chapter  2
26 Pages

Windows on the Brain and Mind

You probably think of the brain as something you have. There is, however, another fruitful way to think about it. Rather than thinking of the brain as something you have, you can also think of it as something you are in. The word “you” is actually ambiguous. There is the sense in which “you” refers to a biological organism, a living, breathing, conscious human being engaged in the process of existing in a physical environment with others. This is an objective, third-person point of view of who you are. There is also a subjective, first-person view of yourself. You, in this sense, are a conscious being, situated in a space at a particular point in time, surrounded by the objects in your immediate environment. Our purpose in this chapter is to examine various third-person, objective, scientific perspectives of who you (and the rest of humanity) are. Nevertheless, we think it a worthwhile preliminary exercise to take a moment in order to examine this other, subjective perspective that you have of yourself.