Re: ality

From: Dace (
Date: Sat Feb 23 2002 - 00:09:01 GMT

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    Subject: Re: ality
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    > What animosity do you harbor for the brain?

    None whatsoever, Scott. I have a stimulating relationship with my brain.

    > Why do you diminish such a
    > beautiful (if not perfect in the absolutist sense) organ in such a way.
    > What's wrong with identifying the mind as function and/or epiphenomenon
    > with the brain? At least the brain is tangible and concrete, not an
    > abstraction fraught with diffuculties.

    The mind may not be concrete, but it's not abstract either. Only the
    *contents* of our thoughts are abstract. The thoughts themselves are as
    real as the sun and the earth. We're not just imagining we're thinking. We
    really are.

    > The concept of mind is possibly disposible.

    Heck, we're all disposable. Life itself is disposable, and we're doing a
    damn good job of liquidating it.

    > Dispose of the brain and you wind up with *geist*, polter- or otherwise.
    > I recently watched a movie called _Momento_ where this guy had some
    > serious memory problem.

    Memento, yes. Excellent movie. Very disturbing. I hated it the whole time
    and realized on the way out of the theatre it was a work of genius.

    > I'd imagine this problem had a physical basis. Don't various amnesias
    > have a physical basis, due to some insult to brain tissue? Don't
    > various substances exert an influence on memory?

    Assuming the brain facilitates all mental processes, they would have to.

    > IIRC Korsakoff's
    > syndrome has something to do with long-term alcohol consumption or at
    > least involves a particular region of the brain.
    > Actually my old neuropsych class text _Fundamentals of
    > Neuropsychology_ by Kolb and Whishaw (1990. WH Freeman and
    > Company, New York, p. 151) says in Table 7-3 this of a "probable cause"
    > for Korsakoff's syndrome:
    > (bq) "(a)trophy of medial thalamus and mamillary bodies from chronic
    > excessive alcohol consumption." (eq)

    No qualms here.

    > _Momento_ was a cool movie, but not a comical as Dana Carvey's
    > _Clean Slate_ with that funnylittle dog which had some sort of sight
    > problems.
    > Would you deny that eyes are responsible for sight? Would you deny that
    > the various components of the hearing apparatus (including external ear
    > flaps and also parts evolutionarily co-opted from the "reptilian" jaw) are
    > responsible for hearing? Rush Limbaugh recently had a problem (IIRC
    > related to an auto-immune disease) with his hearing which may improve
    > with new medical technology. If eyes are responsible for sight and the ear
    > apparatus responsible for hearing, why would you deny the responsibility
    > of the brain for "mind" and memory?

    That the brain is necessary for mental processes doesn't mean these
    processes are reducible to the brain. That you need compustible materials
    for a fire doesn't mean the fire is nothing more than the materials


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