Old 08-23-2005, 03:40 PM   #1
HeWhoAsks
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I just ran across these quotes that address the age old problem of dualism (how can immaterial mind create a change in the material brain):

"It seems to me that in men, as in brutes, there is no proof that any state of consciousness is the cause of change in the motion of the matter of the organism . . . the feeling we call volition is not the cause of a voluntary act, but the symbol of that state of the brain which is the immediate cause of that act." - T.H. Huxley

"But the best word was had by Douglas Spalding (1874), who likened the opinion that voluntary movements take their rise in feeling and are guided by the intellect to the belief that the movements of a locomotive take their rise in noise and are guided by smoke."
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Old 08-23-2005, 04:40 PM   #2
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Nice quotes, HWA. Dualism is still clinging on to life in some circles of philosophy, unfortunately. I have no idea why.

Wait just a minute-You expect me to believe-That all this misbehaving-Grew from one enchanted tree? And helpless to fight it-We should all be satisfied-With this magical explanation-For why the living die-And why it's hard to be a decent human being - David Bazan
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Old 08-25-2005, 08:26 PM   #3
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I was talking about this very problem elsewhere...

The idea of an immaterial mind is outmoded, but the idea of a mind is not. Here is where I have a problem with fatalistic determinists.

I'll make an analogy to skip a lot of verbiage. The point where the 2 arms of scissors meet is an abstraction. It does not really exist. But that point is where all the action of scissoring occurs.
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Old 08-26-2005, 06:57 AM   #4
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kmisho wrote
I was talking about this very problem elsewhere...

The idea of an immaterial mind is outmoded, but the idea of a mind is not. Here is where I have a problem with fatalistic determinists.

I'll make an analogy to skip a lot of verbiage. The point where the 2 arms of scissors meet is an abstraction. It does not really exist. But that point is where all the action of scissoring occurs.
Au contraire, there is a screw/brad/thingamajiggie where the two arms of scissors meet. It as real and actual as the arms are. Maybe that's stupid reply, you'll just find another analogy. We'll see if it plays out or not.
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Old 08-26-2005, 10:21 AM   #5
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HeWhoAsks wrote
I just ran across these quotes that address the age old problem of dualism (how can immaterial mind create a change in the material brain):

"It seems to me that in men, as in brutes, there is no proof that any state of consciousness is the cause of change in the motion of the matter of the organism . . . the feeling we call volition is not the cause of a voluntary act, but the symbol of that state of the brain which is the immediate cause of that act." - T.H. Huxley

"But the best word was had by Douglas Spalding (1874), who likened the opinion that voluntary movements take their rise in feeling and are guided by the intellect to the belief that the movements of a locomotive take their rise in noise and are guided by smoke."
Excellent quotes. Huxley was very much ahead of his time, for today we know the brain creates the mind via chemical reactions and electromagnetism. Dualism in this 21st Century is an anachronism which remains at the center of those brains infected with the religious neurological syndrome...:)

Christians and other folks infected with delusional beliefs think and reason like schizophrenics or temporal lobe epileptics. Their morality is dictated by an invisible friend called Jesus.
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Old 08-27-2005, 11:06 PM   #6
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Au contraire, there is a screw/brad/thingamajiggie where the two arms of scissors meet. It as real and actual as the arms are. Maybe that's stupid reply, you'll just find another analogy. We'll see if it plays out or not.
I don't mean where the two arms are connected to each other. I mean the point at which the cutting occurs. There is no actual point, there is an area where the two arms interact to do the cutting. But the mathematics of the concept aim at a single idealized mathematical moving point which does not actually exist.
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Old 08-28-2005, 02:25 AM   #7
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Rhinoqulous wrote
Nice quotes, HWA. Dualism is still clinging on to life in some circles of philosophy, unfortunately. I have no idea why.
Actually dualism is not clinging to life in the realm of philosophy. Most university philosophy courses include as prerequisites papers that deal with why dualism, in its many forms( epiphenomenalism, parallelism, interactionalism, etc), fails. Most, if not all, modern dualism adherents are religiously motivated, or simply ignorant of basic scientific principles, in this case the fact that we live in a causally closed world.
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Old 08-30-2005, 12:42 AM   #8
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kmisho wrote
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Au contraire, there is a screw/brad/thingamajiggie where the two arms of scissors meet. It as real and actual as the arms are. Maybe that's stupid reply, you'll just find another analogy. We'll see if it plays out or not.
I don't mean where the two arms are connected to each other. I mean the point at which the cutting occurs. There is no actual point, there is an area where the two arms interact to do the cutting. But the mathematics of the concept aim at a single idealized mathematical moving point which does not actually exist.
I'm not sure what the concept of a point (or any concept) has to do with dualism.
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Old 08-30-2005, 07:45 AM   #9
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Fryan wrote
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Rhinoqulous wrote
Nice quotes, HWA. Dualism is still clinging on to life in some circles of philosophy, unfortunately. I have no idea why.
Actually dualism is not clinging to life in the realm of philosophy. Most university philosophy courses include as prerequisites papers that deal with why dualism, in its many forms( epiphenomenalism, parallelism, interactionalism, etc), fails. Most, if not all, modern dualism adherents are religiously motivated, or simply ignorant of basic scientific principles, in this case the fact that we live in a causally closed world.
That may be so, but many of the older prof's still hold to dualism (especially in regards to philosophy of religion). I believe dualism will slowly die out over a generation or two.

Wait just a minute-You expect me to believe-That all this misbehaving-Grew from one enchanted tree? And helpless to fight it-We should all be satisfied-With this magical explanation-For why the living die-And why it's hard to be a decent human being - David Bazan
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Old 08-30-2005, 07:48 AM   #10
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HeWhoAsks wrote
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kmisho wrote
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Au contraire, there is a screw/brad/thingamajiggie where the two arms of scissors meet. It as real and actual as the arms are. Maybe that's stupid reply, you'll just find another analogy. We'll see if it plays out or not.
I don't mean where the two arms are connected to each other. I mean the point at which the cutting occurs. There is no actual point, there is an area where the two arms interact to do the cutting. But the mathematics of the concept aim at a single idealized mathematical moving point which does not actually exist.
I'm not sure what the concept of a point (or any concept) has to do with dualism.
Not dualism, but general philosophy of mind. There is no "object" that is the intersection of the two blades of a scissors, just as there is no independent object that is the mind. The intersection of the blades is a supervenient property of the scissors, just as the mind is a supervenient property of the brain.

Rhinoq

Wait just a minute-You expect me to believe-That all this misbehaving-Grew from one enchanted tree? And helpless to fight it-We should all be satisfied-With this magical explanation-For why the living die-And why it's hard to be a decent human being - David Bazan
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Old 08-30-2005, 08:10 AM   #11
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Rhinoqulous wrote
Not dualism, but general philosophy of mind. There is no "object" that is the intersection of the two blades of a scissors, just as there is no independent object that is the mind. The intersection of the blades is a supervenient property of the scissors, just as the mind is a supervenient property of the brain.

Rhinoq
Or, in more science-oriented terms, the mind is a result of holistic interaction, rather than some reductionistic property or mystical life-force.
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