Mon 24 Feb, 2003 10:08 am
Philosophy, Cognitive Psychology, Neuroscience---- which will most likely produce the new world view on how the mind (if there is such a thing) works. Philosophy has expounded eloquently on every facet of human mental experience such as Descartes " I think, therefore I am", Kants "Critique of Pure Reason" and a multitude of modern philosophers, but have yet to explain to everyone's satisfaction how the mind works or if it even exists.
Cognitive Psychology has delved into the cause and effect of the human mental process in hopes of devising workable therapies for mental suffering and affliction. These brilliant, talented people have only scratched the surface through applications such as Psychoanalysis. They would like to be the first to provide a new world view just as Freud once did.
Neuroscience has made great strides in observing neural activity in real time through marvelous technical devices such as the PET scan and the fMRI. This has advanced to the point where noted scientists like Francis Crick(Nobel winner for DNA)are attempting to prove that all mental functions are merely a result of neural activity and remain in the neurons. It would seem to me that neuroscience has the best chance of unlocking the mysteries of the brain and will produce the next world view of the mental process in humans. What do you think?
As I have stated many times (see also "New Technology Opening Old Doors To Theories of the Mind" p21), it is my opinion that there is much to be learned from computer research, relative to the actual workings of the human brain.
I might add that I feel, in due course, we will interface the brain and the computer in ways that will augment human capacities on the route to replacing the flawed beings that currently inhabit this planet.
How's that to get things going?
Thanks, I hope you will continue contributing.
I will do my best; but, sometimes my "contributions" are not seen as "contributing"!
Don't be so hard on yourself-----most of us live with that same feeling----me most of all. I do this to stimulate what little brain I have remaining.
Actually- your comment about interfacing the computer with the brain to replace the flawed beings on this planet is very interesting however that would mean changing human nature and while I do try to be an optimist, I am not hopeful that will ever happen.
It's not about changing human nature, but "replacing" it.
The problem, as I see it is that if a superior being could be created (read manufactured) and it shouldn't be so hard to improve on what we have now, then who would be given the task of writing the "bios" and O.S.?
Hmmm---calls for a lot of speculation and takes us a bit far afield.
Philosophy, cognitive psychology, and neuroscience are each wonderfully rich disciplines capable of entertaining us in our desire to search for the solution to the ultimate riddle.
It seems, however, that Kurt Godel has represented the inherent difficulties within any system of thought, through his Incompleteness Theorem.
Godel's logic is most reminiscent of Nagarjuna's and Derrida's:
Within every system at least one assumption must be made. To encompass that assumption, one must jump outside of it, but in doing so must assume something new, ad infinitum.
The only plausible solution to the riddle is to discover the ever-elusive, holy grail of philosophy - the self-evident truth.
First we should become aware of our assumptions. Then we should critically examine then.
Our search is for Truth.
Can subjectivity know objectivity?
Are they separable?
We need the right questions to find the right answers...if such exist.
Oh I think the more we discover, we'll find we know less than we thought.
Zen experience must be referred to.
GitVonGat. Very stimulating. About objectivity and subjectivity, it seems to me that all thought about objectivity is subjectivity in action. And one thing about subjectivity is that it is an objective fact. Wow, the circle makes one dizzy.
JLN isn't that the truth and around and round we go.
Hmmmm - crick amuses me, in a way, though I greatly admire his work.
To say that what we refer to as "mind" is nothing but the action of neurones is the same, logically, as saying that what we refer to as music is nothing but the action of blowing, scraping and bashing musical instruments - on the one hand entirely obvious and self-evident, on the other hand, entirely missing the subjectivity that is 90% of the point.
I say this not as a metaphysician claiming a soul or whatever, but as a participant in whatever "mind" is - and claiming that the subjectivity is the essence.
This is to say that I am entirely happy to believe that the basis of mind is meat and the electrical activity of the neurones, but the experience is a necessary part of the definition, and, while that may be the result of meat and chemicals end electrical impulses, it is more than that.
I believe the disciplines will all contribute to wherever the road leads - each a beacon and corrective for the other.
Dlowan, well put and true too.
I've argued elsewhere that all descriptions of the objective world express subjectivity in action, and subjectivity is an objective fact in the world. Rorty, following Davidson, would see the two "levels" such that one cannot be "reduced" to the other. They are, instead, two different ways of talking about the same realities. I'm still trying to understand this.
Sounds like Schroedinger's cat.
JL Nobody - indeed - but I would argue that are different things, too - or at least that one has an added dimension.
At the very fundamental level of our brain, it's just a bunch of biological reactions influenced by our environment. Nothing less, and nothing more. What I find most fascinating about the function of our brain is how to maximize its use. I find it curious that a Mozart was able to play the piano at three, and compose music at the age of six. Some of us can't carry a tune or play any instrument at the age of 60, no matter how hard we try. The area of ESP is still a mystery. I'm sure computers will enhance the study of our brain, but will be limited - IMHO. c.i.
I agree, Dlowan. While I can describe the BASIS of an experience in terms of neurological processes, the ACTUAL experience may require poetry to adequately describe it in human terms.
i.e. poetry born of synergy;
the tangable "effect" of all the components of the brain is "compiled" into a "process" by the synergetic affect of the whole.