Re: Definition please

From: Dace (
Date: Fri Nov 30 2001 - 21:07:09 GMT

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    Subject: Re: Definition please
    Date: Fri, 30 Nov 2001 13:07:09 -0800
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    > At 10:07 PM 11/28/2001 -0800, you wrote:
    > >From: Ray Recchia
    > >
    > > > This whole mind/brain thing that people talk about in
    > > > such mystical terms is really pretty basic. When we talk about the
    > > > we speaking about observations made with our external senses, and when
    > > > we speak of the mind we are talking about our internal observations of
    > > > own state of being.
    > >
    > >External to what? Internal to what? Clearly, the brain is internal to
    > >body. You must be thinking of something immaterial, spaceless, in
    > >to which the brain would be external. That would be the sort of thing
    > >ordinarily refer to as "mystical," right?
    > >
    > >Ted
    > With my eyes, my ears, and my sense of feeling I observe the world outside
    > my body. I also have internal sensors that tell me the status of my
    > physical condition, like pain receptors, the things that tell me when I am
    > hungry, and the senses that allow me to be aware of the placement of my
    > limbs. Similarly I have senses inside my brain that make me aware of my
    > mental state.

    No such senses are known to exist. Your statement is unscientific.

    As far as anyone knows, the brain is no more aware of us than we are of it.

    > With extensions of my external senses I can examine my body
    > from the outside. Those external extensions allow me to engage in very
    > precise measurements that my senses by themselves are incapable
    > of. And which those extensions we have learned a more precise and
    > quantifiable fashion what exactly is happening inside my stomach that my
    > internal sensors report as hunger. There is no way at the present to
    > similar extensions inside my head to measure more precisely what the
    > internal sensors of my state of mind tell me.

    Every hear of psychology? Just as we can scientifically measure what's
    going on in our bodies far more accurately than our internal senses allow
    for, we can gauge our mental processes to a much greater degree of precision
    with the help of psychological tools.

    > The computer analogy is an
    > apt one. Trying to get at what my internal sensors are telling me by
    > extensions of my external sensors is like trying to examine the
    > of a computer by physically examining the chips. The difference between
    > the computer and the brain for purposes of this analogy (because of course
    > there are lots of other differences) is that the analogous internal
    > (output devices) are much more accurate tools and we have already mapped
    > out all the correlations between the internal programming and the external
    > physical devices that encode them because we created them. The mind/brain
    > analogy is no more mystical than the hardware/software analogy.

    As you point out, we create computers. In other words, they don't create
    themselves. That's why computers don't provide a useful analogy to
    brain-minds. Explaining computers does nothing to explain us.

    > The lack of precision and external verification form the basis for a lot
    > the objections to the 'meme in the mind' stance. The two solutions to
    > have been offered by Gatherer and Lynch respectively and labelled G-meme
    > and L-meme.

    That's like saying we have two "solutions" to the question of the identity
    of a coin: the "heads" school and the "tails" school. Clearly, neither of
    these options offers a genuine answer.


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