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From: Scott Chase
> > > >Thoughts are not reducible to neurons (and their synaptic
> > > >connections). Thinking involves representation, which is not a
> > > >physical or chemical property.
> > > >
> > > Thinking has a physical or chemical basis. Thinking costs calories
> > > and involves electrochemical events and flow of neurotransmitters.
> > > Thoughts are reducible in principle to neurophysiology of neurons and
> > > their synaptic connections, not parapsychological phenomena. I've
> > > wasted too much precious ATP trying to bring this point across to you.
> >You're wasting ATP trying to explain something to me I've understood
> >since the age of eight.
> You were a quite precocious youngster.
The notion that the mind is really the brain was ground into me as a small
child. Admittedly, I wasn't familiar with neurons and synapses until high
> >Yes, thinking has a physical basis, and neurotransmission
> >has a mental basis.
> Ummm..., thinking has a physical basis and "mentality" has a
> neurochemical basis.
In order for us intentionally think, the brain must respond to our commands.
> >Any attempt to reduce one side to the other is covert dualism. No one is
> >suggesting that thoughts are based on "parapsychological phenomena."
> But you would suggest we read Sheldrake's books for edification, would
> you not?
"Parapsychological phenomena" implies that basic functions of the mind, such
as memory, are in some way unusual or abnormal.
> >The basis of the mind is itself. The mind is the self-existence of the
> >brain, while the brain is the material existence of the mind.
> >Representation requires a body of understanding built up over a period
> >of time. The mind can comprehend and re-present because it
> >embraces precisely the amount of time spanned by its memory. The
> >brain, as the spatiomaterial surface of the mind, lacks the temporal
> >depth required for memory and knowledge.
> So if I'm reading you right, mind is temporal (and spiritual?) and brain
> spatial(material)? How would one account for the development of the
> brain during fetal development, with antecedent processes like
The development of the brain is unconsciously guided by previous, similar
brains. The mind is the brain's memory, be it conscious or unconscious,
personal or collective.
> The brain itself still undergoes changes. Changes involve time, a temporal
> aspect. Brain is temporal.
The brain exists in only one moment at any given time. It doesn't span time
the way the mind does. For the brain, the present exludes the past. For
the mind, the present embraces the past. To be more precise, the brain is
the aspect of mind which is spatiotemporal, i.e. limited to the current
> > > I can draw a picture of a flower on paper. The flower and its
> > > representation on paper (with limitations due to my lousy artistic
> > > abilities) co-exist within the same world.
> >Did you draw a picture of a flower, or did you leave bits of crayon stuck
> >to a piece of baked woodpulp?
> Both. Why are you putting a crayon in my hand?
You drew marks on a piece of paper and "flower" in your mind as you
interpreted the marks on the paper.
> >Let's be hard core here, shall we? We're all so
> >modern and rational and scientific, so let's really mean it for once.
> >it may sound harsh that your pretty little "flower" doesn't physically
> >exist, but if the mind is unreal, so is the flower.
> The flower I hypothetically drew (with pencil not crayon) physically
> as a part of a plant which carries genes in its DNA which resulted from
But the drawing you made is a representation of that flower only in your
mind, not on the paper.
> Better yet lets use an example based on a photocopying machine. I take
> a picture of a daisy. I photocopy this picture. Now I put the picture and
> photocopy on the same table as the daisy itself. The daisy, its pictorial
> representation, and the photocopy of this co-exist in the same world. My
> memories of this whole process would likewise co-exist with the daisy,
> the picture and the photocopy. How's that?
Is the daisy living or dead? If it's dead, it's not really a daisy but
merely a collection of molecules temporarily resembling one until its
molucular bonds have dissolved. If the daisy is dead, then indeed it's no
different than the picture of it and the copy of the picture. All three
have no intrinsic nature to match our interpretations of them.
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