The Sum of Your Parts

"There isn't actually a you at the heart of all these experiences. Strange thought? Well maybe not. What is there then? Well, clearly there are memories, desires, intentions, sensations, and so forth. But, what happens is, these things exist — and they're kind of all integrated, overlapped. They're connected in various different ways. They're connected partly — even mainly — because they all belong to one body and one brain.

But there's also a narrative, a story about ourselves, the experiences we have — we remember past things...What we desire is partly a result of what we believe and what we remember also informs what we know.

And so really, there are all these things like beliefs, desires, sensations, experiences — they're all related to each other and that just is you.

In some ways it's a very small difference, from the common sense understanding; in some ways it's a massive one. It's a shift between thinking of yourself as a thing which has all the experiences of life and thinking of yourself as simply that collection of all experience in life. You are the sum of your parts."

~ Julian Baggini, from "Is There A Real You?" TEDxYouth@Manchester 2011

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