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From: Vincent Campbell
> <Sheldrake offers the phenomenon of "phantom limbs" as evidence for
> > fields. Unlike an inanimate object, the body wants to be whole. When
> > arm is lost, the individual invariably reports that somehow it still
> > to be there. This makes perfect sense from the morphic point of view.
> > The
> > fields that regulate the structures of the body are arranged in a nested
> > hierarchy. Protein fields are nested within organelle fields, which are
> > nested within cell fields, which are nested within tissue fields, and so
> > on.
> > The field for an arm is part of a larger field embracing the rest of the
> > body. So it can't be removed just because the arm it regulated is gone.
> > This would explain the sense that the arm is still there in some way.>
> Do keep up Ted. Even those of us who follow this kind of stuff
> through a combination of science magazines, popular science books, and
> science TV shows know what's going on with phantom limbs.
Are you sure about that? Have we explained phantom limbs or merely
described what happens in the brain when phantom limbs are sensed? Why
should signals from nerves where the arm was cut off induce a feeling that
the arm is still there? Does this mean our sensation of our arms doesn't
actually require arms in the first place?
Where does our sense of our body come from? Is it represented for us in a
map in our postcentral gyrus, or do we directly sense our bodies? In other
words, does the postcentral gyrus *contain* our bodily sensation or merely
facilitate it? Sheldrake is suggesting that each of us does actually sense
our body and not merely a representation of it in the brain. Our somatic
perception is in some way related to the holistic, field-based organization
of the body. Think that's weird? How about a postcentral homunculus?
We don't live in our brains. We're not all nice and snug in a little box,
with a TV in the occipital lobe and a stereo in the temporal lobe. Our
mental life can't be reduced to the brain any more than our bodies can be
reduced to our genes.
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