Re: Definition please

From: Ray Recchia (
Date: Mon Dec 03 2001 - 11:36:37 GMT

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    Date: Mon, 03 Dec 2001 06:36:37 -0500
    From: Ray Recchia <>
    Subject: Re: Definition please
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    At 10:09 AM 12/2/2001 -0800, you wrote:

    >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.
    The 'brain' as you describe it is an external description of the
    mind. Once neurologists have it all worked they will be able to describe
    what you label 'the mind' with these parts of the brain. From this
    paragraph I would guess we are speaking of the same thing. However your
    later statements...

    >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.

    Where exactly is it located then?

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

    I believe that there is a lot of evidence to indicate that if certain
    portions of the brain are removed cognitive and emotional function are
    impaired. It is possible that 'anxiety' does not map to an exact region of
    the brain, much in the same way that a program can be located in different
    regions of computer's memory, but it is in the brain.

    > > 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.

    I suppose if you believe that the internal observations of the brain point
    to a place somewhere other than the external location of the brain that
    might be correct. However, in the absence of that belief, it is a
    perfectly useful analogy.

    Ray Recchia

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