We have so far explored the various mechanics of our thinking process. We have also learned constructive ways to ask questions and different methods of examining issues and problems from multiple perspectives. There are many things in this world we cannot know, but what we can be certain of is our existence, that we exist and that we are here. Two questions have perplexed the minds of thinkers since the beginning of human consciousness: “Why am I here?” and “Who am I?” The answer to the first question is nearly impossible for us to know; it begs for metaphysical explanations, which we are not equipped to explain here. But we can consider the second question because we are able to draw an answer from our experience on the basis of social, political, and historical norms. As we have learned, however, our perception colors our experience, and our experience in turn affects our perceptions; we cannot rely uncritically on either.
The objective of this project is to apply the strategies of critical thinking to the questions of our identity: Who are you as a specific person? Why do you think so?
Select one (only one) from the four categories of identity below and write a short essay (1 1/2 – 2 typed pages) offering reasons and evidence for your choice.
Start by asking yourself “Who am I?”
- I am a person defined mostly by race, ethnic group, or country of origin. I am an essentialist.
- I am a person defined mostly by a social community such as a church group, social club, gang affiliation, or a particular neighborhood. I am a communitarian.
- I am a person who is at ease no matter where in the world or in what local communities I may be involved. I am a cosmopolitan.
- I am a person who is uncomfortable everywhere in this world. I am a stranger on this earth.