Tuesday, November 17, 2020


In my opinion Damer's work is based on a flawed premise, which he himself has not fully realised. That premise being that the human body can be used as an analogy for understanding reality in general, and more specifically consciousness. He argues that if we can understand how our bodies function then we may come to understand something about consciousness itself.

Now the human body is an indispensable component of consciousness. It provides a physical form and sensory apparatus through which we can interact with reality.

However, the analogy between the human body and consciousness breaks down in a number of ways. I would like to discuss three here: The body as agent, ownership of the body and agency.

The first point is that the human body acts on behalf of the conscious self. It does so in a manner analogous to how an agent acts on behalf of its owner.

Now we can see that the analogy with agency breaks down. The body is not an agent, it does not act on behalf of its owner. Rather, the human being acts in accordance to a set of causal rules governing human behaviour.

In this way the human being is more akin to a robot than an agent. A robot cannot be said to act on behalf of its owner, it does not even fully act according to its own wishes.

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