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Identity Components

Human beings are irreducibly separate individual beings

Human beings are conscious individuals. Awareness of individuality gives rise to questions about the nature of human existence. How individual are we? If we examine our internal subjective experience of thoughts, feelings, and sensory perception we realize that we are aware of them but that others around us are not aware of our inner experience in the same way that we are. When we examine our actions we realize that we alone can initiate movement or speech even though we do not know exactly how we do it.

Human beings are irreducibly non-separate, non-individual, beings

How individual or alone are we? One of the primary signals that we are separate and alone is the fact that we have physical boundaries like skin and cell walls. How alone is a cell? It has a boundary that separates it from every other cell in the body but cell membranes are permeable, they let some things into the cell from outside the cell, and they allow some things to leave the cell through the cell wall. There is water inside the cell membrane and water outside the cell membrane, the only differentiation relative to the water is the cell membrane.

Consciousness and Semi-Permeable Boundaries

Human consciousness, whether you take a materialist, idealist, spiritual, theistic, or transcendentalist, position on it?s nature and origins, is clearly our species core capability. Without awareness of our own existence nothing can be said. The other primary component of individuality is the boundaries that make entities appear and function as a distinct living form of some kind. These boundaries are not solid and absolute, they are semi-permeable.

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