Re: A Confusing Example

From: Dace (
Date: Tue Jan 22 2002 - 18:33:49 GMT

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    Subject: Re: A Confusing Example
    Date: Tue, 22 Jan 2002 10:33:49 -0800
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    From: Francesca S. Alcorn

    > >That different regions of the brain are associated with different
    > >aspects of mental functioning doesn't mean the brain is somehow
    > >generating or directing or storing any of this mental existence. The
    > >brain knows nothing of what it facilitates.
    > The model which I read (a few years ago now, so maybe it has changed)
    > suggests that learning results in increased sensitivity at the
    > synapses, and increased connections among neurons. Thus learning
    > and experience *directly* change the structure of the brain.

    Sure. But that doesn't mean the brain itself learns or has experiences.
    When I learned how to tie my shoes, no doubt this had an effect on my brain.
    But that doesn't mean my brain learned how to tie shoes. The only thing
    that happened in my brain is that a few neurons forged some new connections.
    That the brain facilitates mental activity cannot, by itself, constitute
    proof that it contains or is in some way identical to mental activity.
    Given the abstract and representational nature of mentality, it seems absurd
    that mind could be reduced to any physical object, including the brain.
    (Since when did an atom "represent" another atom?) That memes are in the
    mind doesn't mean they're in the brain. The brain's activities facilitate
    memes as much as any other aspect of human consciousness.


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