The Brain and the Self in the Comprehensive Realism of Donald M. Mackay
The brain, the mind and the self are usually described as separate entities, although we intuitively recognize that they share some kind of relationship. The puzzle, however, begins when one tries to understand how a human being lives as a unique person with a brain, a mind and a self. Pondering about such questions is as old as humanity and different solutions have been given. In this short essay, I will compare the thinking of Donald MacCrimmon MacKay with some of the ongoing theories about the relationships between the brain and the self. MacKay’s views about the person overcome current mechanistic and emergentist positions. In addition, his acknowledgment of a subjective perspective, which he called the I-Story, in tension with an objective Brain story, helps us to recognize and interact with the person even when the brain has been physically damaged.