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Me and My Body
July 27, 2008, 10:11 am
Filed under: Philosophical Anthropology, Philosophy

A brain scientist scans my brain. He maps all of my neurological processes in exact detail. He correlates certain firing patterns in certain parts of my brain with certain aspects of my mental life.

Suppose one day he is able to tell, from a brain scan alone, I’m thinking specifically about a Kit-Kat candy bar, not even just candy in general.

I understand this is not yet possible. But one day it might be. Still, even then, a huge chasm will exist between me and the brain scientist. The brain scientist will never be able to relate to my brain as I do. He won’t me able to ‘see’ the Kit-Kat as I do, no matter how well he knows my brain. I attend to the Kit-Kat from my brain in a way the brain scientist never will be able to.

And so long as the brain scientist attends focally to my brain, I, as a person, will disolve from view. If he attends from the scan of my brain to me, he will come into contact with me. His intelligent integration, from the brain scan to me, would be a personal act that cannot be impersonally formalized. In this way, logically, I cannot be reduced to my brain. Attend focally to my brain and I drop out of view. This, even if my brain is a kind of necessary boundry condition for my existence. The fact remains that I transcend my brain – I cannot be reduced to my brain. I’m not my brain.


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