Neuroscience: More "brain in a vat" talk
In this Newsweek blog article, author Rita Carter informs us,
Oh, totally. I think we are our brains. When we change the brain, we change the person. The more you look at brains . . . it becomes unavoidable that essentially everything you are is determined by the way that organ is working. And people who, for example, have a serious accident where a bit of their brain is knocked out, there is no doubt that a bit of them goes with it. Of course, [on the other hand] it does allow one to change and to learn. And yet there is still a very instinctive sense that we are more than our brains—and I can kind of sympathize with that because it’s common to us all, but I do think that if you really look at neuroscience you are forced to admit that all we are is this particular pattern of electrical activity in an organ, really.Uh, no. Even a materialist atheist will normally concede that we have bodies too.
Speaking for myself, essentially everything I am is not "determined by the way that organ is working". I have a number of other organs to think of, and many of their malfunctions are not "this particular pattern of electrical activity in an organ."
Indeed, there are times I wish I could be the brain in a vat this author describes, just to shut off the bodily feedback I can't do anything about. But it has never happened and never will.