brain and mind

Thomas R. Gregg greggt at
Sat Jan 28 22:04:31 EST 1995

>The problem with thought is that it has never been observed.  We can 
>observe behaviors which we attribute to thought, but thought itself is too 
>etherial to grasp by direct observation.  This inability to observe 
>thought prevents us from measuring it and treating it as a physical 
>phenomenon.  Because it can't be measured, at least at the present, it is 
>outside the jurisdiction of physical study. Someone, someday, may be clever 
>enough to actually observe thought, but I have my doubts.

>Robert M. Caudle                                      "If I had my life to

I tend to agree.  The content of thoughts can't be measured like physical
events can.  Physiological correlates of thought can, though, can't they? 
For example, PET scans.  Researcher tells subject to think of moving her
fingers, subject thinks of it and blood flow to frontal cortex increases. 

You did not say that thought cannot be measured at all, just that it can't
be measured through methods of physics.  I want to point out that
psychologists sometimes claim to measure thought as a psychological, not
physical, phenomenon.  I think this is OK.  Physics cannot measure
thought, but psychology can measure what it defines as "thought", by means
of its peculiar methods.  They are different disciplines.  It is not
necessary to criticize psychology for claiming to measure thought.

More information about the Neur-sci mailing list