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Re: An Idea Francesco

Posted by DSCH on November 21, 2003, at 12:24:36

In reply to Re: An Idea DSCH, posted by Francesco on November 21, 2003, at 11:52:54

> > > I used to have a vague idea that we had a "self" that meds/supplements/whatever altered one way or another -- more my "true" self, or not.
> > >
> > > I don't think that way anymore. I think we're a product of our brain chemistry -- alter that and our "Self" is altered.
> > >
> > > I found this a bit depressing at first -- Am "I" only chemical soup? -- but now I think of it as potentially continued renewal. ;)
> >
> > (Let me preface all of the following with IMO, IMHO, maybe, and/or YMMV so I can use direct language for a change.)
> >
> > I think you need to look at in layers of scale and in time.
> >
> > Scale: you are not a monolith but a society of (usually, ideally) cooperating subroutines. And ultimately all of these rest upon the fuctioning of individual neurons. 'Self' as a seamless construct is an interesting illusion projected at some level of our consciousness, probably to make us 'saner' and less prone to detached self-exploration back when there was food to be gathered and game to be hunted.
> >
> > Time: you won't alter your memories, so in that sense you retain continuity with who you were. You may alter how you reflect on them though.
> I totally agree also with DSCH with just one more thing to add. We need to talk about "selves" if we want to understand each other. Ordinary language is necessarily inaccurate but his inaccuracy is useful for many purposes.

I don't think "selves" is quite the right word as these subroutines are too fragmentary on their own.

Looking at my own post I think "illusion" is also not a good word choice, as having a sense of proper self is a indication that these routines are well integrated.

Tourette's is one disorder where a subroutine or set of them makes their presence known by failing to cooperate fully. Tourette-ers often speak of the tics and rituals coming from "It", separate from what they percieve as their own self.

People who have had their corpus callosum cut can be trained to perform certain tasks while blindfolded. When the blindfold is removed so they can see themselves performing that task they'll remark that "I didn't do that!" or something on that order. The "I" in this case being the set of routines incorportating language, on the left side of the brain.




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