On 2/19/2013 1:45 PM, Jason Resch wrote:

On Tue, Feb 19, 2013 at 3:33 PM, meekerdb <meeke...@verizon.net <mailto:meeke...@verizon.net>> wrote:

    On 2/18/2013 10:49 PM, Jason Resch wrote:

        3. We need not our memories to be ourselves.  Imagine concentrating 
heavily on
        some task, such as taking an exam, or driving in perilous conditions.  
        become so focused on your task that you use almost none of your 
personal long
        term memories.  In principal, large portions of your brain could be 
        without impacting your performance or experience.

    I think that is very doubtful.  You seem to equate memory entirely with 
    narrative memory, but what we think consciously is only a small part of our
    thinking.  In fact it might be a quite small part that could be 
disconnected.  When
    I think of the solution to a problem it often just 'pops into my head'.  It
    obviously depended on my memory, because, for example, I didn't just 
    invent calculus to solve it.

Think of how many neurons are dedicated to other things completely unrelated to taking the test: appreciating music, catching a baseball, tasting food, swimming, and so on.

How do you know that catching a baseball is *completely* unrelated? I very much doubt that there is a one-to-one mapping between functions and neurons.

Certianly, our experiences shape us in ways we aren't always aware, and unconscious thought plays a big part of solutions we come up with, but when you are for instance, meditating and thinking of almost nothing, but how much of what you consider uniquely defines you as an individual, really goes into that experience? (of meditating, concentrating on an SAT question)?

What uniquely defines me as an individual (if I am unique) is my moment-to-moment position and viewpoint as well as my stream of consciousness over time intervals. I may have the same thought as you momentarily, but I'm seeing a different room and typing on a different keyboard and my next thought is different than yours.


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