X-Message-Number: 23819
Date: Tue, 6 Apr 2004 08:24:23 -0400
From: Thomas Donaldson <>
Subject: CryoNet #23813 - #23818

Hi everyone again!

1. I do not agree that the workings and role of our memory must 
   remain questions for philosophy alone. As we understand more
   about how our brains work, we'll also understand more about
   memory. (Note that even now most speak of it as one thing, while
   scientific experiments have shown that there are several different
   kinds, with different factors affecting their survival).

2. It follows that experiments on how our brains work will necessarily
   tell us much about how our identity and sense of self works, and
   along with that tell us that some ideas about identity and self
   must simply fail and CANNOT work. Indeed, the second result will
   probably come well before the first.

3. As for our sense of personal identity, I will hypothesize that
   it is not one thing for everyone, but something which varies (to
   some extent) with person. The variations come from how much
   we each value particular memories and pieces of memory. If I am
   a concert pianist, not only will I have the skill of playing the
   piano, but I will also be intensively involved in music itself,
   hear music much better than those who aren't, and have many other
   characteristics that accompany that of concert pianist. My brain,
   in fact, will probably have those parts dealing with music grown
   larger than those of someone who ISN'T a concert pianist.

   A concert pianist who loses even part of his memories for playing
   the piano and all that they bring with them will feel that his
   identity has been badly damaged. Yet someone devoted to flying
   airplanes, and incidentally learned to play the piano as a child,
   will find such a loss almost irrelevant.

   But I suspect there's much more to the workings of identity in
   our brain than even this issue. It will be fascinating to find
   out, even if we must wait for our revival to do so.

              Best wishes and long long life for all,

                    Thomas Donaldson

PS: Memory is one of the subjects I concentrate on in PERIASTRON

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