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Concepts of Self and Selfhood - Essay Example

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Concepts of the "self" or a sense of "selfhood"-in respect to ethics, metaphysics, society, psychology, and artistic production-are partially or largely dependent on historical/cultural context. Thus, to understand the entire parameter of the aspects of selfhood and individualism views of four main authors John Locke, Charles Darwin, Sigmund Freud and Karl Marx would be evaluated and analyzed.
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Download file to see previous pages Locke shared the same ideas with Marx, believing that humans give up certain freedoms to have protection through their government. As a result, the basic nature of human self is portrayed in the light of selfhood and individuality and human nature along with its grace and flaws and it is done in accordance to the spirituality and ethical and metaphysical beliefs of the cultural environment of his time. The empiricism point of view enumerated the physical, mental and the mind/body aspect as tabula rasa by John Locke. In accordance to him, the entire nature of human self is the constant nurture of sensory experiences where the individual gathers information right from birth. On the other hand, Plato incorporated the idea of anthropology and metaphysics in defining the amalgamation of the concept of physical, mental and the mind/body aspect of the human nature. He suggested that the human nature is the combination of genitals, belly, breast and the concept of intellectuality. He also stated the basic human nature was always uncomfortable with this coexistence and death was the only way out of this coercion.
John Lockes approach to this issue of selfhood or individualism is based on the contradiction of values of his time and ethical methods available in his era (1632 - 1704). He "was directed against the principles of Sir Robert Filmer, whose books, asserting the divine authority of kings and denying any right of resistance, were thought by Locke and his fellow Whigs to be too influential among the gentry to be left unchallenged by those who held that resistance to an arbitrary monarch might be justified." (Locke, viii) Thus, it is certain that John Locke believed in the human self of man and that man should be paid his dues whereby there should be equalities in terms of ethics in the society. John Locke's approach to metaphysic and ethics is in this way very modern in nature and reading his text Second Treatise of Government yields a romantic approach towards different ethical consequences. This is because he was more of a political philosopher than an economist. Thus, a philosophical justification comes forward with his view of forceful equality of selfhood and individuality.
An ardent empiricist by nature John Locke is always in favor of revolution. He conveys every opportunity to practice this approach, he feels that selfhood, and individuality is possible only by revolution. In a way, John Locke is at par with Marx but his approach is more fiscal oriented and data base where as Locke's outlook is more assumption based and romance is added to it enthusiastically. His views were based on the faith that human nature is the best judge of identifying right and wrong, that it is obvious that the population would determine correctly, what is ultimately right would eradicate differences in the process, and selfhood and individuality would prevail. (Lamb, 226-8)
As such, in Marx's opinion, the alienation/duplication between the secular and religious worlds needs to be followed by a subsequent recognition of the alienation/duplication of the secular world itself for evoking the proper aspects of selfhood and individualism. The religious world is a projection of the secular world but the secular world ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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