Wednesday, September 6, 2017

670; THE NEW PROJECT - In Search of my Self

Welcome again everyone. It is good to see you all back again. We enjoyed a long summer break. I hope, you all enjoyed your vacation.
But here we are again. Ready to start a new project. In a way it is a special one, because this project coincides with the tenth anniversary of The Philosophy Class.
Yes, ten years The Philosophy Class and some of you have participated as long as that too. In the first week of November is the actual anniversary date.
Our new project: In search of my Self. What does it mean? 
When you google on “Self” or even better, on “Self-help” the very first hit of many thousands may look like this:
“The 50 Best Self-Help Books of All-Time | Best Counseling Schools
Today's fast-paced and high-stress culture has spawned thousands of self-help books, each promising to be the key to living a happier and more successful life.”
This project will not aim at getting you a happier and more successful life, although focusing on philosophical thinking could help you achieving that nevertheless.
We simply will focus on the question: What exactly is this Self, with which we seem to be so familiar?
This question can be interpreted in several ways. To begin with: to ask WHAT IS… suggests that this Self could be a thing.
Is my self maybe my mind, or am I my brain? These are, what we philosophically call ontological questions. In what way does this SELF exist?
An other approach is, that we could wonder about how we do know this Self. How do we know, that we stay a self, for instance, through time.
Is there something through time that has stayed the same since our birth, which we could call our Self?
What when we look inside ourselves? Do we see a Self then? Can you see the Self in an fMRI scan? It never has happened. 
So isn’t the Self  just something we imagine or are we looking at the wrong place? Does introspection reveal our Self to us?
What in any case is clear, is that this Self can only exist as a part of our consciousness. We also know that there can not be consciousness without a brain,
To speak with John Searle, we could say, that "consciousness" refers to those states of sentience and awareness that typically begin 
when we awake from a dreamless sleep and continue until we go to sleep again, or fall into a coma or die or otherwise become "unconscious.
Dreams are a form of consciousness, though of course quite different from full waking states. Consciousness so defined switches off and on.
We can add to this, that most conscious states, feeling a pain, for example, do not necessarily involve self-consciousness. 
Consciousness as such does not necessarily imply self-consciousness or self-awareness.
This leads to the conclusion, that animals have consciousness too, but that homo sapiens has consciousness with this extra.
We, contrary to animals, call our consciousness our mind and we can look into our mind and say: “this is MY mind, this is me myself…and in my mind is this and that going on”
To be continued….thank you for your attention…^_^

Main Sources:
MacMillan The Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2nd edition
Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 1995
John Searle: The Mystery of Consciousness (1997)
Antonio Damasio: Self comes to Mind (2010) Bruin/F. Jongepier/ Maargt: IK, Filosofie van het Zelf (2017)
The Discussion

[13:18] Ciska Riverstone: thanx hermann
[13:18] herman Bergson: Maybe a tough start after such a nice summerbreak :-))
[13:18] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:18] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): sounds like a good theme at least
[13:19] herman Bergson: the basic idea is that the brain in some way generates consciousness, which we share with many other sentient beings (animals)
[13:19] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): you give a a lot to think about
[13:20] herman Bergson: but in us this consciousness then generates a Self...but only in our mind....
[13:20] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): the Self is the the same as Ego?
[13:20] herman Bergson: these are pretty mysterious things...and a challenge to understand what is happening
[13:20] herman Bergson: Yes Beertje...
[13:21] herman Bergson: But NOT in the Freudian sense...
[13:21] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ok
[13:21] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): some on this planet have a lot of it :)
[13:21] herman Bergson: The Self is the Me....
[13:22] herman Bergson: No no Beertje..this is a philosophy class not a psychology class :-)))
[13:22] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): :)
[13:22] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hehe
[13:22] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): the Self is a strange thing
[13:23] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): in fact we are all alone
[13:23] herman Bergson: Yes....and we'll learn that it might not even exist....that we have no Self :-)
[13:24] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): self is basically recursion
[13:24] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): reflecting back to you
[13:25] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): it is both easy and hard to define sort of
[13:25] herman Bergson: I think about my self....:-)
[13:25] herman Bergson: who is this "I" and who this "Mysself " ?
[13:25] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): hard to understand what you mean Bejiita
[13:26] CB Axel: Hi, Gemma. gtsy
[13:26] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): at least I showed up
[13:26] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): Hi everybody!!! :D :D :D
[13:26] herman Bergson: Gemma ! :-))
[13:26] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hi Gemma
[13:26] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): made the end anyway
[13:26] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): Gemma nice to see you :)
[13:26] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): good to see you all
[13:26] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): at first it seems obvious what self is but as i get it it is possible to get it not so easy
[13:26] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate) GIGGLES!!
[13:26] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ...LOL...
[13:26] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): not sure i want to find myself tho
[13:26] herman Bergson: Nice to see you....seeing you already for ten years I missed you :-)
[13:27] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate) GIGGLES!!
[13:27] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ...LOL...
[13:27] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): yes
[13:27] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): all good Gemma?
[13:27] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:27] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ok tyy
[13:27] herman Bergson: How is your mobility Gemma ? :-))
[13:28] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): well to be honest not as good as it should be
[13:28] herman Bergson: awww....sorry to hear
[13:28] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): the nerve damage in my leg is hampering it
[13:28] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hmm ok
[13:28] CB Axel: :(
[13:28] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): aw
[13:28] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): yes
[13:28] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): the terrible pain i had before the surgery is gone
[13:28] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate) GIGGLES!!
[13:28] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ...LOL...
[13:28] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): but i have some replacement pain
[13:28] herman Bergson: ahh that at least is something!
[13:29] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): right
[13:29] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): hope everyone here is well
[13:29] herman Bergson: To speak for my Self...I am indeed Gemma ^_^
[13:29] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): I willl catch up for Thursday
[13:30] herman Bergson: I made a start with explaining consciousness and the Self...
[13:31] herman Bergson: mysterious things however...but we have both nevertheless
[13:31] herman Bergson: Maybe next question does the brain generate consciousness
[13:32] herman Bergson: and then...
[13:32] herman Bergson: how generates consciousness self-consciousness
[13:32] herman Bergson: I'd get a Nobelprize if I gave you the straight answer to these questions now :-)
[13:33] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): maybe we wil know that in a couple of weeks:)
[13:33] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): or months
[13:33] CB Axel: You mentioned dreamless sleep earlier which got me thinking about how during dreams we are still conscious of a self.
[13:33] herman Bergson grins
[13:33] herman Bergson: As I said Beertje...I love your positive thinking ^_^
[13:33] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate) GIGGLES!!
[13:33] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ...LOL...
[13:33] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:33] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): thank you :)
[13:34] herman Bergson: In a way we are CB, yes
[13:34] CB Axel: Dreams fascinate me.
[13:34] herman Bergson: In your dream most of the time there is a ME....
[13:35] herman Bergson: What is fascinating about dreams CB?
[13:35] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): I can sometimes control my dreams a bit somewhat, what i want to dream about
[13:35] CB Axel: It's weird. In a mostly unconscious state we're still conscious of ourselves.
[13:35] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): oh me too, money, chocolate, :))
[13:35] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): it doesn’t work every time but sometime it have seemed to work if i really want it to be about something special
[13:35] CB Axel: I don't think I can control my dreams. I'm not sure I want to.
[13:35] herman Bergson: yes a way we seem to be CB
[13:36] CB Axel: I like being surprised by what my sub-conscious mind comes up with.
[13:36] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): you always get a bit of randomness but thats as it should be
[13:36] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): my favorite ones are when i seem to wake then go back to the same dream!
[13:36] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): what i don’t get is how weird they can be often,
[13:36] CB Axel: My dreams can be influenced by sounds around me as I sleep.
[13:36] herman Bergson: It recently happened to me that I woke up during a dream.....and then I wanted to continue that dream....and this happened
[13:36] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): aaa yes that i can do sometimes as well and finish where i left off
[13:36] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): that has happened
[13:36] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): right
[13:37] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): if i immediateley decide when i wake up that i not done with the dream yet and waht to continue i iften can do that
[13:37] CB Axel: I can't do that. Go back to the same dream. My mind can't focus any better asleep than awake, I suppose. °͜°
[13:37] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): then my mom calls and think im a sleepyhead
[13:37] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): lol
[13:37] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): calls
[13:38] CB Axel: But, even when dreaming, there is a self.
[13:39] CB Axel: The self seems to be very persistent.
[13:39] herman Bergson: Well...guess it will be interesting to dig into consciousness some more and try to find our Self there
[13:40] CB Axel: No matter where I go or where my mind goes I'm still there.
[13:40] CB Axel: Whether I like me or not
[13:40] herman Bergson: Yes CB...but in a dream it is very strange.....
[13:40] herman Bergson: for after the dream your Self was a dreamed self
[13:41] CB Axel: But that dreamed self still seems to be me. Just in odd circumstances.
[13:41] herman Bergson: yes...
[13:41] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ah
[13:41] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): your circumstances, not of somebody else
[13:41] herman Bergson: But it is not based on a 100% consciousness....
[13:42] herman Bergson: which you know when you awake
[13:42] CB Axel: Yes. Not even close to 100% since I can't control my dreams.
[13:42] herman Bergson: a way you are a spectator in your dreams...
[13:43] CB Axel nods
[13:43] herman Bergson: infact analoge to the Self in full consciousness...
[13:43] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): true
[13:43] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): aaa
[13:43] herman Bergson: you can observe what you think....
[13:44] herman Bergson: but again...the big question is...WHO/WHAT is that YOU here?
[13:44] CB Axel: Awake we are ourselves looking out at the world and asleep is us looking in at ourselves maybe?
[13:44] herman Bergson: Not necessarily I'd say....
[13:45] CB Axel: What I am now is a physical being who would like a taco.
[13:45] herman Bergson: awake I also can look into myself ....we call it introspection...
[13:45] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): yes
[13:45] CB Axel: True. I don't like looking in there. It's too dark. °͜°
[13:45] herman Bergson: HAs anyone a taco for CB ????
[13:45] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): light a candle CB:)
[13:45] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): cb we have got to get you out!
[13:46] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): don’t like you being dead inside at all
[13:46] CB Axel: Or I need to find comfort and peace in the darkness.
[13:46] CB Axel: Hello, Darkness, my old friend...
[13:46] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ah another thought
[13:46] herman Bergson: Cant believe your Self is dead CB :-)
[13:46] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ah well that is good
[13:46] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): love that song
[13:47] CB Axel: My av can rip its heart out, if you like.
[13:47] herman Bergson: me too Gemma :-)
[13:47] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): it is peaceful not dead
[13:47] CB Axel: I believe death is peaceful.
[13:47] CB Axel: Although the lead up to it can be terrifying.
[13:47] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): well yes but not while you are alive
[13:47] CB Axel: Yes
[13:48] CB Axel: Anyway, back to the meaning of self.
[13:48] herman Bergson: Let's stick to consciousness and the living for the next lectures :-)
[13:48] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): good idea
[13:48] CB Axel: °͜°
[13:48] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:48] herman Bergson: SO...thank you all again for your attention :-)
[13:49] herman Bergson: Class dismissed...
[13:49] CB Axel: Thank you, Herman.
[13:49] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ♥ Thank Youuuuuuuuuu!! ♥
[13:49] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): well im off to sleep, up early for a golf trip with work
[13:49] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): very interesting lecture Herman
[13:49] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): wil try to be on time Thursday
[13:49] Ciska Riverstone: thank you hermann
[13:49] Ciska Riverstone: thanx everyone
[13:49] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): nite
[13:49] CB Axel: See you all Thursday.
[13:49] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and i want that to go well
[13:49] herman Bergson: See you next thursday :-)
[13:49] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): cu soon again all
[13:49] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:49] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): Dankjewel Herman



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