Re: Definition please

From: Dace (
Date: Sun Dec 02 2001 - 18:09:00 GMT

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    Subject: Re: Definition please
    Date: Sun, 2 Dec 2001 10:09:00 -0800
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    > Hi Ted. Thanks for responding.
    > > > 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.
    > When I realize that I am happy I am engaging an internal sense similiar
    > to the hunger that I feel. I am labelling both of them senses. Although
    > 'happy' isn't well defined it certainly exists.

    The state of your belly is transmitted to you via internal senses. This is
    not the case with emotions. You don't need to be told that you're feeling
    happy or sad.

    Let's say you have a stomach ache. Your internal sensation tells you your
    stomach hurts. You then feel unhappy about this. Does that mean another
    internal sensor is monitoring your emotional organ? But no such organ
    exists! Thoughts and feelings are aspects of yourself. You don't need
    some kind of a sense organ to monitor them.

    > >As far as anyone knows, the brain is no more aware of us than we are of
    > >it.
    > I am aware of myself. I and my brain are the same thing. I think you have
    > said this yourself in the past.

    If they're the same thing, how can one be aware of the other? Brains don't
    have the trait known as "awareness." What you'll find in brains are
    electrochemical transmissions, potassium channels, glial support cells,
    things like that. Brains and minds are the same thing in the sense that
    heads and tails are the same thing. One coin, two perspectives.

    > > > With extensions of my external senses I can examine my body
    > > > from the outside. Those external extensions allow me to engage in
    > > > 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
    > > > create 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.
    > First you said that no internal senses existed. Now you say that we can
    > gauge them to a greater degree of precision with psychological
    > tools. Which is it Ted? If you acknowledge them now you are being....

    We have internal senses to monitor what's inside our bodies just as we have
    external senses to monitor what's outside. But minds are not inside our
    bodies. A surgeon can locate your appendix. The same cannot be said of
    your mind.

    Psychology doesn't enhance our internal senses. It enhances our

    > The inaccuracies of measurement come from of lack of ability to precisely
    > correlate our internal senses with tangible physical phenomena observable
    > by our external senses.

    Once your appendix has been removed, it's viewable by your external senses.
    Can the same be said of regret, of anxiety?

    > Actually before you mentioned it in your post I had never heard of
    > psychology. I looked it up on the web though and I thank you for opening
    > up this brand new field of discovery to me. Statements like 'Ever hear of
    > psychology?' don't really enhance the discussion on this list imho.

    My apologies.

    > >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 analogy is that computers also have methods of demonstrating their
    > internal state that do not require external physical examination. The
    > difference is not that we made them, but that we possess a complete
    > understanding of how the internal and external correlate in a computer.

    When you speak of computers, your use of "internal" is strictly physical.
    But when you speak of minds, "internal" takes on a metaphysical meaning.
    You're using the same word to talk about two different things.

    > In a more general fashion though I would have to dispute your contention
    > that explaining computers does nothing to explain humans. Neural net
    > computer models have had some use in understanding actual neural
    > nets. Parallel computing was I believe in part inspired by brains and
    > also provides a useful analogy in explaining them. I suspect that there
    > are other uses as well.

    There's no reason why computers can't help explain the brain. But they can't
    explain the nature of this "mind" or "self" that seems to be "within" us but isn't
    physically located inside our bodies.


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