Able to explain the role of philosophy in understanding the
concept of the “self”
Discuss the different philosophical perspectives about the
Differentiate the philosophical viewpoints about the “self”
3. WHO AM I?
What do we even mean by the “self”?
Are we souls, bodies, or fragments of someone else’s
Are we just minds or a combination of mind and body?
Will I survive bodily death or is it the end when my bodily self
Am I a robot controlled by some entity?
Philosophy is often called the mother of all disciplines simply because all fields of
study began as philosophical discourses.
Philosophy employs the inquisitive mind to discover the ultimate causes, reasons, and
principles of everything. It goes beyond scientific investigation by exploring all areas of
knowledge such as religion, psychology, politics, physics and even medicine.
Hence, the etymological definition of philosophy, “love of wisdom” could pertain to
the desire for truth by formulating never ending questions to provide answers to
every inquiry about the nature of human existence.
The nature of the self is a topic of interest among philosophers.
5. Two Distinct Approaches of Philosophy
In empiricism, there is no such thing as innate knowledge; instead, knowledge is
derived from experience― either perceived with the five senses or processed with the
It argues that there is innate knowledge.
Rationalism explains self from the standpoint of what is “ideal” and “true”, and not
rooted in what is felt by the senses or body. Conclusions are derived through logic
Through this, philosophers base their opinions and actions on reason and knowledge
rather than on religious belief or emotional response.
He was one of the first philosophers who were concerned
with the problems of the self
He believed in a Dualistic approach – every man is
composed of body and soul.
Note: When we talk about soul it does not talk about the
religious definition of the soul. But for some philosophers
it may or may not have anything to do with religion.
Some of them think of soul as something that we cannot
“An unexamined life is not worth living” –
There is a soul before the body, existing in the realm of
Once the soul comes into the material world, he would
This knowledge is brought by the Socratic approach –
teaching by asking questions. You only need to ask the
right questions to be aware of the things that we are not
able to answer before.
That is why we do raise a lot of questions for you to think
deeply for you to analyze.
Student of Socrates
Founded the Academy – and by common definition, in
the modern day, it is similar with our universities.
1. The Republic - The Republic by Plato is a text that
describes the importance of being just in the world,
and by being just, one is happy. It is a text that
describes an ideal city and a way through which a just
and philosophical governance can create happiness.
2. Allegory of the Cave - Plato uses the cave as a
symbolic representation of how human beings live in
the world, contrasting reality versus our
interpretation of it. These two ideas reflect the two
worlds in the story: the world inside the cave, and the
Theory: Dichotomy between ideal world and the material
Ideal World (World of Forms) – this only exist in the world
of ideas. It’s not something we can see. The world we live
today is a replica of the real world.
Material World – real world
He said that the soul is the most divine aspect or the
most intellectual part of the person
He says that sense experience fails to provide us with any
guarantee that what we experience is, in fact, true. The
information we get by relying on sense experience is
constantly changing and often unreliable.
Rational Soul – uses reason
Spirited – neutral
Appetitive – pursues desires
11. St. Augustine
Man is bifurcated by nature
He also believed in a dichotomy
Two aspects of a person:
Capable of reaching immortality
12. St. Augustine
Goal of the person: To attain communion with the divine
or to be able to be reunited with his creator. Hence, in
order to do that, one must live a good life.
The world of materials is not our final home but only a
The real world is where God is
13. St. Thomas Aquinas
One of the doctor’s of the church
Man is composed of Matter and form
Matter (hyle) – common stuff that makes up everything.
Our body, seatmates friends families.
We are similar to animals in a way that we have a
material being (matter). But what makes us diff is that we
have our own form.
Form (morpe) – essence of the living
Even though have bodies, you are still different because
you have your own souls that makes the body move.
14. Rene Descartes
“I think, therefore, I am.” cogito ergo sum
Father of Modern Philosophy
Doubts the existence of his own physical body
How can he prove that he exists?
The mere fact that he can even think of these doubts is
the evidence that I exist.
The ability to question things is proof that you exist
Therefore he is a Rationalist because he bases his
opinions and actions on reason and knowledge rather
than on religious belief or emotional response.
15. John Locke
Our identity is not locked in the mind, body, and soul or
body only. What makes his theory unique is that he
included the concept of the person’s memory.
When we are born, our mind is a blank slate or “tabula
Identity is explained in terms of psychological connection
between life stages.
This is why we become aware of ourselves when we learn
things by our own experiences.
He is an empiricist because he believed that knowledge
was founded in empirical observation and experience.
16. David Hume
He’s influenced by Empiricism
Known for his Bundle Theory – “all knowledge is
derived from the human senses”. Collection of
Impressions – vivid, products of direct experience
What you feel when you talk to your crush. Happiness.
What you feel when you saw him with another person,
anxiety, confusion, pain.
What you feel when watching anime or k-drama. “Kilig”
In layman’s term, these are feelings or sensations.
Ideas – copies of impressions, imagination
Ex: How do you think it would feel if you see your ex in the
17. Sigmund Freud
Father of Psychoanalysis
Theory of the Unconscious
Known for his Id, Ego, and Superego
Believes that man is driven by Sex and
Aggression/Death (Eros and Thanatos)
These drives are unconscious.
Three provinces of the mind:
Id – pleasure principle (nap, eat, party, drink) Ex: impulsive,
cannot wait, a baby
Ego – reality principle (allows you to think about it or delay
Superego – morality principle (you depend more on what
society think is acceptable, super righteous) Ex: does not
enjoy life, always follow the rules
19. Gilbert Ryle
“I act, therefore I am”
Argues that the mind does not exist and therefore can’t
be the seat of self
Ryle believed that the self comes from behavior
We are all just a bundle of behaviors
So he denies the existence of the internal, non-
This means that the SELF is not an entity one can
locate within our minds. But it is simply the one we call
If you want to understand the self do not look for
something that cannot be seen. Check your behavior.
In order for you to understand your self, you have to look
at what you’re doing in your day to day behavior
21. Immanuel Kant
“Science is organized knowledge. Wisdom is organized
Everything depended on how individual interprets and
responds to his or her environment based on personal
opinions and feelings.
The self emerges as a crystallized knowledge of one’s self
and others based on one’s recurring observations
22. Paul Churchland
The self emerges from empirical observation
Beliefs, traditions, rituals, are not valid because they are
not anchored on neuroscientific explanations.