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On the Mystery of the Self & the Selection Problem: A Mathematical Approach

Daniel Caputi


The self, which presents to us as an irreducible entity in which our subjective experience is directed onto, is often thought of as an unremarkable phenomenon or illusion.  However, the mere perception of it cannot be neglected for our scientific endeavor to explain consciousness, and this point is illustrated through a multitude of thought experiments.  These thought experiments also show the importance of differentiating selves between distinct conscious organisms, regardless of their individual phenomenological content.  A distinction is made between an active subject (a self that is conscious) and a potential subject (a self that is unconscious). Potential subjects refer to selves that would otherwise be present in organisms that are currently unconscious or post-mortem. They can also refer to an infinite amount of imaginary selves that will never be born into existence.  This infinite reference space shows that there is an explanatory gap between our knowledge that conscious organisms have selves and our knowledge that specific selves are mapped into specific organisms.  This explanatory gap needs to be closed in order to design effective uploading technology to extend the life of our minds beyond the life of our body. 

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ISSN: 2153-8212