What philosophical frame is used in this Wolfenstein: The New Order Tekla Monologue?

-B Jesus Christ Tekla, aren't you asleep?
-T I try not to sleep. No telling if I will ever wake up.
-T Let me ask you something.
-T Where do you go when you loose conciousness?
-B What?
-T You have a brain, a brain is a biological computational device running on electrochemical process.
-T Your conciousness is an emergent property of said process.
-T In other words: you are electrochemical process
-T Fundamentally you have experience of continuous existence.
-T You are you, at this point in time. You have sensation of riding along this continuum of being you, into the future.
-T On occasion brain can be subjected to trauma, temporarily discontinuing electrochemical process.
-T Such as a boxer being knocked out.
-T As this occurs the brain is no longer running. It's electrochemical generating process. -T Hence conciousness is lost.
-T You loose conciousness. Pay attention now.
-T At this point in time, your consciousness, all that is you...
-T your continuum of being you has caused to exist in the physical world,
-T Now, moments later, the electrochemical process may start up again...
-T ... allowing consciousness to emerge out of the information stored in the brain.
-T But I wonder. Where are you in the meantime?
-T Must we not assume that at the point when consciousness is lost, the person dies?
-T If a new consciousness appears or not in the same brain is entirely inconsequential to the dead consciousness.
-T The new consciousness is simply a new person.
-T Because it emerges from the same brain it has access to all the memories and cognitive structures...
-T ... as the dead consciousness, so it thinks it is the same person
-T But in actuality it is just an impostor.
-T Inheriting the body and brain from the previous, now dead, inhabitant.
-T Yes?
-B What about the soul?
-T Soul...
-T There is no such thing as a soul.
-T We are machines of biology.
-T Nothing more, nothing less.
-T The soul is simply a pointless concept dreamt up by priests and fairy tale men.

  • 3
    This is mostly materialism/physicalism, but crucially, with some additional and more debatable notions of the meaning of identity thrown in: a sort of super-fragile continuous emergent essentialism. May 28, 2014 at 20:42
  • 1
    Technically, each moment we're a new person, in this framework. The speaker isn't being logically consistent.
    – yters
    May 29, 2014 at 16:01

1 Answer 1


David Hume. "To suppose otherwise, Hume held, is to commit a category mistake: the self is just a bundle of perceptions, like the railroad cars in a train; to look for a self beyond the ideas would be like looking for a train beyond the cars. Our idea of a persistent self is simply a result of the human habit of attributing continued existence to any collection of associated parts. Like our idea of the necessary connection of cause with effect, belief in our own reality as substantial selves is natural, but unjustifiable." http://www.philosophypages.com/hy/4t.htm

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