First Causes

Lester Zick lesterDELzick at worldnet.att.net
Tue Sep 7 15:19:54 EST 2004

On Tue, 7 Sep 2004 17:26:36 +0200, "JPL Verhey"
<matterDELminds at hotmail.com> in comp.ai.philosophy wrote:

>"Traveler" <traveler at nospam.com> wrote in message ...
>>>Yet this notion is absolutely correct in the sense that any conscious
>>>experience - from thoughts and emotions to objects seen around you in the
>>>world "out there" including stars and galaxies - are all brain process -
>>>out of convenience called mind - and occuring within your own skull.
>> I thought that your own skull was also "out there." IOW, if nothing
>> exists but what's in your mind, does your mind also exist within your
>> mind? This is the sort of self-referential problems associated with
>> extreme solipsism.
>I look at it a bit differently. When I look at the moon that orbits earth, 
>the moon I *see* is indeed (visual) brainprocess in my skull that is an 
>experiential interface 'superimposing' the image of the moon on the 
>experience-independent moon out there. When I don't look at the moon, that 
>experience-independent moon is still there - this is the assumption science 
>works with and to which I subscribe as well.
>Similarly, my brain as I can *see* is a mental image 'superimposed' on the 
>brain that is also there independent of anyone, myself or a brainsurgeon 
>looking at it.
>I think this is the most accurate way of understanding "the problem" and it 
>actually resolves solipsism, without denying the obvious truth that whatever 
>you possibly experience "in your mind" are experiential brainprocesses or 
>states (as opposed to un- or preconscious brainprocesses) that occur 
>entirely in your own skull.
>Science, scientists do not escape the experiential interface, but it rightly 
>works with the assumption that independent of our experiential interface 
>there really is a world out there that can be studied. As you can really 
>move around in the world in a high-tec tank with only cameras and computers 
>screens inside. We are just cybernatic organisms with high-tec self-aware 
>auto-pilot functions, i.e. without needing a pilot/homunculus sitting in the 

There really is no special mystery in all this. What you call
experiential brain processes are really all in the brain and not
outside. But that doesn't have bearing on inferences drawn in
reference to whether what is in here is actually located in here or
out there. These kinds of conclusions are just the result of logical
inferences drawn between and among differences residing within the
brain. The solipsist simply maintains a right to draw inferences to
suit his speculative prejudices.

Regards - Lester

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