why study neurology?

Nick Medford nick at hermit0.demon.co.uk
Tue Jan 15 02:37:37 EST 2002

In article <43525ce3.0201130613.6d731151 at posting.google.com>, mat
<mats_trash at hotmail.com> writes
> However most psychiatric drugs are based
>on "deterministic/reductionist" theory (what else could they be based

These treatments are based on empirical observation- simply the
practical fact that they have been found to be useful- rather than any
philosophical stance.

>).  SSRIs for depression and agents affecting the dopaminergic
>systems for schizophrenia have shown how these chemical systems in
>concert with others define 'us'. 


This is a truly wild claim, up there with any religious crackpottery. 

(As a side issue it is worth noting that a range of neurotransmitter
systems have been implicated in schizophrenia, not just dopamine.
Clozapine- the most effective antipsychotic drug currently known- is
thought to exert its actions more through glutamatergic than dopimanergic

> Susan Greenfield at Oxford is an
>expert on dopamine and also interested in consciousness.  She believes
>simply that the electrochemical dynamics of our brains are equivalent
>to our minds.

Yes, I have heard her speak on this. It was very unimpressive. She is an
expert neurophysiologist but her forays into philosophy of mind have
added little to the field IMHO. Perhaps I have missed something.

Nick Medford

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