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Section III THE SELF Egos, Bundles and Multiple Selves Theories of Self Agency and Free Will.

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Presentation on theme: "Section III THE SELF Egos, Bundles and Multiple Selves Theories of Self Agency and Free Will."— Presentation transcript:

1 Section III THE SELF Egos, Bundles and Multiple Selves Theories of Self Agency and Free Will

2 VII:Egos, Bundles, and Multiple Selves “Why does it seem as though I am a single, continuous self who has experiences?” –Ego Theories: Because I am. –Bundle Theories: It may seem this way, but there really is no self, and there must be another way to account for our experiences of self. Multiple Selves

3 Ego Theory Most commonly accepted Sense of self is pervasive in many religions –Hinduism, Islam, Christianity Substance Dualism Reid puts it best: “I am not thought, I am not action, I am not feeling: I am something which thinks, and acts, and feels.

4 Bundle Theory Buddhism David Hume and the “bundle of sensations” Multiple Personality Disorders –Case of Multiple Selves

5 Split Brains/Split Consciousness Each side has different qualities Both hemispheres have the ability to do things which the other hemispheres often lack. “Sperry (1968) thought that these results revealed a doubling of conscious awareness, and even that his patients had two free wills in one cranial vault

6 VIII: Theories of Self Mind switching “bodies” –Which person are you? –Do you still hold qualities which are intrinsic to your concept of “self” Question of Replication…Mind, Body –Would you do it? –Is there any difference?

7 William James “ Thought itself is the thinker and psychology need not look beyond” The way it seems: –2 parts of self: empirical self (material self, social self, and spiritual self), and subjective self (our concept of our own consciousness and perceptions) –The Passing Thought… “The Thought”

8 Neuroscientific Models of Self Ramachandran: Ghost in the Machine Damasio: Consciousness is developed as a persons life occurs…it is a “feeling, and feelings are neural patterns” GWT: Global Workspace Theory: Self System

9 SESMETS Subjects of Experience that are Single Mental Things –The self is something that exists for a period of time in which it is experiencing something. –It is then linked to past and future selves which take on properties of those instances in time. –Not an ego or bundle theory (neither continuous consciousness nor unlinked sets of experiences)

10 Dennett “Our tales are spun, but for the most part we don’t spin them; they spin us.” How many selves –>, < or = 1 per body?

11 IX Agency and Free Will Determinism: Do we do things because we want to or because it is already determined that we must? –Is everything inevitable or do we have the tools and the ability to make decisions about how our lives will go? Can Free Will and Determinism co-exist? –Compatibilism vs. Non Compatibilism

12 How it seems It seems as though we are the subjects of our own experiences, and that we make conscious decisions about what we do –Is this just what we want to think? –Is it all just an Illusion? What is the role of consciousness?

13 Where is the connection We know there are sensory neurons, neuronal pathways and motor neurons We know we feel as though we are conscious and have conscious ideas and thoughts about our past, present and future We don’t know from where this feeling manifests itself.

14 Voluntary Action Consciousness –Flexing your wrist, conscious action –RP (Readiness Potential) Libet: Are we consciously aware of our actions when our RP is beginning to shift in electrical potential in our brain? If our consciousness does control our actions, then it would seem to reason that we would have conscious awareness of our RP changing.

15 Libet’s Experiment RP’s Subject reports a light’s position in space when they are aware of their will to flex the wrist. Conclusion: RP occurs before we are consciously aware of our will to move –Consciousness as a gatekeeper to the unconscious?

16 1853 Faraday Séance experiments in 1853 –Unconscious Will People performed séance sessions and claimed spirits answered the questions they were asking Faraday said differently: –Card/Cement Experiment –Sitters must have unconsciously moved their hands

17 William Grey Walter The slide projector experiment Subjects told they can change slides, but changes in the motor cortex were ultimately responsible –Slides would change just as the conscious thought occurred We can have control after all…even if we don’t realize it

18 The Mirror Experiment Subject put in front of a mirror and given tasks Subject is arranged so that the arms they see are another persons When the subjects are asked to perform the tasks, the other person’s arms do the task Subject believes that it was their will which completed the tasks they were presented.

19 Wegner and Free Will Our sense of being a conscious agent who does things comes at the cost of being technically wrong all the time. “The experience of willing an act arises from interpreting one’s thought as the cause of the act Requirements of Will: thought occurs before action, action depends on thought, no other causes can be present

20 Wegner Continued Illusion of Free Will requires three steps: –The brain plans actions and carries them out –We become aware of the brains intentions to act without knowledge of how/why. Intentions –Action occurs after intention Erroneous conclusion: “intention causes action”

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