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General => Philosophy => Topic started by: Ecurb Noselrub on March 02, 2017, 12:53:18 PM

Title: Do you have a core?
Post by: Ecurb Noselrub on March 02, 2017, 12:53:18 PM
“I’ve been bad, I’ve been good, in Dallas, Texas, and Hollywood”  - Tush, ZZ Top

In considering whether I’m fundamentally this or that, I’m coming more and more to the conclusion that there no “there there”.  There’s a brain that’s wired a particular way, and sometimes it functions in a way that brings bad things and at other times good things, but most of the time neither bad nor good.  I can’t really identify a core, fundamental me.  Whatever I come up with along these lines as the True Me, I can always identify times when I have acted contrarily or inconsistently with that core identify.

Do you consider yourself to have a true core identity or nature?  I suppose this is sort of along the lines of whether the “self” exists, but I’m more focused on nature, character, that sort of thing. If you think you have a true core, can you describe it?
Title: Re: Do you have a core?
Post by: Dragonia on March 02, 2017, 01:24:20 PM
I think of myself sort of like the sun (I can't take this analogy too far...). I do think I have a solid core of goodness, kindness, love, gentleness, generosity and adventure, among many other things of course. But generally a "good" core.
But then there are always the flares, when I am pissy or bitchy or disloyal or violent or whatever.
Maybe a person knows what their core is by how their actions make them feel afterwards. If an action doesn't jive with your core, you don't feel good about it, and vice versa.
I think my beliefs have greatly shifted over the course of my life, but despite the Foundational change, im pretty sure my core person is the same.
Interesting line of thought....
Title: Re: Do you have a core?
Post by: joeactor on March 02, 2017, 02:58:58 PM
I'd say I have a core.

For some, it's more flexible than others. Mine seems fairly stable, but I've had my divergent moments.

Perhaps it's that I see those times as divergent that helps define my core.

I'm a picker. I'm a grinner. I'm a lover. And I'm a sinner.
Title: Re: Do you have a core?
Post by: Dave on March 02, 2017, 03:26:19 PM
I think that I have a core. Life experience has nade me a bit variable on the outsude but there has akways been a theead of something thst has been constant. It has got me through the grotty times and bolsters me when others need a bit of help.

I seem to have the confidence to face new experiences, even ones that have an element of objective personal danger (oh, except I hate verbal fights face to face, got beat up too many times as a kid).

There is a stubbon bugger in here somewhere. Got me almost into the second decade after my near fatal heart attack in better than average fettle for 72.5. 

Perhaps Nietzsche was right after after all (even if it does not apply to sphincters.)
Title: Re: Do you have a core?
Post by: Arturo on March 02, 2017, 08:31:56 PM
I'm pretty sure that I'm a humanist by this definition

Quote
Humanism is a philosophical and ethical stance that emphasizes the value and agency of human beings, individually and collectively, and generally prefers critical thinking and evidence (rationalism, empiricism) over acceptance of dogma or superstition. The meaning of the term humanism has fluctuated according to the successive intellectual movements which have identified with it.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Humanism

I think I meet all that.
Title: Re: Do you have a core?
Post by: Dave on March 02, 2017, 08:44:28 PM
I'm pretty sure that I'm a humanist by this definition

Quote
Humanism is a philosophical and ethical stance that emphasizes the value and agency of human beings, individually and collectively, and generally prefers critical thinking and evidence (rationalism, empiricism) over acceptance of dogma or superstition. The meaning of the term humanism has fluctuated according to the successive intellectual movements which have identified with it.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Humanism

I think I meet all that.
I decided that I was a hunanist at about age 13 when I saw a notice on a meeting hall board, but I think it was either my core personality that drew me towards it  or there was a resonance. Beliefs, positive or negative, and Humanism is a belief system, are just a mantle that fits your personality shape. Forget the fiddly accessories like saviours, priests, idols etc they are extraneous focussing aids needed by some.

[Hmm, what did they put in that mint tea I just drank?] [Certainly not been smoking anything.]
Title: Re: Do you have a core?
Post by: No one on March 02, 2017, 11:39:56 PM
Yes, and it's rotten!
Title: Re: Do you have a core?
Post by: Arturo on March 02, 2017, 11:53:15 PM
Yes, and it's rotten!

Rotten like an apple, or rotten like cheese?
Title: Re: Do you have a core?
Post by: Pasta Chick on March 03, 2017, 01:56:29 PM
We know that behavior and traits have genetic basis. Also that environment can imprint habits and behaviors in us too deeply to truly change, at least not without significant outside help. I would say we do have a "core" on these basis, but I think that's a little more abstract than you're meaning. This is totally aside from morality.
Title: Re: Do you have a core?
Post by: Tank on March 03, 2017, 06:11:29 PM
We know that behavior and traits have genetic basis. Also that environment can imprint habits and behaviors in us too deeply to truly change, at least not without significant outside help. I would say we do have a "core" on these basis, but I think that's a little more abstract than you're meaning. This is totally aside from morality.

Aristotle said "Give me the child till he is 7 and I will show you the man". There is evidence to support this as the first 'solid' formation of the 'person'. The next formation comes during puberty which is as much a mental change as a physical one. After this the mind continues to form until about 25 after which it remains relatively stable until it degenerates from alzheimer's or the like. So it appears that there are stages in the formation of what 'core' personality we may have. Mat Ridley wrote an interesting book Nature via Nurture which addresses these issues in a very accessible way.
Title: Re: Do you have a core?
Post by: Dave on March 03, 2017, 06:39:38 PM
We know that behavior and traits have genetic basis. Also that environment can imprint habits and behaviors in us too deeply to truly change, at least not without significant outside help. I would say we do have a "core" on these basis, but I think that's a little more abstract than you're meaning. This is totally aside from morality.

Aristotle said "Give me the child till he is 7 and I will show you the man". There is evidence to support this as the first 'solid' formation of the 'person'. The next formation comes during puberty which is as much a mental change as a physical one. After this the mind continues to form until about 25 after which it remains relatively stable until it degenerates from alzheimer's or the like. So it appears that there are stages in the formation of what 'core' personality we may have. Mat Ridley wrote an interesting book Nature via Nurture which addresses these issues in a very accessible way.

Lots been written on nature vs nurture, I came to the conclusion it is a ratio, maybe from 1:100 to 100:1 (%) and specific to the individual. I like the story of the neuroscientist researching psychpathy. He thought he had discovered a brain architecture specific to the condition. Then he discovered his brain had the very same architecture.

Thus his genetic brain strycture and the possible behavioural traits this typified may have been very much modified by his childhood environment. Though, IIRC, there was a history of problems in the family.

Can't find a ref.
Title: Re: Do you have a core?
Post by: Tank on March 03, 2017, 07:18:48 PM
We know that behavior and traits have genetic basis. Also that environment can imprint habits and behaviors in us too deeply to truly change, at least not without significant outside help. I would say we do have a "core" on these basis, but I think that's a little more abstract than you're meaning. This is totally aside from morality.

Aristotle said "Give me the child till he is 7 and I will show you the man". There is evidence to support this as the first 'solid' formation of the 'person'. The next formation comes during puberty which is as much a mental change as a physical one. After this the mind continues to form until about 25 after which it remains relatively stable until it degenerates from alzheimer's or the like. So it appears that there are stages in the formation of what 'core' personality we may have. Mat Ridley wrote an interesting book Nature via Nurture which addresses these issues in a very accessible way.

Lots been written on nature vs nurture, I came to the conclusion it is a ratio, maybe from 1:100 to 100:1 (%) and specific to the individual. I like the story of the neuroscientist researching psychpathy. He thought he had discovered a brain architecture specific to the condition. Then he discovered his brain had the very same architecture.

Thus his genetic brain strycture and the possible behavioural traits this typified may have been very much modified by his childhood environment. Though, IIRC, there was a history of problems in the family.

Can't find a ref.

That was a fascinating case.

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/the-neuroscientist-who-discovered-he-was-a-psychopath-180947814/
Title: Re: Do you have a core?
Post by: Dave on March 03, 2017, 07:23:18 PM
^ Yup, that's the one!  As you say, Tank, fascinating.
Title: Re: Do you have a core?
Post by: Davin on March 03, 2017, 07:38:22 PM
While I find the question, topic, and discussion of it interesting, I don't have much to add. I haven't formed an opinion on it.

I just wanted to say that I've been enjoying the discussion so far.
Title: Re: Do you have a core?
Post by: Dave on March 03, 2017, 08:14:40 PM
Something went wrong, post got lost somehow, wrote it anew, then part of it popped up.
Title: Re: Do you have a core?
Post by: Dave on March 03, 2017, 08:26:05 PM
I said:
Quote
Lots been written on nature vs nurture, I came to the conclusion it is a ratio, maybe from 1:100 to 100:1 (%)

Doh! Must have a hole in my brain! It can never be 100% nuture, got to be a brain there to train by nurture and is there's a brain there's a larger genetic content!

So, genes must be predominant but what ever they predispose, in terms of personality type, for can be modified by environmental factors.

100% nature at birth - disregarding damage or influence from whatever the mother pops, eats or drinks, others smoking, maybe music etc - then nurture and/or environment adjusts things (or not). I know some have only a thin veneer of morality or sociability.
Title: Re: Do you have a core?
Post by: xSilverPhinx on March 07, 2017, 07:55:05 PM
Good topic!

As for my case, I don't think there is one defined "I", but rather a collection of "I's" that make up "me". It's not anything like a split personality but it is multifaceted.

I feel, deep down, that my personality has changed since my adolescence and early twenties, I think differently and deal with situations differently than I would before then. I have a drastically different outlook. Life has played a huge role molding me into what I am. I consider myself a moral person, but am the first to recognise that morality is flexible, I guess I just try to be adaptable and survive. As far as Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs mine are really basic right now.

(http://www.simplypsychology.org/maslow-pyramid.jpg)

I think people like to think there is a sense of continuity, even if that is not necessarily the case. Divergence from core personality traits or beliefs generally result in uncomfortable cognitive dissonance, but that can be internally justified to oneself and effectively ignored with a little effort. Mental gymnastics, so to speak. 
Title: Re: Do you have a core?
Post by: Dave on March 07, 2017, 08:22:17 PM
Your comment aboyt multiple "I"s made me think of mekant'i in the Kiaden Universe sci-fi series. In their culture each oerdon has to be several people, a bit like "transactional analysis" but in a more formal way.

Thus a person could be a parent, head of the extended family (including siblings), senior member in the family business, mentor, confidant . . . Acting in all roles consistentoy with the expectations of that role but able to change to another instantly.

Since it is part if the culture the "junior" member in the interaction acceots any sudden change - from loving parent to stern manager, say, in reaction to some new factor in the interchange. But, amongst us ordinary humans, I have seen sudden changes in behaviour/apparent relationship cause lots of problems.


On the subject of "outlook" with age; it's a hill, you climb the slope to maturity, hit the top for a few years then - it's down the slippery slope on the other side!

 :sadnod:

;)
Title: Re: Do you have a core?
Post by: Ecurb Noselrub on March 07, 2017, 10:31:57 PM
I like the "Many-Me's" model.  At any given time one or more may be ascendant.  Memories and sense of self provide a continuity, but there is no one core that I can identify.  I can be black or white, day or night.   
Title: Re: Do you have a core?
Post by: Dave on March 08, 2017, 07:43:43 AM
I like the "Many-Me's" model.  At any given time one or more may be ascendant.  Memories and sense of self provide a continuity, but there is no one core that I can identify.  I can be black or white, day or night.
As long as the various "yous" take precedence with deliberation and for valid reason. "Flying of the handle" (guess that refers to a hammer head - now "out of control") or being flippant about a serious situation can be indicative of an inappropriate attitude or of an insincere personality.

In "melant'i" the behaviour must be appropriate and sincere. But that was fiction, we are real and fallible humans!
Title: Re: Do you have a core?
Post by: hermes2015 on March 08, 2017, 08:40:27 AM
I have often thought about this question. Who is the “real” me, if such a single entity actually exists? I am a bit of a chameleon, in that I seem to take on the characteristics of whatever group I am in. Having said that, I don’t think it shows weakness of character, because I am really quite strong. In fact, depending on who I am with, I often tone myself down into a gentler old man so as not to be too domineering and opinionated. A friend once said that I was an onion, because I had so many layers.

Who is the real me, the person I know who lives somewhere inside my brain, or the person perceived by others. Of course, there are many of the latter, so am I then a superposition of all the characters perceived by others?

I am sure much has been written about this by clever people, but I have not read too much on the subject. Unfortunately, I am not qualified in the right fields of study to allow me to work this out on my own, so I am interested to see what other members have had to say so far.