Re: Memes and associative learning in neurons

Fri, 6 Nov 1998 12:56:08 -0500 (EST)

Subject: Re: Memes and associative learning in neurons
Date: Fri, 6 Nov 1998 12:56:08 -0500 (EST)

On Fri, 6 Nov 1998 13:18:32 +0000 Martin de Jong
<> wrote:

> Stephen would apply this framework to all levels, leading Derek to
> conclude he is a panpsychist. I have no idea what it means to be a
> panpsychist, probably that psyche rules over matter.

No, it means basically a Spinozist, one who sees mind as embedded
somehow in all matter. I see Steve as a panpsychist in as much as he
attributes mind (qua association) to individual neurons. He may not be
a complete panpsychist in the full sense because he possibly/probably
doesn't attribute mind to inert matter (such as rocks etc.)

> I think he is
> pointing at the fact that mind and matter are inextricably linked. I
> would call this position spinozistic

Yes, that is panpsychism. I think the Greek root translates as 'mind
everywhere' or something to that effect.

> Why, if neurons do realise
> associations with former events and experiences, can they not be
> called 'subjective'?

The problem is the word 'if'. I can't prove that they don't, but I
would venture that Occam's Razor requires us to step back from such a
hypothesis unless there is compelling evidence for it (which there
isn't currently).

> That seems perfectably reasonable and realistic
> to me. You do not have to a 'pan psychist' to share that opinion.

Sorry, I should have been clearer what I meant by panpsychist.


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