Identity and human psychology.

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 Identity is more than same as when we apply it to human psychology.  It also means you see in others quality or aspects of yourself.  We are constantly identifying with other human beings, though we may be unaware of it.  When a person is injured in your presence, you may cringe feeling their pain.  If the injury is great, like say a stab in their flesh deeply, you might actually feel faint.  Why is that?  You are identifying with the injured person.  You feel their experience as if it were happening to YOU!  Identification happens all the time, my friends.  It is a part of being human.  When you hear of someone’s close relative dying tragically, you feel pity.  But what is the content of that pity you feel?  Again, you feeling as if your close relative died, or in other words you identify with that person.  Now, I must point out that identity is really a larger class of knowledge that cognitive science describes as the other minds class.  As human beings we are aware that other human beings are like our own minds.  It is the ability we have of knowing others are thinking beings like ourselves that welds us together as a species.  The species human, I mean.  But, it is ironically also this ability that separates us.  By knowing they’re other minds like yours, the individual also knows, those minds are not the same as his/her mind. His tacit knowledge of others like him, in effect works to alienate him from them.  Paradoxical isn’t it? As a side note, I might point out racist human beings that hate other people because of their racial group are actually recognizing their humanity. When they use invective and slurs designed to show their hatred and hurt others, they are really showing that they know they have minds like their own and can experience shame from these vicious comments, thereby recognizing their humanity. These people would never consider calling a computer something like you disgusting bloodless machine! It would make no sense. A computer can’t feel shame! It is even more of a paradox: to show hatred a racist has to know the one hated is like him/her: a person. In this sense a racist really identifies with his/her target of hate. But enough of that sordid aside.

Zaira Khan

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