Analysis Of Daniel Dennett 's ' Where Am I '

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In this Daniel Dennett’s essay “Where Am I?” Dennett tackles the difference between mind, body, and a person’s identity. In his story, Dennett has his brain removed and preserved in a vat. His body stays alive, and radio transmitters make it so he can still function. Dennett starts to question who and where “he” is. Though Dennett has several strong ideas, he isn’t correct in everything he suggests. When Dennett goes to view his brain, his first thought is that he is outside of the vat, looking at his brain. This confuses him, because Dennett believes that he should instead think, “Here I am, being suspended in fluids, being stared at by my own eyes.” Puzzled, Dennett names his brain and his body so it’s easier for him to make sense of what’s going on. He names his brain Yorick, his body Hamlet, and dubs himself Dennett. First, he suggests “where Hamlet is, so is Dennett.” That idea is shut down when he starts to think about brain transplant experiments. In those experiments, it seemed like you could switch people’s brains and the person would follow the brain. Therefore, Dennett reasons that the body and the person can be separate, but perhaps the brain and the person can’t be separate. So he suggests that “where Yorick is, so is Dennett.” He starts wondering about committing a crime in a different state. Where would he be tried? The state where his brain is? Or where he committed the crime? Deciding that just his brain being him isn’t right either, he comes to a third

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