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On 4 Aug 2001, at 22:32, Dace wrote:
> > On 3 Aug 2001, at 8:40, Bill Spight wrote:
> > > Dear Joe,
> > >
> > > > > But that "I", for me, depends on my brain, and could not have
> > > > > been a giraffe. That's the illusion I was referring to.
> > > > >
> > > > The fact that the self depends upon its material substrate brain
> > > > for its existence is a point in favor of the existence of the
> > > > self, not an argument against it. But your existence is not an
> > > > illusion
> > >
> > > I am not arguing that the self or personal existence is an
> > > illusion.
> > >
> > > The illusion is the belief that the self has an existence that is
> > > independent of one's physical existence, and thus could have been
> > > a giraffe, or a rock, or anything else.
> > >
> > True enough.
> Don't give up so easily, Joe. The self, by definition, is singular.
> It's not a composite. Physics is the analysis of things according to
> their relations, both internal and external. It's not that the "self"
> is an independent entity apart from the body, but that the body
> *itself* is whole and self-referential. How can the concept of self
> be refuted by taking on a "self" which is defined apart from something
> else? Self-existence is that which is defined in accord to itself.
> You've conceded to a strawman argument.
I wasn't giving up, as anyone who reads what I wrote after those words
could readily tell. I NEVER give up when I am right, and if the
issue is whether I AM or not, then there can be no doubt. The self
DOES NOT have an independent existence; kill the brain and the
self dies, This does not mean, however, that the self does not
exist. Don''t back-pat for an audience until you deserve it, which
you most assuredly do not, because they can tell it's a pretense.
> > Selves exist in dynamic interrelation with their environing world,
> > that is, they are neither mindlessly merged into identicality with
> > it not nonrelationally bifurcated from it. "Neti, neti", the sage
> > said, meaning not this, not that, and such sums up the self's
> > relation with the world from which it emerged, to which it
> > nevertheless belongs, and which it recursively views; we are at once
> > not and not- not the world in which we find ourselves. To be
> > between nonrelationality and identicality is to be in relation.
> If we're not the world, then whatever we are is defined in contrast to
> the world, that is, in relation to it.
Are you really so oblivious that you don't recognize my original
point, or are you cynically trying to take credit for it? What do you
think Heidegger's Dasein translates into? Being-in-the-world, that
is, being-there. All the old-timers full well now that I've been
making these selfsame points, with Robin, among others, for years.
>You can't be "nonrelationally
> bifurcated." Bifurcation from something implies a relationship to it.
If you accept the idea that it involves branches with a common
limb; I intend bifurcation in the way catastrophe theory intends it,
as a radical, nonlinear, noncontinuous, nonrelational separation.
Check out CATASTROPHE THEORY by V. I. Arnold.
> But it's not a set of extrinsic relationships that defines us. The
> physical world is the relation of its parts to each other. We are the
> world in relation to itself. Like the world, we are whole.
We are that part of the world that has evolved to the point of self-
and other-awareness, that is, to the point where we, as a part, may
contemplate the whole. Of course, we are still comprised of matter-
energy, but the dynamically recursive complex configurational
patternings of the stuff of which we find ourselves comprised (the
human brain id the most complex system we know of its size)
allow us to do some very special things, like perception, memory,
knowledge, imagination and cognition, and grant us (in my opinion)
a very privileged position shared by very little of the matter-energy
in the universe, as far as we know (that is, if you place any valus
on such capacities, which mosy surely the unconscious universe
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This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the
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For information about the journal and the list (e.g. unsubscribing)
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