What makes up identity? Are there any solid facts about the self that indicates a solid self? Or is the self really a non-self as proposed in Buddhist thought? Let’s play with a few ideas: My name is David. I am currently typing this. I enjoy learning.
So here are three simple statements I choose to make about my self. The first is that my name is David. But there are some assumptions that I am making in order to say this. First, I conclude that my identify is tied understandable by simple subject-predicate statements. “I am”, “my name”, etc. are along this line. But even deeper, I see that “I am” is different from “my name”. The former simply states that a subject exists, namely that the one typing this is claiming to be the same thinking the statement. The latter assumes that I am justified in claiming possession of something – I am capable of extension. I have attributes that are more than simply existing. To say that something exist and to be able to distinguish it apart from another something that also exists, there has to be some essence to each existing something to understand this. This is the basic problem of identity though.
Are there some aspects or facts that must be attributed to an object along with existence? I think yes. Reality must have spacial-temporal actuality or logical potentiality. Anything constructed from matter or energy that takes up space and time actually exists. Anything with logical potentiality exists as informational truth that can be actualized in space-time. 2 + 3 = 5 is a logical potentiality. It exists as information. It exists as truth. Take 2 apples and add 3 more apples and you have 5 apples. The apples are the actualized potentiality of the truth of the mathematics. The logical potentiality will always exists as truth. However, it is merely information that can be derived from ontological actuality or that can predict ontological actuality. Numbers do not exist as anything but logical constructs and representations outside of the actualized world.
So what does this say about me? Well, I know that I take up space and time, so I am in the actualized camp. So from this I can say that I take length, width, height, and movement. Is there anything else inside of me that can be said to “define” my essence? I would say that most other attributes are relative to the other persons and objects relative to me.
In essence, there is merely “interbeing”with a little “me” thrown in. I’ll come back again to this, I know.