Re: virus: "the self"

Joel Meulenberg (
Mon, 28 Apr 1997 20:50:39 EDT

> >refers to. The term "I" may create or affect our conception of what the
> >"self" is, but it doesn't affect objective reality - if we were all
> >illiterate apes incapable of abstract thought (of this magnitude) we would
> >still be individual apes. We would perhaps lack a sense of self, or
> >self-consciousness, but this would be a manifestation of our own
> >inadequate powers of perception, not an indication that objective reality
> >is fundamentally different.
> You think we could be conscious without being conscious of the fact? That
> doesn't make any sense to me. Or maybe you aren't talking about consciousness
> at all.
> >...
> If "I" implies consciousness it isn't simple at all.

I think you've both hit on what I was driving toward: After you strip away
all that other stuff ("my body", "my mind", "my thoughts", etc.), maybe all
you're left with is what we call "consciousness", and that's what we're
ultimately referring to when we say "I". To understand "I" (whether one
calls it that or not), is to posess self-consciousness.