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Full Version: Philosophers in SOMA concerning the Self and Identity
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SOMA is a heavy game when it comes to philosophy touching many areas concerned What-Makes-You-You. However, the writer does not mention any specific philosopher in the story but you only need to take a gander at the literature in the game to find 3 specific and quite famous thinkers: Ludwig Wittgenstein, René Descartes and Carl Gustav (C.G.) Jung. All three of which have looked at the question at hand.

Wittgenstein claimed in his book, Tractacus Logico-Philosophicus, that "... identity is not a relation between objects is obvious.(5.5301)" and "Roughly speaking: to say of two things that they are identical is nonsense, and to say of one thing that it is identical with itself is to say nothing.(5.5303)". The first claim could be interpreted as your identity is not dependent on objects in your surrounding for example: where you are, who you are with or what you had for lunch on that day. Simon's speech about not knowing who he really is because he is not in Toronto therefore collides with this statement. Your identity is fully within yourself, Simon-2 is not Simon-1, Simon-2 is Simon-2.

The second claim (5.5303) basically says that there can never be two things that are identical, no matter how similar they are. Simon-2 and Simon-3 are wholly different even though they both have the same version with the same mindset of the same mind they are not the same.

Moving on to Descartes. Descartes is responsible for one of the most repeated phrases in philosophy: Cogito, ergo sum (I am thinking, therefore I exist) which can be found in Principia Philosophiae. This lead to the foundation for rationalism which has its starting point is always reason (Is it reasonable that anyone will read this thread?)

When Descartes elaborated his phrase he envisioned himself being haunted by an evil spirit which meant he could no longer trust the obvious truths in geometry (a circle has four sides) or mathematics (2+2=5). The only thing he can be absolutely certain of is that he is thinking and that atleast he is existing. In SOMA's context this means that all of the Simons exist because all of them are thinking, even the one on the ARK.

The third and final thinker, C.G. Jung was mainly a psychiatrist but he was interested in the area of personality and in this context individuation and personas. Indiviuation is a process where the personal and collective unconscious (according to Jung, this C-U contains instincts and archetypes) is brought into consciousness before it is taken into the personality. What does this mean? Well, basically that you learn to live with other people, and usually leads to having a good mental and physical health as well as being more harmonious, mature and responsible.

The concept of persona, which Jung created, is about the social masks we were as cited "a kind of mask, designed on the one hand to make a definite impression upon others, and on the other to conceal the true nature of the individual". We have a lot of these masks. We have a mask when we are with family, another when we are with friends, another on the internet and so on.

What does Jung have to do with SOMA's story? I don't really know, it could have something to do with Simon's uprootedness upon arriving on the base and him not knowing he is as a result. If anyone does know, please feel free to leave a comment below. And I can of course be wrong on all of this or have missed something vital, so again feel free to take me behind the shed.
extremely useful insights. I must brush up on some philosophy before I can enter into a fruitful debate with you Smile . However I do agree on one point you've stated ; the Simon 1 is not Simon 2 ( yes , a bit obvious for most people, but they don't really know why it is so).