The self and centre of gravity

Any object with mass – whether a bowl, a piece of lumber, or even a brain – has a mathematical centre, a precise location that would allow you to balance that object if you were to put it on a pointed stake. However, this centre of gravity is not a ‘thing’ that exists independently of all the stuff around it, and if you took apart the object, you would never find a separate little object that is the centre of gravity.

The self is a lot like that – it’s just the theoretical point that lies at the centre of all your mental experiences, memories, thoughts, feelings, sensations, goals, desires, and personal relationships.

– Daniel Dennett’s analogy as explained in ‘The Mind Club’ by Daniel M. Wegner and Kurt Gray


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