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Is there such a thing as the self?

Teleportation and LSD trips could help us understand the nature of personal identity

By Jim Holt   July 2014

“Once your brain is vaporised, the lights go out for good. Even an exact physical duplicate of your body and brain would not be you—although it would certainly believe it was.”

Self by Barry Dainton (Penguin, £8.99)

Me, Myself and Why: Searching for the Science of the Self by Jennifer Ouellette (Penguin US, £9.99)

Most of us, when we look in the mirror, have a sense that behind the eyes looking back at us is a me-ish thing: a self. But this, we are increasingly told, is an illusion. Why?…

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