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the homunculus

Lionel Bonnetier leo at remove-this-anti-spam.easynet.fr
Sun Apr 11 08:05:16 EST 1999

Ray Scanlon wrote:

>It seems that many, who profess materialism but are actually dualists, need
>one. They need something or someone to do the "thinking". The notion of a
>brain composed of neurons, each doing its own little thing, being a
>structure that can remember, associate, think, and decide is unsettling.

I think the concepts of soul, god, spirit, are tentative expressions for
emergence. We are aware of the stunning capabilities of the living beings,
but our limited understanding of mental processes needs something huge,
which we think can't fit in a little material body, to explain these
capabilities. We aren't able to see that a big population of neurons can
behave in a supple, quasi-liquid fashion, so we imagine 4th dimension
spiritual protoplasms, pancosmic thinking aether, and such parables.

Non-dualist researchers use parables as well to express these concepts, and
we may find honest dualists really trying to understand how the soul works,
and petty non-dualists fiddling about emergence concepts they don't really
master. I hope both factions will finally realize they are working on one
same thing. I hope they will eventually work together for studying,
simulating, creating, enhancing, the mysterious great thing.


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