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Sun Apr 10 20:49:33 EST 2005


be like to perceive, think and feel from any number of points of view.  

     To take a purely subjective point of view, we simply confine ourselves
     to the here and now. We temporarily stop using the thought and EMU
     boxes.

     To take a purely objective point of view, we temporarily stop using
     the feeling box and the real time perception box and imagine what our
     perceptions would be like if we were at another time and place.  

          To be rationally objective instead of merely whimsical we confine
          our imaginings to our best guess of what our perceptions would
          really be like from a rationally definable point of view.  (turn
          page)

Finally, returning to the topic of neuroscience, to get an idea of how
neural activity and subjective awareness coincide, we adopt a disciplined
commonsense perspective.

     We perform a rational physical act which can be defined objectively as
     affecting neural activity, and we notice the effect the act has on our
     subjective awareness.

          We drink a cup of coffee, objectively we know we're blocking the
          effects of adenosinergic projections to the cortex, subjectively
          we are aware of an improvement in intellectual clarity-
          concentration.  

          From our disciplined commonsense perspective, we say our
          intellectual activity (at least partially) *IS* the activity
          of the adenosinergically innervated cortex.  

          Since the caffeine is blocking the transmissions of the adeno-
          sinergic hypothalamic nuclei, we can say that our intellectual
          activity does not include the neural activity of said nuclei.

Note the philosophical significance of this disciplined commonsense
perspective.  We don't say our intellectual activity is caused by cortical
neural activity, or represented by cortical neural activity, or even
supervenient to cortical neural activity, we say intellectual activity (at
least partially) *IS* cortical neural activity.

On the diagram, ideas about the brain which can be verified objectively
would be represented in the extra-mental universe box.  Ideas that are
efforts to organize the wealth of neuro-scientific data would be in the
thought box.  Proven fact verses theory.

Commonsense can certainly be picked apart from a purely philosophical
perspective (I should know), but when it comes to getting the job done a
rationally designed commonsense perspective is hard to beat.

Comments invited.

--
Ken Easlon
ken at holonet.net



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