Splitting of the self
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13-08-2017, 05:36 AM (This post was last modified: 13-08-2017 05:40 AM by Robvalue.)
Splitting of the self
"The self" has to be one of the most baffling concepts to me. But there's one particular aspect I wanted to concentrate on for this topic.

We tend to think of "the self" including some sort of continuous series of experiences, via consciousness. I have been trying to imagine what happens if the physical body housing the experiences somehow gets split, so that each part can have its own experiences from that point on.

Scientifically speaking, there is no problem, but in relation to "the self" I find this absolutely mind-bending. We'd have two selves now, each of which contains the exact same series of past experiences up to the point of the split. If this can happen, what does this imply for the definition of "the self"? It's a bit hard to explain what I mean, but it seems to render the whole thing redundant, in that it's not unique at all. My poor monkey brain cannot wrap itself around this. I suppose the split could well cause damage which affects the memories relating to the past, but those experiences still "apply" to each new self... I guess? Each new self is also the old self, but they are different from each other? This is some Trinity shit Big Grin

I've heard about split-brain patients before, where both sides of the brain operate independently to some extent. I'm not sure if this is the case from birth of whether it's possible it can happen to an intact brain. We know things like worms can split and then exist independently. One might well say they don't have consciousness, but it seems too binary to me to suggest that there is no experience going on whatsoever with regard to the worm.

If anyone knows more about this, or has any thoughts about it, I'd be very interested to hear.

I have a website here which discusses the issues and terminology surrounding religion and atheism. It's hopefully user friendly to all.
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13-08-2017, 05:58 AM (This post was last modified: 13-08-2017 06:21 AM by Thoreauvian.)
RE: Splitting of the self
(13-08-2017 05:36 AM)Robvalue Wrote:  "The self" has to be one of the most baffling concepts to me. But there's one particular aspect I wanted to concentrate on for this topic.

We tend to think of "the self" including some sort of continuous series of experiences, via consciousness. I have been trying to imagine what happens if the physical body housing the experiences somehow gets split, so that each part can have its own experiences from that point on.

If anyone knows more about this, or has any thoughts about it, I'd be very interested to hear.

I find it useful to discriminate between the self and the self-concept. The self is the whole body. The self-concept resides in the brain.
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13-08-2017, 05:59 AM
RE: Splitting of the self
Did I already post this? Seems like I already posted this.

“we’re all hallucinating all the time, including right now. It’s just that when we agree about our hallucinations, we call that reality. . . . [so] your experience of being a self, the specific experience of being you, is also a controlled hallucination generated by the brain.” The continuity of self is a particularly fragile illusion.

Materialism always understood science to be dismantling idealism when it was dismantling materialism all the time. The feather-on-the-fake-hand illusion is particularly apropos to your question.




#sigh
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13-08-2017, 06:30 AM (This post was last modified: 13-08-2017 06:50 AM by Thoreauvian.)
RE: Splitting of the self
(13-08-2017 05:59 AM)GirlyMan Wrote:  Did I already post this? Seems like I already posted this.

“we’re all hallucinating all the time, including right now. It’s just that when we agree about our hallucinations, we call that reality. . . . [so] your experience of being a self, the specific experience of being you, is also a controlled hallucination generated by the brain.” The continuity of self is a particularly fragile illusion.

Materialism always understood science to be dismantling idealism when it was dismantling materialism all the time. The feather-on-the-fake-hand illusion is particularly apropos to your question.

This is over-generalizing. If you say "everything is a hallucination," you no longer have any reality to compare it to. In other words, you are sacrificing your ability to comment on the ultimate nature of reality altogether. That reality still may be entirely materialistic, we would just be entirely disconnected from it.

Hallucinations happen because of our brain's ability to construct perceptions of a very real external world. Like anything, the process can be mistaken. That happens in dreaming all the time. But the brain's operations would be of no use at all if they were always inaccurate.

"The continuity of the self" you mentioned is really the continuity of the self-concept.
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13-08-2017, 06:48 AM
RE: Splitting of the self
Sounds like somebody got their first hit of some really good weed.....


Tongue

( my self is an insufferable smartass)

.......................................

The difference between prayer and masturbation - is when a guy is through masturbating - he has something to show for his efforts.
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13-08-2017, 09:09 AM
RE: Splitting of the self
(13-08-2017 06:30 AM)Thoreauvian Wrote:  
(13-08-2017 05:59 AM)GirlyMan Wrote:   “we’re all hallucinating all the time, including right now. It’s just that when we agree about our hallucinations, we call that reality. . . . [so] your experience of being a self, the specific experience of being you, is also a controlled hallucination generated by the brain.” The continuity of self is a particularly fragile illusion.

This is over-generalizing. If you say "everything is a hallucination," you no longer have any reality to compare it to. In other words, you are sacrificing your ability to comment on the ultimate nature of reality altogether. That reality still may be entirely materialistic, we would just be entirely disconnected from it.

I don't see it as being materially different than the consensus theory of truth.

(13-08-2017 06:30 AM)Thoreauvian Wrote:  "The continuity of the self" you mentioned is really the continuity of the self-concept.

Yes, of course.

#sigh
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13-08-2017, 09:14 AM
RE: Splitting of the self
(13-08-2017 09:09 AM)GirlyMan Wrote:  I don't see it as being materially different than the consensus theory of truth.

It's not just us voting for reality. Reality votes for itself.
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13-08-2017, 10:10 AM
RE: Splitting of the self
(13-08-2017 09:14 AM)Thoreauvian Wrote:  
(13-08-2017 09:09 AM)GirlyMan Wrote:  I don't see it as being materially different than the consensus theory of truth.

It's not just us voting for reality. Reality votes for itself.

Who says?

#sigh
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13-08-2017, 11:19 AM
RE: Splitting of the self
(13-08-2017 10:10 AM)GirlyMan Wrote:  
(13-08-2017 09:14 AM)Thoreauvian Wrote:  It's not just us voting for reality. Reality votes for itself.

Who says?

Good one.

Big Grin
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13-08-2017, 11:39 AM
RE: Splitting of the self
(13-08-2017 11:19 AM)Thoreauvian Wrote:  
(13-08-2017 10:10 AM)GirlyMan Wrote:  Who says?

Good one.

Big Grin

That right there is why I favor the primacy of consciousness. It's some sorta meta-linguistic sorta thing. We can't even talk about reality without assuming a consciousness capable of talking about reality. Not that exactly, but something like that. I think I remember reading some Wittgenganger dude talking about something like that some 40 years ago now. Smile

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