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magicalaurie
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"Here, BSD is considered as analogous to decapitation, whereby damage has occurred to the brain stem and no information can be exchanged between the body and the higher brain."

Http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.11......3.x/full

FWIW, as I mentioned above, I don't believe there is a personal identity "problem". We don't live in a vacuum. It's that simple. We're all connected and our personal identities are influenced by the personal identities of others. We get by with a little help from our friends. We are one. That's our personal identity, period. I just don't think this body transplantation issue is quite as revolutionary as it may appear at first glance. I do think there's a lot of hype surrounding it.
magicalaurie
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Also from the article cited above: "What they shared was a continuation of the maternal role that they had had with the deceased and the emphasis therefore is on the previous relationship with the person and not the representation of their body."


"This research indicates the importance and existence of ties to the dis-embodied self that are strongly related to previous corporeal existence."

"The analytical value of this research suggests, quite simply, that regardless of how clinically detached one is, or purports to be, the strength of previous social/kinship relationships can prove overwhelming, especially for parents in the present study."
Magnus Eisengrim
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I don't mean to be pedantic, Laurie, but there are a number of deep, unresolved philosophical problems associated with personal identity. These include questions of what it means to be the same person over time. Another is distinguishing (in general) persons from non-persons.

In addition to this, we have general questions of perception. A person seems understand her/himself in relation to the world through the senses. What is the effect of having a different set of bodily senses?

Some of the issues will remain strictly philosophical, but some of our discussion will be enriched by the data gathered through such procedures.

And whether we are ready or not, procedures of this time are part of our future. (It makes me a bit queasy to be sure.)
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.--Yeats
stoneunhinged
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As y'all know, I'm mostly formed by ancient Greek philosophy, not modern. We talk a lot about the "soul". And I suspect that the "soul" is always connected to the whole of a person, so I understand what Laurie is saying.

On the other hand, it is VERY interesting (to say the least) to think about whether the "soul" is located in the head alone. There was a Star Trek episode about this, wasn't there?
Magnus Eisengrim
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Don't know about episodes, but the Star Trek teleporter raises an interesting and related question. As I understand the "technology" the teleporter extracts all the relevant information from your body, destroys your body and recreates it in a distant location using locally available materials. For the purposes of the story, everyone goes along with this. But is that person assembled from your information really you? Would you really go along with this plan even though the physical you is destroyed and somewhere some other creature is indistinguishable from you?
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.--Yeats
CThomas
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There's a phase 2 to the teleporter thought experiment, which may be from Parfit. Everyone decides that the teleporter preserves your personal identity, because after all it isn't the particular atoms (which are always changing anyway) that matter to your personal identity, but rather the functional configuration of your nervous system, which can be perfectly reproduced by the machine.

One day, you get into the teleporter as usual, and you teleport yourself to another planet. Everything seems fine to you -- just another intergalactic jaunt. But what you don't know is that there was a malfunction in the machine at the place of your departure, and it failed to destroy the "original" version of you. The "you" who had entered the machine pushed the "transmit" button but nothing happened so far as he could tell, and he just got out of the machine and had to buy a ticket on an old-fashioned spaceship to get across the galaxy. So now there are two versions of "you" walking around in different places. At the moment after the re-created "you" was formed in the remote galaxy, when the "original you" remained back on planet 1, which was the "real" you? Both? Neither?

Lots of people have the intuition that the "real" you had to be the guy who got into the teleporter and failed to be destroyed. But that creates problems for the previous intuition that the teleporter preserves personal identity when it works properly (destroying the original). And that in turn creates problems for personal identity that rest on the view that it doesn't matter when the atoms of your body are changed out over time through natural biological processes.
stoneunhinged
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All interesting. Thanks Magnus and CThomas.

But I think I was thinking of "Gamesters of Triskelion", where the brains in jars are real beings. Of course, there is also Shahna:

Click here to view attached image.
Chessmann
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"Goodbye...Jim Kirk. I will look at the lights...in the sky..."
My ex-cat was named "Muffin". "Vomit" would be a better name for her. AKA "The Evil Ball of Fur".
Josh Riel
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I like how this one conversation in worthy of a call out!

http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewt......forum=32

To the extent that another even equally absurd thread gets locked so that the thread gets the attention it needs.
Magic is doing improbable things with odd items that, under normal circumstances, would be unnessecary and quite often undesirable.
Starrpower
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Quote:
On Apr 13, 2015, Magnus Eisengrim wrote:
the teleporter extracts all the relevant information from your body, destroys your body and recreates it in a distant location using locally available materials.


Not being a Trekkie (or Trekker, take your pick), I don't know if that's true or not; I have also heard characters discuss their atoms being scattered about which seems to go against this. Regardless, there was a Michael Crichton novel called "Timeline" in which this was more or less the method he described for time travel.

There is also a theory I have heard that since our body cells are constantly being replaced, perhaps we are already not ourselves. It's too deep for me ...

I would think there would be a huge rejection rate with something as complex as a head.
Magnus Eisengrim
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Quote:
On May 24, 2015, Starrpower wrote:
Quote:
On Apr 13, 2015, Magnus Eisengrim wrote:
the teleporter extracts all the relevant information from your body, destroys your body and recreates it in a distant location using locally available materials.


Not being a Trekkie (or Trekker, take your pick), I don't know if that's true or not; I have also heard characters discuss their atoms being scattered about which seems to go against this. Regardless, there was a Michael Crichton novel called "Timeline" in which this was more or less the method he described for time travel.

There is also a theory I have heard that since our body cells are constantly being replaced, perhaps we are already not ourselves. It's too deep for me ...

I would think there would be a huge rejection rate with something as complex as a head.


The basic question is very old. Imagine that Theseus had a ship. Every day, some board or other part of the ship (a mast or a sail, for example) is defective and needs to be replaced. Eventually, of course, every board on the ship has been replaced at some time or other: not one single part of the ship remains from the original construction.

Does Theseus still have the same ship he started out with? It seems on the one hand that he has a completely different ship than he began with. On the other, it seems that on any given day the replacement of a single part doesn't make the ship different than it was the day before.

To take the question a bit further, suppose someone were to save all the old parts (they were old, but not useless in this version) and build a second ship. Which one (if either) is Theseus's original ship?
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.--Yeats
Starrpower
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I have a 1980 Corvette. I have replaced much of it, including the engine. I cannot sell it as an original vehicle, since the parts numbers don't match.

So yes, he has a new(er) ship, and neither ship is original; he merely has a second ship constructed from reclaimed lumber. Unless each and every piece is the same, which I think it unlikely. Is London Bridge the same bridge that's in Arizona? Most would agree it's just been dismantled and moved.

Do you have the same body you had when you were 20, John?

But in your original Star Trek example, you were talking about having a body made from completely different materials so it's a moot point.
Pakar Ilusi
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Brain transplant?
"Dreams aren't a matter of Chance but a matter of Choice." -DC-
Magnus Eisengrim
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Quote:
On May 24, 2015, Starrpower wrote:
I have a 1980 Corvette. I have replaced much of it, including the engine. I cannot sell it as an original vehicle, since the parts numbers don't match.

So yes, he has a new(er) ship, and neither ship is original; he merely has a second ship constructed from reclaimed lumber. Unless each and every piece is the same, which I think it unlikely. Is London Bridge the same bridge that's in Arizona? Most would agree it's just been dismantled and moved.

Do you have the same body you had when you were 20, John?



Ah, this is the distinction I was hoping to make. My body is different. But I am the same John. How is it possible that I am the same person, even though every cell of my body is different from when I was 20? Now THAT'S the question.
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.--Yeats
Starrpower
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That's why I brought it up. If EVERY SINGLE CELL is different, then how can we remember things from 35 years ago, since the memory cells are no longer here? Is the "all new cells" thing just an urban myth?
Magnus Eisengrim
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Quote:
On May 24, 2015, Starrpower wrote:
That's why I brought it up. If EVERY SINGLE CELL is different, then how can we remember things from 35 years ago, since the memory cells are no longer here? Is the "all new cells" thing just an urban myth?


Nope, we have continuity over time. It just isn't material continuity. But what is it to be the same person over time? It's a very old conundrum.
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.--Yeats
Starrpower
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So we don't really need a head transplant. Just wait long enough and we'll have a new body!
Magnus Eisengrim
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Quote:
On May 24, 2015, Starrpower wrote:
So we don't really need a head transplant. Just wait long enough and we'll have a new body!


I know you're joking, but this is an interesting twist. Maybe we can regenerate parts more quickly in the future.
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.--Yeats
mastermindreader
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Quote:
On May 24, 2015, Starrpower wrote:
That's why I brought it up. If EVERY SINGLE CELL is different, then how can we remember things from 35 years ago, since the memory cells are no longer here? Is the "all new cells" thing just an urban myth?


Not an myth at all. Memory exists not n the cells themselves, but in the pattern of connections between them.
rockwall
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