why study neurology?

James Teo james at teoth.fsnet.co.uk
Wed Jan 16 09:05:43 EST 2002


On 16 Jan 2002 02:04:17 -0800, mats_trash at hotmail.com (mat) wrote:
>Yes but you are not suggesting that these drugs work by any other
>means than chemical interactions are you?  


>Just becuase you don;t know
>which system(s) the drug is affecting doesn't mean its doing something
>that can't be well defined on further study. 

Of course not.
Why do you insist of projecting the dualist "ghost in the machine"
bogeyman on me? If you look at the original claim you made:
>SSRIs for depression and agents affecting the dopaminergic
>systems for schizophrenia have shown how these chemical systems in
>concert with others define 'us'. "
We agree that that these neurochemical systems in our body make up us
and that they do have an effect on our mind, but they don't DEFINE
'US'.

Can you explain in terms of neurons and neurochemicals only, the
memory of the time you were sad that your mother got angry at you for
not buying you that toy but buying your brother a sweet? 
Of course not. 

Are these memories made up of neurochemicals and connections? 
Of course.

> In my examples what I
>was trying to convey that becuase these drugs modulate the activity of
>brain systems (it doesn't matter which!) then these constitute what we
>call 'mind'

Constitute yes, 
Define no.

As an apt analogy, to bring in the thread that you started on
computational and evolutionary psychology, the latter is an attempt to
explain things not in terms of neurons and chemicals (but they don't
say whether they exist or not) while the former is the reductive
approach. Does evolutionary psychological theories dispense with the
need for the idea of the mathematical neuron? No. Does the
mathematical neuron dispense with all the ideas of evolutionary
psychology? No. 
They just are two sides of the same coin and both avenues need to be
pursued to fully understand something.




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