historical and philosophical approaches to the self

Assignment 1: Discussion

Who Am I?
The purpose of this discussion assignment is to reflect upon your understanding of different historical and philosophical approaches to the self. After completing your readings, write a 2–3-page paper contrasting the avocado/essentialist idea of the self with the artichoke/protean view of the self. Remember to explain specific theories with supporting citations from the textbook and online lectures before contrasting them. (Here is a guide to help you with APA-style citations.)
As you develop your response, you might find some of the following questions to be relevant:

  • What are some of the differences/similarities between the avocado and artichoke views of the self?
  • What do you make of the feminist, existential, and non-Western critiques of the essentialist/avocado self? Are there any other problems with the idea that human beings are fundamentally rational creatures?
  • What is the role of desire in the self? Is it really something separate from reason, as modernism, Christianity, and Islam assert? Can it be controlled? Should it be?