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mmg's picture

The physical and the elusive

The I function bothers me. Actually, the I function, and what it is itself doesnt bother me, but it being a box in our other boxes bothers me. The way I see it, the other boxes we have spoken of so far are actual physical entities. Nuerons, Amygdala, Neocortex, they're phsyical representations of the nervous system, one fitting into the other or combining into another. The action and resting potentials too are actual phsyical (and chemical) changes taking place with the movement of ions in nuerons.

But the I function can't be pinned down. It's elusive. It's essentially who we are. At this point I realise that so far, we have agreed that all that we are is a function of the way the brain acts, and this then gives that the I function is a function of the brain. But, is it, really? What of people in a persistent vegetative state? They have lost large amounts of the I-function, but the brain is not dead.

And for something as abstract and complicated as the I-function (a person's character, individuality, decision making), can just physical interactions between nuerons be held accountable? I find it hard to get my head around this divide.

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