Consciousness Thought

Personal Identity and Self-Consciousness (International by Brian Garrett

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By Brian Garrett

In contrast to narratives that both go back and forth a historical past of lifeless principles or sycophants making an attempt an exegesis of 1 or extra authors; Garrett offers a precis dialogue of the subjects of non-public identification (not realization) and the language use of the phrases. the concept experiments extend at the "brain in a vat" notion and are awarded and argued compellingly. fee the desk of contents as this ebook intentionally limits its scope and obviously states these limits. A precis paintings in philosophy is infrequent, so this is often really worth including in your library. whereas transparent, it's heavy going because it assumes a few familiarity with options from the philsophy of brain and philosophy of language. it's not approximately character or "being" if that's your curiosity; nor does it deal with psychology or neuroscience.

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Extra info for Personal Identity and Self-Consciousness (International Library of Philosophy)

Sample text

If X and Y are numerically distinct at one time, they are distinct at all times. ) Prior to the accident, Animal and I occupied the same body. And, at that time, Animal and I were both self-conscious subjects of experience (that is, persons). Hence, two persons then occupied the same body at the same time. What is true of Animal and me prior to the accident is true of all of us now. Each normal adult human body houses two people. The population of the world is twice what we thought it was. Is this consequence not plainly absurd?

In this thought-experiment, my brain is removed from my skull, placed in a vat, and connected to a machine. The inside of my skull is fitted with electrodes which transmit information to my disembodied, but still conscious, brain, kept alive by the machine. My body functions as normal, receiving information through the senses.

Shouldn’t we therefore reject the bodily criterion? One familiar attempt to rid the bodily criterion of the consequence of possible-personal-existence-while-dead is not fully coherent. Defenders of the bodily criterion sometimes say that they want to identify a person with his living body, not with his body per se. But this does not make sense. My present living body is not a different body from my body per se—I don’t have two bodies. I can’t be identical to my-body-only-whenliving if being alive is an accidental property of my body.

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