Re: Definition please

From: Dace (
Date: Tue Dec 04 2001 - 03:26:10 GMT

  • Next message: Ray Recchia: "Re: Definition please"

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    Subject: Re: Definition please
    Date: Mon, 3 Dec 2001 19:26:10 -0800
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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
    > >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.

    In that case, what will be the point of retaining the concept of "mind?" If
    it's only been a useful illusion all along, as Dennett argues, won't its
    usefulness have come to an end at that point?

    > >We have internal senses to monitor what's inside our bodies just as we
    > >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?

    As far as the mind has location, that location is the brain's. For the
    mind, location is an accidental quality. At its essence, it is spaceless.
    We already know of one natural object-- time-- which has no definable
    spatial location, so it shouldn't come as a shock that another natural
    object is similarly nonlocal.

    The true "location" of mind is time. To have a mind is to act on the basis
    of memory in the pursuit of goals. You can take the space out of mind, but
    try removing the time and nothing's left.

    > >Once your appendix has been removed, it's viewable by your external
    > >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
    > 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.

    Are *you* afraid, or is it your amygdala?

    > >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

    If the observations of the brain point to the external location of the
    brain, then in what sense are these observations internal? The brain is
    already inside. How much more "inside" can you get? Not spatially,
    certainly. There's only one other option.


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