Lately, I got an idea for a new, meaningful definition of [human]
identity and personality:

Identity
is, in an abstract sense, the set of differences
by which one instance differs from its type. For example, an
off-the-shelf car gets an
identity by tuning modifications, by its number plate, its history of
owners, the things that are currently inside the car etc.. Likewise,
for humans this means: special body attributes, brain content, and
personal history. As each human being has these, each has an own
identity.

Personality
is a composite attribute of a human’s identity that can be summarized
as “well-developed individuality”. A human being has this attribute if
his or her identity meets a certain set of abstract conditions. These
conditions deal with: having an independent, free, highly indivividual
or even unique lifestyle, style of behavior, style of thinking. This
needs not to be globally unique, but unique compared to the social
setting where this personality developed. So, personality is the degree
of independence from the imprinting by one’s social environment.

From the observations about identity, there follows an interesting
image of humanity:

What differs one man from another in
the moment of comparison
is a set of bodily differences and a
set of differences in the programming of the brain. The programming of
the brain can be called, in an abstracted sense, the human spirit.
Because both body and spirit contribute to human identity, man is not
simply “a spirit in a machine”, but rather an integrated, highly
complex system of material and non-material (i.e. informational)
components.

This integration is illustrated by the large amount that the feeling
of our body contributes to our current mood and to our character. This
is mostly subconscious, but can be detected by discussing the topic.
You’ll see, for example, that many differences between men and women
can be traced to bodily differences: women have 15% less muscles and
are somewhat smaller, so it’s just meaningful that they call more often
for help, as they got accustomed to that when needing help for bearing
things etc.. Not to speak of the differences in hormonal system etc.,
and their effects. I’d really like to see a detailed comparison of all
the bodily differences and all their psychological and social effects.
That would contribute a vast amount to cross-gender understanding!

Having said this about bodily differences, the spiritual differences
seem to be even greater. Because most body attributes cannot vary much,
the boundaries are determined by human DNA. But brain programming is
completely free (at least in theory). Here, everything is possible. In
practice, the differences are much smaller than they could be, because
social imprinting tries to establish some boundaries. But when trying
to become stronger personalities (see above), the differences increase,
and through this, social intercourse gets more interesting.

Which would be another contribution to the search for life, me
thinks.


Start date: 2008-04-29
Post date: 2008-04-29
Version date:  2008-04-29 (for last meaningful change)

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