The science of the first person

Science or philosophy-science has commandered all object behaviours and given them its own, favourite, idiosyncratic labels.

Objects that can be hidden but cannot vanish are labelled materials and are said to be real.

Some objects that cannot be hidden but can vanish e.g. colours and sounds, are labelled perceptions and are said to be real or real properties.

Some objects that cannot be hidden but can vanish e.g. memories and visions, are labelled unreal or hallucinations.

And so, what of PERSONAL IDENTITY? :
There are physical dimensions like width and breadth. But there is also the dimension that appears everywhere yet cannot be counted. This monadic dimension - a dimension that surely underpins all the others has, inexplicably, been labelled “subjective” or “psychological” and unreal. Now how on earth did that happen?

Science or philosophy-science is not a single or even two single entities. They’re communities and there are no “favorite” labels, just some that are commonly held.


This ignores that properties are held to be properties of something. Not just perceptions. And not all properties are physical. Using real implies the alternative is fake, so I’d prefer to use physical. Also, they’re not objects, that’s why they’re called properties. I think you’re doing this backwards. It should be “some of our perceptions are…”

How could it at all underpin the others, which are said to exist independently of the subjective experience? The idea is that those dimensions would exist regardless of individual perceptions. The progression from your first few sentences is clear, it would have to be that way. So why the surprise?

I was indicating that “subjective” isn’t a notion up for grabs. I was talking a dimensional view of all object behaviours. The zero-dimension would then correspond to personal identity - present everywhere, uncountable, and absent or inaccesible to the others.

JJ, when you say the “science” of the first person, what are you referring to? A methodology of some sort? Some way to sort observation and experience into categories - perhaps deluded versus non-deluded?

Watched a Science Channel doc on supernovas last night. It seems everything on/in/of earth came into existence as a result of the elements created inside exploding stars.

And some of which apparently are to the Sun what the Sun is to the earth. In other words, a million Suns could fit inside the star before it exploded.

As for personal identity, it was noted the atoms in our left hand may well have come from a star other than the one that created the atoms in our right hand. As for the atoms in our brain, for some they became interchangable with the atoms in our mind.

Before the big bang. The big bang. After the big bang.

Stars. Brains. Minds. Identities.

Science. Philosophy.

First person. Last person.

True. False.

Either. Or.

Ought. Is.

So, what do you think it all means?


JohnJones is autistic, don’t mind him.

Enough ad homs, thank you.

I was playing an idle game of reducing all world events like colours, materials, perceptions, identity, to “objects”, and then reducing all these objects to their supposed dimensional properties…, just as science deals with objects in terms of dimensions.
so materials are three dimesional and not everywhere, perceptions are two dimesional and not evrywhee but cannot be hidden, and identity is zero-dimesional - cannot be assessed, hidden, or vanish or appear, but is everywhere.

Doesn’t that mean identity doesn’t exist? Or, what is identity that it can be identified as “everywhere”?

Identity is dasein. And daseins exist or do not exist in as many different ways as you need them to.

Especially [in here] elliptically.


What objects are you thinking of here?

Material objects, like electrons and busses, cakes and Colonel Gadafi. They cannot vanish. They can only be hidden.

I meant to say that, in accordance with what we know about it, our self or consciousness cannot be hidden, cannot be identified, and does not vanish or appear. It is, accordingly, everywhere and so, just as the line is supposed to be part of the plane, the zero-dimension is present to all subsequent dimensions like points, lines, planes, and volumes.

Isn’t consciousness hidden to ourselves in deep sleep?

Science also deals with ‘things’ – tangible, perceptible objects. Notions like memories, visions, colors, and sounds are not “objects” as such. They do not have the same physical properties, so why would we assume the same dimensional properties?

Is ‘difference’ zero-dimensional as well, then? If you can assess or hide one, the same should be true for the other.

Consciousness would seem to seem to “vanish” when one is rendered unconscious, no? Consciousness can also be identified, which, I would think, is why we have a definition of the word. Consciousness may not be an “object”, or definitive entity, but it can be recognized, lost, and/or reacquired.

From “How We Know” by Freeman Dyson [a review of The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood by James Gleick in the 3/10/11 edition of The New York Review of Books]:

The public has a distorted view of science, because children are taught in school that science is a collection of firmly established truths. In fact, science is not a collection of truths. It is a continuing exploration of mysteries. Wherever we go exploring in the world around us, we find mysteries. Our planet is covered by continents and oceans whose origin we cannot explain. Our atmosphere is constantly stirred by poorly understood disturbances that we call weather and climate. The visible matter in the universe is outweighed by a much larger quantity of dark invisible matter that we do not understand at all. The origin of life is a total mystery, and so is the existence of human consciousness. We have no clear idea how the electrical discharges occurring in nerve cells in our brains are connected with our feelings and desires and actions.

These profound mysteries are in fact what science and philosophy still share in common.

I was aware of the fact that I was in deep sleep once, it was a plain black circle with a white centre.
LSD trials have shown that people can remember their experiences under deep anaesthetic.

But at the end of the day, even if we were not “conscious” in deep sleep, it would not alter the fact that consciousness does not vanish or appear.

Colours can be regarded as two-dimensional objects present in three dimensions.

Consciousness does not appear or vanish because there is nothing to show that it has vanished or undergone a change. Just as there is no death for there is no transition from one state to another.

Consciousness isn’t identified, not even for ones own case.