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Identity: Being and Becoming
August 14, 2021 at 10:00 am - 1:00 pm PDT
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In this salon, Karan Chawla discusses what makes up the foundation of one’s Identity in the 21st century, and how we can better navigate the perpetually evolving idea of Self.
No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river, and he’s not the same man. — Heraclitus
With every new experience, every new book, every interaction, we change ever so slightly so that the new experience we experience as a different person. How do we talk about who we are if we are always in the process of constantly becoming something else? And how does our idea of Self change when we take on new behaviors? What happens when we think of our identity as static? Does continuing to be the same person involve becoming radically different?
Philosophers for millennia have struggled to find the special something — the elusive property that makes you you, the thing that preserves your Identity through time. The modern world frequently puts us in widely different contexts that force us to take on different roles to meet certain goals. So, is Identity then just a set of behaviors we adopt to meet implicitly or explicitly defined goals? What happens when we adopt too many identities — does that fracture our idea of Self?
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