Monday, April 13, 2015

The body and the self (2)

It's me

When I saw someone yesterday and today I think that I see her again over there but I am not sure of it, I try to remember in detail how the woman I saw yesterday looked like and I compare her with the woman I see now, and then I draw my conclusion: She is the same person or she isn’t. However, when I can ask her “Is it possible that it were you whom I saw yesterday at the bus stop?”, I do not expect that she tries to bring up from her mind a physical description of a person at the bus stop yesterday and compares it with her appearance and then says: “Yes, it was me” or “No, it wasn’t me”; or otherwise that she compares my physical description of the person I saw yesterday with her own appearance. That would be weird. No, we expect that she says “yes” or “no” from what she remembers about what she did yesterday. So there seems to be a difference between a person’s identity from the third person’s perspective and from the first person’s perspective. Nevertheless this doesn’t imply that physical appearance isn’t important for someone’s identity from the first person’s perspective, for why else should people wear masks on certain occasions, use make-up or wear beautiful clothes? And, from the third person’s perspective, when a person has lost memory, isn’t it clear that this amnesia, even if it’s “only” partial, can have an enormous impact on that person’s personality?
Maybe that’s why so many persons find it important to publish photos showing the face on social networking websites like Facebook, supposing that such a photos show who they are.

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