Where Am I by Daniel Dennett

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In Daniel Dennett’s piece of literature “Where Am I” tells the hypothetical scenario of Dennett who is approached by the pentagon to undergo a dangerous mission where he is asked to retrieve a radioactive warhead lodged deep underground. In order to retrieve the radioactive warhead, he must undergo a brain operation to fully remove the brain as the waves from the warhead only affect the brain.(Page 34) Along with the radioactivity affecting the brain, the pentagon wanted to monitor the brains activity while underground, thus being another reason for the operation. As Dennett is underground working on the warhead, his radio transmitters sending signals between his brain and his body began to fail which causes him to lose control and sensation. The only thing that he has to prove his existence is the capability to think. When he arrives back at the home of where his brain is being kept, the vat, he is shown a new body armed with receptors and transmitters linked to his brain. Dennett also discovers a team of scientists overseeing the mission had made a computerized copy of his brain and functions. Being able to switch from sending and receiving signal from the computerized brain and then the actual brain, Dennett essentially has two brains sending signal to a body. A more unsettling development arises in the chance of one brain falling separate from the other brain, but not connected to any body at all. Which would cause the brain to exist without the original body. Dennett finally decided to lock up both brains in the scientist’s laboratory and go on with life, just switching brains via a portable control he carries with him. Daniel Dennett’s scenario debates the controversial philosophical question of mind vs. body. The mind... ... middle of paper ... ... Even if Hubert was hooked up to a different body and made the new body rob a bank, the new body would be the one in jail and not Hubert or Yorick or even Dennett In conclusion, based on these two ideas on if Dennett would be able to survive with or without his original brain (Yorrick), I believe that Dennett would be able to survive without Yorrick. Hubert is just a replicate version of Yorrick and functions exactly the same as the original. Hubert is just a prosthetic of Yorrick which could be a stand in for Yorrick if something were ever to happen to the original. After Dennett went through the initial period of adjustment, he found that ones personality is by and largely preserved. Works Cited Dennett, Daniel. “Where am I?” Delight in Thinking: An Introduction to Philosophy Reader. Eds. Stephen Hales and Scott Lowe. NY: McGraw-Hill, 2006. 33-44. Print.
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