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Cole Vs. Confusianism Essay

1123 words - 4 pages

Define Cole's definition of "the self"(topic 13). Relate it to "Confucianism" (topic 16). Write what Confucians would say regarding Cole's definition of "the self".Ms. Eve Browning Cole derives her definition of "self" from critiquing Rene Descartes' work on examining the relationship between consciousness or mind and physical body. Thus, in order for me to outline the author's description of "self", I would need to briefly describe Descartes' reasoning on powerful mind and "deceiving" body association.In 1641 Rene Descartes wrote philosophical piece of work titled "Meditation on First Philosophy: In Which the Existence of God and the Distinction Between Mind and Body Are Demonstrated." This work is considered by many to be a very influential component of the Western philosophy today. Descartes conducted an experiment where he broke down his own basic belief system and questioned it while separating the physical shell or body from the non-physical component - soul.He conducted his experiment without involving anything or anyone else. He started with "abolishing" a notion of sense and ended with a view that there is a clear distinction between mind and body and that mind is superior to body. He argued that mind is superior because not only it originates thoughts but can prove God's existence. Descartes' description of body is that of doubtful, questionable and even probable notion.Feminist movement along with author critique Descartes' separation of body and mind saying that it can be seen as a cause for the MEN to the MIND as WOMEN to the BODY relationship of modern times. As an example, the movement provides the breakdown of culturally expected or ideologically placed early direction of self (rather than empirically proven, derived from observing real men and women). In many cultures, women are seen as primary caregivers while men "enter into the life of the family in a more intermittent way." Thus, boys and later adult men associate with other men, have "clear ego boundaries", try to distinguish themselves from others and constantly try to prove their masculinity. Girls, on the other hand, have "mobile ego boundaries", associate with women and place others in front of them as many caregivers do. This early direction of self discussion leads to the way Western culture and philosophy portraits women and men. Females are seen as being closer to nature, more physical, more emotional, more motherly; they are seen as passive observers of the history and subjects of orders. On the other hand, males are seen as makers of the history, orderly, rational individuals. Looking back at the MAN to the MIND as WOMEN to the BODY formula one raises the question: Can a woman have "true" self? Many times the answer will be "no", thus forcing women into improving what they have-body. Feminists argue that global fascination with slimness, beautification, and blondness has roots in this very formula. They also say that this formula is a direct recipe for the...

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