Brain: The organ with which one
thinks and feels.
This definition makes a lot of practical
sense, since the brain is an organ - indeed the best protected
and isolated organ that one has - and the fact that it is necessary for one's
thinking and feeling has been experimentally demonstrated in many ways.
Consequently, the thesis that thinking and feeling are activities of
a living brain is quite plausible. It is not certain, and one problem
for the thesis is that so far there is remarkably little
how the brain produces its marvels.
The opposite thesis, that one's thinking and feeling in fact is done
by something called a soul, that is
independent of the brain, even if
somehow associated with one's brain and body as long as one is alive,
and that may survive one's death, seems far less probable, at least as
long as there are no souls evidently roaming about as there evidently
are living bodies roaming about.
Incidentally, a personally convincing example of how dependent one's
feelings are on physical facts is local anaesthesia, like dentists may
supply: What hurt very much before, is totally painless with a local
In any case: A well-supported scientific hypothesis about what one -
one's self - really is, that is far better supported than religious
hypotheses that one is an immortal soul only very briefly associated
with one's present body, is that one is part of the working of one's
living brain: one's self on this hypothesis is a set of processes happening inone's brain
Apart from such religious misgivings as one may have about this
hypothesis - see
- the main problem with it is that so far there is much that is not
understood about the brain, which is not so amazing, since it has an
extra-ordinarily complex organ that has been seriously studied in a
scientific way only for a few generations.