Friday, June 08, 2012

Process philosophy - conversation pt 2

How do we find our personal identity? According to classical metaphysics it can be summarised thus:

'The world is many things I am one you are another.'

I think it could be said that this is how most of us start to approach this issue, it is the general view in society. We have a 'self' that persists throughout life from birth to death.

Process philosophy suggests a radical alternative:

'Our identity changes from a self to a series of successive 'self-now' each moment of self is a new actuality'

Process philosophy is influenced by quantum mechanics which sees the world as consistig not of things but of events.

Thus a persons consists of a series of momentary selves but they are connected and there is an element of permanence called personality.

But let us not let self-interest exaggerate the degree of permanence that we have. I think we can all understand the idea of being a new self in the 'now'.

The traditional view of the selfhas led to the idea there is only one person who matters - yourself, an attitude that has probably caused a lot of problems. The new idea also seeks to equalise, ourselves and others are a new identity in every moment, our past does not predict our future.

1 comment:

Rod White said...

For some strange reason I had a problem with the 'n' key yesterday - excuse all the spelling mistakes!