HUHC 14-Section 10
Mankind consists of many selves that are always changing. Renee Descartes, a philosopher, would argue against this, but Friedrich Nietzsche, a philosopher, and William James, a psychologist, would agree with this. Although James and Nietzsche come from different professions, they both wrote texts concerning man’s sense of self. William James believes man’s thoughts are constantly changing. He states, “…the thoughts which psychology studies do continually tend to appear as parts of personal selves.” (James p. 2) James believes that one’s thoughts are part of one’s self. Whatever one thinks in their mind is part of their self. James believes that one’s thoughts are not just part of one’s self, but they constantly change as well. James states, “Within each personal consciousness thought is always changing.” (p. 1) One’s thoughts are constantly in flux and are never constant. One’s thoughts are equivalent to oneself. These same thoughts are constantly changing. Thus, James’ point, oneself is constantly changing and always in flux because one’s thoughts are always changing.
James also points out how experiences affect mankind. James states, "Experience is remolding us every moment, and our mental reaction on every given thing is really a resultant of our experience of the whole world up to that date." (p. 6) Experience changes one's self and keeps the person in a constant state of change. Each new experience allows one to learn from what they have encountered and changes the person.
Nietzsche would agree that experience allows one to learn and changes the person. He believes experience is the best way to learn and to change oneself. Nietzsche explains, "Every word immediately becomes a concept, inasmuch as it is not intended to serve as a reminder of the unique and wholly individualized original experience to which it owes its birth, but must at the...