Re: ality

From: Scott Chase (
Date: Fri Feb 22 2002 - 17:35:57 GMT

  • Next message: Dace: "Re: ality"

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    From: "Scott Chase" <>
    Subject: Re: ality
    Date: Fri, 22 Feb 2002 12:35:57 -0500
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    >From: "Wade T.Smith" <>
    >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
    >>our bodies. 
    >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,
    >>not mine.
    >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 :-)

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