29
   

Missing in action: Where is the mind?

 
 
Cyracuz
 
Reply Tue 26 Jan, 2010 11:43 am
We know where the brain is. It has physical form and a location.
But where is the mind? Is mind merely a process, a result of the "brainengine" converting organic matter into conscious thought? If so, where does it take place? Heat from a fire has location. A speeding car has direction. Mind, as far as i know, has neither. It is not limited by physical conditions because it is not within the four dimensional space of physical existence. It is somewhere else. Where or what is this place?
 
fresco
 
  5  
Reply Tue 26 Jan, 2010 12:10 pm
@Cyracuz,
Locality is now an issue even for physics. Laughing

Gilbert Ryle called such a question about "mind" a "category mistake". The analogy he gives is of a bunch of tourists being shown round Oxford, and after all the various colleges, libraries, and other buildings had been pointed out they ask "but where is the University ?".
Letty
 
  1  
Reply Tue 26 Jan, 2010 12:29 pm
@fresco,
Funny, fresco. Actually, the final frontier is the IMAGINATION of the human mind.
0 Replies
 
wandeljw
 
  1  
Reply Tue 26 Jan, 2010 12:55 pm
@fresco,
fresco wrote:

Locality is now an issue even for physics. Laughing

Gilbert Ryle called such a question about "mind" a "category mistake". The analogy he gives is of a bunch of tourists being shown round Oxford, and after all the various colleges, libraries, and other buildings had been pointed out they ask "but where is the University ?".


This does not really answer Cyracuz's question about whether the mind's activity can be reduced to physical explanations. Can the processes of thinking and reasoning be explained by purely physical phenomena?
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Tue 26 Jan, 2010 12:56 pm
@Cyracuz,
Cyracuz wrote:
But where is the mind? Is mind merely a process, a result of the "brainengine" converting organic matter into conscious thought? If so, where does it take place? Heat from a fire has location. A speeding car has direction. Mind, as far as i know, has neither.

The same can be said about "information", right? Information doesn't have physical form, doesn't exist in our physical world. Doesn't your question simply ask for physical limits to a non-physical concept?
0 Replies
 
djjd62
 
  1  
Reply Tue 26 Jan, 2010 01:31 pm
0 Replies
 
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 26 Jan, 2010 02:23 pm
@wandeljw,
Quote:
Can the processes of thinking and reasoning be explained by purely physical phenomena?


The short answer is "no" because both "explanation" and "physical phenomena" appear to be products of what we call "the mind".
Cyracuz
 
  1  
Reply Sat 30 Jan, 2010 01:55 am
Sorry for my absence from this thread I started. Have had no internet for some time.

Anyway, I guess the short version of the question I am getting at is if mind is a "non-physical" realm.
If the physical world can be said to be a "real" only because there is consciousness to observe it, then can we speak of a "realm of consciousness" which our minds make up part of? Or would there have to be a higher/different consciousness above that again to percieve the multitude of minds sprouting like grass from separate physical bodies?
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Sat 30 Jan, 2010 02:42 am
@Cyracuz,
I think the problem is one of visualization. The phenomenologists tended to discount an "external world" because it was inaccessible, yet they sought to avoid solipsism in order to account for language and unanticipated events. One solution is to attempt to visualize a "vantage point" from which "subject" and "objects" can be seen to interact. But from that vantage point, the hypothetical "meta-observer" is still saddled with the language and logic of "lower level" observation unless that itself can be transcended. Now it may be that the required transcendence involves a "meta-logic" or mathematical model which does not yield to visualization. Particle physics is tending to produce examples of this such as "non-locality". So whatever we are calling "mind" may not yield to a "location" as such, but may have some sort of embodiment such as in the abstract "fields" of physics.
http://www.fdavidpeat.com/bibliography/essays/nat-cog.htm
aidan
 
  1  
Reply Sat 30 Jan, 2010 02:50 am
@fresco,
wandeljw asked:
Quote:
Can the processes of thinking and reasoning be explained by purely physical phenomena?

and you responded:
Quote:
The short answer is "no" because both "explanation" and "physical phenomena" appear to be products of what we call "the mind".

but would there be thinking and reasoning without the cerebral cortex- which not only dictates or accepts sensory input but also is the 'place' where perception and associations originate and are sorted into 'thought'?
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Sat 30 Jan, 2010 02:56 am
@aidan,
The "brain" (a mental construct BTW) may be necessary for "consciousness" but not sufficient.
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Sat 30 Jan, 2010 03:07 am
@fresco,
...in the same way that university buildings, curricula, funding, etc are necessary but not sufficient to account for the concept of a "university" in its epistemological and ontological sense.
aidan
 
  1  
Reply Sat 30 Jan, 2010 03:24 am
@fresco,
Then I guess my next question would be: in your mind, (or Cyracuz's or anyone else who's interested in answering this question) - what constitutes or is essential to his or her own particular concept of 'mind' beyond perception of sensory input and organization into thought? Because in my mind - that accounts for or at least forms the basis and pretty much describes what goes on in my mind.

Sorry if this is not clearly asked - but I am aware that every person can only know his or her own mind- and can never assume that someone else is of the same mind - and this extends even to what they determine a 'mind' to be - so I'm interested in how others would describe their experience of what the function of a mind are and what are it's components or contents.
In other words, what constitutes a mind - what does it encompass - what does it do?
aidan
 
  1  
Reply Sat 30 Jan, 2010 03:33 am
@aidan,
My mind just realized I said 'what a function of a mind ARE (instead of is) and my mind won't rest until I correct that. Laughing
(but that's just my mind - other minds probably wouldn't give a crap).
0 Replies
 
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Sat 30 Jan, 2010 03:58 am
@aidan,
I would say "a mind" is a particular manifestation of "consciousness" in the sense that all consciousness involves a relationship between "observers" and "objects of observation". Insofar that observers share a common physiology and a language which has paradigmatic social roots, then there can be agreement with respect to the process of "observation" including that of consciousness in others. This leaves as an open question whether "consciousness" has an an origin, or source beyond that of its manifestations, but it underscore its non-local ontological nature.
0 Replies
 
Cyracuz
 
  1  
Reply Sat 30 Jan, 2010 12:55 pm
@fresco,
I have been reading a bit about string theories and ten dimensional existence. I have no knowledge of quantum physics, but the theories, as they are explained in layman's terms, speak of vibrating strings of potential. Not physical, and more akin to information. And this happens over ten dimensions, resulting in the world we observe. So I am wondering if one or more of these other dimensions (asuming our 4 are even counted in the ten) could be the realm our consciusness exists in. A realm, perhaps with natural laws akin to those of the physical world.
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 31 Jan, 2010 01:32 am
@Cyracuz,
I would argue that "consciousnes" is not within any mathematical model of "reality" like string theory. It is that process which allows us to interpret such a model in terms of observations.

Speaking of multidimensionality for example, consider a process in statistical testing called "factor analysis" which yields the minimum number of dimensions with which some behaviourial trait might be characterized..."intelligence" say. Now suppose the method yielded that five dimensions are needed for this, then what it means is that you and I can be "compared" with each other using five numbers, and our similarity is calculated by the size of the angle between our numbers expressed as vectors in 5-space. The concept of "intelligence" has thus been modelled in order to predict the similarity of observed behaviour, thereby satisfying the predictive aspect of "a satisfactory explanation". But are we any the wiser as to what intelligence is ? No !

What I draw from this example is that concepts like "intelligence" and in our case "consciousness" are functional as opposed to material. The "is-ness" is about what it can do for us, not its separate ontological status. And in the case of "consciousness" it is that which can underpin the nature of modelling such as factor analysis or string theory. In more general terms, models a "representational" in the sense that they allow us to reexperience or preexperience aspects of observation.
Cyracuz
 
  1  
Reply Sun 31 Jan, 2010 03:49 am
@fresco,
Thanks fresco. This is really interesting stuff, and now I understand a little bit more of it Smile

"What I draw from this example is that concepts like "intelligence" and in our case "consciousness" are functional as opposed to material. The "is-ness" is about what it can do for us, not its separate ontological status."

I watched a video on youtube
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s42mrdhKwRA

This guy describes everything as functional as opposed to material. He says that we can make sense of the world only if we understand it in terms of function and possibility. I think he has an interesting philosophy Smile
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 31 Jan, 2010 04:39 am
@Cyracuz,
Good link ! I'll have a look.
Pemerson
 
  1  
Reply Sun 31 Jan, 2010 01:04 pm
@fresco,
I don't think we need necessarily to know what the mind is, but, what is its function in relation to the body-brain. I think our mind creates, in our lives, what we think about, dwell on, long for, imagine happening, love, hate - whatever are the stronger feelings and thoughts. All these are considered 'thoughts' and the mind creates accordingly to these 'pictures' taken from our thoughts.

If we want our world, as we know it, to change, then we need to change our thinking. In this way we are creators, creating our own futures. In other words, if we think we are failures, then by cracky we will fail. Whereas, if we make a mistake, correct it, see a better result from that correction, then we have truly created something incredible. We draw to us, what we think about.

Consciousness? What we think about is, really, according to our consciousness level. We should all be reaching higher, trying to understand the same old things at an ever higher level.
 

Related Topics

How can we be sure? - Discussion by Raishu-tensho
DOES NOTHING EXIST??? - Question by mark noble
Proof of nonexistence of free will - Discussion by litewave
morals and ethics, how are they different? - Question by existential potential
Destroy My Belief System, Please! - Discussion by Thomas
Star Wars in Philosophy. - Discussion by Logicus
Existence of Everything. - Discussion by Logicus
Is it better to be feared or loved? - Discussion by Black King
 
  1. Forums
  2. » Missing in action: Where is the mind?
Copyright © 2019 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.04 seconds on 12/06/2019 at 07:38:43