Wednesday, April 10, 2013
What it's like to be you
"What are you really?"
- c emerson asked that.
The first thing I want to point out, before I talk about you, or more specifically Self, is that my self-quote and that part of the title which follows after the word Self do not mean the same thing.
To be exact, there is a difference in substantive meaning between ...
(1) What it's like to be you (or: What is it like to be you?), and
(2) What are you really? (or: What you really are).
The first sentence (and question) is derived loosely from Thomas Nagel's famous essay, What is it like to be a bat? (1974). It seeks analogies as to what it is like to be another conscious being. The idea is you can't really know. This raises the whole question of subjective behavior, and subjective experience.
The second question (and sentence) is derived loosely from me, and plenty of others. It seeks further assertions (scientific data; or philosophical arguments) about what living beings, including humans, actually are. The idea is that you can know what Self is, or objectively means.
Whew! Already too many big words, like self, substantive, subjective and objective. But these ideas are important if you want to explore these kinds of things relative to the 'meaning of your life'. I will develop these ideas in future Posts.
Route Marker. Meanwhile, let me explain where we are in this blog. This sort of navigational digression I shall call a 'Route Marker.' This Post starts Part I of this 'live book'. The prior posts collectively form the Introduction. Click on My Index tab above to see how that works out. The unpublished part of my outline currently includes eleven parts to this 'live book', but that might change. I'm not that organized. For now, Part I will be about Self; not just myself; but yourself; ourselves; and even themselves. Other than the wordiness of this Route Marker, this Post was intended to be a short, question-provoking Post. So be provoked.
Whether provoked or not, feel free to express your Self.
UPDATE: This post was moved from (3-30-13) along with any comments. Note that this post's title and Blogspot URL will no longer match, but the title here is correct.
- You can read 'What is it like to be a bat?' (Nagel, 1974) at several places on the web. Here is one such place: http://organizations.utep.edu/portals/1475/nagel_bat.pdf (9 pages)
- I invite you to see my photo log from my recent Death Valley Nat'l Park camping trip (a great place to find space to think about Self), on my other blog Random Walk
- This Post was Updated (4/4/13); moving the Route Marker to the bottom part of the Post; and making minor editorial revisions