RE: Mind/Body dualism What's the deal?

From: Lee Corbin (
Date: Wed Aug 15 2001 - 10:19:19 MDT

Helen Fowle asks

> So you're saying that although our sense of self is about how we see and interact with
> others, it has no bearing on how we interact with our body - that is, by changing the
> body, the self remains the same? And that if our body becomes loaded with more functions
> and more senses via uploading, or less drastic modifications, then our 'self' will not
> affected by this? You need to explain more Mike, I really haven't got the jist of what
> you were saying.

Well, I can't speak for Mike, but the contention of many of us is that while of course
the body is important to one's self-image, one's self would not necessarily change in
the important ways if one were to obtain bodily enhancements or be uploaded. Naturally
one's self would be affected; but you are affected every time you put on different
clothes or visit a tatoo artist. But the key point is that one can "suffer" such
changes without becoming a different person.

Let me ask you a question, Helen. Suppose that via an advanced surgical technique
your brain could be removed from your body and placed in another's. Would you
necessarily be a different person? I always enjoyed the science fiction of
Jack Chalker ("Midnight at the Well of Souls"), and he often had men's minds
moving to women's bodies and vice-versa. He rendered excellent descriptions
of what you might think and feel in a different body, while still remaining
indubitably yourself.

Lee Corbin

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