Perhaps all self-identity begins with a pretense.


mysticservant said…
Egoistic identity, yes. True psychic identity, no.
Can virtue be a pretense?

In the Aristotelian view we have to practice virtue in order to become virtuous. If we tell ourselves that we're kind and act out on it, we'll eventually become kinder and it will cease to be a pretense.

But doesn't this ignore genuine empathy? Children are naturally empathetic and are very unconscious about it. There might be a higher level of empathy found in some professions, like nurses and doctors, or animal rights campaigners, the question would be whether they see themselves as empathetic and whether it's something they had to work at in order for it to become routine.

I'm not sure where this fits in with Mysticservant's comment about true psychic identity, but if there are people who are reacting naturally to situations and showing empathy, it would suggest that it's not egoistic identity, but something that's closer aligned to that person's nature.