What defines us? What actually makes an entity a person?

Discussion in 'Environment and Science' started by Jezza, Nov 14, 2017.

  1. Jezza

    Jezza Regular Member

    Performativity defines us but not, necessarily; to others.
    I enact and embody the role of white, elderly, middle class , large C Conservative, amiable , all round good guy.
    Others may put a different spin upon said performativity.
    As far as 'soul' goes.. pick your tradition.
    I tend towards .."We are all of us eternal spirits temporarily inhabiting our current flesh and bone bodies." Others have different, equally valid and , for want of empirical evidence; equally subjective; narratives.
    It's all good.
    :smile:
     
  2. Sonic Budgie

    Sonic Budgie Active Member

    Says who?
     
  3. Big Andy

    Big Andy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    He does. We can all choose to enact and embody whatever role we choose.
     
    Jezza likes this.
  4. Sonic Budgie

    Sonic Budgie Active Member

    The only thing that Jezza chose on that list is Conservative. The others were either thrust upon him or are his opinions of himself. It is others that will decide if you embody something.
     
  5. Big Andy

    Big Andy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    He did say enact and embody though.
    You can choose to be amiable and an all round good guy, and surely we are permitted an opinion of ourselves too?
     
  6. Sonic Budgie

    Sonic Budgie Active Member

    Yes he did, that is exactly the point.

    You can choose to try to be amiable and an all round good guy. You are also free to have the opinion that you are amiable and a good guy. However what makes your opinion correct? I may have the opinion that Jezza is not a good guy, am I wrong? Whose opinion holds the most weight? Perhaps it should be a majority view, in which case Jezza would still be wrong to say himself that he was the embodiment of a good guy.
    Perhaps in the context of this thread the question should be "Who defines us?"
     
  7. Big Andy

    Big Andy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Surely the point about an individuals opinions is that they are always correct. Whatever Jezza's opinion of himself is correct as is whatever your opinion of him is.

    As an example The wife an I were out walking our dog earlier, her opinion was that it was quite cold, my opinion was that it was quite mild. We were both right. Opinions cannot be wrong and they can also be changed completely and are still not wrong.
     
    classic33 likes this.
  8. Sonic Budgie

    Sonic Budgie Active Member

    Your example has nothing to do with what we are discussing.
    Let's get Godwin involved. Have you ever looked at what Hitler thought of himself?
     
  9. Big Andy

    Big Andy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I realise my example has nothing to do with what we were discussing, but it illustrates the point I was making that our opinions are always correct, they are personal to us, whatever they happen to be. Well that's my opinion anyway, it is correct but I am more than happy for anyone else to have an entirely different opinion which from their standpoint will also be correct.
     
  10. Sonic Budgie

    Sonic Budgie Active Member

    I just need to clarify here that you are saying that even when an opinion is factually incorrect, it is still correct? Shrodinger's opinion?
    In the context of this thread you believe that the opinion that an individual has of themselves defines them, it cannot be trumped by their actions, words or deeds or by the opinions that others have?
     
  11. Big Andy

    Big Andy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Opinions and facts are two very different things.

    Not quite, what defines a person is very much dependent on where that person is being viewed from. All individuals are perfectly entitled to define themselves based on their own opinions, just as we are all perfectly entitled to define another individual by our opinion of them, those opinions are indeed defined by actions words and deeds however that can still lead to wildly differeing viewpoints, again depending from where you view that person.

    Putting it another way a single person can be defined differently by different people.
     
  12. Sonic Budgie

    Sonic Budgie Active Member

    It is my opinion that the sun revolves around the earth. Am I right?
    It is my opinion that Harold Shipman was not a murderer, he was a good man. Am I right?
    Precisely.
    Whose opinion is most likely to be correct, the person looking at themselves or the observer/observers? Please note that this is just as likely, perhaps even more so, to be self critical. There are many medical conditions that mean that what someone sees in a mirror is not the reality, yet these people have an opinion on what they believe they see. Are they right? Should we tell them that they are right to hold those opinions of themselves?
    On a lesser scale we have Jezza who describes himself as a good man, by whose definition, who are we and Jezza using as a yard stick? Is Jezza a good man compared to Genghis Khan? Yeah maybe. Is he a good man compared to Michael Palin? Hell no!!
    Jezza may be the embodiment of a good man, but I would say that is not for him to decide I would also say that by saying that he is, he immediately isn't.
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2017
  13. Big Andy

    Big Andy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Whether the sun revolves around the earth or the earth orbits the sun is a matter of fact not a matter of opinion. (Certainly in my opinion anyway ;) )
    A misture of fact and opinion there, according to the UK justice system he is a murder, fact, whether he is a good man or not is opinion. He wasn't in my opinion but your are perfectly entitled to your opinion.

    They are both equally correct, although both suggests only 2 possible opinions when there could and almost certainly will be many be many. Are you saying only 1 opinion on any matter can be correct?
     
  14. Sonic Budgie

    Sonic Budgie Active Member

    You are, so far as we know, correct, so my throwing "opinion" in there did not detract from the fact that I'm talking bollocks.
    Lets open this up a little further, if Harold Shipman said he was a good man, I would like to think that the vast majority of people would believe this to be untrue, his actions are not those of a good man, yet by your definition he would be correct.
    For some reason you've ignored much of what I said.
    I think you are a little disingenuous with your question. As interesting as this is I think you may be trying to muddy the waters.
    Jezza asserted that he was an all round good guy, not only that he stated that he was the embodiment of an all round good guy. I would say that such a self congratulatory attitude almost certainly precludes someone from being an all round good guy, smugness is not generally considered to be an attractive personality trait. Also I would suggest that whether you are a good guy or not is borne out by your words, deeds and actions towards others, which would mean that your status as a good guy should be judged by those others, not by yourself.
     
  15. OP
    OP
    Jezza

    Jezza Regular Member

    In part , this thread title's a bit of a banana skin really, hence - perhaps; some degree of confusion.
    That bit asking..
    What actually makes an entity a person?
    Implies some causal-creation of personhood. I'd say that there's no such thing and that personhood is all about performance. How each person chooses to enact who they are - by how they are - and what they do in the world. How that person is perceived by others may effect change in and to the 'person' or it may not. None of us are 'exactly' the 'person' we were age 5 or 13 or even 15-years ago. We've all got better bikes for one thing. We are who we 'enact to be' in the here and now, always.
    'Actors' ( persons) change over time via circumstance, experience, maturity or lack of it and all sorts of extraneous factors.
    Hence my riff ....
    "I enact and embody the role of white, elderly, middle class , large C Conservative, amiable , all round good guy."
    With the caveat that..
    "Others may put a different spin upon said performativity."
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2017
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