Received: by alpheratz.cpm.aca.mmu.ac.uk id RAA20657 (8.6.9/5.3[ref firstname.lastname@example.org] for cpm.aca.mmu.ac.uk from email@example.com); Fri, 22 Feb 2002 17:41:23 GMT X-Originating-IP: [18.104.22.168] From: "Scott Chase" <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com Subject: Re: ality Date: Fri, 22 Feb 2002 12:35:57 -0500 Content-Type: text/plain; format=flowed Message-ID: <F176tgr3SU0hXCRQcqm0000417f@hotmail.com> X-OriginalArrivalTime: 22 Feb 2002 17:35:57.0347 (UTC) FILETIME=[62CB6F30:01C1BBC7] Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Precedence: bulk Reply-To: email@example.com
>From: "Wade T.Smith" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
>Subject: Re: ality
>Date: Wed, 20 Feb 2002 21:37:27 -0500
>On Wednesday, February 20, 2002, at 09:01 , Dace wrote:
>>As I've stated, memory involves reconstruction for the very simple reason
>>that the past has no spatial or material existence.
>Even though it was right there, just a moment ago. But yes, I can concede
>your point, on a philosophical level, under one narrow and semantic
>definition of 'past'.
>> We have to recreate the
>>appearance of recollected events.
>Says who? Why do you think we all have to be internalist screenwriters?
>> We go "back in time" in our minds, not
>And there you go again, putting the mind somewhere where it ain't got any
>right being, somewhere other than in the body.
>>If, on the other hand, memories are stored in the brain,
>There ain't no other hand.
>>recall should be as precise and accurate as a computer retrieving data.
>You have a truly distorted sense of how memories are stored and how precise
>the brain is, it seems.
>>That our memories are reconstructed is a problem for the mechanistic view,
>Au contraire, one has to provide some proof that memories _are_
>reconstructed, in the first place.
Reconstruction, itself, might not be so bad a way of looking at memory
retrieval processes. If I'm trying to recollect some long ago experience
based on vague fragments that aren't cueing up to their full potential, its
possible that I might add something that wasn't there to begin with,
creating more than recreating the original experience. Someone asking
leading questions could result in my totally garbling the recollection.
Nonetheless, however garbled my memories or whatever reconstruction (versus
robot-like recall) there may be, I'm using my febrile brain in the process
of recollection (an ecphoric process in Semon's terminology). My brain is
composed of neurons and their synaptic connections. I defer to Donald Hebb
and his synaptic postulate on the rest.
I have no problem identifying my"self" with my brain. It seems like the best
possible locus for where *I* am, personality-wise. It seems adequate to the
task of carrying "me" (whatever or whomever that is) around. As synaptic
strengths shift about and memories come and go, *I* change, however so
subtly. Though there's some continuity, I'm probably not exactly the same as
I was when I was 15 years old. A lot has happened since then. There's lots
of memories and influences and changes in neural representations or patterns
that separate the previous "me" from the current "me". These IMO were all
physical changes taking place within the substrate of my brain. This
identification (in a radically monist sense) does not bother me in the
least. I'm not ashamed of the convolutions of my cortices. They are probably
beautiful things to behold, as they act the ways which evolution (biological
and cultural) shaped them. Call me a materialistic, mechanistic monist
(MMM). That's me. That's my brain :-)
[this post was brought to you by Scott's brain via his fingers and keyboard]
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