Anesthesia extension argument
Anesthesia extension argument:
The anesthesia argument gives evidence that it is not the body or a supernatural entity like a soul that is important for your continued existence but the structure and functioning of the brain that is important for the continuation of the self through time.
Anesthesia extension argument asks the questions of what happens when we make different kinds of changes to the body during the period that you are not conscious because of anesthesia. If anesthesia is given for the duration of your life is this the equivalent of being dead for you? From an outside conscious source you (your body) appears to be still alive. These outside conscious observers experience your existence because they are conscious of your body. They cannot directly see that your consciousness is gone or more precisely your body is not producing a consciousness that you experience.
There are many different experiments we can perform on the unconscious, due to anesthesia, per person. We will start with a radical experiment. We dispose of the original and replace him with a cidentireplica of this original. The cidentireplica is not conscious because he is by definition functioning exactly like the original meaning that he is under the influence of the anesthesia as well. When we bring the cidentireplica out of the state of unconsciousness what consciousness will the cidentireplica have and what will be the ixperiencitness of the this cidentireplica? Because the cidentireplica would have the same structure and functioning as the original has, he should have the same consciousness. Clearly the cidentireplica is not the same physical person as the original. The question is will he have the same ixperiencitness as the original? Most people would say that since the cidentireplica is a different person than the original he must have a different ixperiencitness than the original. This means that the original does not experience conscious existence again. Awaretheory says that the original's ixperiencitness is created in the cidentireplica. If you asked the cidentireplica about his experiences he would remember everything that the original would have. Unless he was told or shown convincing evidence other wise, he would think that he was the original. Even if he were told or shown that he was a cidentireplica he would very likely think that he was being lied to or in some way fooled.
When we think about this situation the reason that thinkers reject that the cidentireplica could have either the same consciousness and or ixperiencitness as the original is because it directly leads to the multiplicity of consciousness because the cidentireplica could have been created before the original was eliminated making for two bodies producing the same consciousness and ixperiencitness at the same time. They do not have to be aware of each other existence. If one body no longer produces consciousness or ixperiencitness it will not effect the other consciousnesses, unless it changes somehow the structure and functioning in this other body enough.
We can imagine a continuum experiment where we change the original very slightly,