Some of these concepts are quite challenging so don’t stress if at first they are not clear. Over the next few weeks they will start to make more sense. Try answering some of this week’s tutorial questions. Refer back to the Hobson reading if you need a little clarification.
1. What are the essential components of a medieval concept of self?
2. What is the role of religion in the medieval concept of self?
3. What are the essential components of a modernist concept of self?
The medieval concept of self was quite organic and according to Aristotle, knowledge came from experience.
I do not agree with Hobson in that it is difficult to relate to a Medieval person’s sense of self, simply because as a Christian my views are similar. I also believe that everything comes from God and the ‘self’ is essentially my soul. However there is no debate in my mind about women sharing rationality with men, because after all we are all children of God.
To me it seems that in Medieval times, religion was something one could cling to, when there was so much suffering and “social and political injustice” (Hobson, 1996).
The concept of self in a modernistic world view is mechanical and something which can be taken apart bit by bit to examine and manipulate.
This to me seems cold and harsh. I think that I agree with Rogers when he explains the sense of self as a journey which one must take to be who they truly are.
Discussion – Rogers reading
This is quite an interesting reading. When you are completing this reading, think about the questions below. Discuss your answers with the other tute members…and add anything else that you might have found of interest.
• Do you agree with Rogers’ thesis?
• What does it mean ‘to be the self which one truly is’?
• How can you apply what Rogers is saying to your own life?
• How does the question of life goals relate to your study goals?
• Rogers quotes Jacob (169) who argues: “the impact of the college experience is to socialise the individual, to […] fit comfortably into the ranks of the American college alumni”. As you work through SSK12, consider if this unit is socialising you to conform to the requirements of the university. Should or shouldn’t SSK12 do this?
I am in agreement with Roger when he states that I must be myself behind the façade, away from outside influences for better or worse and to embrace this process in order to create a balance in my life.
I am grateful to have read this article because while it asks many questions of me, it answers them as well. I want to take his advice to just be me and not what others want me to be. To be brave and take this journey to expose what holds me back. Because when I do, I will be free to be me.
My study goals will surely expand to include things I didn’t think I could do simply because I did not trust my self. I didn’t consider myself smart enough. But on page 175, Rogers (1967) explains that he has “seen simple people become significant and creative in their own spheres, as they have developed more trust of the processes going on within themselves, and have dared to feel their own feelings, live by values which they discover within, and express themselves in their own unique ways.”
I think SSK12 should teach us as students how to study and give advice on what to do in regards to learning. However, places where groups gather will always have a culture that people conform to. It is up to the individual if they want to follow the crowd.
Discussion – Hobson Lecture
The most important thing to think about while going through your readings or listening to the lectures is to try to identify the author’s thesis (the main argument or point the author is making), and the reasons the author gives to support the thesis. This is important because once you start to write academic essays, your own essays need to have a clear thesis statement. So, whenever you work your way through a reading or listen to a lecture:
• Can you identify the thesis (especially one statement that sums up the argument the author is making)?
• Can you identify the main points the author makes in support of the thesis?
I think the thesis is this: The self is a politically, culturally, socially and historically constructed concept.
I think Hobson uses history to make her point in that she illustrates the way the self has been discussed during the ages. She starts of with the Medial World View, where the general consensus is that God will provide the answers to mankind’s question about life.
Next, in the Modern World View Hobson explains that “science will find the way” (1996). Everything is broken down into something smaller that can be taken apart and studied.
Her next point describes the Postmodern World View where we as people are coming to realise that there is more to life than science, and that being rational is not exactly the best option to base our knowledge on. After all, after a Holocaust, two world wars and a financial crisis, Hobson admits this has not been our finest century.
I enjoyed listening to the lecture and I got a lot out it. I understood where the intro, thesis, main points and conclusion were. I hope to learn a lot from it.
Discussion – Hobson Reading
This is an important reading in the context of this unit. You will use it in your first essay, so you need to be able to pull out some themes, choice quotes, etc. This reading is full of information and I’d like you to discuss amongst yourselves what you thought of it and the key ideas that you took away from it.
The thesis is obviously “All knowledge that you encounter at university is a knowledge that is spoken, written, or theorised by a person or group of people in a particular time and within a particular culture.”
I found the reading very similar to the lecture, so in that sense it was good to read it as I was listening to Hobson. It made her points clearer and more defined in my mind. When I read the article on its own the first time, I had some difficulty following it however, after a couple of attempts, I found it interesting and enlightening.
I think I will need to reread it and keep making notes to help me write a better essay.
Hobson, Julia. 1996. Concepts of the self: Different ways of knowing about the self. SSK12 lecture transcript. ed. Lorraine Marshall. Perth: Murdoch University.
Rogers, Carl R. 1967. On Becoming a Person: A Therapist’s View of Psychotherapy. London: Constable. “To be that which truly is” a therapist’s view of personal goals, 163-182.