Re: A Confusing Example

From: Dace (
Date: Fri Jan 25 2002 - 17:39:11 GMT

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    Subject: Re: A Confusing Example
    Date: Fri, 25 Jan 2002 09:39:11 -0800
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    > >> >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 by itself, constitute proof that it contains or is in some
    > >> >identical 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.
    > >
    > >Joe,
    > >
    > >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
    > >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
    > >is minded, i.e. intrinsic, i.e. itself.
    > >
    > There is a difference in complexity that supervenes over several
    magnitues; to desceibe your analogy as simplistic would be the
    understatement of the millennium.

    It's your analogy, not mine. You're claiming that mentality works according
    to the same principle that produces water from H20 molecules. Water isn't
    even alive. Emergent properties don't tell us anything about what makes a
    thing alive, much less intelligent.

    > Water is composed of 2 hydrogen and 1 oxygen atom, and the bnds between
    them have only a few possibiloities (solid, liquid, gas, plasma), but even
    in these circumstances, crystallization of the solid and waterskin on the
    surface of liquid bodies are emergent principles. However, they are not
    recursive principles, precisely because h2o lacks the prerequisite
    complexity and subsequent variety (see Godel's Theorems I and II).

    Regardless of the complexity of a chemical system, if it's not alive, it's
    not going to have a mind. You'll never explain mentality on the basis of a
    nonliving, natural phenomenon.


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