A Neuroscience Question about Kant

Phil Nicholls pn8886 at csc.albany.edu
Fri Feb 24 10:08:43 EST 1995


In article <FAIN.95Feb23215917 at cyboscine.etho.caltech.edu>,
Dan Fain <fain at etho.caltech.edu> wrote:
>
>In article <3i5dj3$29c at ixnews2.ix.netcom.com> mcnerney at ix.netcom.com (Gerald McNerney) writes:
>
>> According to Kant, these modes reside in our understanding.  Anything we 
>> understand must conform to these categories.
>> 
>> If this is so, then there must exist some mechanism of understanding 
>> which forms these categories.  It would be a set of circuit structures, 
>> or chemical messengers or some other neural mechanism that causes this. 
>>  Is there anything in neuroscience that resembles this, that could 
>> account for either the 12 categories of the understanding, or the space 
>> and time modes of perception?
>
>This metatheory would have to be predictive at lower levels of
>abstraction in order to be tied to neural function.  For example, it
>might predict that people would not make certain distinctions, or
>formulate certain thoughts.  This would be just a starting point, and
>it would be within the realm of cognitive science (see sci.cognitive)
>or symbolic artificial intelligence (see comp.ai.philosophy).
>
>Even if this theory could be verified through psychological
>experiment, it would be quite hard to relate it to low-level brain
>mechanisms.  For example, phonemes may be thought of as atomic units
>of language--yet no one has explained their perception in terms of
>neurobiology.
>
>Dan Fain
>Caltech

That (perception of phonemes in terms of neurobiology) would be a
really facinating line of research.  Are you absolutely certain that
no one has look at this?

-- 
Philip "Chris"  Nicholls               	  Department of Anthropology
Institute for Hydrohominoid Studies       SUNY  Albany
University of Ediacara			  pn8886 at cnsunix.albany.edu
"Semper Alouatta"



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