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  1. #1
    ish red no longer *sad* nightning's Avatar
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    Default "I" is not one person?

    First Person Plural - The Atlantic (November 2008)

    An evolving approach to the science of pleasure suggests that each of us contains multiple selves—all with different desires, and all fighting for control. If this is right, the pursuit of happiness becomes even trickier. Can one self bind” another self if the two want different things? Are you always better off when a Good Self wins? And should outsiders, such as employers and policy makers, get into the fray?
    Excuse the lengthy read. I thought it makes an interesting story. It's hardly what you call "new" though... the idea of the triune brain has been around for a while. There's also some misinterpretation in the meaning behind the studies...

    That is we do have separately functioning "brains" wired in parallel. Perhaps you can call them separate selves, but only the pre-cortex has self awareness and by that accounts the only true "self".

    Ah well, I guess there's no helping it.

    Thoughts?

  2. #2
    Just a statistic rhinosaur's Avatar
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    Conflicting desires =/= Multiple selves

  3. #3

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    Although, I believe most people have one uniqe identity they call "self." The problems of identity should not be dismissed.

    State dependent behavior is quite apparent in many people.

    The idea of self-binding (self-disipline) would be unnecessary if all of the "Self" worked together.

    Personally, I think it is only a matter of semantics if you say we have one unique self that has parts that need coordinating, or if we have multiple selves that work together in varying degrees.

    The reason I think it is more natural to identify only a single "self" is because of the shared continuous memory creting the identity.

    Accept the past. Live for the present. Look forward to the future.
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    "[A] scientist looking at nonscientific problems is just as dumb as the next guy." Richard Feynman
    "[P]etabytes of [] data is not the same thing as understanding emergent mechanisms and structures." Jim Crutchfield

  4. #4
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Yes, there's a continuous memory... and there's still an underlying base "common goals/priorities" to which all these different faces or costumes or selves or whatever you want to call them still fit into. Various guises are used to serve a particular [set of] purpose(s) -- they're still connected under one banner called "Self."
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    Yes, there's a continuous memory... and there's still an underlying base "common goals/priorities" to which all these different faces or costumes or selves or whatever you want to call them still fit into. Various guises are used to serve a particular [set of] purpose(s) -- they're still connected under one banner called "Self."
    There was a segment on the Science Channel called "A Life in Memory" where they showed how the lack of ability for memories translates directly into not having much in terms of goals.

    I wasn't able to find clips of that.

    But I did find another interesting thing on YouTube that is somewhat related.

    [YOUTUBE="OmkiMlvLKto"]Life without Memory:The Case of Clive Wearing, Part 1a[/YOUTUBE]

    Accept the past. Live for the present. Look forward to the future.
    Robot Fusion
    "As our island of knowledge grows, so does the shore of our ignorance." John Wheeler
    "[A] scientist looking at nonscientific problems is just as dumb as the next guy." Richard Feynman
    "[P]etabytes of [] data is not the same thing as understanding emergent mechanisms and structures." Jim Crutchfield

  6. #6
    ish red no longer *sad* nightning's Avatar
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    I think I remember seeing this video in a psych class... one thing that was really interesting about the guy was he has no conscious memory of recent things but he remembers things unconsciously... change in emotional responses is one. For example, gradually over the years... I think he reacts less emotionally when he hears about the death of his mother as years go on even though he always says it's the first time he has heard about it.

    I wouldn't call that an instance of multiple selves though simply because all of that occurs unconsciously. After all, one key thing that defines "self" is self awareness.

  7. #7

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    It still seems like a matter of semantics.

    Is the unconscious part of himself is self-aware?

    He even wrote once that "what other people wrote about waking-up is rubbish." (didn't catch the complete phrase).

    At the hospital over the last few weeks, I met a girl who has "conversion disorder." She has a problem completely zoning out and finding herself in a new situation.

    Although, her official diagnosis isn't multiple personality disorder, she often refers to the "other person" as the one who does things while she isn't aware of them. I wonder if she would be less prone to do that if she could remember what the other person does.

    For me, even though I remember what my "other selves" are doing, there is clearly a difference in volition between me at one time and me at another time. If I didn't remember wanting different things at different times, would I still refer to myself as the same person? I don't know.

    In a way, it doesn't really matter. Sometimes, we can refer to "other selves" and people will know what that means given the context.

    (I use quotes more than McCain--it emphasizes that words can be imbued with multiple different meanings, often leading to equivocation or amphiboly)

    Accept the past. Live for the present. Look forward to the future.
    Robot Fusion
    "As our island of knowledge grows, so does the shore of our ignorance." John Wheeler
    "[A] scientist looking at nonscientific problems is just as dumb as the next guy." Richard Feynman
    "[P]etabytes of [] data is not the same thing as understanding emergent mechanisms and structures." Jim Crutchfield

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