Of late much of my spare thinking time has been dedicated to trying to understand how the objective world of chemicals and electrical gradients etc are translated into the subjective world of perception. I am not sure that this new hypothesis has made the final connection, but I hope I have worked to at least narrow the gap between the two. I now present my new hypothesis to you all, awaiting all criticisms and pointers. I will make side comments, clarifications, and important considerations after each paragraph in this color. ------------------------------------------------- The Begining of 'Self' In the begining, we are born as a blank slate with particular tendencies pre-programmed in. We are born with various behaviouralistic qualities, with sense organs, with sensory storage space (memory), and advanced computational hardware (the brain - The Subconscious). At this stage of life, the very first moments of experience (whenever that actually is), I am claiming that the baby does not percieve. I am claiming that the baby does not 'think', nor does it have conception of the 'Self'. At the first moments of life, the human baby is an automaton, acting out the pre-programmed genetic tendencies that instil other animals, like gazelles to get up and run before they even know what they are running from. The baby is following this programming, and all the time, it is storing the experiences in a cleverly designed 'Experience storage' part of the brain. (Memory) I claim that the baby cannot perceive. By this I mean to differentiate between an 'experience' and a 'perception' in that an experience = Stimulation to a sense organ, in turn recieved by the brain. Perception = Meaningful interpretation of that experience. It is probably clear already that my stance on the subjective mind is a materialistic stance, and as such does have a large dependence on Neurology. I am not overtly knowledgable in Neurology, so I will not be describing the neurological functions behind my theories of the brain/mind, but simply claim that they occur in some way which is either already known about by some people other than me, or in some way which is yet to be understood. The child at this stage of life (The stage of first experiences) is only following the genetically programmed directives that control it, and at the same time, recording everything that it experiences in its memory. What is then done with these experiences is the interesting part. The brain stores every piece of sensory input, and instantly starts calculating. It compares the sensory experiences, it contrasts them, it categorizes them, it juxtposes them, it notes how some experiences were recieved in groups (all at once) and remembers these facts about them. It associates experiences with other experiences. It computes the experiences. Over time, this computational process begins to make sense of the sensory inputs. As the same inputs are received time and time again, and as the same input associations are made again and again, and as the contrasts are made between Experience and lack of said experience are built up, meaning starts to be derived from experiences. The brain can start associating a stimulus with a soon to follow consequence. It can use these sets of information to figure out the relation between the stimulus 1, consequence 1, and consequence 2. (Our developed perception of this relation may be See thing (Baby Mobile) in front of me, feel thing in front of me, see thing move). It is only through the computational power of the brain, that meaning is slowly derived from a completely internal series of collected facts. This is a major point of consideration towards my final conclusion, that the 'Mind' and the conception of 'Self' is an internally built, self affirming construct of the brain. The subjective experience is no more than a complex collection of experiental shortcuts used by the brain to percieve (see definition above)our environment. My description of the new-person's assocation of experiences need to be understood as I am attempting to describe it. The new-person does NOT see sticks and space ships and univorns and whatever' haning above its head. Nor does it 'see' 'a combination of blue, red, pink, yellow and green, moving in a particular constellation'. The new-person is still completely unable to see anything let alone differentiate colours. All it can do, is have the eyes recieve electromagnetic radiations upon its surface, have that reception change the rods and cones in particular ways, have those changes affect other transmitter cells, and have those messages affect the brains memory in a particular way. That is experience, and that is all that a new-person is able to do. Experience, and store the memory. It is not until later that 1. meaning can be derived from the experience, and then not until much later that 2. subjective experience can be percieved from those experiences. Through this method of storgae, comparison, classification (categorization), and contrast, the brain is slowly able to form a picture of its world. it is able to figure out that it recieves a consistent variety of stimuli from the eyes. It is then able to use this accumulated knowledge, and understand when it recieves 'experience 576, 567 and 634' that it is not recieving 'experience 45' and that is information that it can use. (where the three experiences may be 1. Illumination, 2. Blue from the roof, and 3. bright. while the experience lacking, is the experience of no light. These experiences could also be associated with a predictive experience of soon being fed for example). Through all of these experience associations etc, the brain is still working overtime to recieve, store, and calculate everything. Every bit of information is important, and needs to be stored for later recall. Every experience helps the brain to formulate a picture of the outside world, and so is rigourously scrutinized for relevence. The Subjective View Eventually, the brain starts to feel comfortable in the use of various regular experiences. It has to deal with these sensory inputs so often that it has been able to categorise them well, it has been able to contrast them appropriately, and it has been able to figure out exactly what the experience 'means'. The brain will then be able to make a 'shortcut' for this experience. The brain doesn't need to associate the sensory stimulus with all other relevent memories to perceive the stimulus, it already knows what the perception is, so it just follows the shortcut, and arrives at the conclusion. The conclusion will be red. Everytime, it will be red. The brain doesn't need to keep checking this, it doesn't need to keep verifying it. it doesn't need to keep affirming its own internal system each time such an experience occurs to it, it just follows the shortcut to 'Perception = Red'. And thus, is the subjective world view born. The subjective world view is a construct, by the brain to assist its own goal of finding meaning in its sensory inputs. Once a sensory input is encountered so frequently that it would only clog the calculatory system up to continue analysing it, it is turned into a perceptory shortcut. These shortcuts give us our subjective vision, our subjective touch, our subjective smell, our subjective hearing and our subjective taste. ---------------------------------------- I'll leave it there for the moment. Its a lot to take in as it is, and I am incredibly eager for some feedback. I have a lot more to add to this, but I will await initial feedback before I continue. The next installments will have to do with the claims that all of our 'thinking' consists of this same brain process which occurs from birth (comparing, constrasting, associating and categorizing of past experiences.). I will also claim that our conscious mind, and our 'super-conscious' (the voice in our heads) is just an imperfect playback of our experience memories. ----------------------------------------- Everything written in this post comes from my own head, and is not based on anyone elses work. I have briefly read a short paper by U.T Place and J.J Smart recently, and I agree with their materialist conception of Mind/Brain, but their own ideas have had very limited impact on my thoughts, at most giving me more confidence in my own convictions.