Hot answers tagged

10

My friend, you stopped where things get really interesting. The result of the process you described is a human consciousness whose substratum is a computer program instead of a bodily organ. Much more importantly, you did the transformation in a way that preserved what I call the continuity of consciousness. Let's assume that this computer program is ...


7

anatman is a concatanation of the privative an, meaning no or not, and atman, which is sometimes translated as soul or self, for example, Tagore named Gandhi mahatma meaning great (maha) soul (atma). However, the word soul, though having religous and sacred overtones, and relating to inner essence, is bound up with the Christian tradition which makes it for ...


6

First, the constructive part. Crick, who is as physicalist on neuroscience as one can wish for, in Astonishing Hypothesis discusses "the processing postulate": "It suggests that we may be using the words conscious and unconscious for two many somewhat different activities. They may have to be replaced by some phrase like "processing unit", or, in some ...


6

You could be interested in reading the IV chapter of The view from Nowhere, by Thomas Nagel, since it's all about this topic. His arguments are related to the issue of a subjective/objective view, but they are hard to summarize. A long quote could give you the flavor of his answer: [...] The thought “I am TN [Thomas Nagel]” presents a similar problem, ...


5

I think what you´re looking for is generally summed up as "Philosophy of Mind". Since you´re looking for positions, that argue for a seperate mind, you should check out the SEP on Dualism, which is a good start to get into it: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/dualism/ If you´re looking for a particular author, you could start with Descartes and his ...


5

Your neurons are constantly turning over their component molecules, changing synapses in response to input patterns, and so on. You are, at a neuronal level, not exactly yourself after a matter of minutes, much less decades. Given that you postulate an exact algorithmic copy implemented in a different way, and therefore that computer-you is more like real-...


5

Unfortunately, I haven't found too many existentialist works with a nuts-and-bolts focus, so my recommended reading list is really short -- two books in fact. Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl. Here, Frankl writes about finding our own meaning, and how meaning keeps us going on through the most difficult of conditions. His book begins with his ...


4

Your question is based on a physical reductionist model of consciousness; this is a model that very few philosophers subscribe to, as it entails all kinds of difficult consequences. For a good view of the problems of physical reductionism, see Raymond Tallis's recent book Aping Mankind which does a nice job of refuting these theories. If we eliminate the ...


4

The metaphor of Indra's Pearls describing the mutual constitution and reflection of universe and individual consciousness goes back to Huayan school of Buddhism in 7th century AD:"And every dew drop contains the reflection of all the other dew drops. And, in each reflected dew drop, the reflections of all the other dew drops in that reflection. And so ad ...


4

It seems to me that people are disposed to accept that [i.e. loss of self and oneness with the world] without much issue — is that a fair impression? Most of the people in the West (or I should specify in the US) I have met who subscribe to some form of Eastern mysticism seem to interpret "loss of self" as "loss of selfishness" and "loss of pride", not as a ...


3

Thought experiment: make digital photos of single colored surfaces (as far uniform as human would call it uniform), create artifical neuron network and train it to distinguish collors. Do it multiple times. You WILL end with different NNs that almost always will say the same color (just like people would do). So internally these NNs percieve (as far as ...


3

All sense perception is "through a glass dimly". We know that our external senses—or extrospective senses—are pretty bad if and until we tune them. What some do not know is that we have good reason to think that our introspective senses are also pretty bad until we tune them; see Eric Schwitzgebel's 2008 The Unreliability of Naive Introspection: We are ...


3

Atoms do not contain little tags that say "I am part of user63152", and whose unique properties determine the actions of user63152. Indeed, aside from differences in isotopes, and a handful of observables like nuclear spin, atoms of the same type are indistinguishable from each other. Thus, we needn't care whether the atoms are replaced every minute, every ...


3

Arne Naess wrote many essays about the Self. In them, he argued for a concept called the Ecological Self, but along the way he used a series of phrases to challenge commonly held approaches to defining the self. Such class of phrase pairs looked like: I enjoy listening to Mozart. My body enjoys listening to Mozart. Or I am my mother's son. ("daughter" ...


3

With regard to the video: I think it goes to much in to practical detail at first. I would like to come at this from a more abstract level. What is the purpose of being able to always serve a higher purpose? You are conscious. Consciousness is ALL there is. Consciousness creates purpose. Become more consciousness and you find (create) more purpose in ...


3

First, explaining the whole point (introduction) I actually think the thing Blackburn is insisting upon is that there is an equivocation going on between:  2. "I imagine looking at"   and   3. "I imagine myself looking at". Ad [2.]: 'The self' that is meant by "I" in 2 is a body-mind unity that is actually needed to imagine, experience, look. Ad [3.]: '...


3

Körner is referring to the Refutation of Idealism argument (B274–279), directed against the skepticism about the external world attributed to Descartes and Berkeley. The idealism in question is the "dogmatic" idealism concerning the empirical, hence the "empirical realism". The choice of words is unfortunate, however, since "empirical realism" is also one of ...


3

To answer the question in the title directly, metaphysics and philosophy of mind are the two areas of philosophy that deal with the question of personal identity. (One might argue that philosophy of mind is itself a subfield of metaphysics). The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy has a pretty good entry on the question of personal identity. Also, see ...


3

I think there are two main elements or aspects to Ortega's 'The Dehumanisation of Art' (La deshumanización del arte e Ideas sobre la novela, 1925; Princeton tr., 1968). The first can be illustrated by a passage from the book : A great man is dying. His wife is by his bedside. A doctor takes the dying man's pulse. In the background two more persons are ...


3

If there is an answer to your question, one at least that falls within the scope of philosophy, I can offer only a causal explanation. You exist as a human being, and the particular human being you are, as a result of the specific conjunction of events of which you were the product. Wrapped around this are the conditions that enabled or necessitated that ...


3

Why aren't 'you' someone else - that smuggles in a transcendental self, a 'perspective of the universe', instantiated in a particular case. Now, that transcendental self, IS instantiated in all minds in the universe. In that sense 'you' are all minds, each cases of the universe experiencing itself subjectively. There is a parallel question about multiverses,...


3

Why am I me? What an incredibly simple question. Four little words and it sends the mind diving to the depths of philosophy and science. I don't really have a great answer, but I can tell you that there is a growing movement among naturalists that are recognizing that their worldview requires the answer to the question to be, "You could only be you." That ...


3

Sherrilyn Roush describes epistemic self-doubt as the special case of doubt "where what we doubt is our ability to achieve an epistemically favorable state, for example, to achieve true beliefs". The problem with self-doubt is "one is using one’s judgment to make a negative assessment of one’s judgment". Not only Descartes but also Socrates is known for ...


2

Let's look at this in another way. Most of our body is technically shifted out for a new one every 7-15 years or so. Are we still ourselves, or new people? See here for more information on this. What that suggests is either that there is something outside of our physical selves that makes us who we are, or that we are only our memories (or in other words, ...


2

Your question is an interesting one -- but there's a second issue that compounds it which mixes a question of empirical psychology with a question that doesn't greatly interest me. The philosophically interesting question is how does personal identity work over time? The largely non-philosophical question that's mixed in there and seems to dominate the ...


2

I've noticed similarities e.g. in Derek Parfit's (1942–) Reasons and Persons, in David Hume's (1711–1776) bundle theory, and in Michel de Montaigne's (1533–1592) Essays. Parfit is active at a time when the West has obviously become aware of Buddhism (and Indian philosophy in general). He showed surprise when resemblances between the Buddhist and his view of ...


2

I would start answering this by pointing out that, even if it is syntactically meaningless, it would be dangerous to assume it is semantically meaningless. Wars have been fought over those two words, expressed in many many languages. In the most basic parts of language, syntax catches up with semantics. When forming a language, the need for concepts ...


2

Well, if utter the word 'I', it's quite clear what it refers to: sequitur. If I utter 'I am', it's also quite clear what I say with my utterance: something that is true iff sequitur exists. On the other hand, if David Kaplan utters 'I am', he says something that is true exactly if David Kaplan exists. So, no problem here: 'I' is an indexical, whose ...


2

an interesting conversation after a lecture on the history of the debate over behaviourisms reductions and whether or not they legitimised psychology as being a science on par with the other physical sciences .. the lecturers point was that it didn't, and the resultant view is really just acceptance that many principles and constructs of psychology are only ...


2

First of all, if copying is really involved, why assume the original is destroyed? Instead, assume both survive. It should not change the logic at all. Now, if we are linked to our bodies in such a way that we would share the duplicate's consciousness, then we could transport the duplicate far enough away that the speed of light made a significant lag ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible