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  1. #31
    Member Skip Foreplay's Avatar
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    I am a fan of Dennett's view of self. I believe he produces better work on the mind than any other living philosopher.

    He uses the analogy of a little man sitting in the middle of our head pulling levers. That's the way most people view the self. It's a sort of modern-cartesianism, I guess you could say.

    He proposes that, largely because we have evolved in parts and in whole through logarithmic systems, our experience of the mind is similar. I'll sum it up briefly, but I won't argue for it. Dennett argues for it well, and I recommend reading him if you find my explanation interesting. We experience almost nothing per moment, but we experience many moments. That which does not exist needs no explanation, and a holistic experience of our surroundings does not exist, which is evident through even momentary introspection - you didn't realize a single item in your room until you read this sentence. I haven't read him in a while, and I really shouldn't botch a nice idea. Would anybody care to add?

    I have slowly progressed, through exposure to more and more philosophy and through introspection, into an understanding of the self that is passive, rather than the almost universally accepted notion of activity. I do not have a body, but I am one. There are reasons that bodies behave how they do, and even medicine and the baby-science psychology have revealed most of this. How this translates into my noticing, or experiencing, is a mystery about which we do not even have broad strokes about what questions to ask in order to find the answer. We are farther than far away from that kind of understanding. I guess the idea of 'self' is an okay analogy for now, but taking it as reality is a leap in logic that I would never be willing to make.

  2. #32
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skip Foreplay View Post
    I guess the idea of 'self' is an okay analogy for now, but taking it as reality is a leap in logic that I would never be willing to make.
    You know I dont understand that.

    I know that Dennett's work, what I've read of it, is generally around a central atheistic perspective, I dont think he endorses Cartesianism but rejects it, so instead of saying you have a body but are a body is affirming an essential materialistic unity, so there is no spirit and no consciousness or mind independent from the body. Descarte wasnt writing like that when he came up with the idea of the "internal navigator" self, which was essentially similar to the idea of a soul or consciouness not restricted to the body in existence.

    What is it about the idea of self which is passive? What's meant by that? I find it curious that atheists wouldnt assert the self, I dont know why anyone would from a research or objective position seek to advance thesis which reject the existence of the self but it seems fashionable among those which have an attachment to buddhism.

    This also seems to be linked to meme theoy in an unfortunate fashion, so that people have no self beyond a meme which they have "self" constructed, or which has been constructed by others about them, see to me there are basic logic or psycho-linguistic fails in even trying to reason yourself into that position, how can you come up with that thesis without the language of self?

    It also is again, repeated, the biological automaton thesis of behaviourism and then cognitivism, that we're all just one remove from apes (and in saying so is underestimating the consciousness or intelligence of apes usually) as opposed to simply having a common origin.

    If the behaviourist and cognitivist perspectives are correct, that we are all just automatons, then I wonder how or why culture and memes could originate anyway unless by some miracle which is something else which is not useful as research criteria.

  3. #33
    Occasional Member Evan's Avatar
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    @Lark: whats so scary about us all being biological automatons?

    I think I am one, at least.

  4. #34
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Evan View Post
    @Lark: whats so scary about us all being biological automatons?

    I think I am one, at least.
    Good for you.

    You wrongly suppose my objection to the idea is premised upon fear, its not the first time your anti-theist prejudices have fogged your posts.

  5. #35
    Occasional Member Evan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    Good for you.

    You wrongly suppose my objection to the idea is premised upon fear, its not the first time your anti-theist prejudices have fogged your posts.
    Okay let me rephrase: what is your philosophical objection to humans being biological automatons?

    I am more curious than prejudiced, although I won't deny being emotionally invested in my own worldview.

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