What is the use of self?

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bahman
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Re: What is the use of self?

Post by bahman » Sun Oct 02, 2016 2:11 am

OuterLimits wrote:
bahman wrote:
OuterLimits wrote: How does one determine the "function" of something? Can you give an example? Very often, in evolution, the seeming use to which something is put nowadays might not be the earlier use.
We can determine the function of something by studying which type of outputs we get by having certain type of inputs.
Does that imply that the function was somehow "designed in"?
Yes.
OuterLimits wrote: A hole that you throw animals into, and only the largest are able to climb out - do I then deduce some sort of "animal selecting function" to the hole?
Yes.

ken
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Re: What is the use of self?

Post by ken » Sun Oct 02, 2016 2:14 am

bahman wrote:
ken wrote:
bahman wrote:
What I said is the result of my thinking. I am not sure if they are 100% correct.
...For example, do you know who the 'my' is in "my thinking"? If not, then there still remains some confusion.
I think that is the sense of self created by your brain to give a reference view for your activities.
Yes, but because that sense of self is created by the brain this means it is NOT the real Self. That sense of self, which I call the small 's' self is only a concept created by the brain. You again used a word 'your' to refer to a self that owns the brain. That sense of self is just an individual person caused by a brain and who we think we are. This self is just made up of thoughts (and internal) feelings. This sense of self can not be the 'my' in "my thinking", nor the 'my' nor 'your' in "my brain" or "your brain", because this self is the thinking itself. 'My' implies ownership. The owner of all thoughts, thinking or brain activities is the real and True Self. This True Self is the 'I' in the question who am 'I'?
bahman wrote:
ken wrote:
bahman wrote:
This depends whether you are a dualist or monist/materialist. The "I" in dualism is what your spirit is. Under materialism the sense of "I" is created by your brain.
Seeing one's self as one or the other does not make any sense. Truthful answers are never found that way.
I don't understand what you are stating here.
I am stating that seeing one's self as either a dualist or materialist does not make any sense. Truthful, correct and right answers are never found in one or the other. Truthful, correct and right answers are found in both dualism AND materialism, as I explained earlier.
bahman wrote:
ken wrote:
You said, "our environment". Who is the 'our'? How do you propose the 'our' owns or makes/creates the environment? If the truth be known, the opposite actually happens.
I already explain what is "our". It is the sense of self in materialism and it is your spirit under dualism.
Have you noticed how many times you use 'our' or 'your' to put a 'thing' in reference to some thing else, which you are trying to explain. If 'our' is sense of self in "materialism" and it is 'your' spirit under dualism, then who/what is the 'your' in "your spirit"? You have not made anything clearer yet. You still appear very confused.
bahman wrote:
ken wrote:
The 'I' in the question knows EXACTLY how the Mind and the brain works. So, although 'you' may not know, 'I' do know. Therefore, to assume no one knows is wrong.
I mean no one still knows how a biochemical activity can turn into a conscious experience.
Are you absolutely positively sure of this?

Just because 'you' do not know some thing, that itself does not mean every one else also does not know that thing. Making wrong assumptions does not help you to become clearer.
bahman wrote:
ken wrote:
Obviously you are not sure and thus still somewhat confused. One reason of this is referring to either 'materialism' or 'dualism', materialism and dualism just do not work on their own. Also using terms like 'your' in reference to brain activities, spirit, and 'mind' when you do not know what 'your' actually refers to just leads you to more confusion when you are asked for clarification.

If Mind is proposed as a construct of brain activities, then when asked for clarity not much can be provided. There is NO 'your' who owns, creates, nor makes spirit nor mind, but there is a 'you' in reference to brain activities. When who/what 'you' and 'I' really are, then clarity prevails and confusion ends.
I think I was clear in what I was stated.
You stated three completely opposing, confusing, and contradictory views:
1. "Mind is construct of your brain activities in materialism". That means there is a 'you', who owns the brain, which constructs a mind.
2. "Mind is your spirit under dualism." That means there is a 'you', who owns a spirit, and that spirit is a mind.
3. "Your mind doesn't have any location." That means there is a 'you', who owns a mind, and that mind does not have any location.

I have stated why and how this is absurd.
bahman wrote:
ken wrote:
I KNOW EXACTLY.

Not sure how constructive jill bolte taylor's talk could be to others if jill is still somewhat confused about what was actually happening and taking place.
I don't understand what you are talking about.
Fair enough.
bahman wrote:
ken wrote:
These writing would not really be that useful at all to all others.

The response in "your" opinion that the "Mind is the result of electromagnetic fields constructed by neurons firing" still does in no way clarify what the Mind exactly is and how the Mind works exactly.

The answer is obvious when people want to discover this by themselves, instead of trying to find answers in the abundance of confusing and contradictory written material available. This only leads to more and more confusion.

Also, if Mind is the result of electromagnetic fields constructed by neurons firing as in "your" opinion, then what is thought/s, and how do you distinguish between the Mind and thoughts?

By the way ALL the questions I ask for clarity here in this forum I already know the answers to. I just ask the questions to highlight to the readers how much the people actually do know, what they say they know.
I think we still have a long way to go before we can understand what thought is.
[/quote]

'You' may have a long way to go before you can understand what thought is, but some of us already understand and know exactly what thought is.

OuterLimits
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Re: What is the use of self?

Post by OuterLimits » Sun Oct 02, 2016 3:42 am

bahman wrote:
OuterLimits wrote:
bahman wrote:
We can determine the function of something by studying which type of outputs we get by having certain type of inputs.
Does that imply that the function was somehow "designed in"?
Yes.
OuterLimits wrote: A hole that you throw animals into, and only the largest are able to climb out - do I then deduce some sort of "animal selecting function" to the hole?
Yes.
By whom? I guarantee, plenty of holes exist that will trap some animals but not others, that occur naturally, without any person designing them.

Ginkgo
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Re: What is the use of self?

Post by Ginkgo » Sun Oct 02, 2016 10:23 am

bahman wrote:What is the use of self?
According to neurophilosopher Jesse Prinz the sense of self is not part of our conscious experience, rather it is something we infer from our experiences. There is nothing that represents the self in that there is no thinker of our experience. This agrees with Hume who claimed we can never view ourselves in any unified way that we can call the self.The self is a vantage point or the ability to view the world from a particular perspective. When we look into our experiences there is nothing that counts as the self. We can describe what we hear, see,smell and taste but there is nothing further that we can recognize as the self.

Above is a brief summary of what Prinz has said and a little bit of interpretation on my part.How the self arises at the intermediate level can be read on the following link:

http://ndpr.nd.edu/news/36606-the-consc ... xperience/

Belinda
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Re: What is the use of self?

Post by Belinda » Sun Oct 02, 2016 10:28 am

Is my sense of self identified with preservation and enhancement of my life or with the preservation and enhancement of the life of my family, my nation, my 'race', my species, or my ideas?

Ginkgo
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Re: What is the use of self?

Post by Ginkgo » Sun Oct 02, 2016 10:56 am

Belinda wrote:Is my sense of self identified with preservation and enhancement of my life or with the preservation and enhancement of the life of my family, my nation, my 'race', my species, or my ideas?
According to Prinz the self arises before they become abstract categories of thought.

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bahman
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Re: What is the use of self?

Post by bahman » Sun Oct 02, 2016 2:34 pm

Ginkgo wrote: ...The self is a vantage point or the ability to view the world from a particular perspective...
What do you exactly mean with this part? What happen if we lose our sense of self?

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bahman
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Re: What is the use of self?

Post by bahman » Sun Oct 02, 2016 5:47 pm

ken wrote: Yes, but because that sense of self is created by the brain this means it is NOT the real Self. That sense of self, which I call the small 's' self is only a concept created by the brain. You again used a word 'your' to refer to a self that owns the brain. That sense of self is just an individual person caused by a brain and who we think we are. This self is just made up of thoughts (and internal) feelings. This sense of self can not be the 'my' in "my thinking", nor the 'my' nor 'your' in "my brain" or "your brain", because this self is the thinking itself. 'My' implies ownership. The owner of all thoughts, thinking or brain activities is the real and True Self. This True Self is the 'I' in the question who am 'I'?
I don't think we have two selves. I think the sense of self is all we have since there is no need for Self. We need a frame of reference for our activities and that is it. I also don't think that brain can ever create a Self that think separately.
ken wrote: I am stating that seeing one's self as either a dualist or materialist does not make any sense. Truthful, correct and right answers are never found in one or the other. Truthful, correct and right answers are found in both dualism AND materialism, as I explained earlier.
How that could be true? Materialism and dualism oppose each other.
ken wrote: Have you noticed how many times you use 'our' or 'your' to put a 'thing' in reference to some thing else, which you are trying to explain. If 'our' is sense of self in "materialism" and it is 'your' spirit under dualism, then who/what is the 'your' in "your spirit"? You have not made anything clearer yet. You still appear very confused.
"I" is the sense of self in materialism that you experience it directly. It is construct of your brain. "I" is your self in dualism that you could experience its existence too. I have no idea whether this experience is only allowed by collaboration of body and spirit, or we can have this experience by spirit alone. I once had out of body experience.
ken wrote: Are you absolutely positively sure of this?

Just because 'you' do not know some thing, that itself does not mean every one else also does not know that thing. Making wrong assumptions does not help you to become clearer.
There are many theories which claim that they can explain consciousness well but there is no consensus in the scientific community that what is the right theory.
ken wrote: You stated three completely opposing, confusing, and contradictory views:
1. "Mind is construct of your brain activities in materialism". That means there is a 'you', who owns the brain, which constructs a mind.
I stated that the sense of self is created by brain.
ken wrote: 2. "Mind is your spirit under dualism." That means there is a 'you', who owns a spirit, and that spirit is a mind.
That is correct.
ken wrote: 3. "Your mind doesn't have any location." That means there is a 'you', who owns a mind, and that mind does not have any location.

I have stated why and how this is absurd.
You don't owe a mind. Mind, self or spirit is what you are and has a sense of itself under dualism. You have only a sense of self under materialism. For what regards the location of mind, as it was stated, we have no mind under materialism. You have a mind under dualism but that has no location since it is not physical.
ken wrote: These writing would not really be that useful at all to all others.

The response in "your" opinion that the "Mind is the result of electromagnetic fields constructed by neurons firing" still does in no way clarify what the Mind exactly is and how the Mind works exactly.

The answer is obvious when people want to discover this by themselves, instead of trying to find answers in the abundance of confusing and contradictory written material available. This only leads to more and more confusion.

Also, if Mind is the result of electromagnetic fields constructed by neurons firing as in "your" opinion, then what is thought/s, and how do you distinguish between the Mind and thoughts?

By the way ALL the questions I ask for clarity here in this forum I already know the answers to. I just ask the questions to highlight to the readers how much the people actually do know, what they say they know.
Again, there is no mind under materialism. Our experiences including the sense of selves are created by brain. Our thoughts are the result of brain process on subjects matter when they are delivered to conscious mind.

Ginkgo
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Re: What is the use of self?

Post by Ginkgo » Mon Oct 03, 2016 2:50 am

bahman wrote:
Ginkgo wrote: ...The self is a vantage point or the ability to view the world from a particular perspective...
What do you exactly mean with this part? What happen if we lose our sense of self?
Basically, there are three levels of perception. For example, in the first level we have little bits of light information that is conveyed to our brain via the receptive cells in our eyes. The brain organizes these little bits of light information into shapes and forms that enables us to to recognize objects such as tables, cups, people, houses, etc. We have to know that the table we are viewing is the same table looked at from a variety of positions and angles. This is the third or abstract level that allows us to achieve recognition. In order to get from bits of sense data to something that is constant we need to pass through an intermediate level (second level of perception) It is this intermediate level that gives rise to the self. It delivers the world from a particular perspective: "The self is not part of conscious experience it is something we infer from experience." "Consciousness delivers the world not the individual."

Based on the above I would guess that if we lost our sense of self we wouldn't get past the first level of perception. Shapes and forms might possibly blend into each other and we would be confused as to where objects begin or end. This is only a guess on my part, I don't think anyone knows because it is difficult to completely lose the sense of self.
Last edited by Ginkgo on Mon Oct 03, 2016 5:35 am, edited 1 time in total.

Ginkgo
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Re: What is the use of self?

Post by Ginkgo » Mon Oct 03, 2016 3:26 am

bahman wrote:
How that could be true? Materialism and dualism oppose each other.
Yes, you cannot be a materialist and a dualist at the same time.
Bahman wrote:
"I" is the sense of self in materialism that you experience it directly. It is construct of your brain. "I" is your self in dualism that you could experience its existence too. I have no idea whether this experience is only allowed by collaboration of body and spirit, or we can have this experience by spirit alone. I once had out of body experience.
We have to be careful about the "I" in materialism lest we fall into the trap of the Cartesian Theatre. Materialists in philosophy of mind tend to avoid the term "I".

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cartesian_theater

With dualism the "I" is at the centre of thought. Dualism claims that the mind and body interact even though they are made of different substances. How this "interaction" takes place largely depends on the type of dualism.

Justintruth
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Re: What is the use of self?

Post by Justintruth » Mon Oct 03, 2016 6:42 am

The "self" - the idea of having "selves" is very useful and must be retained for a surprising reason.

It is because of the grammar of "second person" - or at least you can see it most clearly there.

So much of philosophy concentrates on clarifying first vs third person ontology. And indeed one must do that but the sheer effort that takes has obscured the second person and bogged us down in preliminaries.

The fact is we experience each other through third person experiences of matter. But we are "wired" to create representation in ourselves of more than the third person objective states of the "bodies" around us. The incarnation is of self in body is provided instinctively by biology as immediately evident. We instinctively experience in those terms. There are areas of the brain devoted to expressions, especially of face, and this gives us the means to represent second person states.

We know each other exist. No, it is not certain. But neither is third person - the brain in the vat - remember? But neither the brain in the vat or the fact that we experience - at least for now - em pathetically through apprehension of the others body prevents us from utilizing the fruits of second and third person "positing" in ontological terms that are immediate, and require no more technical philosophy than a baby has when it smiles and reaches out to touch its mother's face.

The realities of the "touch" or "caress" penetrate deeply and we are endowed in a rich life populated with billions of potential people with whom to have relationships.

There are also the communal modes of the "they" - the second person plural - as it functions in all kinds of parties, tribes, nations, etc. and how screwed up they get with nationalism having build doomsday machines complete with all the documented - pre-planned instructions present in the procedures of - for example the SIOP - the "Single Integrated Operations Plan" that documents exactly how to execute - step by step - button by button - keystroke by keystroke - the destruction of hundreds of millions of "selves".

Yes, we truly do need that concept. How we ever get philosophy off the ground in the West and helping enable some kind of aware knowledge of our destiny as a people becomes the question. Never was it more necessary for philosophy to advise the tyrant.

I appreciate the technical nature of the question but am frustrated that it has not already been answered in our culture. The psuedo - philosophers of naive materialism, the ignorance of conservative political thought, and the "despair" of Kierkegaard re-enforced by the nihilism of Nietzsche all have kept us pinned down like a Japanese carrier at the battle of Midway. The dive bombers are coming. Will we get our philosophy off the ground in time to enter the struggle for - yes - our "selves" - or will we enter the state popularized by images of the Borg or the Hive?

I encourage you to think plainly about these issues and recognize the very practical need for the notion of the self.

Belinda
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Re: What is the use of self?

Post by Belinda » Mon Oct 03, 2016 7:24 am

Ginkgo wrote:
Belinda wrote:Is my sense of self identified with preservation and enhancement of my life or with the preservation and enhancement of the life of my family, my nation, my 'race', my species, or my ideas?
According to Prinz the self arises before they become abstract categories of thought.
I think so.

The baby human identifies itself with its mother. The growing baby at about age of two years feels itself to be separate from its mother. I suggest that once the self is felt to be freed from other individuals it can by stages reappropriate its identity with others most often as a conscious action. The conscious action of identification with others is used by power elites to gather partisans; and is used by the more enlightened religious sects to direct beneficent love towards others.

ken
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Re: What is the use of self?

Post by ken » Mon Oct 03, 2016 2:22 pm

bahman wrote:
ken wrote: Yes, but because that sense of self is created by the brain this means it is NOT the real Self. That sense of self, which I call the small 's' self is only a concept created by the brain. You again used a word 'your' to refer to a self that owns the brain. That sense of self is just an individual person caused by a brain and who we think we are. This self is just made up of thoughts (and internal) feelings. This sense of self can not be the 'my' in "my thinking", nor the 'my' nor 'your' in "my brain" or "your brain", because this self is the thinking itself. 'My' implies ownership. The owner of all thoughts, thinking or brain activities is the real and True Self. This True Self is the 'I' in the question who am 'I'?
I don't think we have two selves. I think the sense of self is all we have since there is no need for Self. We need a frame of reference for our activities and that is it. I also don't think that brain can ever create a Self that think separately.
That is fine, you can think whatever you like. Whether it is right or wrong is another matter.
bahman wrote:
ken wrote: I am stating that seeing one's self as either a dualist or materialist does not make any sense. Truthful, correct and right answers are never found in one or the other. Truthful, correct and right answers are found in both dualism AND materialism, as I explained earlier.
How that could be true? Materialism and dualism oppose each other.
They do NOT oppose each other, people just think they oppose each other. Just like creation and evolution, nature and nurture, et cetera, also do NOT oppose each other. What is found in both of them is truths and falsehoods. Looking at them both from a particular way allows the actual and real Truth to be seen and understood very easily and quickly. The reason why some people want to choose to believe one over the other is the same reason why they believe that there could only be one or the other and that they oppose each other.
bahman wrote:
ken wrote: Have you noticed how many times you use 'our' or 'your' to put a 'thing' in reference to some thing else, which you are trying to explain. If 'our' is sense of self in "materialism" and it is 'your' spirit under dualism, then who/what is the 'your' in "your spirit"? You have not made anything clearer yet. You still appear very confused.
"I" is the sense of self in materialism that you experience it directly. It is construct of your brain. "I" is your self in dualism that you could experience its existence too. I have no idea whether this experience is only allowed by collaboration of body and spirit, or we can have this experience by spirit alone. I once had out of body experience.
You are again not looking at what I am saying and completely disregarding the issue that I posed, that is you say, the sense of self is constructed by the brain, but then you contradict this by using words like 'you' and 'your' in reference to this self, which implies there is another self beyond the sense of self. I am not saying this to necessary clear things up for you, I am just wanting you to notice that you are adding another self onto the sense of self that you are talking about.

Instead of using materialism and dualism to look at this, I suggest to just look into this from a whole new perspective, AND THEN use your already grasped knowledge to find the Truths. You will then discover and understand what needs to be discovered and understood. Obviously the written material that is already available is not that much good at helping to make things clearer for human beings in this day and age.

Maybe if we delved deeper into that out of body experience that you, 'your'-self had, then I could show you more clearly the actual Truth, which comes from noticing the contradictions in your explanations.
bahman wrote:
ken wrote: Are you absolutely positively sure of this?

Just because 'you' do not know some thing, that itself does not mean every one else also does not know that thing. Making wrong assumptions does not help you to become clearer.
There are many theories which claim that they can explain consciousness well but there is no consensus in the scientific community that what is the right theory.
The consensus, or lack of consensus, in the scientific community does NOT make something right or wrong. You said that no one knows some thing. I just queried you on this because even if the whole scientific community was in, or not in, consensus that in itself does not mean that there is not one person who does know that thing and is actually working on how to make that knowledge more easily explainable right now. For example a whole community was in consensus that the sun revolves around the earth, and each one of them would have said, "No one knows the right theory" especially if it was one that was opposing the currently held view by the people in that day and age. The fact was just one person did actually KNOW, the right theory, which was that the earth does revolve around the sun and not the other way around, as most, if not all, believed it was that way.

Some times one person does know, what is right, even if everyone else believes that no one knows. But all the others will never find this out whilst they are assuming and believing otherwise.
bahman wrote:
ken wrote: You stated three completely opposing, confusing, and contradictory views:
1. "Mind is construct of your brain activities in materialism". That means there is a 'you', who owns the brain, which constructs a mind.
I stated that the sense of self is created by brain.
Yet you used the word 'your' to refer to the brain actually being a property of the a self. This is very contradictory. You can not say that the sense of self is created by a brain and also state that that happens in 'your' brain. Either 'you' created the brain, and thus the brain is the property of you, or, the brain created the sense of self, and thus the self is the property of the brain.


bahman wrote:
ken wrote: 2. "Mind is your spirit under dualism." That means there is a 'you', who owns a spirit, and that spirit is a mind.
That is correct.
If you can not see the completely obvious contradiction here, then I think you are not prepared to see it.
bahman wrote:
ken wrote: 3. "Your mind doesn't have any location." That means there is a 'you', who owns a mind, and that mind does not have any location.

I have stated why and how this is absurd.
You don't owe a mind. Mind, self or spirit is what you are and has a sense of itself under dualism. You have only a sense of self under materialism. For what regards the location of mind, as it was stated, we have no mind under materialism. You have a mind under dualism but that has no location since it is not physical.
Disregarding location all together for now because that is of no importance, the issue here is your use of words to describe, what you are admitting here, which is that really you are totally unclear of what actually happens and how the Mind and the brain actually work. I suggest just stop assuming that materialism or dualism alone will provide any meaningful answers to you. The Truth is in both of them, with both of them proving each other, by showing the true, right, and correct parts in the other one.
bahman wrote:
ken wrote: These writing would not really be that useful at all to all others.

The response in "your" opinion that the "Mind is the result of electromagnetic fields constructed by neurons firing" still does in no way clarify what the Mind exactly is and how the Mind works exactly.


The answer is obvious when people want to discover this by themselves, instead of trying to find answers in the abundance of confusing and contradictory written material available. This only leads to more and more confusion.

Also, if Mind is the result of electromagnetic fields constructed by neurons firing as in "your" opinion, then what is thought/s, and how do you distinguish between the Mind and thoughts?

By the way ALL the questions I ask for clarity here in this forum I already know the answers to. I just ask the questions to highlight to the readers how much the people actually do know, what they say they know.
Again, there is no mind under materialism. Our experiences including the sense of selves are created by brain. Our thoughts are the result of brain process on subjects matter when they are delivered to conscious mind.
If that is what you want to believe is right, then so be it. But if you can not make full sense of your thinking here and can not back up what you are saying with clear cut evidence, then it may just be the right time to think about changing the actual way you are looking at this.

If you do want to understand all of this more fully, then I would be glad to help you. But if that brain constructs thoughts that suggest that you know enough already, then feel free to pass up my offer.

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bahman
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Re: What is the use of self?

Post by bahman » Mon Oct 03, 2016 3:20 pm

Ginkgo wrote:
bahman wrote:
Ginkgo wrote: ...The self is a vantage point or the ability to view the world from a particular perspective...
What do you exactly mean with this part? What happen if we lose our sense of self?
Basically, there are three levels of perception. For example, in the first level we have little bits of light information that is conveyed to our brain via the receptive cells in our eyes. The brain organizes these little bits of light information into shapes and forms that enables us to to recognize objects such as tables, cups, people, houses, etc. We have to know that the table we are viewing is the same table looked at from a variety of positions and angles. This is the third or abstract level that allows us to achieve recognition. In order to get from bits of sense data to something that is constant we need to pass through an intermediate level (second level of perception) It is this intermediate level that gives rise to the self. It delivers the world from a particular perspective: "The self is not part of conscious experience it is something we infer from experience." "Consciousness delivers the world not the individual."

Based on the above I would guess that if we lost our sense of self we wouldn't get past the first level of perception. Shapes and forms might possibly blend into each other and we would be confused as to where objects begin or end. This is only a guess on my part, I don't think anyone knows because it is difficult to completely lose the sense of self.
Thank you.

Ginkgo
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Re: What is the use of self?

Post by Ginkgo » Tue Oct 04, 2016 2:55 am

bahman wrote: How that could be true? Materialism and dualism oppose each other.
ken wrote: They do NOT oppose each other, people just think they oppose each other. Just like creation and evolution, nature and nurture, et cetera, also do NOT oppose each other. What is found in both of them is truths and falsehoods. Looking at them both from a particular way allows the actual and real Truth to be seen and understood very easily and quickly. The reason why some people want to choose to believe one over the other is the same reason why they believe that there could only be one or the other and that they oppose each other.
The reason they oppose each other is because dualism claims mental events are not physical events. For example, in Descartes' dualism where the mind and body are seen to be made of different substances. Other dualist theories claim that mind and body are not identical. For example, property dualism makes the claim that physical substances contain a mental property and a physical property. On the other hand, materialism is a monist theory and claims the only thing that exist are physical things. In other words, all mental events are physical events. Mind and body is a single entity or part of a dual entity, it can't be both.

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