Who or what are we ?
Posted in : Uncategorised on by : Brendan Walsh Comments:
I am fascinated with the question of ‘who am I ‘or ‘who are we’. I am almost a prisoner of the question, and again I will try to make it a little less lonely in my cell called self.I will share it with the universe and hope that someone will hear and answer.I am not alone with this problem ,thinkers have been asking this question for century’s.For those who are not familiar with the question from a philosophical perspective I will try and make it a little more simple .For example I don’t mean that the question of what is my name,what is my occupation,all outside,external,and objects influences are best discussed by anthropologist or sociological.The ultimate answer is as yet not resolved and perhaps never will.
However I will put in my twopence worth and see if I can create an explication that makes life a bit more serene? It may comes a shock to some people to realize that before the ‘French Revolution’ rights of the individual was a distant thought and the ‘Rights of Man ‘a French and new concept. The individual over the centuries has been in the main a parson were born in a class system and each person within the class knew their expectation and duty.In many ways they “knew” who they are. This “social structure” persisted until the first world war,and the old order collapsed and Europe in particular were busy redrawing the borders.
In the philosophical world amid the chaos, people such as Rousseau and others were influencing the schooling classes and as so the idea of ‘ordinary’ people were hearing through the colleges and learning channels that they had ‘rights’ in a different contact.It must be said at this stage that in a philosophical contact that nothing happens alone ,or to say it another way nothing comes from nowhere (the bible on geneses perhaps might argue that assumption). For further clarity the human condition has been discussed from early antiquity.People such as Socrates,Plato, Aristotle,and many many more had prepared a framework for later thinkers to refer to.
This way of seeing things and understanding the human was ,(in Europe and Asia) the predominant philosophy until Rene Descartes (1579-1650) known as “the father of modern philosophy” published his writing in the the late sixteenth or the early seventeenth century. Briefly Descartes was the writer that changed the way Europe and Asia saw the world. Nothing was the same after Descartes,everything that was held sacred before Descartes was questioned and all was found wanting.One could argue that Descartes was as not only the father of modern Philosophy but also the father of modernity?