more content…
On the outside, all that can be seen is the physical features which are right in front of me. I base all of my interpretations on what other people have told me. They may say “I see what I believe to be a white male about medium height with blonde hair. To me he seems easygoing, friendly, and happy go lucky. A very simple and kind mannered human being.” The only true way for us to know what others think about us is to hear what their interpretations are of us when they are encountered. Most people might describe me as a curious and outgoing person. They may also describe me as active, talkative, or even uninhibited. Others may perceive me as naturally down-to-earth and unpretentious, loving what they believe to be my sincere and generous

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