philosophy of mind

Glen M. Sizemore gmsizemore at triad.rr.com
Sun Dec 23 13:49:18 EST 2001


>>Are any neuroscientists here interested in
philosophy of mind?
>>
>GS: Most behavioral neuroscientists are - but
>uncritically so. And that is precisely what is wrong
>with behavioral neurobiology.
>

RN: Many neurophysiologists are -- but don't let it
interfere with their
work!

GS: Well, first it is necessary to agree on whether or
not we are talking about behavioral neurobiology or
neurobiology. Neurobiology can be treated in a
behavioral/psychological-concept vacuum, but
behavioral neurobiology (or cognitive neurobiology
if one prefers the occlusion afflicting it) cannot. To
put it simply, behavioral neurobiology must be based
on some commitment as to what constitutes the
fundamental behavioral phenomena to be explained.
It is here in which philosophy - in the form of
conceptual analysis - is essential. But it is this point
that is not well understood, even by practicing
scientists.

RN: I don't mean to be snide (well, OK, actually I
did) but there is
something that feels objective and "real" about cells
doing their
thing. And each year it seems that cell function
becomes more and
more complex. The simple "make an action
potential" of decades past
is now submerged into the wallow of "cell signaling"
which brings in
just about every biochemical and molecular
biological trick that cells
have. This brain work seems so distant from mind
that it tends to
produce a dualist attitude.

GS: I'm not sure that most of the rest of this makes
much sense, particularly the last sentence. But it is
sufficiently confused as to render me mostly
speechless........mostly. Anyway, let me add this:
there are a few that hold that the "mind" is a useless
concept. Such people tend to hold that behavior qua
behavior is the subject matter of psychology. Such
people are interested in the phenomena said to
require a "mind," but hold, as I said, that the "mind"
is a useless notion. This does not mean that
BEHAVIORAL neurobiology CAN take place in a
vacuum and be successful, or that it HAS taken
place in a vacuum. On the contrary, what is wrong
with behavioral neurobiology is that it has inherited
the confused assumptions and concepts of
mainstream, mentalistic, psychology.

Cordially,
Glen
"Richard Norman" <rsnorman at mediaone.net> wrote in message
news:i1392ukefcde7akqinu9nmvbljcp5gri99 at 4ax.com...
> On Sat, 22 Dec 2001 10:31:09 GMT, "Glen M. Sizemore"
> <gmsizemore at triad.rr.com> wrote:
>
> >"db" <no at email.com> wrote in message
> >news:01HW.B849996A000D513A180E5A80 at news...
> >> Are any neuroscientists here interested in philosophy of mind?
> >>
> >GS: Most behavioral neuroscientists are - but
> >uncritically so. And that is precisely what is wrong
> >with behavioral neurobiology.
> >
>
> Many neurophysiologists are -- but don't let it interfere with their
> work!
>
> I don't mean to be snide (well, OK, actually I did) but there is
> something that feels objective and "real" about cells doing their
> thing.  And each year it seems that cell function becomes more and
> more complex.  The simple "make an action potential" of decades past
> is now submerged into the wallow of "cell signaling" which brings in
> just about every biochemical and molecular biological trick that cells
> have.  This brain work seems so distant from mind that it tends to
> produce a dualist attitude.
>
>
>
>





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