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F. Frank LeFever flefever at ix.netcom.com
Tue May 13 21:42:43 EST 1997


    I am bewildered by colleen's (Colleen's??) post which repeats
    my correction and restatement of my prior post:  is she being 
    sarcastic in what otherwise appears to be an approving comment,
     or has she simply missed the point?


    My reference to people who assume that others do not have their 
    self-rated "broad" experience was a reference to people like her!
    I have excerpted some of her exchanges with eugene (Eugene?) to
    illustrate the point.  (v. infra)



n <Pine.GSO.3.95.970509164340.14715C-100000 at orichalc.acsu.buffalo.edu>
cmspecht at acsu.buffalo.edu writes: 
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>no eugene, we are discussing free will.  have you read much about it?
>there is much to learn in many disciplines.

    Having read what both of them have posted, my impression is that   
    Eugene has indeed read much about it, and probably long before     
    Colleen did,, and has had time to think the issue through to a 
    well-reasoned conclusion, drawing on what he has learned from
    (I would guess) at least as many disciplines as she has.


>
>and while i am well aware that science does not overlap with religion
(and am in fact not a believer), you cannot deny religious faith,
eugene.  it is real.  and there are many many many many ways of
explaining the world. science is one, and religion is one, and there
are more.
>
    If one is familiar with the history of ideas, and know (for 
    example) what "explanation" meant in prescientific times,
    and why we have adopted the scientific form of explanation,
    and how it has yielded answers to questions which had been 
    fruitlessly debated for generations, the invitation to think
    of "many many many ways" does not mean what it does to someone
    who is ignorant of it.  Eugene is familiar with it.  Colleen
    apparently is not, but assumes she knows things that Eugene has
    never  even imagined.



>> > intuitively, it is very difficult to think that our behavior is
completely
>> > mechanistic.  however, there is not a single documented case of a
>> > non-physical (i.e. anti matter (free will if it did not have a
physical
>> > function as a neural outcome)) event conclusively determining a
physical
>> > event.  and yet there are a gazillion examples where physical
events have
>> > been shown to cause the non-physical.
>> 
>> Ignoring spiritualism, I actually thougth the free will to be a
nonissue. 


>
>then i suggest you get reading.  perhaps physicists 'ignore' the
>construct, but many scientists do not.
>
    Here is the arrogance of ignorance again.  Colleen assumes 
    that Eugene has not read much.  She thinks she has read more.
    She neglects the possibility that he has read more than she
    and is aware of the history of this problem.  My inference
    from what he posts (perhaps not clear to her because of
    the density of references, implicit but obvious to anyone
    familiar with the history) is that he has.



>> In a scientific frame of reference, there is no "consciousness". So
far there is no evidence of "consciousness" to be a nonphysical
process.  

 
 
>
>(where did you hear this?)
>when you've read a bit you will have learned that there is MOST
definitely
>a consciousness from a scientific reference. for pete's sake, what you
>are thinking at this moment is contained there.
>
    Again, the arrogance of assuming that when he has read what she
    has read he will know as much as she does (and therefore agree 
    with whatever it is she is trying to say).

    More striking is the glaring example of what I (and other "naive"
    "narrow" party-poopers) have complained of: not just failure
    to define "consciousness" but complete obliviousness to the
    NEED to define it.  "For pete's sake, what you are thinking at
    this moment is contained there."

    Where?

    "Contained"??

    Is she actually saying his thoughts are "contained" in his 
    "thinking"?  Or "Consciousness is something that contains 
    thoughts"??  Or what on earth IS she trying to say?
    If she does intend this as an implicit definition (God forbid
    that she OR Searles would attempt an EXPLICIT definition), 
    we can proceed--if, of course, she can define "thoughts"
    and (more subtle, but more important) define "contained".



>i do not understand this point so i cannot reply.

    Well spoken!

>
>> > i would suggest to the original poster that this is more a
question dealt
>> > with by the philosophers (not that this precludes, by any means, a
>> > scientist from attempting to understand it).
>> 
>> Philosophy != science. I thought we had ample evidence from the
history, 
>> about insight-gaining properties of philosophy (or, better, lack 
>> thereof).
>



>i do not understand this whatsoever.  have you no use for philosophers
>either, eugene?>

    Possibly Eugene has had some of the same background I had.  I was a
    philosophy major, at one of the top undergraduate schools in the   
    country (Kenyon College), but outgrew it.  One impetus was what I
    got out of Wittgenstein (a philosopher, Colleen): the insight that
    many traditional "questions" in philosophy were not real questions
    --i.e., were not framed in such a way as to allow an answer.

    


>> > for some good, well-written work on the latest
>> > scientific/cognitive/philosophical view (called cognitive
revolution or
>> > the mentalistic paradigm), i would suggest a book of essays by
johnathan
>> > searle (philosopher) entitled "minds, brains and science," or the
late
>> > writings on the subject (and experimental work in the visual
system) by
>> > francis crick.

>> > colleen specht
>

    I have already complained about Searles, who makes confusion 
    sound respectable.  Experimental work in the visual system
    is not exactly his specialty...



    Frank LeFever
    New York Neuropsychology Group
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