What is the “Self” and what is the “Soul”? The answer to this question can vary in all different kinds of ways. If you ask someone religious they will tell you that you the self is more of a shell for the soul, and the soul is the spiritual essence of a person. If you ask a philosopher, they will most likely answer those questions with another question, such as are they not the same thing? Or what exactly is the essence of a person? In David Samuels’ essay “In the Age of Radical Selfishness” he gives us a multitude of examples on the self, versus the soul using his own personal life experiences.
I found Samuels essay to be quite relatable. Through his detailed descriptions of his life, he is able to give insight into the selfishness of the common individual. He talks about how as people we delude ourselves into being preoccupied with little things that don’t truly hold value. According to Samuels, “…many hundreds of thousands of people in their twenties and early thirties seem to lack any sense of necessary connection to anything larger than their own narrowly personal aims and preoccupations.” This basically means that people aren’t truly living up to their full potential. We set small goals, and do what makes us “happy” for the moment, but never move on from that. Society has lost its drive for improvement so to speak. I found it quite interesting how Samuels discussed how even though his relationship with his girlfriend in the beginning of the article was quite dull, he still stayed with her. He mentions how in this day and age men and women live together with no real commitment, or purpose. “Still, we were no more happy or unhappy than lots of other couples we knew, longtime friends and companions who have slept with, often lived with, a long and depressingly unromantic succession of partners.” What drives a person to stay in a relationship if they are not genuinely happy? Is it fear of loneliness? Or is it just laziness? Samuels even says that...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document