Where Am I Daniel Dennett Analysis

Great Essays
The philosophical quandary introduced in Daniel C. Dennett 's “Where Am I?” plagues the imagination and inflames internal debate. “Where Am I?” presents the case of a philosophical academic who is approached by the government to undergo a dangerous task where his body would be exposed to a plethora of toxic radiation. While his body was said to be able to withstand the toxins embedded within the radiation he was told his brain could not. As a necessary precaution, the government proposes to Dennett a plan to remove his physical brain and input transmitters where his brain can still maintain functionality and control of the body even while separated. A man of intrigue and scholarly interest, Dennett agrees to undergo the operation and have his …show more content…
Once restored to bodily form, Dennett was given the capacity to alter which program he used. Initially, it is found to be a seamless transition. Dennett can switch between the two with ease and a lack of concern. However, at the end of “Where Am I?”, we see this drastically change. Due to the evolving nature of the brain the two lost their sync, thus creating a paradox between Yorick and Hubert. While Hubert may be the direct replicate of Yorick it stands as an independent entity. This lack of interdependence caused this rift the come to fruition which in turn has provided the most compelling reason as to why Dennett’s identity has faltered. Dennett can survive given that he has a body and an operating system to maintain his faculties, yet given the circumstances is he even Dennett at all anymore? It seems as though this duel of the minds caused a great downfall of the identity and very personhood of Dennett. Having the capacity to switch between two systems on separate wavelengths (regardless of similarity) creates a huge paradox of identity. For if his minds are not completely synchronized by that very mature it makes him two separate entities. These separate entities may inhabit the same body yet their faculties differ. Furthermore, Dennett is unsure of which faculty he is operating under given he did not label the controls to find the distinction between Yorick and Hubert. Through this Dennett has all but erased his identity while creating something extremely quixotic. With Dennett having the capacity to control which system of operation he functions under, he has become the product of a scientific dissipation of his very individual

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