Self defined by science

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Offline willcarter

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Self defined by science
« on: 25/07/2014 04:45:43 »
What is the self?

 Can science determine what the self is?

Article from Blackmore is here newbielink: [nonactive]

IS Blackmore correct? Are there Arguments against Blackmore?

Are there alternatives to the ego and bundle theory?

There are different ego and bundle theory. The link below  explains ego and bundle theory. b

Here are a few thought experiments
Does the self survive a Sex change?

Does the self survive brain damage similar to Phineas gage and brain damage?

Does the self survive Cryonics?

Does the self survive Teleportation?

Does the self survive Personality and a memory wipe, temporary and Permanent?

Does the self survive Low iq in a human with intelligence of a dog?

Does the self survive Parts replaced with computer chip neuron one at a time?

Does the self survive Artificial intelligence similar to data from star trek
You turn data off. Has data died? What if you take data apart and put him back together has data survived? If you did that a human would be dead.

When answering the questions can you post a source where you got your information? Such as a website.

Thank you for your help


Offline alancalverd

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Re: Self defined by science
« Reply #1 on: 25/07/2014 12:12:02 »
Let's define the self as "that which we strive to preserve". This has the advantage of applying to all living things, some of which are better at it than others.

Clearly there will always be a self as long as the creature is alive, and its existence becomes irrelevant when the creature dies. The characteristics of the self may indeed change with time, sex change, metamorphosis, or any other influence, but as long as we have a definable organism with the capability or motivation to feed and defend itself, i.e. its self, there is by definition a self.

Source: common sense and the English language.
helping to stem the tide of ignorance


Offline cheryl j

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Re: Self defined by science
« Reply #2 on: 26/07/2014 01:11:51 »
A great book on "self" if you're interested is neuroscientist Antonio Damasio's Self Comes to Mind, and his earlier one The Feeling of What Happens.

I like how he breaks it down into three selfs and their related brain structures, protoself, core consciousness, and extended consciousness, with each building and dependant on the others.

The protoself is the most basic, non conscious level of awareness "signified by a collection of neural patterns which are representative of the body's internal state" common to all living things. It's basically internal and external sensing with some sort of recognition of the boundary between inside and outside.

A level above that is core consciousness,  when the organism experiences feelings in reaction to changes occurring in its internal bodily state, or outside of environment, and recognizes these thoughts or feelings as his own as the relationship between self and object-acted-on, or observer and observed, is mapped in the brain, and remains stable over time. Other animals beside humans seem to have this level of self.

Extended consciousness combines these other forms of self with extended memory of past experiences and an autobiographical self. Language is not necessarily required for extended consciousness, but it becomes difficult to separate language from the mental narrative once it develops.

So the answers to your question might vary depending on the level of self you are referring to. Someone one with Alzheimers might still have a core consciousness with feelings, awareness of feelings, a point of view, etc, but have lost some of his autobiographical self because of memory loss.


Offline Ethos_

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Re: Self defined by science
« Reply #3 on: 26/07/2014 01:19:39 »
What is the self?

We humans tend to attach more importance to our place in nature than we might be worthy of. But in the interest of preserving this high position we presume to occupy, I'll offer a few thoughts regarding this question.

The self:

The portion of our consciousness that distinguishes between the physical body and abstract thought.

That part of us that seeks separation from the hive.

The thing within us that understands the meaning of "Individual".

That entity we communicate with when we are torn between two or more important decisions.

But of course, these examples are not what one might call very scientific.

Cheryl j's offering was excellent and much more scientific than mine.

« Last Edit: 26/07/2014 01:40:05 by Ethos_ »
"The more things change, the more they remain the same."