Re: A Question for Wade

From: Dace (
Date: Tue Dec 04 2001 - 03:10:42 GMT

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    Subject: Re: A Question for Wade
    Date: Mon, 3 Dec 2001 19:10:42 -0800
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    From: Joe Dees

    > > "Dace"

    > >> >The big problem for a neurologically irreducible mind is the apparent
    > >> >uselesslness of mentality in the functioning of the nervous system.
    > >> >the rest of your body has no need for a mind, why would the brain
    > >> >require one?
    > >> >
    > >> So that that body could maximize its survival chances in the
    > >by remembering previously learned environmental lessons, faithfully
    > >representing the present environment and its threats and opportunities,
    > >extrapolating them into further likelihoods between which one might be
    > >to choose most favored alternatives by means of present action. In other
    > >words, better choices. This also points to conscious self-awareness, for
    > >is upon the basis of the welfare of the self that such choices would be
    > >made.
    > >>>>
    > >
    > >But why does the brain require a mind to do those things? If the brain
    > >represent, remember, and extrapolate, the mind is superfluous.
    > >
    > But it requires the existence of self-reference, as a premise, to be able
    to choose between competing future scenarios, for they are chosen between on
    the basis of their perceived benefit to that very self, and the effort of
    volition is engaged in such intentional self-service.

    All organisms possess self-reference. Life is self-generative,
    self-regulating, and self-perpetuating. Consciousness, to one degree or
    another, is universal to life. Every bacterium must feel its way across.
    Each organism is dedicated to its survival. It senses, learns, and
    develops. Out of this comes evolution. Whether species or individual, life
    is self-referential. What's unique about humans is that we can develop as
    individuals with the same degree of freedom ordinarily reserved for species.
    We've achieved this, not through self-referentiality per se, but through
    *mental* self-referentiality. Being unaware of mentality, (pre-ape) animals
    perceive themselves as bodily creatures in a physical environment. Yes,
    their minds operate just like ours-- with the same cold logic, as a matter
    of fact-- but they're not aware that they're engaged in these mental
    processes. They're just "in the moment," in their bodies in a place, and
    that's it. With our mental self-perception, humans are capable of examining
    the way we think and behave, thus amplifying almost infinitely the field of
    free activity.

    > Sorry; brains are not like other organs (even though the brain does
    regulate them), and therefore metaphors equating them are bound to be
    fundamentally flawed.

    Organs are almost entirely self-regulating. The effects of the brain on
    organs are incredibly minute relative to the degree to which they
    self-manage. Every organ has to interact with its environment. Each one
    has to sense in some way what's going on around it. The fundamental sense
    of life is touch. In fact, all successive senses are in some way based in
    touch, as in ochular drumbeats and photon splashdowns in the retinal sea.
    The brain feels its way through, and the heart feels its way through.
    There's no fundamental difference. If hearts don't need "minds," then
    neither do brains.

    > >> >The only way to salvage a notion of mentality (and self-nature)
    > >> >is to universalize it. Life is mind. Mind is life. What makes a
    > >> >thing alive is that it can't be understood except in the context
    > >> >of its own living past. Life is memory. It's not just the brain
    > >> >that's influenced by mentality (relfexive or not) but every organic
    > >> >structure.
    > >> >
    > >> This sounds like the panvitalistic panpsychism that was propounded by
    > >Erwin Schrodinger in his books WHAT IS LIFE?, MIND AND MATTER, and MY
    > >OF THE WORLD. It's kinda a pseudophilosophical Hinduism, believing all
    > >life, mind and soul to be the expression of a single force, as Hinduism
    > >proper unites the world-soul with the self-soul in their famous
    > >pronouncements Brahmatman (Brahmin is Atman) anf Tvat Am Asi (That Thou
    > >Art). It is irreduceably a mystical and religious, not an empirical or
    > >philosophical, perspective.
    > >>>>
    > >
    > >I do agree that everything reduces to a single force. In my view, that
    > >force is time. I interpret Brahman accordingly. Brahman is
    > >divided between shakti (potency) and maya (illusion). For me, shakti is
    > >absolute presence of time, which we know through our minds, while maya is
    > >merely moment-to-moment materialization, which we know through our
    > >Since whatever we perceive around us has in fact already occurred, the
    > >material "present" is actually past. In that sense, the realm of the
    > >is illusory.
    > >
    > >As to panpsychism, mind is indeed universal insofar as it's an expression
    > >time, and time is universal. Life is anima, and time is animation.
    > >
    > Your position is then most definitely Vedantist, as such, it is a
    mystico-religious position, and not a scientific one, as it assumes those
    very things for which science demands proof. Robin Faichney has been knowm
    to try to push the same thing from the Buddhist perspective that you are
    trying to do from the Vedantist one; in either case, such religious
    pseudoexplanations are slavishy in thrall to the very mysticoreligious memes
    which comprise a part (not a whole) of the field of memes that they purport
    to understand and explain, and thus must ultimately fail in their attempt to
    analyze what they have already assumed, and to reveal the structural memetic
    relation in its entirety.

    Since when was time mystico-religious? Is it not right before you at every
    moment of your existence? What could be more down-to-earth?

    > It would be interesting, from a point of view of the understanding of
    memopathology, to watch from the sidelines the memetic exercise of your two
    religious ideologies using you two as mouthpiece memebots to argue the
    issue, however.

    Now, now.

    > >
    > >
    > >Ted
    > >
    > >
    > >

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