[Neuroscience] Re: natural intelligence

Glen M. Sizemore via neur-sci%40net.bio.net (by gmsizemore2 from yahoo.com)
Thu Jan 10 12:13:16 EST 2008

"Alpha" <OmegaZero2003 from yahoo.com> wrote in message 
news:478511a7$0$26054$88260bb3 from free.teranews.com...
> <rscan from nycap.rr.com> wrote in message 
> news:b9cce7a3-bb32-4164-9fbe-60a5833698ed from k39g2000hsf.googlegroups.com...
>> On Jan 8, 6:27 pm, "Alpha" <OmegaZero2... from yahoo.com> wrote:
>>> <rs... from nycap.rr.com> wrote in message
>>> > Soul (spirit, essence, psyche, mind, consciousness, awareness,
>>> > intelligence, intellect, mentality, self, individuality, persona,
>>> > personality, conscious mental field, self awareness, sentience,
>>> > executive function).
>>> Those are *certainly * not synonomous!  Remove "spirit" and "soul" and 
>>> you
>>> have a group of words that describe processes that have ontological 
>>> status
>>> as they have causal links to lower-level phenomena in the great 
>>> hierarchy of
>>> being, or describe sets of such processes.
>> I don't wish to argue about words. I merely wish to show how many
>> words are used to talk about an (entity, process, whatever). Why so
>> many?
>> I argue that it follows from the discussion between Descartes and the
>> Princess Elizabeth as to whether the soul had causal powers. Descartes
>> would have it so; the Princess not. The practitioners of AI would have
>> no soul, for fear of being trashed as dualists. Nevertheless, when
>> speaking of the human brain, they demand an actor. So they invent
>> words.
>> I see nothing in the brain but neurons.
> Do you see anything on page 247 of War and Peace but swirling atoms?  or 
> perhaps cellulose and ink blotches?
>> The circuitry connecting up
>> the neurons leads the neurons to effectuate motor acts. That's all
>> there is. Just neurons doing their thing. My soul has no causal
>> powers.
> But your mind does!  And it has causal powers that are not recognizable at 
> the level of description of neurons or molecules or atoms.

Even if the "mind" causes behavior, the analysis is empty until one says why 
the mind causes the behavior that it does. And if you acknowledge that the 
mind's choices are a function of its exposure to certain historical 
environments, then you open the door to explanation of behavior in terms of 
the environments that produced a mind with the characteristics necessary to 
choose what it does. And, of course, you ignore the notion that the "mind" 
is simply a surrogate for the histories that produce behavior.

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