Wednesday, May 21, 2008

You Think Biochemistry Is Hard? Try Being a Philosophy Major

Click on the cartoon to see a larger version.

[Image Credit: bioephemera]
[Hat Tip: Mixing Memory]


  1. This comic is a slight exaggeration of my personal experience.

    Dial back to first semester, freshman year, Philosophy 101: Puzzles and Paradoxes, 2nd class meeting.

    The Prof posed the following question: There is a nuclear warhead buried 1 km beneath a major US city. You are asked to disable the bomb. Scientists can protect your body from the radiation given off by the bomb, but not your brain. So you have to leave your brain in a jar while remotely controlling your body to the bottom of the tunnel.

    The bomb goes off obliterating your body, while your brain survives. Do you still exist?

    I got up and walked out, muttering "That's the stupidest E$#&@% I've ever heard!"

  2. @ john dennehy
    That's how I feel every day in my philosophy class.

    Spot on comic.

  3. @ john dennehy

    Maybe I'm not sophisticated enough, but I would unhesitantly answer that yes, I still exist.

    Now if the story continued: "but your brain cannot survive without your body so we transfer its contents onto a hard drive. Do you still exist?"

    Then I would have to think about it.

    Robert M.

  4. Sure an I exist, except that this I is not as before. And then I don't mean just senseless and crazy, but there is much feedback connection between body and brain.

    As a philosophic question, yes, I assume I would react the same.

  5. a neurobiological question
    A surgeon cuts your corpus callosum in the hopes of curing your epilepsy
    From now on, each half of the brain has a ifferent conscious experience. For instace, each half of the brain see ony half of the vision field, and does not see what the other haf can see.
    You will find that one half wanst to do one thig, and the other half, the other, even with contradictory actions of one hand vs the other.
    Only the left side of the brain can talk. The right side of the brain can communicate by using its left arm to say, point at things.

    So, did you cease to exist?