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Why did Sigmund Freud and Michel Foucault not trust the notion of the self - Essay Example

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Philosophy as a sphere of knowledge has undergone various transformations over time. This is attributable to the facts and information that is added to this body of knowledge by a host of emergent philosophical thinkers. …
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Why did Sigmund Freud and Michel Foucault not trust the notion of the self
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Download file to see previous pages Nonetheless, the initial facts and issue act as a basement upon which new knowledge is based. Thus emergent thinkers simply contribute new ideas to the body of knowledge. To a great extent, such ideas are reflective of the modern day experiences and way of life. One of the philosophical concepts that have been accorded great attention by a significant percentage of the philosophers pertains to the concept of self. Notably, this has undergone various transformations and has been shaped and molded by varied perceptions that were put forth by the philosophers. Seemingly, the most important contribution to this notion was made by the two great thinkers; Sigmund Freud and Michael Foucault. Although their approaches differed considerably, their critical approach to the notion of self was not only insightful but also very informative. It is against this background that this paper explains why the two great thinkers did not trust the notion of the self. To enhance a harmonic consideration, it begins by explaining the notion of self and the developments that it has undergone since its suggestion. Essentially, the notion of self concept is all encompassing and comprises of dynamic and organized attitudes, beliefs and opinions that an individual perceives to be true about his or her self. These from a philosophical view point are also imperative in defining one’s personal existence as well as history. In essence, it seeks to explain how or what an individual considers himself to be. It is an objective standpoint that goes a long way in defining who a person is in light of his past as well as present experiences. It differs considerably from the concepts of self esteem and self report. While the former underscores feelings related to enhancement of personal worth and attainment of self fulfillment, the latter constitutes the amount of information that an individual may be willing to disclose about the self. Foucault at this point refers to the concept of self as ‘life being aware of it self” (Foucault, 1979, p. 54). Historical evidence ascertains that the concept of self was put forth by Rene Descartes in 1644 (Ryan, Short & Weed, 1986, p. 527). In this text, he argued that the aspect of doubt was an important principle of self inquiry. For an individual to attain an objection perception of one self, he needed to doubt the self. Doubt in this respect would enable him to understand his strengths, weaknesses and make an objective evaluation of his capabilities. Using it, individuals would be able to understand and appreciate themselves. Existence according to his point of view was greatly influences by perception. This knowledge was later extended by Freud who explored the aspect of internal mental processes. In particular, he detailed the importance of the individual internal thinking processes and further analyzed the aspects of self interpretation. As indicated earlier, Foucault perceived the concept of self in light of being able to understand and appreciate the abilities and capabilities of one self. Understanding these required a critical evaluation of all the aspects of an individual. In essence, it entailed a full understanding of oneself and relative capabilities, strengths and weaknesses. Of great importance to self understanding however was to know the meaning of living. Previous philosophers have in some cases related this to the spiritual notion of Christianity. At this point, it cannot be disputed that some Christian concepts greatly advocate for the practice of self renunciation. The individual in this regard is able to understand ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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