Here is an interesting piece by Abeba Birhane, in which she argues, against Descartes, that our sense of self is necessarily mediated through our relations to other human beings. One particularly interesting moment is when she points out that prisoners in isolation begin to lose their own sense of self: 'Deprived of contact and interaction ... a person risks disappearing into non-existence.' 

It reminded me of Derrida's rich analyses in Voice and Phenomenon, where he argues, through Husserl's model of the living present, that the self relates to itself only as if to an other, even in our most seemingly interior and private moments. Even our self-relations, in other words, are relations to alterity. 

'The self is a relation which relates itself to its own self...' - Søren Kierkegaard
 


Comments

07/17/2017 1:07am

Well so far, my interpretation of it is that the self is a relation of the three things it is the eternal and temporal, the necessary and the free, and the infinite and finite which leads to this battle of tension between what wants to be spirit or body which is straining on the individual to accept what it truly is a soul. So the self the relation is a relation the three units which relates to itself the balance of the units. Of course this seems wrong to me but I cannot figure out a way to interpret it better.

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07/17/2017 10:12am

One of the most important relationship lessons I learned was this. The relationships we have with other people are projections of the relationships we have within ourselves. Our external relationships and our internal relationships are in fact the same relationships. They only seem different because we look at them through different lenses. They exist in your thoughts.

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09/18/2017 10:52pm

Yes, I agree with your philosophy in life. I can see that you are a very deep-thinker, more of an idealist. I am somehow like you. Our eyes is the windows of our soul. We see other people's soul through their eyes, peeking, showing a little about its whole. I always find that amazing. There is a term for that in the dictionary of obscure sorrows. It is called opia. "Looking through someone's eyes and realizing that you can see their soul."

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