X-Message-Number: 14119
Date: Wed, 19 Jul 2000 10:48:11 EDT
Subject: self and amnesia

James Swayze (#14117) relates the story of a severe amnesia in which the 
victim first loses knowledge of even what she was, let alone who she was, and 
later prefers her new persona to her old one.He then remarks that the 
victim's "knower" apparently "took a hike."

Not in my view. What was lost was not the knower, or the self circuit or 
subjective circuit, but aspects of cognition--in part, connections and 
integration with other subsystems in the brain. As I said, the same "knower" 
with different "knowns" would seem like a different person, even subjectively 
(if there were some way to make the comparison), and that raises (or reminds 
us of) philosophical problems which do not yet have any answer. 

We should do two things. The first, of course, is just to keep pushing the 
frontiers of knowledge and practical capabilities, place our bets and take 
our chances.

The second is to keep in mind that our collective ignorance is still 
monumental, and in no circumstance whatever is it logical to abandon hope 

Robert Ettinger
Cryonics Institute
Immortalist Society

Rate This Message: http://www.cryonet.org/cgi-bin/rate.cgi?msg=14119