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A Traditional View of Mind and Identity

I need help answering a Discussion Question -

Delanty, G. & Strydom, P. (Eds). (2003). Philosophies of social science: The classic and contemporary readings.

Is there a traditional or normal idea of what my mind (my identity) is?

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Hello Student,
The question seems to sit on the social-scientific-philosophical fence being that you are using Delanty and Strydom. There are many ways that we can answer this question but let us focus on 2 ideas - one classic and one contemporary. For more, you can use the listed references. If you have any questions, as always, just let me know via the feedback section.

OTA 105878/Xenia Jones

Mind & Identity

Who are we, what is our identity? These questions seem trivial and at the same time simple enough to warrant a quick answer from each of us. Philosophers and social scientists however have come to investigate this over time and found that the answers are not simple and easy - rather they are complex and contextual. Now, before going on to 2 ideas about mind and identity, let us discuss what philosophy is for in the social sciences. In the social sciences, philosophy is used as a tool, as a way of exploring or looking at a particular problem. For example, when one uses the positivist viewpoint, one follows the tenets behind this philosophy of science in doing a particular research so the approach to the research is 'positivistic'. What is this? The use of the scientific method that requires verification, sense and actual experience. This of course is very much applicable in the natural sciences but finds issues with certain social scientific practices like ethnography, for example. Positivism as the problem of observer bias and issues with structural methodology but it is, obviously a very applicable scientific philosophy having been proposed by Emile Durkheim with Max Weber, Thomas Kuhn & Karl Popper using and critiquing the philosophy over time (hence, there had been a few variations and proposed changes as to its ...

Solution Summary

The solution provides insight and advise in tackling the philosophical notions of mind and identity using the philosophies of Rene Descartes (classical) and Michel Foucault (contemporary). References are listed.