Elon Nagel's What Is It Like To Be A Bat?

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As modern technology advances further and further, a shocking realization many philosophers have noticed is the possibility of replicating a human being. Many people believe that a human could be replicated due to stripping down its DNA and converting it into a complex algorithm. A similar thought deals with the removal of a human brain and placing it in a robotic vessel. These ideas spawn further speculation on the possibility of immortality and the value of being a human. Although these thoughts sound science fiction in nature, famed scientists and entrepreneurs like Elon Musk have expressed great interest in these endeavors. Many of these similar proposals of currently unobtainable scientific feats closely align with the ideas of the philosophy school of reductionism. Although there are…show more content…
This is an incredibly difficult question to resolve due to the lack of scientific evidence, testing, and understanding of the human mind. However, many philosopher’s of the 20th century to today attempt to argue against reductionists despite a lack of undeniable scientific evidence. In his essay, “What Is It Like to Be a Bat?”, Thomas Nagel argues against reductionism through examples of human subjectivity. Thomas Nagel argues through the subjectivity of human life and uniqueness of human experiences that the reductionist mind-body problem is false or at least unknowable at this point in time. Nagel introduces the essential problem of the reductionists as an inability to grasp the meaning of consciousness in an organism. Nagel argues that “fundamentally an organism has conscious mental states if and only if there is something that it is like to be that organism” (Nagel, 404). In other words, the vast unique experiences of an organism constitute consciousness. Through this early example, Nagel is presenting the basis of

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