Friday, October 13, 2017

679: Sorry.....there is no Self...

Ok, according to Metzinger there is no self. He isn’t the only one who thinks so. Victor Lamme, a famous neuroscientist, shares his opinion.
Lamme suggests that in our brain the only boss in our brain, and not an intangible self that controls our brains in one way or another. 
What we call “the Self”, Lamme says, is nothing more than a “chatterbox” that tries to justify our choices and actions by retrospectively compiling a good story.
However, the real causes of our choices and actions have long been in our brain, and we have nothing to say about it. 
Metzinger and Lamme defend a form of 'brain reductionism', reducing the self to the brain.
Brain reductionists do not deny that we can have the experience of a self. 
On the contrary, they argue that people often think that they themselves are the cause of the choices they make or the actions that they make. 
What they deny, however, is that this experience is proof of the real existence of a real self. 
But is it true that we encounter it in the experience? According to the Scottish philosopher David Hume (1711-1776), that is not the case at all. 
In his “Inquiry Concerning Human  Understanding” (1739) he gives the following description of his quest for self:  
-quote-“When I think deeply about myself what I call myself, I always stumble on some concrete experience of heat and cold, of light or dark, love or hate and pain or pleasure. 
I can never catch myself without perception, and can never perceive anything except perception. 
When my perceptions are absent for some time, like in a deep sleep, I do not notice anything about myself, and it is true that it does not exist at the moment.”-end quote-
What Hume points out here is that, although we smell, feel and see, we never encounter an 'I' or 'self' in these perceptions. 
The human mind, Hume suggests, is a kind of theater where different experiences make their appearance, come on, slip back, or fuse. 
But he immediately points out that this is actually a misleading metaphor. The theater really does not exist. 
In addition, there is no viewer in this theater: there is no "I" that perceives these perceptions. I am nothing but a collection, a 'bundle' of loose perceptions 
that follow each other at high speed and are in a state of constant motion. 
There is no unity here because all perceptions differ and there is no numerical identity as they constantly change. 
Hume concludes that the self can not exist as something that remains the same throughout the time.
The interesting to Hume is that he tries to explain how it is that we are inclined to see the self as a stable and continuous thing. 
He points to the human imagination, which means that we keep the objects we perceive the same despite the fact that they are strictly not the same. 
In particular, if the object of our perception changes gradually and unmistakably, according to Hume, we tend to think
that in that case it has remained the same over time, for example, a young plant that grows into a big oak. 
If the object changes suddenly and quickly, we think that it has become another object. But, Hume says, in both cases there is ultimately a change. 
The only difference is that in the first case we imagine that something is something that remains the same throughout the time. 
But that does not mean that this really also exists as a stable and constant object. 
We can of course admit to our tendency, and maintain that the objects we observe, despite their differences, are constantly the same, but with that we would fool ourselves
In other words, we may have the belief, that  in us is a stable and constant something, which we call our “Self”, 
but that is an illusion.
Thank you for your attention again…^_^

The Discussion

[13:23] herman Bergson: The main point here is...
[13:24] herman Bergson: that both..Hume and the neuroscientists assume that we can/have to be able to sensory experience / see the Self
[13:25] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): makes no sense to me
[13:25] herman Bergson: the notorious...IT MUST BE SOMEHTING....assumption
[13:25] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hmm head spinning but i think i grasp most of it
[13:25] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): if it is not visible
[13:25] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): does not exist ?
[13:26] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): interior self?
[13:26] herman Bergson: ok Gemma...
[13:26] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): they say?
[13:26] herman Bergson: Take this....
[13:26] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): i see what they are sayig
[13:26] herman Bergson: You go to the university and visit all buildings...
[13:26] herman Bergson: faculty this and that...they all exist...
[13:26] herman Bergson: then you say...nice...but where is the university?
[13:27] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): all of it is the university
[13:27] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): parts of it
[13:27] herman Bergson: yes...Bejiita...
[13:27] Ciska Riverstone: well but tomorrow it might be the town hall  because the university moved
[13:27] herman Bergson: but then you ask....does the UNIVERSITY exist....
[13:28] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): eeeh yes it does
[13:28] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): i think
[13:28] herman Bergson: SHow me...:-)
[13:28] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): hume thinks not i guess
[13:28] herman Bergson: you can't
[13:28] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): is it because of the knowledge of the brain at his lifetime?
[13:28] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): i think so
[13:28] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): its the building called university
[13:28] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): that group of buildings = the university
[13:28] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): i guess
[13:29] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): the whole body of everything is the university
[13:29] CB Axel: A university is more than the buildings.
[13:29] herman Bergson: We'll get to this in a next lecture....
[13:29] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): does not have skin
[13:29] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): it is what it is used for
[13:29] herman Bergson: but this is an interesting feature of our way of thinking....
[13:29] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and what is in it that makes it a university
[13:29] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hmm indeed
[13:29] CB Axel: Buildings, students, professors, ideas...
[13:30] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ah
[13:30] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): yes
[13:30] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): especially when you do nto really have go to the university anymore can do it all on internet
[13:30] herman Bergson: one the one hand we look for a real object....
[13:30] herman Bergson: and on the other hand a word may not refer to a real object...and yet we assume what it refers to exists
[13:30] Ciska Riverstone: that’s the point gemma
[13:31] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ah
[13:31] CB Axel: Hmmm. Ideas. Ideas are not objects, so they do not exist?
[13:31] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate) GIGGLES!!
[13:31] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ...LOL...
[13:31] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): there is even one university near by that actually delivers diplomas in the big bus
[13:31] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): (system crash) SCREEEECH!
[13:31] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): lol
[13:31] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ideas are indeed not physical but they still exist
[13:31] herman Bergson: The quintessential issue here is the meaning of the word "exist"
[13:31] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hmm interesting ideas indeed
[13:32] Ciska Riverstone whispers: exist vs experience?
[13:32] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): hume  believed what he  believed
[13:32] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but i guess everything does not have to be physical to exist
[13:32] herman Bergson: that is the point Bejiita....
[13:33] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ah
[13:33] herman Bergson: sometimes "exist' refers to physical presence...
[13:33] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): sometimes
[13:33] herman Bergson: sometimes it does not, but yet we assume existence of what the word refers to
[13:34] herman Bergson: so the university "exists"....just like the building of the Department of Philosophy does
[13:34] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): the building plus what you use it for , physical + non physical thing define what it is
[13:34] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): i guess
[13:35] herman Bergson: an empiricist takes words primarily as refering to physical observable objects....
[13:36] herman Bergson: but he gets nervous when he has to deal with more abstract university...
[13:36] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): well we went that route before
[13:36] herman Bergson: then he gets into ontological problems....
[13:36] herman Bergson: yes we often did Gemma...
[13:36] herman Bergson: Guess you may graduate now :-))
[13:37] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:37] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): yep
[13:37] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako) ♪♪APPLAUDS!!!♪
[13:37] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hehe
[13:37] Ciska Riverstone has to sneak out - thanx a bunch everyone thank you herman
[13:37] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): bye ciska
[13:37] herman Bergson: but we see this happen all day around us....
[13:38] herman Bergson: people who take terms as refering to really existing htings...
[13:38] herman Bergson: religions are good at that for instance
[13:38] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): true
[13:38] herman Bergson: Why fight for freedom and democracy....
[13:39] herman Bergson: but plz...bring me  this democracy I know what I fight for for instance :-)
[13:39] herman Bergson: does democracy exist???
[13:39] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): not really
[13:39] CB Axel: Not in the US.
[13:39] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): as a concept yes, as a physical thing no
[13:39] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): many facets of it do
[13:39] herman Bergson: Indeed Bejiita....
[13:40] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and unfortunatley not in many places
[13:40] herman Bergson: and a philosopher then asks...what is the ontological status of a concept?
[13:40] herman Bergson: is it only just in your head?????
[13:40] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): a way to do a certain thing i guess
[13:40] herman Bergson: or in the heads of may people...???
[13:40] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): to acomplish a goal
[13:40] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): or something like that
[13:41] herman Bergson: If so...why...and what does that mean
[13:41] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): dint think I can define it more then that
[13:41] herman Bergson: ok...our refuge.....the definition of a term...
[13:42] herman Bergson: But there we have to agree on the definition..
[13:42] herman Bergson: another philosopher's job :-)
[13:43] herman Bergson: Yet it is a constant fight we have to go though with what we call reality...
[13:43] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): very true
[13:43] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): i guess
[13:43] herman Bergson: anfd we can not give in or give up....
[13:44] CB Axel: I fight with reality all the time.
[13:44] CB Axel: And lose.
[13:44] herman Bergson: That is the quitessence of philosophy :-)
[13:44] herman Bergson: Maybe you should fight another reality, CB?
[13:45] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:46] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): perception becomes reallity sometimes
[13:46] herman Bergson: Hume , Lamme and Metzinger look for something observable, which they can point at as The Self...
[13:46] herman Bergson: Maybe that is the wrong approach...
[13:47] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): it seems so
[13:47] herman Bergson: Psychologically what we experience in ourself as our Self is more a kind of organizing principle of the mind
[13:47] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): that makes sense
[13:47] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): and it progresses as we age
[13:48] herman Bergson: so the self is as real as the mind is...
[13:48] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): i guess you can say that
[13:48] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): that can be a definition of it
[13:48] herman Bergson: and nobody has seen the mind yet...but everyone assumes that the mind exists :-))
[13:49] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate) GIGGLES!!
[13:49] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ...LOL...
[13:49] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): i guess we had better assume that
[13:49] herman Bergson: well...sometimes you are in presidential doubt Gemma :-))
[13:49] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): i guess
[13:49] CB Axel: Self is what we call our thoughts and memories when we don't know what else to call them.
[13:49] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): good cb
[13:50] Quistis Hoorenbeek (quistis.shippe) is online.
[13:50] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): self = recursion back to well yourself
[13:50] herman Bergson: Maybe the perosnal narrative, that Dennett means...CB
[13:50] CB Axel nods
[13:51] herman Bergson: Well..I guess we paved the way for the coming lectures :-))
[13:51] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): i guess so
[13:51] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): Thank Youuuuuuuuuu!!
[13:51] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): when i say I i refer to self but when i say you im not referring to myself
[13:51] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): well i refer to someone elses self then you can say
[13:52] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but self is always you and no one else
[13:52] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): as said it is recursion
[13:52] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): basically
[13:52] herman Bergson: ok..:-)
[13:52] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): well time for me to check a thing out cu next time
[13:53] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): hope to be hre tuesday
[13:53] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:53] herman Bergson: I guess we are done for today...unless you still have a question or remark left..:-)
[13:53] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): this gets better and better I think
[13:53] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): some head wrangling
[13:53] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hehe
[13:53] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): you think of things in ways you normally dont
[13:53] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): like that university thing
[13:54] herman Bergson: yes Bejiita...that's what philosophers often do :-))
[13:54] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ah
[13:54] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate) GIGGLES!!
[13:54] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ...LOL...
[13:54] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): yes
[13:54] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): thats what I like with it i guess
[13:54] herman Bergson: The goal is to get things clear...
[13:54] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): makes things more interesting
[13:54] CB Axel: That's an elusive goal.
[13:54] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:54] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): yes cb
[13:54] herman Bergson: Well....thank you all again...nice discussion....
[13:55] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): Thank Youuuuuuuuuu!!
[13:55] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): cu soon all
[13:55] CB Axel: It seems the more we think about these things, the muddier it all becomes.
[13:55] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): hopes beertje does not blow away
[13:55] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): thank you Herman :)
[13:55] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): bye for now
[13:55] CB Axel: Thank you, Herman.
[13:55] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): smiles:)
[13:55] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:55] herman Bergson: Class dismissed :-)

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