<!DOCTYPE html><HTML lang="en"> <head><meta charset="utf-8"> <title>Self: Philosophy In Transit (Dainton (Barry)) - Theo Todman's Book Collection (Book-Paper Abstracts)</title> <link href="../../../TheosStyle.css" rel="stylesheet" type="text/css"><link rel="shortcut icon" href="../../../TT_ICO.png" /> </head> <a name="Top"></a> <BODY> <div id="header"> <HR><H1>Theo Todman's Book Collection (Book-Paper Abstracts)</H1></div> <hr><CENTER><TABLE class = "Bridge" WIDTH=950><tr><td colspan =3><A HREF = "../BookSummary_6364.htm">Self: Philosophy In Transit</A></td></tr><tr><td colspan =3><A HREF = "../../../Authors/D/Author_Dainton (Barry).htm">Dainton (Barry)</a></td></tr><tr><td colspan =3>This Page provides (where held) the <b>Abstract</b> of the above <b>Book</b> and those of all the <b>Papers</b> contained in it.</td></tr><tr><td><A HREF="#ColourConventions">Text Colour-Conventions</a></td><td><A HREF = "../BookCitings_6364.htm">Books / Papers Citing this Book</A></td><td><A HREF = "../BooksToNotes_6364.htm">Notes Citing this Book</A></td></tr></tr></TABLE></CENTER><hr> <p><B>Authors Citing this Book</B>: <A HREF = "../../../Authors/D/Author_Dainton (Barry).htm">Dainton (Barry)</A></p><hr> <P ALIGN = "Justify"><FONT Size = 2 FACE="Arial"><FONT COLOR = "0000FF"><B>BOOK ABSTRACT: </B><BR><BR><u>Amazon Book Description</u><FONT COLOR = "800080"><ol type="1"><li>In the third in a new series of short, provoking books of original philosophy, acclaimed thinker Barry Dainton takes us through the nature of Self.</li><li>When you think '<a name="1"></a><A HREF="../../../Notes/Notes_7/Notes_734.htm">What am I</A><SUP>1</SUP>?', what's actually doing the thinking? Is it a soul, or some other kind of mental entity separate from your body, or are 'you' just a collection of nerve-endings and narratives? </li><li>Barry Dainton takes us through the nature of <em>Self</em> and its relation to the rest of reality. Starting his journey with Descartes' claim that we are non-physical beings (even if it seems otherwise), and Locke's view that a person is self-conscious matter (though not necessarily in human form), Dainton explores how today's rapid movement of people, and information, affects our understanding of self. <ul type="disc"><li>When technology re-configures our minds, will it remake us, or kill us? </li><li>If teleportation becomes possible, would it be rational to use it? </li><li>Could we achieve immortality by <a name="2"></a><A HREF="../../../Notes/Notes_12/Notes_1246.htm">uploading</A><SUP>2</SUP> ourselves into virtual worlds? </li></ul></li><li>Far-reaching and witty, <em>Self</em> is a spirited exploration of the idea that in a constantly-changing world, we and our bodies can go their <U><A HREF="#On-Page_Link_B6364_3">separate</A></U><SUB>3</SUB><a name="On-Page_Return_B6364_3"></A> ways. </li></ol></FONT><BR><HR><BR><U><B>In-Page Footnotes</U> (<a name="3"></a>"<A HREF = "../../../BookSummaries/BookSummary_06/BookPaperAbstracts/BookPaperAbstracts_6364.htm">Dainton (Barry) - Self: Philosophy In Transit</A>")</B><a name="On-Page_Link_B6364_3"></A><BR><BR><U><A HREF="#On-Page_Return_B6364_3"><B>Footnote 3</B></A></U>: This strikes me as utterly misguided, but I therefore need to engage with it. <BR><BR><FONT COLOR = "0000FF"><HR><B>BOOK COMMENT: </B><ul type="disc"><li>Penguin (24 April 2014) </li><li>For a useful website covering aspects of the book, see Dainton's <a name="W2772W"></a><A HREF = "http://barrydainton.com/self/" TARGET = "_top">Link</A> (Defunct). </li></ul></P> <P ALIGN = "Justify"><FONT Size = 2 FACE="Arial"><FONT COLOR = "0000FF"><HR><BR>"<B><A HREF = "../../../PaperSummaries/PaperSummary_21/PaperSummary_21149.htm">Dainton (Barry) - Self: Philosophy In Transit: Prologue</A></B>"<BR><BR><B>Source</B>: Dainton (Barry) - Self: Philosophy In Transit, Prologue<BR><FONT COLOR = "0000FF"><BR><BR><u>Notes</u><ol type="1"><li>The chapter starts off with a well-dramatized rendering of a <A HREF="../../../Notes/Notes_0/Notes_32.htm">TE</A><SUP>1</SUP> that is acknowledged as having first appeared in "<A HREF = "../../../Abstracts/Abstract_00/Abstract_802.htm">Dennett (Daniel) - Where Am I?</A>".<ul type="disc"><li>The conceit of the TE is that I wake up having found that my brain has been removed and held to ransom in a vat of nutrients. </li><li>In contrast with many <A HREF="../../../Notes/Notes_0/Notes_56.htm">BIV</A><SUP>2</SUP> cases, the BIV doesn t receive simulated experience, but real experience because the brain is in contact with the body by remote control. </li><li>Of course there s some hand-waving description  a  transducer in your skull is connected by wires to your ears, eyes, spinal cord, & and the brain is connected via a bundle of wires to a computer. The communication  two-way transmission of information  is  for all practical purposes just the <U><A HREF="#On-Page_Link_P21149_3">same</A></U><SUB>3</SUB><a name="On-Page_Return_P21149_3"></A> as if your brain was in your skull attached in the normal way to your sense organs and spinal cord. </li><li>Everything feels  <em>exactly</em> as <U><A HREF="#On-Page_Link_P21149_4">normal</A></U><SUB>4</SUB><a name="On-Page_Return_P21149_4"></A>; pain reception and physical coordination are given as examples. </li><li>The hero of the TE is said to be a neuroscientist who  for many years  has been 100% sure that  we <em><A HREF="../../../Notes/Notes_7/Notes_734.htm">are</A><SUP>5</SUP></em> our <A HREF="../../../Notes/Notes_0/Notes_55.htm">brains</A><SUP>6</SUP> , given the way our minds depend on it, and are affected by damage to it. </li><li>If so, he ought to feel that <em>he</em> is in the vat, but he doesn t. Knowing where your brain is has no effect on your belief that  you are situated somewhere within your (now substantially empty) skull. </li><li>We are referred to <A HREF = "http://barrydainton.com/self/case-of-the-missing-brain-a-closer-look/" TARGET = "_top">Link</A> (Defunct) for a  closer look . </li></ul> </li><li>Dainton now briefly regales the virtues of  and necessity for  philosophical <A HREF="../../../Notes/Notes_0/Notes_32.htm">TEs</A><SUP>7</SUP> in general. This one (due to Dennett, as noted above) raises the question  <A HREF="../../../Notes/Notes_7/Notes_734.htm">what are we?</a> ().</li><li>We can be as certain of our existence as we can of anything, but what sort of thing are we? What is doing the <U><A HREF="#On-Page_Link_P21149_8">thinking</A></U><SUB>8</SUB><a name="On-Page_Return_P21149_8"></A>? <ol type="i"><li>It is natural to suppose that we are Human <A HREF="../../../Notes/Notes_0/Notes_74.htm">Beings</A><SUP>9</SUP>  members of the species <em>homo <A HREF="../../../Notes/Notes_0/Notes_11.htm">sapiens</A><SUP>10</SUP></em> but many people think that while we  have <A HREF="../../../Notes/Notes_0/Notes_18.htm">bodies</A><SUP>11</SUP>, we are more than biological <A HREF="../../../Notes/Notes_1/Notes_113.htm">organisms</A><SUP>12</SUP>. </li><li>Dainton gives some stats to the effect that around 70% of people think that there s more to us that biology and that we have  or are  <A HREF="../../../Notes/Notes_1/Notes_100.htm">souls</A><SUP>13</SUP>. The point of us <em>being</em>, rather than merely <em>having</em>, souls is that the motivation for souls is the hope or expectation of <A HREF="../../../Notes/Notes_0/Notes_67.htm">post-mortem</A><SUP>14</SUP> survival. Since what s worth having is one s  personality, intellect and conscious mental life , a soul is akin to a <A HREF="../../../Notes/Notes_11/Notes_1137.htm">mind</A><SUP>15</SUP>. </ol></li><li>The purpose of this book is to look at competing views of the <A HREF="../../../Notes/Notes_0/Notes_98.htm">Self</A><SUP>16</SUP>. Just what is the self? In particular, Dainton wants to see whether the self is separable from the body. It need not be a soul, but he wants some bearer of our psychological capacities that can survive the destruction of our physical bodies. </li><li>Dainton says  correctly  that the nature of the self is not just of theoretical interest. But his example is  with accelerating computer technology, and advances in neuroscience and medicine the separation of selves from their bodies may become practical, and this will require us to  re-examine the ethical and metaphysical underpinnings of our legal frameworks related to personhood . This may be so, but in my view, the issues are entirely <U><A HREF="#On-Page_Link_P21149_17">different</A></U><SUB>17</SUB><a name="On-Page_Return_P21149_17"></A> with respect to advances in computer technology, as against medicine and neuroscience. </li><li>Dainton mentions two further standard TEs: <A HREF="../../../Notes/Notes_0/Notes_48.htm">Brain State Transfers</a> and <A HREF="../../../Notes/Notes_0/Notes_46.htm">Teletransportation</A><SUP>18</SUP>. His conclusion  fairly standard for those supportive of the <A HREF="../../../Notes/Notes_1/Notes_114.htm">PV</A><SUP>19</SUP>  is that these TEs demonstrate  whether or not these technologies are ever possible  that we are separable from our bodies, in that we d have  he claims  all that <A HREF="../../../Notes/Notes_1/Notes_108.htm">matters</A><SUP>20</SUP> to us in these circumstances. I <U><A HREF="#On-Page_Link_P21149_21">doubt</A></U><SUB>21</SUB><a name="On-Page_Return_P21149_21"></A> this. He also says that such TEs help us focus on  those features of our lives that are essential to our existence . This sentence is capable of being <U><A HREF="#On-Page_Link_P21149_22">misunderstood</A></U><SUB>22</SUB><a name="On-Page_Return_P21149_22"></A>. </li><li>Dainton claims  reasonably enough  that <A HREF="../../../Notes/Notes_0/Notes_61.htm">consciousness</A><SUP>23</SUP> is amongst the most important qualities of selves, despite it being an ill-understood and contentious phenomenon. <ol type="i"><li>While we all know what phenomenal consciousness feels like, the problem with consciousness is its relation to the physical world  in particular the brain. Is consciousness physical or non-physical? Science has advanced by being objective, yet consciousness is essentially subjective. </li><li>Dainton locates the  problem in the conception of the physical world that arose in the Scientific Revolution. </li><li>What Dainton characterises as the most promising  solutions will have contrasting implications for the nature and transformability of selves and their relation to the physical world. </ol></li><li>Returning to the  <A HREF="../../../Notes/Notes_12/Notes_1246.htm">uploading</A><SUP>24</SUP> to computer possibility alluded to before, he floats the idea that  if such practices become possible and cheap  the number of computer-generated selves might in the future greatly exceed the number of physical selves  and that in consequence we ourselves might be such. He will investigate whether such ideas make <U><A HREF="#On-Page_Link_P21149_25">sense</A></U><SUB>25</SUB><a name="On-Page_Return_P21149_25"></A>. </li><li>Dainton now notes that the Self  defined as a mental thing separable from the body  has a bad press today, and is assumed to have been <U><A HREF="#On-Page_Link_P21149_26">exploded</A></U><SUB>26</SUB><a name="On-Page_Return_P21149_26"></A> by science. Dainton, however, hopes to demonstrate that a concept of a  unified conscious subject is coherent and scientifically respectable. </li><li>He will in the next chapter ("<A HREF = "../../../PaperSummaries/PaperSummary_21/PaperSummary_21155.htm">Dainton (Barry) - Dreams and Destinations</A>") address the question what modes of transport selves can survive and claims that only <U><A HREF="#On-Page_Link_P21149_27">metaphysics</A></U><SUB>27</SUB><a name="On-Page_Return_P21149_27"></A>  rather than the physical sciences  has the answer. </li></ol></P><BR><HR><BR><U><B>In-Page Footnotes</U> ("<A HREF = "../../../Abstracts/Abstract_21/Abstract_21149.htm">Dainton (Barry) - Self: Philosophy In Transit: Prologue</A>")</B><a name="On-Page_Link_P21149_3"></A><BR><BR><U><A HREF="#On-Page_Return_P21149_3"><B>Footnote 3</B></A></U>: <ul type="disc"><li>Supply a note of just what might go wrong with this suggestion, and what the presuppositions are. </li></ul><a name="On-Page_Link_P21149_4"></A><U><A HREF="#On-Page_Return_P21149_4"><B>Footnote 4</B></A></U>: <ul type="disc"><li>Again, add a note on the assumptions here. </li></ul><a name="On-Page_Link_P21149_8"></A><U><A HREF="#On-Page_Return_P21149_8"><B>Footnote 8</B></A></U>: <ul type="disc"><li>Descartes Cogito argument still has legs. </li><li>But  while focus on the thinking inclined Descartes to the view that we are (immaterial) thinking things  it s now natural to suppose that we are  really our brains  which after all do the thinking for us. Dainton s interpretation of Dennett s TE is presumably supposed to cast doubt on this. </li><li>This nexus of ideas appeared prominently in "<A HREF = "../../../BookSummaries/BookSummary_06/BookPaperAbstracts/BookPaperAbstracts_6361.htm">O'Hear (Anthony), Ed. - Mind, Self and Person</A>", in particular in <ol type="i"><li>"<A HREF = "../../../Abstracts/Abstract_21/Abstract_21056.htm">O'Brien (Lucy) - Ambulo Ergo Sum</A>",</li><li>"<A HREF = "../../../Abstracts/Abstract_21/Abstract_21055.htm">Hacker (P.M.S.) - An Intellectual Entertainment - The Nature of the Mind</A>", and </li><li>"<A HREF = "../../../Abstracts/Abstract_21/Abstract_21057.htm">Crane (Tim) - The Mental States of Persons and their Brains</A>". </li></ol> </li></ul><a name="On-Page_Link_P21149_17"></A><U><A HREF="#On-Page_Return_P21149_17"><B>Footnote 17</B></A></U>: <ul type="disc"><li>What Dainton has in mind is  <A HREF="../../../Notes/Notes_12/Notes_1246.htm">uploading</a> to computers . </li><li>This seems to be a metaphysical confusion, but is not even a good thing. Immortals can be treated badly as well as well. Forever. </li><li>I intend to treat of this under the head of <A HREF="../../../Notes/Notes_9/Notes_939.htm">Transhumanism</a>. </li></ul><a name="On-Page_Link_P21149_21"></A><U><A HREF="#On-Page_Return_P21149_21"><B>Footnote 21</B></A></U>: <ul type="disc"><li>My thoughts on <A HREF="../../../Notes/Notes_0/Notes_38.htm">Forward Psychological Continuity</a> suggest that we wouldn t have anything that matters. </li><li>This is orthogonal to the question whether the TEs are identity-preserving, which I also doubt. </li></ul><a name="On-Page_Link_P21149_22"></A><U><A HREF="#On-Page_Return_P21149_22"><B>Footnote 22</B></A></U>: <ul type="disc"><li>It depends on what s intended by  essential and  existence .</li><li>If what s in mind is  necessary for our well-being , then  clearly  our psychological properties are essential. But if what s intended is  our persistence  then  as the <A HREF="../../../Notes/Notes_0/Notes_50.htm">animalists</a> have argued  this is false. If we are identical to animals, then psychology is irrelevant to questions of our persistence. </li><li>But, of course, Dainton would disagree with <A HREF="../../../Notes/Notes_0/Notes_24.htm">animalism</a>. </li></ul> <a name="On-Page_Link_P21149_25"></A><U><A HREF="#On-Page_Return_P21149_25"><B>Footnote 25</B></A></U>: He doesn t at this stage mention "<A HREF = "../../../Abstracts/Abstract_06/Abstract_6319.htm">Bostrom (Nick) - Are You Living in a Computer Simulation?</A>", but it s in the bibliography. <a name="On-Page_Link_P21149_26"></A><BR><BR><U><A HREF="#On-Page_Return_P21149_26"><B>Footnote 26</B></A></U>: At this stage, Dainton doesn t say why. There are continuing objections to Selves as unified theatres of consciousness, so it ll be interesting to see what he has to say. <a name="On-Page_Link_P21149_27"></A><BR><BR><U><A HREF="#On-Page_Return_P21149_27"><B>Footnote 27</B></A></U>: Contrast this view with "<A HREF = "../../../Abstracts/Abstract_21/Abstract_21053.htm">Snowdon (Paul) - Philosophy and the Mind/Body Problem</A>"! <BR><BR> <P ALIGN = "Justify"><FONT Size = 2 FACE="Arial"><FONT COLOR = "0000FF"><HR><BR>"<B><A HREF = "../../../PaperSummaries/PaperSummary_21/PaperSummary_21155.htm">Dainton (Barry) - Dreams and Destinations</A></B>"<BR><BR><B>Source</B>: Dainton (Barry) - Self: Philosophy In Transit, Chapter 1<BR></P> <P ALIGN = "Justify"><FONT Size = 2 FACE="Arial"><FONT COLOR = "0000FF"><HR><BR>"<B><A HREF = "../../../PaperSummaries/PaperSummary_21/PaperSummary_21156.htm">Dainton (Barry) - Routes to the Modern Soul</A></B>"<BR><BR><B>Source</B>: Dainton (Barry) - Self: Philosophy In Transit, Chapter 2<BR></P> <P ALIGN = "Justify"><FONT Size = 2 FACE="Arial"><FONT COLOR = "0000FF"><HR><BR>"<B><A HREF = "../../../PaperSummaries/PaperSummary_21/PaperSummary_21157.htm">Dainton (Barry) - The Liberation of the Self</A></B>"<BR><BR><B>Source</B>: Dainton (Barry) - Self: Philosophy In Transit, Chapter 3<BR></P> <P ALIGN = "Justify"><FONT Size = 2 FACE="Arial"><FONT COLOR = "0000FF"><HR><BR>"<B><A HREF = "../../../PaperSummaries/PaperSummary_21/PaperSummary_21158.htm">Dainton (Barry) - The Phenomenal and the Psychological</A></B>"<BR><BR><B>Source</B>: Dainton (Barry) - Self: Philosophy In Transit, Chapter 4<BR></P> <P ALIGN = "Justify"><FONT Size = 2 FACE="Arial"><FONT COLOR = "0000FF"><HR><BR>"<B><A HREF = "../../../PaperSummaries/PaperSummary_21/PaperSummary_21159.htm">Dainton (Barry) - Selves, Powers and Subjects</A></B>"<BR><BR><B>Source</B>: Dainton (Barry) - Self: Philosophy In Transit, Chapter 5<BR></P> <P ALIGN = "Justify"><FONT Size = 2 FACE="Arial"><FONT COLOR = "0000FF"><HR><BR>"<B><A HREF = "../../../PaperSummaries/PaperSummary_21/PaperSummary_21160.htm">Dainton (Barry) - Taking the Plunge</A></B>"<BR><BR><B>Source</B>: Dainton (Barry) - Self: Philosophy In Transit, Chapter 6<BR></P> <P ALIGN = "Justify"><FONT Size = 2 FACE="Arial"><FONT COLOR = "0000FF"><HR><BR>"<B><A HREF = "../../../PaperSummaries/PaperSummary_21/PaperSummary_21161.htm">Dainton (Barry) - What Matters (and Other Matters)</A></B>"<BR><BR><B>Source</B>: Dainton (Barry) - Self: Philosophy In Transit, Chapter 7<BR></P> <P ALIGN = "Justify"><FONT Size = 2 FACE="Arial"><FONT COLOR = "0000FF"><HR><BR>"<B><A HREF = "../../../PaperSummaries/PaperSummary_21/PaperSummary_21162.htm">Dainton (Barry) - The Place of Mind in the World</A></B>"<BR><BR><B>Source</B>: Dainton (Barry) - Self: Philosophy In Transit, Chapter 8<BR></P> <P ALIGN = "Justify"><FONT Size = 2 FACE="Arial"><FONT COLOR = "0000FF"><HR><BR>"<B><A HREF = "../../../PaperSummaries/PaperSummary_21/PaperSummary_21163.htm">Dainton (Barry) - Future Selves</A></B>"<BR><BR><B>Source</B>: Dainton (Barry) - Self: Philosophy In Transit, Chapter 9<BR></P> <P ALIGN = "Justify"><FONT Size = 2 FACE="Arial"><FONT COLOR = "0000FF"><HR><BR>"<B><A HREF = "../../../PaperSummaries/PaperSummary_21/PaperSummary_21164.htm">Dainton (Barry) - Self: Epilogue - On Being Moved (or Not) by Time</A></B>"<BR><BR><B>Source</B>: Dainton (Barry) - Self: Philosophy In Transit, Epilogue<BR></P> <a name="ColourConventions"></a><hr><br><B><U>Text Colour Conventions</U> (see <A HREF="../../../Notes/Notes_10/Notes_1025.htm">disclaimer</a>)</B><OL TYPE="1"><LI><FONT COLOR = "0000FF">Blue</FONT>: Text by me; &copy; Theo Todman, 2018</li><LI><FONT COLOR = "800080">Mauve</FONT>: Text by correspondent(s) or other author(s); &copy; the author(s)</li></OL> </center> <BR><HR><BR><center> <TABLE class = "Bridge" WIDTH=950> <TR><TD WIDTH="30%">&copy; Theo Todman, June 2007 - August 2018.</TD> <TD WIDTH="40%">Please address any comments on this page to <A HREF="mailto:theo@theotodman.com">theo@theotodman.com</A>.</TD> <TD WIDTH="30%">File output: <time datetime="2018-08-02T05:15" pubdate>02/08/2018 05:15:53</time> <br><A HREF="../../../Notes/Notes_10/Notes_1010.htm">Website Maintenance Dashboard</A> </TD></TR><TD WIDTH="30%"><A HREF="#Top">Return to Top of this Page</A></TD> <TD WIDTH="40%"><A HREF="../../../Notes/Notes_11/Notes_1140.htm">Return to Theo Todman's Philosophy Page</A></TD> <TD WIDTH="30%"><A HREF="../../../index.htm">Return to Theo Todman's Home Page</A></TD> </TR></TABLE></CENTER><HR> </BODY> </HTML>