Re: A Confusing Example

From: Dace (
Date: Thu Jan 24 2002 - 03:33:46 GMT

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    Subject: Re: A Confusing Example
    Date: Wed, 23 Jan 2002 19:33:46 -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
    > >> 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.
    > >
    > The dynamically recursive mind that emerges from the complex material
    substrate brain experiences and acts.


    Water is a property that emerges, quite surprisingly, from the agglomeration
    of H2O molecules. This would be a nice example of emergent property. So,
    does water somehow reach back into its molecules and influence their
    configurations? Yet the mind influences the brain. Without this, there
    would be no possibility of free will.

    No matter how much you mix up the molecules, it's still water. Yet when we
    mix up the neurons, we get very different minds. If it's strictly an
    emergent property, then every mind should be the same. With your model we
    could account for a sort of generic mentality but never a living mind in all
    its particularities.

    We must start with the fact that life is self-existence. The mind is the
    self-existence of the body. Not just the brain but every organic structure
    is minded, i.e. intrinsic, i.e. itself.


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