[Neuroscience] Re: Philosophical Foundations of Neuroscience

John H. via neur-sci%40net.bio.net (by j_hasenkam At yahoo.com.au)
Thu Nov 16 17:24:51 EST 2006


Glen M. Sizemore wrote:
> What sort of help do you need, John?


Hmmm ... some would say I need lots of help ... . But I am beyond
redemption.

My problems are:

Consciousness:

Many texts suggest consciousness is a thing. Some texts avoid this
quasi dualism by asserting it is a process. So they think, process or
thing, one is still being dualist. I struggle to know what the fuss is
about, perhaps I'm missing something but to me consciousness is simply
that which is attended too and that "attending" is largely contingent
upon innate matters and the organism's history. Hence the search for
consciousness is a nonsense.

Science in general

Many scientists seem to believe that philosophy is unimportant. I
cannot understand this, everyone brings their philosophy (consciously
or otherwise, whatever such a distinction means!) to their endeavours,
and hence it is wise to always think deeply about what we bring to our
endeavours.

Storage

If not storage then what? In one sense it seems simple enough:
Physiologic activity A corresponds with experience B. I say
"physiologic" because in my world brain function cannot be divorced
from the body or its immediate environment. Is there something deeper
here?  For example, "representation" implies some active "replication"
of the thing perceived. Yet one could argue that radar is a
representation of specific aspects of the world, and while that is a
representation, it is not a replication. It is easy to imagine that in
seeing we have "little pictures in our heads". Does that mean that when
I hear something somewhere in my skull that sound is reverberating? Of
course not. We need an entirely new way to think about "remembering". I
am at a complete loss as to how to even approach this problem.

Language

Methinks we need to create a whole new set of conceptual tools and
nomenclature to the endeavour of neuroscience yet we seem content to
trundle along with our philosophical and epistemological baggage
unthreatened. 


John.



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