If exactly one neuron magically disappeared from my brain, would my thoughts be significantly different?

One can ask an analogous question about a single neuron (and/or its synapses) being magically displaced.

I would like to know how "sensitive to initial conditions" or, rather, to fine details of structure is the activity of human brain.

This could lead to a philosophy of mind version of the old ship of Theseus philosophical thought experiment.


Has this version of the ship of theseus already appeared in the philosophy of mind literature?

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Your brain has neurons that are dying every minute. Ask yourself if your thoughts are significantly different in the time it took to read my sentence. $\endgroup$ Nov 20 '20 at 16:31
  • $\begingroup$ @Bryan Chang: but my thoughts are the thoughts of a brain in which certain neurons die every minute. How can I know that significant physiological changes wouldn't happen in the (counterfactual) situation in which those neurons did not die? :) $\endgroup$
    – Qfwfq
    Nov 22 '20 at 0:24

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.