Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Sense of Self

"What Dennett (among others) calls the 'benign user illusion' and the 'center of narrative gravity.'

There is no 'I' who 'holds' opinions. There is a body that says "I believe in being nice to people," and a body that is (or is not) nice to people. There is a brain that can store knowledge of astrology and the tendency to talk about it, but there is not in addition a self [ego] who 'has' the belief. There is a biological creature who eats yoghurt every day but there is not in addition a self [ego] inside who loves yoghurt...

...The self [the ego] is a vast memeplex - perhaps the most insidious and pervasive memeplex of all. I shall call it the 'selfplex'. The selfplex permeates all our experience and all our thinking so that we are unable to see it clearly for what it is - a bunch of memes. It comes about because our brains provide the ideal machinery on which to construct it, and our society provides the selective environment in which it thrives."
- Susan Blackmore: The Meme Machine

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