The Mind Outside My Head by Tim Parks | NYRblog | The New York Review of Books

by peterjukes

Over a drink, however, he’ll go a little further:

If, as I believe, the orthodox, internalist vision of consciousness is false and even naive, then we have to ask why so many intelligent people hold it. It’s not hard to understand. By locating consciousness exclusively within the brain we can imagine that the subject, me, at some very deep level, is not subject to the same law of constant change that evidently governs the phenomena around me. The subject accrues and sheds attributes, but remains in essence him or herself. This allows for the notion of someone’s being responsible, even for actions carried out years ago, and hence gives rise to a particular moral universe; it also creates the comforting illusion that perhaps the self could survive separate from the world. Behind it all there is the desire to deny change in ourselves, perhaps to survive death. Anyway, to be an entity outside the world.

via The Mind Outside My Head by Tim Parks | NYRblog | The New York Review of Books.

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