Preface: I capitalised all italics; the book only italicised.
Source: pp 141-142 , Think: A Compelling Introduction to Philosophy (1 ed, 1999) by Simon Blackburn
But suppose instead I am not transporting ANYTHING in my imagination. All I am doing is representing to myself what IT WOULD BE LIKE to see the world from a different point of view, at a different time, or whatever. If there is no essence of Me transported to the different scenes, then the fact that I can imagine them gives no evidence that "I" might have experienced them, or might survive to experience them. By way of illustration, consider the first on the list: I might survive bodily death. What imaginings lie behind this? Well, perhaps I can imagine looking at the funeral, with my coffin, and the family mourning. Perhaps I am skulking at the back of the church. Perhaps I am miffed that the congregation does not seem all that upset. Perhaps I would like to tell them that it is not so bad after all. Perhaps being dead I have X-ray vision, so I give myself a glimpse of my body lying inside. All very sad. How old I look. But wait! Here are the pearly gates and there is grandmother waiting to greet me. . .
In imagining all this, I rehearse for myself the experience of looking at my coffin and so on. And this I can surely do: I can understand what it would be like to see it, after all (not unlike seeing other coffins). I can understand what it would be like to glimpse inside it -- a gruesome sight.
[1.] But, and this is the crucial point, these exercises of understanding do not transport a "me" who is doing the seeing, whilst the human being Simon Blackburn is dead. It is I here and now who am doing the imagining, but there is NO I who is being imagined doing the viewing. The only relic of me in the scenario is the dead body.
The point can be put like this. Kant's line of thought suggests that there is an equivalence between [2.] "I can imagine seeing X" and [3.] "I can imagine myself seeing X".
[4.] But because this is a purely formal equivalence there is no substantive self, no soul of Me, involved in either imagining. Hence, it is wrong to take such imaginings as supporting any "real distinction" between you as subject, as self or soul, and the animal that in fact you are.
[5.] So the imaginings of X do not support the possibility that your biography MIGHT outrun the biography of that animal, just because X is something that the animal will not see.
- I do not understand 1. How can you imagine yourself in another state, without mentally transporting yourself to that imagined state?
2 & 3. Please compare and contrast these two sentences? How do they differ?
4 & 5. I am too confused even to conjecture their meanings. Please explain and simplify both?