Re: Different words for the same thing?

From: William Benzon (
Date: Thu 20 Mar 2003 - 11:36:38 GMT

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    on 3/19/03 7:47 PM, Grant Callaghan at wrote:

    > Well, it depends on what you mean by those terms. If you mean "propagate"
    > to indicate the kind of process by which a computer virus moves from one
    > computer to another, then, no, that is not what Freeman is saying. He
    > doesn't believe that brains operate by moving patterns of bits from place to
    > place within themselves and he certainly doesn't believe that human
    > interaction involves copying bit patterns from one brain to another.
    > Bill B
    > Since I neither said nor meant that, I can't imagine why you brought it up.
    > I meant exactly what the words Freeman used are taken to mean:
    > "Neuroactivity constructs meaning, modifies intentional structure, and makes
    > representations for purposes of communication among humans and animals"
    > Since that in no way duplicates what computers do, I can't see why you
    > suspected I meant something like that. Are you looking for a straw man to
    > knock down? ;)
    > Grant

    You had asked this question: "Isn't that a way of propagating meanings from one brain to another?" And I'm telling you that, no, that is not what Freeman means by the passage you quoted above. If you think he does mean that, then you do not understand his sense of "meaning."

    I don't know what "meaning" means to you, much less what you think it means to Freeman. I know you haven't used the computer virus analogy, but it has been used in these discussions and it is a moderately specific notion. I used it to indicate that THAT is NOT what Freeman means. As for what Freeman does mean by "meaning," that is not explained easily. You really need to read his technical work to get a handle on that. His abstracts do not adequately convey what he means.


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