western characteristics of self

Assistant Professor. Anthropology at Brandeis University, Waltham, MA. "Self-referential processing in our brain—a meta-analysis of imaging studies on the self. ref James. It shows that Western cultures tend to emphasize certain ways of being independent (e.g., being different from others, self-directed, and self-expressive), but not others (e.g., being self-interested, self-reliant, and consistent across contexts). While Western psychology seems to reflect an … In other words, it is our memory that allows us to identify ourselves, and it is the process of identifying ourselves that allows us to formulate the idea of a ‘self’. On Forgetting David Hume. In this essay, I intend to examine the two different views and state my own thoughts on which viewpoint is more compelling. What we perceive within ourselves is nothing more than a changing bundle of disconnected sensations” (Velasquez 104). The self has been a topic of study since the beginning of psychology as a science; so too with emotion. In order to be an ‘enduring self’, wouldn’t that imply that I am unchanging, permanent and stagnant? Due to its Christian influence, there has to be a beginning and end to find meaning. The Original Question is: What are Eastern and Western perspectives about self? Learn more about the definition, features, and stages of adolescence. Anthropology at Brandeis University, Waltham, MA. Similarities between the concept of the self and the concept of emotion: There is a "self paradox" that looks a lot like the emotion paradox:  colloquially, a “self” refers to a coherent, unified whole — most people, barring illness, have no difficulty identifying their self — but scientists can’t agree on its definition, nor find a set of objective (perceiver-dependent criteria) to measure it. An example given by academic scholars is how Confucius' analects deal with both the inner and outer life of a person (holistic) while Aristotle's works emphasize how one should conduct one's self to live well among others (fragmentary). Many years later, the philosopher Descartes stated that “thinking is an attribute of the soul” and that “the continuity of his thinking mind [is what] makes him remain the same person” (Velasquez 100). Part of what is developing in children as they grow is the fundamental cognitive part of the self, known as the self-concept. The following are broad characteristics that can be ascribed to postmodernism. Hume “argues that all real knowledge is based on what we can actually perceive with our senses” (Velasquez 104). While the western tradition may make some fairly significant justifications for an ‘enduring self’, the Buddhist philosophy completely rejects the notion of a ‘self’ in general, viewing it as an illusion. The western view of the ‘enduring self’ refers to the notion that “you are the same person you were earlier in your life. An important characteristic of the Western genre is the setting. This page was last edited on 4 March 2017, at 14:59. ", Greenwald, Anthony G., and Mahzarin R. Banaji. Some of the most prominent characteristics of Western culture are individualism, Christianity, democracy, freedom of speech, human rights and sports. Western Self as Analytic..as Monotheistic..as Individualistic..as Materialistic and Rationalistic. [2] There is also Antonio Damasio's distinction between the protoself, the core self, and the autobiographical self. "The self." There’s a “public self” that reflects your actions, a “private self” relating to thoughts and feelings, not to mention self-awareness, self-consciousness, self-reference, self-enhancement, self-perception, and self-esteem. "The self as a memory system: Powerful, but ordinary. In the end, I feel that David Hume and the Buddha’s views on illusionary nature of ‘the self’ are more rational and realistic. Richard C. Page: is an associate professor in the Department of Counseling and Human Development Services at the University of Georgia, Athens. The Enlightenment thinker David Hume had a somewhat similar idea, in the sense that he too believed there is ‘no self’, and that what we think of as a ‘self’ is just an illusion. ", For a discussion, see Gillihan, Seth J., and Martha J. Farah. Like Buddha and David Hume, I too believe that everything is impermanent, including ourselves. A sense of self is intimately connected to memories of past experiences. [1] William James discussed many different selves, including the self as knower vs. the self as someone to be known by others. A few countries that are considered individualistic cultures include the United States, Germany, Ireland, South Africa, and Australia. [4][5] But then there are others who have always maintained that the self is not special in mental or neural terms. In particular, he is concerned with anthropological writing about the “Western” notion of a “transcendent self” against which the rest of the world’s cultures are judged. Like Buddhism, Hume believed that “because everything is in flux, there is not even an enduring self” (Velasquez 105). … America, for example, is firmly Western in culture. ... Western postmodernists have a tendency to view large Western cultures such as American culture as oppressive or otherwise deeply flawed. I agree with Hume in his reasoning that “we have no real knowledge of a self and so [we] have no justification for claiming that we have a self. This contrasts with collectivist cultures where characteristics like being self-sacrificing, dependable, generous, and helpful to others are of greater importance. How East and West think in profoundly different ways - BBC … But here it’s way more negative traits than positive. A critical review of evidence from experimental psychology and cognitive neuroscience. Western culture tends to identify the the self with “ego”. The new research paints a much richer picture of diversity in cultural models of selfhood. So, of course, William James wrote about it. Western science has relied on methods for reducing processes to their most elemental level and investigating them in isolation as single variables. This is a very controversial subject to go through, but I'll do my best to make it short. In. Jackson H. The term ‘self’ refers to an individual human being, along with their body, mind, and in some cases, the concept of a ‘soul’. Many psychologists consider the self to have a special status in the brain, first within a dedicated region, and then a dedicated network. There is no agreed upon definition of the self or for emotion. I would say that the idea of a ‘self’ is just a notion that has been mentally created in order to give ourselves a feeling of identity and purpose. Although they have been colonized by several countries, core values from their ancestors remained intact and is still applied up to this time. The Smithsonian’s National African American History Museum has recently issued a list of characteristics that it attributes to “whiteness” in the U.S., including “self-reliance” and the “nuclear family.” The story: The National Museum of African American History & Culture (NMAAHC) published an article on its website that discusses “whiteness” and white culture. D. W. MURRAY. Personally, I find the Eastern tradition (along with Hume’s views) to be more compelling. Psychologists are uncovering the surprising influence of geography on our reasoning, behaviour, and sense of self. Assistant Professor. Self Portrait Paintings in Western Art (1400 BCE-present): Characteristics of Classical, Renaissance, Baroque and Modern Types of Self-Portraiture. TRAITS AND CHARACTERISTICS • Filipinos has one of the best traits in the world one of you must know. The self-concept is a general term used to refer to how someone thinks about, evaluates or perceives themselves. The individual self, or what we might call the ego, is more correctly thought of as a by-product of the skandhas. The evidence instead points toward construction. The western view of the ‘enduring self’ refers to the notion that “you are the same person you were earlier in your life. For example, see Baumeister, Roy F. 1998. In other words, it assumes that we humans are selves that endure through time” (Velasquez 96). But the Buddha taught that if we can see through the delusion of the small, individual self, we experience that which is not subject to birth and death. [3] And that’s just a self-selected sample! ‘The self’ is really only a product of our evolved consciousness – I personally don’t believe that it exists on any metaphysical, material or spiritual level. Collectivism – individuals are part of a group and the needs of the group come before the individual. That's an interesting topic and amazingly no one answered. Everything is in a constant flux of change and impermanence, thus, the ‘enduring self’ cannot exist, because an ‘enduring self’ would imply something that is ‘permanent’ or ‘unchanging’. Murray argues that anthropologists have constructed a “monolithic” vision of “Hegemonic Western Tradition,” which they then contrast with their own work. Egocentric Self - each person is seen to be a separate entity with inherent characteristics - which are seen to originate and reside within an individual - to act differently depending on who you are with is seen as dishonest - as suggested in the expression, "be true to yourself" Some scientists believe that a self has an essence, whereas others who believe that the self is a momentary representation derived from a population of possible representations (i.e., population thinking); so too with emotion. Western culture is also referred to Western civilization. [6][7] As is the case with emotion, the proposed neural essence for "the self" doesn’t exist (or has not been found), even if common sense says that it does. When people talk about Western culture, what exactly are they referring to? The concept of the Self takes many forms in Western psychology, but invariably involves to some extent a dimension of “thingness,” the reification of a homunculus assumed to reside within the individual, who is the thinker of thoughts, the doer of deeds, and the feeler of feelings. April 2, 2017. 2005. Imaging research reveals the same networks are important both for the self and for emotion. While western traditional has, for the most part, accepted and championed the idea of an ‘enduring self’, the exact definition and characteristics of this ‘enduring self’ are diverse. The Buddha taught that the idea of a ‘self’ is an illusion, and that this illusion leads to pain and suffering. Reductionism, while useful in certain applications, is not helpful in understanding the person. Western philosophy, on the other hand, is based on self-dedication to be of service to others. Locke had a similar view, though his idea was the ‘enduring self’ is a person’s memory. D. W. MURRAY. Plato was one of the first philosophers to state that the soul is eternal, so it is the soul of a man that makes him an enduring self, because even after death the soul continues to exist. Western cultureis an incredibly broad term used to describe the social norms, belief systems, traditions, customs, values, and so forth that have their origin in Europe or are based on European culture. So, despite the many mental and physical changes that may occur during our life, we are essentially the same ‘self’ throughout our many developments. In his book, Northoff, Georg, Alexander Heinzel, Moritz De Greck, Felix Bermpohl, Henrik Dobrowolny, and Jaak Panksepp. Westerns take place in the untamed frontier, an open landscape of mountain ranges, rugged lands and vast plains. He made many distinctions, two of which we can easily recognize as important: the “me” vs. the “I.” James wrote about three types of "me”s" (or objective selves) — material (the body), social and spiritual. The European philosophers Plato, Descartes, and Locke all believed in an ‘enduring self’, however what exactly constituted this ‘self’ was varied. The term ‘self’ refers to an individual human being, along with their body, mind, and in some cases, the concept of a ‘soul’. On the surface, this appears to be nihilistic teaching . Buddhist philosophy believes that everything in life is ephemeral, or that nothing lasts forever. The East Coast of the United States was originally a British colony, and as America developed into its own inde… Previous research has established reliable differences in personality traits across countries. Individualism – favours the individual as an independent entity and encourages self-promotion and self-worth. 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