Bennett and Hacker: Village Idiots or Philosophers?

AlphaOmega2004 AlphaOmega2004 at yahoo.com
Mon Feb 16 10:42:23 EST 2004



>
> "Eray Ozkural exa" <erayo at bilkent.edu.tr> wrote in message
> news:fa69ae35.0402151239.53570361 at posting.google.com...
> > "AlphaOmega2004" <OmegaZero2003 at yahoo.com> wrote in message
> news:<59dd837546b2b1f4ee6231123f513845 at news.teranews.com>...
> > > "Eray Ozkural exa" <erayo at bilkent.edu.tr> wrote in message
> > > news:fa69ae35.0402121807.4090deb8 at posting.google.com...
> > > > I don't support that position, either. One does not need to be
> > > > "eliminative" to be  materialist.
> > >
> > > It does help when you have to have a bowel movement though.
> > >
> > > ;^))
> > >
> > > Seriously, there are conceptions of mind/brain_processes that rely
> totally
> > > on time_as_primary; synchronization theories etc. The notion that
brain
> > > experiences all environmental events in their past, the synchrony  (or
> lack
> > > thereof) of neuronal group firings *as* representational vehicles.
Etc.
> etc.
> > >
> >
> > Empirical data seems to suggest that "timing" is all there is to
> > information in the neural code, see the Flynculus threads!
> >
> > > >
> > > > Omega might have something to say on Churchland, I'm curious of what
> > > > he thinks.
> > >
> > > I have always liked Pat's take on several issues. Her Computational
> Brain
> > > (with Terry Sejnowski - one person in the field who deserves every
> > > accolade...)  IMHO, set a standard for turning philosophical
meanderings
> > > into empirically-verifiable hypotheses and hard data (based on ANN
> > > observations). Modelling neurobiological structures with computational
> > > structures has provided a great deal of insight into how brain
> categorizes
> > > and communicates between NGs - two essential characteristics of what
it
> > > means to be a mind - or cognizing entity. Cognition of difference (
the
> > > function that co-operates with or operates just before actual
> > > categorization) is of material primacy to consciousness; separating
self
> > > from non-self as the second-most (and secondly-adopted) function of
> brain.
> > > E.g., infants prior to a few months develop the ability to cognize
> > > difference in the environment; thence they develop the cognition of
> > > self-other differences as part of the development of their selves -
> their
> > > self-consciousness follows.
> >
> > Do you observe how that elates "difference" as a first class abstract
>
 Yes!
>
 That seems to be primary - a process of "seeing" thence "cognizing"
 difference.
>
>
> > concept, not unlike what Lester suggests? (This is not to say I agree
> > with his arguments, only that difference could be treated more
> > carefully)
> >
> > Minsky also argues that much of subjective experience is a direct
> > consequence of analysis of differences, i.e. if the input is static
> > subjective experience dissolves, both in reactive and reflective
> > states. There may be a subtle issue of knowledge and experience here,
> > but I cannot quite pin it down.
>
 And the meditative arts teach just such a dissolution of difference (at
 least the cognition of part) such that all that is left is the cognizing
 instrument - pure consciousness.
>
> >
> > > But back to Churchland: her stand on materialsm (based on the
reduction
> of
> > > phsychological facets of mind/brain to physiological/computational
> > > mechanisms) is well-taken as far as it goes in "eliminating" the
"spooky
> > > stuff" like souls and spirits (and with them - the elimination of the
> > > Cartesian/dualist conundrums).  Note that she admits that this is an
> > > hypothesis (in good standing - one which I agree with - as I have not
> seen
> > > any disembodied minds yet), but strong enough to proceed as though it
> were a
> > > fact of nature - a particularly strong position philosophically.
> >
> > That is well taken, indeed.
> >
> > >
> > > In reading some of her other position papers, I understand that her
> top-down
> > > reductionist approach does *not* mean that bottom-up appraches are not
> > > important.  She has an engineering/reverse-engineering bent - so it is
> > > natural for her to assume the reductionist approach - take it apart
and
> see
> > > how the components work and constitute the whole (with more emphasis
on
> the
> > > former than the latter - which IMO has some problems - one of which is
> that
> > > the notion of emergence is relegated to the back burner, whereas I
think
> it
> > > should be front and center, as reductionism tends to eliminate
> *information*
> > > and is a lossy process (as I have discussed before.)
> >
> > I have a problem with such theories when they don't lead to a
> > mathematical insight. I try to back up my arguments with some small
> > complexity "fact" / "hypothesis", if you recall how I presented a
> > mathematical interpretation of the irreducibility of mental processes.
>
 Then the recent characterization (computional) of thought by Eric B. Baum
is
up your ally and follows on Churchland's work.
>
> >
> > Regards,
> >
> > --
> > Eray Ozkural
>
>





More information about the Neur-sci mailing list