Who am I? Why am I me?
Why do I by institution look at some things as more me and other things as less?
Is my hair me? By intuition it appears to be. It is attached to me and I control and move it as I do my own body, my own scalp. Is my scalp not me? By intuition, my hair is a part of me. Inquire therefore as to my clothes. My clothes move with me. They might even, by intuition be seen as a part of me. If asked to draw me, would not even a child draw my clothes, if only because the alternative has been deemed indecorous by society? Then I say society has caused the concept to self to include by extension, at least when viewed from intuition or tradition or linguistics, to include my hair and my clothes.
And yet, even as intuition allows for my hair and my clothes to be a part of me, does it also state that my clothes are less me than my hair, and my hair less me than my flesh? Allow me to ask you to imagine then, that I had cut off a large section of my hair and had weaved it such as to fashion a piece of cloth out of it, if not a garment. If I then placed that cloth of hair on top of my head, intuition tells me that that cloth is less me than my head. And yet they are both my cells, they both might move with me if I were to take a step forward or back. Logic can find no reason why the hair which was briefly separated in space from my head is less me from the hair that is less separated from my head. (I might here remind the reader that no two atoms truly touch in this universe.) Both pieces of hair are separated, just one more than the other. Intuition therefore has failed to provide a logical definition of self using absolutes. The definition hangs instead on degrees, in this example, degrees of separation.
One might therefore be inclined to reject intuition for logic alone in the pursuit of this question. As we shall see, logic, however, reaches the same downfall. Logic might suppose that because my hair cannot feel, it is not me. My hand can feel and I can move it, neither of which is true for my hair. However, my eyes can move and feel and see. If my hair is therefore rejected because it cannot feel, then should not my hand be rejected because it cannot see? Though intuition cries out in protest, logic ignores it. But my tongue can move and feel and taste? Is it me, or are my eyes me? To presume one is the assert the importance of one sense over the other, which logic will not do without cause.
We might, however, view self by degrees. By hand is less me than my tongue, for it cannot taste, but my hair is less me than my hand. And my hair which has not been separated from my head surely is more me than the hair which. In this way, I may define numerous factors that allow for classification of a thing as more or less me. By my ability to move it, or its ability to provide me with information, or the time it spends in proximity to myself, or its molecular structure.
And so in this way the question of self cannot be answered by an absolute criteria, but only through measure of degrees. I can say a rock is less me than my hand, but I cannot say for certain that a rock is in no way me. And so in order to define self with any confidence, I must chose an arbitrary threshold of degrees for beyond which something has been too far removed to still be considered a part of myself.