X-Message-Number: 14122
Date: Wed, 19 Jul 2000 11:13:08 -0700
From: Mike Perry <>
Subject: Re: Where is the self?

Marty Kardon, #14114, writes

>A physician friend of mine indicates that there is a neural net of sorts in
>the abdominal area, thus the expression and experience of "gut feelings."
>He told me that there are actually serotonin processes down there [forgive
>the vagueness of that statement - I don't have enough medical background to
>be more biologically accurate]
>In any event, this would speak against the neuro option - consciousness may
>not be entirely behind the eyeballs- and the whole may be greater than the
>sum of the parts which themselves are derived from unexpected locations.

Quadriplegiacs (or maybe paraplegiacs) ought to be able to comment on
whether they think a substantial part of identity would be contained in the
neural structure of the abdominal region. We need to consider, not just
whether this region can be considered *important* in normal mental life, but
whether it might be replaced if missing, based on genetic information, the
subject's memories, etc. Does it contain any important *information* that
would be lost if the body were reconstructed from a neuro? I should note
that I don't subscribe to the point of view that original material is
necessary so "you" return to life and not just some similar individual. A
copy of you is you (my firmly held though not dogmatic opinion). This gets
into a subject area that has already been much discussed on this forum, but
if newcomers aren't familiar with the discussion, we may be in for another

Mike Perry

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