[Neuroscience] Re: Need Help With Neuroscience-Related Article

Glen M. Sizemore via neur-sci%40net.bio.net (by gmsizemore2 At yahoo.com)
Thu Jan 4 11:25:27 EST 2007

"John H." <j_hasenkam At yahoo.com.au> wrote in message 
news:1167918692.630485.222240 At s34g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...
> "Yet as the case of Gage and
>    numerous subsequent individuals has shown, the self can
>    plod on, albeit changed, after quite radical brain damage."
> What 'plods on' is not a self but altered sets of behaviors. One of the
> biggest psychosocial problems in brain injury is that the person can
> often change so markedly as to become a completely different person.
> And from today's reading
> Article: A neuroanatomical model of passivity phenomena
> Authors: Ralf-Peter Behrendt
> Journal: Consciousness and Cognition 13 (2004) 579-609
> "As it appears, one first needs to exorcise the notion I  from
> psychological theory, before proceeding to explanatory models of
> passivity."
> ...
> Motor behaviour is conscious not because it is executed by some agency,
> but because it is perceived.
> ...
> For Jaspers (1946), too, our sense of volition stems from the conflict
> of drives and not the
> deliberation of an inner agent:
> --
> The experience of volition-Bennett and Hacker
> (2003) reasoned-is merely a reflection of ''determination and
> persistence in pursuit of one s goals in the face of
> difficulties.''
> Project:
> Off the top you might find Bennett and Hacker heavy going but at least
> it will save you from many of the conceptual pitfalls that arise in cog
> neuro. Eg. The typical interpretation of Libet's experiments is
> predicated on a self, which probably goes some way to explaining all
> the controversy therein. To give you an idea of how deeply ingrained
> all this [is],

If you want to see how deeply ingrained this all is, one merely has to 
witness the obfuscation, arrogance, intellectual dishonesty, and out-and-out 
"thuggery" of "thinkers" like Matt Jones.

this paper is from 2004. Long way to go dude ... . The answer
> to "who am I" is "I am not". Or, as Albert Camus stated, "Forever shall
> I be a stranger to myself." (The Myth of Sisyphus).
> PS: I'm not a scientist, I am a Professor of Nihilism at the University
> of Bullshit.
> beachnut wrote:
>> Hi, all.
>> I need some help here.  My girlfriend sent me an article
>> from 'The Economist' (link below), and it has created
>> an awful fight between us!  If some of you have a few
>> spare minutes, it's short, and I could use some feedback
>> from scientists.  I have an Electrical Engineering
>> degree and she has degrees in languages and education,
>> so we're not experts in neuroscience.
>> For those who read the article, my questions are:
>> 1.  The subtitle is "Modern neuroscience, says Geoffrey
>>     Carr, is groping towards the answer to the oldest
>>     question of all: who am I?".
>>     Are [most] neuroscientists really concerned with
>>     "who am I" in their work?
>> 2. Later, the author states:
>>    "If the essence of individuality can be changed by
>>     a physical accident, it implies that the brain is
>>     a mechanism which generates the self, rather than
>>     merely an organ which houses it."
>>     I say "duh"!!  Is neuroscience into dualism, where
>>     there is assumed distinction between mind and body/brain?
>> 3.  He goes on to write:
>>     "Many people, most of whom would not regard themselves
>>     as dualists, think of the brain as being like a computer,
>>     and the mind as being like a piece of software that runs
>>     on that computer. But this analogy, too, is flawed. You
>>     do not have to do much damage to a computer to stop it
>>     being able to run programs. Yet as the case of Gage and
>>     numerous subsequent individuals has shown, the self can
>>     plod on, albeit changed, after quite radical brain damage."
>>     Who are these "many people"?  Most intelligent people
>>     I know don't give any credence to this computer analogy.
>> 4.  This one really perplexed me:
>>     "...whisper not the word soul"
>>     Your take?
>> Okay, finally ;-)  here's the link!
>>    http://www.economist.com/surveys/displaystory.cfm?story_id=8407261
>> I've seen the magazine itself and there are several short pieces
>> after this to comprise the Survey.  But this intro by this Economist
>> science editor (a psychologist by trade) was enough for me to go
>> off on.
>> Thanks to any that have the time to read and respond!!
>> Tear me up if need be!  I just need to hear it from actual
>> scientists.
>> beachnut

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