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6/29/05



Home_____Birds & The Self

Where is the self? * Where is intention? * Consider flocks of birds, (not a migratory gaggle of geese). Hordes of them alight in a field, or swarm to tree bowers. They have no leader. They turn in unison; they act without individual intention. They swoop and dive and climb as if one brain, yet they are separate. Despite sustained introspection, the human self cannot be found, but the analogy of the birds suggests that the sense of it cannot be located in a single node, although its illusoriness is another issue. * (Among various articles, see Shakey, Beavers, and Cartesian Theater, 12 February 2004, Francisco Varela and the Emergent Self, 6 January 2004, Daniel Dennett and Choice Machines, 8 January 2004, The Illusion of Free Will, 28 December 2003, Dennett and Compatibilist Volition, 15 December 2003.)

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