Identity: Who, Where, and When am I?

We live in an age full of people trying to figure out who they are and where their place in the world should be. Everyone is an individual, and knowing who we are is not only important, but surprisingly difficult. This course will be about trying to learn what defines us. Using differently brainstorming activities and exercises in metacognition, members of the course will learn how to be able to answer the seemingly simple question: who am I?

Sign in to register for this course

There are two main things wrong with how we define ourselves as humans. First involves the philosophical concept of the "essential property," the one thing we need to make us who we are. We assume that there is one core aspect of our being that can never change throughout time, and that may be incorrect. Second is the use of nouns over adjectives; we tend to use descriptors and occupation/hobby to explain who we are, and that may not be healthy.

This course is all about the different philosophical inquiries on what defines us. We will use different models of identity to see what works for us. Each session works like a self-reflective journey, constantly trying to see if we are comfortable with a certain definition of ourselves. Some of the questions that will be concidered include the following:

  1. How do I answer "who am I," or "tell me about yourself?"
  2. Is there any core part of me that remains throughout time?
  3. How much do other people affect who I am?
  4. How much can I change and still be me?
  5. Is identity decided for me or can I decide it?
  6. Can knowing who I am make my life better?

Each session will be mainly interactive activities and writing exercises in defining who we are. It will involve a lot of questioning about what are the important parts of our lives, either through meditative moments or partner/group conversations. 

Course sessions