Thursday, January 22, 2009

First person vs third person

There are always two parallel (different yet complementary) descriptions of the objective world namely the first person and the third person account. Behaviorists believe that the first person account is not required implying that consciousness does not exist. However, this can not be correct. For example, I may see a picture and experience a certain kind of emotion that can not be described by a third person. Philosophers call this conundrum the riddle of qualia or subjective sensation.

As V.S. Ramachandran says, "This need to reconcile the first−person and third−person accounts of the universe (the "I" view versus the "he" or "it" view) is the single most important unsolved problem in science. Dissolve this barrier, say the Indian mystics and sages, and you will see that the separation between self and nonself is an illusion—that you are really One with the cosmos."

1 comment:

  1. You should not be thrifty with words while writing about philosophy since people who reads it may not be having that much of acquaintanceship with jargons. I think as a reader it is my sacred duty to give you a straight talk on what I find hindering my reading. Your template is nice by the way.