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machine brains

Ray Scanlon rscanlon at wsg.net
Mon Feb 1 09:51:09 EST 1999

Wolfgang Schwarz wrote in message <36AFD162.E9EBC25B at zedat.fu-berlin.de>...
>hi Ray, hi other souls,
>I think Rays concept of "soul" is highly implausible.

Sounds plausible enough to me.

>Ray Scanlon wrote:
>> Our answer to the soul (mind)/body problem is that a material
>> universe has no need of soul. [...] Our position for purposes of
>> brain explanation is that there is soul (mind) but it has no part
>> to play in a material account of brain action.
>> The brain has all the neurons needed to perform any action we have
>> ever observed. Since the brain may think and decide we may use
>> Occam's dictum to deny causal powers to soul.
>sorry, but that is not Occam's dictum. :-)

"Multiplicity ought not to be posited without necessity.", William of Occam.

I merely said that we do not need soul to explain the brain, so leave it out
of brain explanation.

That said, let us drop the philosophical word play. The thread is machine
brains, the brain as machine and the machine as a brain. I am interested in
the role of the reticular nucleus of the thalamus in indefinitely suspending
motor output and blocking incoming signal energy and thus allowing an
indefinite number of synaptic events to occur between sensory input and
motor output. (Commonly known as thinking.)

Those interested in how the brain works might look at

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