[FRIAM] death

Frank Wimberly wimberly3 at gmail.com
Thu Nov 2 13:32:04 EDT 2017

You guys might be interested in the Psychoanalytic concept of object


Many philosophical discussions are explained by psychoanalysts in terms of
object constancy.  And the self is also an object Psychoanalytic speaking.
The old Chestnut about whether a tree falling in a forest makes a sound is
an example.


Frank Wimberly
Phone (505) 670-9918

On Nov 2, 2017 11:21 AM, "Steven A Smith" <sasmyth at swcp.com> wrote:

Glen ☣ -

This is a very *sophist*icated argument YOU make.  *I* can't tell, however
if *YOU* believe it, at least right this instant... perhaps *YOU* believed
it when you wrote it, but does that belief persist from the former now to
the current now?

Smart-asserry aside... Trying to take your point for what it is intended
(or useful for?)...   I believe that "atomicity" and "identity" in both
space and time are simultaneously deep illusions and highly utilitarian, at
least in the service of the is "illusory self" that appears to have memory,
intention, and will to action.   With that in mind:

I am about to go to my boneyard and search for two specific concrete blocks
which I remember to have put there when I took the large woodstove out of
my sunroom, and trust they are still there (or wherever I actually put
them) and that when I find them and brush off any accumulated detritus and
load them on my garden cart, I can haul them back to my house where I will
use them in the same mode as I did last year, only in a different
location.  This all depends on a strong illusion of my "self", on the
objectness of said blocks and woodstove and garden cart, and a continuity
of "self" roughly ranging back to the time when I dismantled to the present
as I plan and scheme to the future when, in fact, I am pretty confident I
will find the woodstove perched on top of those very same blocks again.
Of course, I may change plans mid-course if I find another set of blocks
with more appropriate or promising qualities for the purpose..
- Stove

On 11/2/17 10:26 AM, gⅼеɳ ☣ wrote:

Yes, you're right to classify the illusion of self along with Smith's
preemptive registration, more insidious, I think, than premature
registration.  Identifying an object as atomic lies at the heart of a
lot of our problems.  We could just as easily call it a discretization
artifact.  Here, the "continuous fluid self" shines the light on the
fact that discretization problems arise in both time and space.
Unless you're willing to admit that, for example, your ancestors from
10 generations ago and 10 generations hence are *also* part of your
self, then you've got to discretize "self" in time.  And unless you're
willing to allow some anonymous African or Alpha Centaurian to also be
part of your self, then you've got to discretize in space.

Such discretization is a great method *if* you've got a well-formed
set of use cases to engineer toward.  But most conversations where
"self" is bandied about willy nilly, a) the use cases aren't
particular cases, at all, they're more like usage patterns, if they're
well-formed at all, and b) conversations tend to wander and "self"
under one usage pattern is magically translated into another usage
pattern, making the whole conversation into nonsense.

So, practicality demands we abandon the stupid word "self" entirely.
If you want to extend that practicality into your metaphysics, then so
be it.  But the metaphysics is irrelevant because practically, there
is no self.

On 10/30/2017 07:42 PM, Steven A Smith wrote:

I'm curious about your reference to "the temporally extended self".
If it isn't *real* it certainly is a very strong illusion that my
*instantaneous self* often indulges in.   Flow states, peak awareness,
enlightenment, etc.  all DO seem to point or trend toward "being in
the instant"... but nevertheless, there is also a persistent illusion
of  a continuous fluid self that IS temporally extended.   In fact, by
the some measure, it would seem that is the very definition of
Objectness which I believe Selfness inherits from.  Perhaps Brian
Cantwell Smith has had something to say about all of this?  It has
been decades since I read him... maybe I can find my copy of "Origin
of Objects"?  Or maybe it is just a faulty memory of an illusory
temporally extended self?

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