Mind/Brain Identism

Paisley
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Mind/Brain Identism

Has science proven that the mind and the brain are identical? Not according to British scientist Raymond Tallis. Below is a link to a talk he gave at the "Neuroscience Panel Discussion" in the U.K. (To those forum members suffering from ADD...the "YouTube" video is only seven minutes long).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Seg8kjc6Z84

Raymond Tallis is a self-professed atheist who eschews materialistic interpretations of the mind. He employs the term "neurotheologists" to describe those scientists/philosophers who assume that the mind and the brain are identical. The primary neurotheologist is apparently Daniel Dennett. See link below for the article entitled "The Ardent Atheist" by Andrew Brown, published in "The Guardian."

http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2006/apr/29/philosophy1

 

 

 

"Scientists animated by the purpose of proving they are purposeless constitute an interesting subject for study." - Alfred North Whitehead


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Has Paisley provided

Has Paisley provided empirical data supporting his hypothesis that the universe was magically conjured into existence at the whim of a deity?

Not according to internet forum guru Kevin R Brown.

 

Below is a link to one of the most powerful information tools available, and thereby the bane of all spurious claims (even those made by people from Britain with important-sounding titles):

http://www.google.com

Just type-in whatever you want to know, and *BOOM*, there ye be!

 

The Internet:

It's magic, just like God!

Quote:
"Natasha has just come up to the window from the courtyard and opened it wider so that the air may enter more freely into my room. I can see the bright green strip of grass beneath the wall, and the clear blue sky above the wall, and sunlight everywhere. Life is beautiful. Let the future generations cleanse it of all evil, oppression and violence, and enjoy it to the full."

- Leon Trotsky, Last Will & Testament
February 27, 1940


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Daniel Dennett's frequently

Daniel Dennett's frequently expressed position is that "the brain creates consciousness." This is not quite the same as "the mind is identical with the brain", it seems to me. Actually that statement doesn't quite make sense. The mind is clearly not a collection of cells, it is a process, so it cannot be identical with the brain, even if it is something purely generated by the brain. Any more than it would make sense to say that Microsoft Windows is identical with a PC which happens to be running it.

. Hardly surprising, since he has been directly studying the topic for much longer than Tallis has been studying anything particularly relevant.

Not impressed at all, Paisley. I'm sure you can find more people who seem to have ideas somewhat consistent with yours, since you appear to have given up trying to explain them with your own limited set of ideas.

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

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How many more times are you

How many more times are you going to make the same thread?


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still at it paisley?

Well I have watched this video twice now. Now for the most part I agree with his premise of not using neuroscience of brain to dismiss those who wish to blame the brain for bad behavior. Now with that said, we have exceptions due to mental disease, schizophrenia, bipolar disease etc, etc. With that said, Taillis seems to be saying neroscience cannot answer questions about behavior (not that the mind and brain are seperate that you are implying), which for the most part is true, but to say that the brain does not affect behavior well, then mental defects such as bipolar, schizophrenia show that the brain defects do affect behavior, as does brain damage, for example in making moral decisions ( http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/65860.php ). What Tallis presents isn't scientific data or evidence but a philisophical point of view in regarding criminal behavior and use of neuroscience understanding of the brain in the courts.

What I would like you to be able to do paisley is not present someone's idea regarding this, but present scientific evidence for your position. At no point does Tallis present scientific data to back up his views, other than stating a few times that neuroscience cannot explain behavior.....at this time, which to a point I agree, to a point, there is evidence that the brain does influence behavior, such as the one I just presented, mental diseases etc, etc. What is your evidence outside of opinion and philisophical debates?


Paisley
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Eight Foot Manchild

Eight Foot Manchild wrote:
How many more times are you going to make the same thread?

How many more times are you going to make a drive-by, off-the-cuff criticism before you actually do your homework and make something that passes as a logical rebuttal? 

"Scientists animated by the purpose of proving they are purposeless constitute an interesting subject for study." - Alfred North Whitehead


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Paisley

Paisley wrote:

"neurotheologists"

 

/facepalm


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Paisley wrote:How many more

Paisley wrote:

How many more times are you going to make a drive-by, off-the-cuff criticism before you actually do your homework and make something that passes as a logical rebuttal? 

As soon as it stops being entertaining o_O?

What Would Kharn Do?


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Raymond Tallis

He is no dualist paisley that's for sure, doing a bit of research on him, there is nothing to suggest he is, actually he himself states that, and his views are that the mind and body are some how seperate as a philisophical absurdity. At some point they have to be joined together. He also admits that the conciousness cannot exist without the brain, as such, your position is still just a philisophical one. You have yet to present any scientific data that the mind is seperate from the brain, any studies that show that, etc, etc, etc. What you have presented in all of the same topics is philisophical arguements. Please paisley stop it with the absurdity of starting a new thread with the same topic that you started previously.


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Paisley wrote:Eight Foot

Paisley wrote:

Eight Foot Manchild wrote:
How many more times are you going to make the same thread?

How many more times are you going to make a drive-by, off-the-cuff criticism before you actually do your homework and make something that passes as a logical rebuttal? 

 

Until I see something that merits a rebuttal.


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His continual attack on the

His continual attack on the idea the the mind and the brain are identical, ie "the mind is not the brain" amounts to a straw-man since such a naive and somewhat nonsensical statement, which is basically a category error, misrepresents the position of those he disagrees with.

Tallis also seems not be aware of the latest ideas on just how our awareness of other consciousnesses arise, via the 'mirror neurones'.

I see that he also disagrees with the position that our perception of consciousness, what it feels like, is not necessarily an accurate guide to the ultimate nature of consciousness, but presents nothing but philosphical and metaphysical arguments for his position. In a simplistic sense it is true that our experience of consciousness is what consciousness is, by definition, but that does not tell us what the ultimate nature and origin of that experience is, which is the deeper question.

We know that the experience of seeing a complete integrated image of the world around us does not accurately represent the raw visual data coming from our eyes - the brain does a lot of processing before it becomes part of our experience. The eye only records a small part of the scene at any instant and is continually scanning to build up and maintain the image, and the brain is filling in visual data over the 'blind spots' in each eye where the optic nerve connects with the retina. Our experience of hearing sounds gives us no insight into the mechanism of sound perception in our ears. All these and other studies show that our direct mental experience is a construction by the brain from the underlying processing.

So how can we justify being so confident that our experience of consciousness tells us anything about how consciousness 'works' at a deeper level?

In that video Tallis is mostly concerned about how simplistic ideas of mind and brain may allow us to absolve ourselves from blame and responsibility, which I agree is a misuse of what we know about the mind, but not relevant to the actual issue of the nature of the mind.

Modern insights into consciousness make it easier to design appropriate regimes for modifying and controlling undesirable behaviour which work better than the traditional approaches based purely on the intuitive and religious based views of 'good' and 'evil' and punishment. We can avoid serious injustices when people are significantly disturbed.

If the threat of imprisonment can be shown to usefully discourage various forms of undesirable behaviour, then it remains appropriate, whatever the underlying processes going on in the mind and/or brain of the persons involved. Similarly, if the thought processes behind the concepts of 'blame' and 'responsibility' can be employed to encourage people to behave better, then such language is still appropriate and useful, regardless of whethr thought is ultimately the outcome of very complex neuronal interactions in the brain or not.

I think Tallis is not a dualist, but has allowed his fascination with philosophical and metaphysical arguments to distract him from clear thinking on the issues.

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

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From the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology


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I'm going to agree with

I'm going to agree with eight foot man child on this. We already have multiple threads on this matter. We don't need another. If you want to read our logical rebuttles go back to those old threads and reread them.

"You say that it is your custom to burn widows. Very well. We also have a custom: when men burn a woman alive, we tie a rope around their necks and we hang them. Build your funeral pyre; beside it, my carpenters will build a gallows. You may follow your custom. And then we will follow ours."
British General Charles Napier while in India


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Jormungander wrote:I'm going

Jormungander wrote:
I'm going to agree with eight foot man child on this. We already have multiple threads on this matter. We don't need another. If you want to read our logical rebuttles go back to those old threads and reread them.

I responded to your rebuttles in the last thread.  As I recall, in your last rebuttle, you cited a Wikipedia article and charged me with peddling pseudo-science, labeling the CCC (i.e."consciousness causes the collapse" of the wave function) interpretation of quantum mechanics as "mysticism." However, what you failed to mention was that the same article also listed several of the founders of quantum mechanics (Niels Bohr, Werner Hiesenberg, Eugene Wigner, and Erwin Schrodinger) as some of the mystics!

"Scientists animated by the purpose of proving they are purposeless constitute an interesting subject for study." - Alfred North Whitehead


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latincanuck wrote:He is no

latincanuck wrote:
He is no dualist paisley that's for sure, doing a bit of research on him, there is nothing to suggest he is, actually he himself states that, and his views are that the mind and body are some how seperate as a philisophical absurdity. At some point they have to be joined together. He also admits that the conciousness cannot exist without the brain, as such, your position is still just a philisophical one. You have yet to present any scientific data that the mind is seperate from the brain, any studies that show that, etc, etc, etc. What you have presented in all of the same topics is philisophical arguements. Please paisley stop it with the absurdity of starting a new thread with the same topic that you started previously.

Please cite your source for this assertion. I cited in the OP a link to an article in "The Guardian" entitled "The Ardent Atheist" by Andrew Brown that says "he (Raymond Tallis) hates materialistic interpretations of the mind."  If Tallis rejects a materialistic intepretation of the mind, what other options are left? Dualism, Idealism, Panpsychism, Neutral or Dual-Aspect Monism.

Incidentally, both epiphenomenalism and supervenience theory are actually forms of dualisms and they are both compatible with the idea that consciousness cannot exist independent of the brain.  My guess is that he probably subscribes to some form of supervenience theory. But irrespective of his philosophical view, the point is that Tallis is an expert in neuroscience research and he is testifying in a panel comprised of other leading neuroscientists in the U.K. that there is no scientific proof that the mind is identical to the brain. 

"Scientists animated by the purpose of proving they are purposeless constitute an interesting subject for study." - Alfred North Whitehead


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Paisley wrote:latincanuck

Paisley wrote:

latincanuck wrote:
He is no dualist paisley that's for sure, doing a bit of research on him, there is nothing to suggest he is, actually he himself states that, and his views are that the mind and body are some how separate as a philosophical absurdity. At some point they have to be joined together. He also admits that the consciousness cannot exist without the brain, as such, your position is still just a philosophical one. You have yet to present any scientific data that the mind is separate from the brain, any studies that show that, etc, etc, etc. What you have presented in all of the same topics is philosophical arguments. Please paisley stop it with the absurdity of starting a new thread with the same topic that you started previously.

Please cite your source for this assertion. I cited in the OP a link to an article in "The Guardian" entitled "The Ardent Atheist" by Andrew Brown that says "he (Raymond Tallis) hates materialistic interpretations of the mind."  If Tallis rejects a materialistic interpretation of the mind, what other options are left? Dualism, Idealism, Panpsychism, Neutral or Dual-Aspect Monism.

Incidentally, both epiphenomenalism and supervenience theory are actually forms of dualisms and they are both compatible with the idea that consciousness cannot exist independent of the brain.  My guess is that he probably subscribes to some form of supervenience theory. But irrespective of his philosophical view, the point is that Tallis is an expert in neuroscience research and he is testifying in a panel comprised of other leading neuroscientists in the U.K. that there is no scientific proof that the mind is identical to the brain. 

The same guardian http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2008/jun/03/academicexperts.highereducationprofile but still you have not yet shown any evidence Paisley that your stance has some scientific evidence. Raymond is taking a philosophical stance not a scientific stance in the clip you showed. CAN YOU OR CAN YOU NOT PRESENT SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE AND NOT PHILOSOPHICAL IDEAS!? It really is just a simple request, please stop avoiding this one request, please stop changing the topic, and please try to focus here.


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Paisley, what is your

Paisley, what is your reference that Tallis is "an expert in neuroscience research" or a "leading neuroscientist"? His training appears to be in medicine, not neuroscience. He tried biochemistry, but decided that it was not for him, so he became an MD.

There is no indication he was into any "research".

He is not qualified to express a serious scientific opinion on this, he basically discusses it in philosophical terms, which means he is just expressing personal intuitions and opinions not technically rigorous and informed comments.

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

From the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology


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latincanuck wrote:Paisley

latincanuck wrote:
Paisley wrote:
Incidentally, both epiphenomenalism and supervenience theory are actually forms of dualisms and they are both compatible with the idea that consciousness cannot exist independent of the brain.  My guess is that he probably subscribes to some form of supervenience theory. But irrespective of his philosophical view, the point is that Tallis is an expert in neuroscience research and he is testifying in a panel comprised of other leading neuroscientists in the U.K. that there is no scientific proof that the mind is identical to the brain. 

The same guardian http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2008/jun/03/academicexperts.highereducationprofile

Okay, he characterizes his position as "embodied subjects" - the middle ground between "reductionistic neurocracts" (that's a code word for materialistic reductionism) and the "vagueness of dualism." 

latincanuck wrote:
but still you have not yet shown any evidence Paisley that your stance has some scientific evidence. Raymond is taking a philosophical stance not a scientific stance in the clip you showed.

No, Tallis is saying that there is no scientific grounds to make the claim that the mind is identical with the brain. He says this both in the video and in "The Guardian" article. The idea that the mind is identical with the brain is simply an assumption held by those beholden to the dogma of materialism.

latincanuck wrote:
CAN YOU OR CAN YOU NOT PRESENT SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE AND NOT PHILOSOPHICAL IDEAS!? It really is just a simple request, please stop avoiding this one request, please stop changing the topic, and please try to focus here.

Our first-person experience of free will provides proof-positive that the mind is distinct from the body. If you believe that free will is illusory, then the burden of proof is on you to prove that it is. Thus far, you have failed to provide sufficient proof.

"Scientists animated by the purpose of proving they are purposeless constitute an interesting subject for study." - Alfred North Whitehead


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BobSpence1 wrote:Paisley,

BobSpence1 wrote:

Paisley, what is your reference that Tallis is "an expert in neuroscience research" or a "leading neuroscientist"? His training appears to be in medicine, not neuroscience. He tried biochemistry, but decided that it was not for him, so he became an MD.

There is no indication he was into any "research".

He is not qualified to express a serious scientific opinion on this, he basically discusses it in philosophical terms, which means he is just expressing personal intuitions and opinions not technically rigorous and informed comments.

What he is actually is a gerontologist, philosopher, cultural critic, poet and novelist as well since 1997 and up until his retirement in 2006 he was Project Director of Neurosciences in Greater Manchester. However he has still not presented any evidence himself of a seperation of mind and body or mind and brain, his writting on the subject are philosophical, none of them have evidence that he is correct. His research is in stroke, epilepsy and neurological rehabilitation but oddly enough nothing on behavior per se.

His major medical book on neurology was the clinical neurology of old age, which the description is as such:

The physical ageing of the neuromuscular system; changes in mental functioning associated with normal ageing; the influence of age on neurological recovery; the neuroepidemiology of old age; the neurological examination of the elderly patient; neuroradiological investigation of the elderly; cerebrovascular disease; Parkinson's Disease and other Parkinsonian syndromes; other movement disorders; motorneurone disease; diseases of muscle; diseases of peripheral nerves; autonomic dysfunction and abnormal vascular reflexes; epilepsy; tumours of the nervous system; spinal cord and spinal root disease, secondary to diseases of the spine; cranio-cerebral trauma; infectious diseases of the nervous system; paraneoplastic neurological syndromes; neurological pain syndromes; visual failure; disturbances of hearing and balance; neurological diseases usually acquired earlier in life; drug-induced neurological disease; dementia; "funny turns", episodic loss of consciousness and falls; headaches and facial pain; recurrent acute confusional states; the neuropathic bladder; the assessment of the neurologically disabled elderly patient; the role of remedial therapists; aids for the neurologically disabled; social services for the neurologically disabled; counselling the neurologically disabled.

But again, none of his works shows any evidence that his philosophical leanings are correct per se, even he admits that much. He is good as stating what the mind isn't and what consciousness isn't, but he really hasn't said much, from what I have found, what it actually is.


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Paisley wrote:Our

Paisley wrote:

Our first-person experience of free will provides proof-positive that the mind is distinct from the body. If you believe that free will is illusory, then the burden of proof is on you to prove that it is. Thus far, you have failed to provide sufficient proof.

Yet you haven't presented nothing that your views are correct, and you still cannot comprehend that first person experience is NOT PROOF positive of your position, as it has been stated to you many times before by bob spence, but hey paisley this is your game right, ignore the requirements, keep on requesting evidnece of illusionary free will (hey the brain damage that affects moral decision doesn't show that "free will" can be affected by damage to the brain, then I have no clue what else to show you at this moment of time because you cannot comphrend it). Yet you have not presented ANY SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE, STUDIES, etc, that your philosophical stance is correct, and one guy you use here, doesn't even subscribe to your view of it all. So paisley when you actually have more to stand on that just your opinion, then maybe, just maybe you might want to start a new thread until then, this topic is mute, you have nothing new to present, it's the same old crap. No evidence just lots and lots of avoidence and dodging on your part.


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From the Guardian

From the Guardian interview:

Quote:
He thinks a split between mind and body a philosophical absurdity. "You have to get them back together at some point," he observes drily. "Something Descartes couldn't do."Instead, Tallis finds himself stranded between the reductiveness of the neurocrats and the vagueness of dualism, in something he calls the unfashionable middle ground of consciousness as "embodied subjects".

Quote:
"The brain is a necessary condition for consciousness," he argues, "but it is not a sufficient one. Selves also require bodies, material environments and human communities."

I think there is some merit in that last comment.

You will note that he has no time for anything outside the natural realm.

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

From the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology


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Our first-person experience

Our first-person experience is that the mind is a distinct aspect of our total self, distinct in our concepts from the body, of course. However there is no logical way whatsoever that that experience can be 'proof', in any sense, that it belongs to some fundamentally distinct reality, independent in some way from the 'natural' realm, or whatever your 'dualism' implies.

The 'mind', 'consciousness' are not in the same category as the 'brain', they are flows of events, processes, not material things in themselves, obviously.

This of course does not mean they are not manifestations of processes occurring in the material structure of the brain. As I pointed out before, our mental experience does not have access to those underlying processes, any more than we can experience explicitly the processes that construct our perceived visual field from the data passing along our optic nerves.

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

From the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology


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Paisley wrote:Jormungander

Paisley wrote:

Jormungander wrote:
I'm going to agree with eight foot man child on this. We already have multiple threads on this matter. We don't need another. If you want to read our logical rebuttles go back to those old threads and reread them.

I responded to your rebuttles in the last thread.  As I recall, in your last rebuttle, you cited a Wikipedia article and charged me with peddling pseudo-science, labeling the CCC (i.e."consciousness causes the collapse" of the wave function) interpretation of quantum mechanics as "mysticism." However, what you failed to mention was that the same article also listed several of the founders of quantum mechanics (Niels Bohr, Werner Hiesenberg, Eugene Wigner, and Erwin Schrodinger) as some of the mystics!

Do you think I care if some early founders of quantum mechanics liked to attach bullshit mystical/philosophical ideas to their mathematical models? The models are sound. There is no question of that. Their laughable philosophical commentary on the mathematical models is another matter. I can't imagine why you think this validates your evidence-free mystical/philosophical claims. If you could clearly explain why the evidence-free mystical claims of the founders of QM justifies your evidence-free mystical claims regarding QM this would make more sense to me. I'll dismiss their evidence-free mystical claims as easily as I'll dismiss your's.

"What can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence."

"You say that it is your custom to burn widows. Very well. We also have a custom: when men burn a woman alive, we tie a rope around their necks and we hang them. Build your funeral pyre; beside it, my carpenters will build a gallows. You may follow your custom. And then we will follow ours."
British General Charles Napier while in India


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Paisley Not only do you not

Paisley
Not only do you not have any justification to belief there is anything nonmaterial, you need to explain what the medium is that connects nonmaterial with material.

 What 'invisible substance' allows your proposed nonmaterial mind to communicate with your fingers to type on the keyboard and vice versa how does information from the material world (nature) get to this so called nonmaterial consciousness?

And if your mind is nonmaterial, what keeps it from floating off out of your body?

People who think there is something they refer to as god don't ask enough questions.


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BobSpence1 wrote:Paisley,

BobSpence1 wrote:

Paisley, what is your reference that Tallis is "an expert in neuroscience research" or a "leading neuroscientist"? His training appears to be in medicine, not neuroscience. He tried biochemistry, but decided that it was not for him, so he became an MD.

There is no indication he was into any "research".

He is not qualified to express a serious scientific opinion on this, he basically discusses it in philosophical terms, which means he is just expressing personal intuitions and opinions not technically rigorous and informed comments.

He says in the video @ time 1:10 that his primary research has been in the field of clinical neuroscience.

"Scientists animated by the purpose of proving they are purposeless constitute an interesting subject for study." - Alfred North Whitehead


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Paisley wrote:BobSpence1

Paisley wrote:
BobSpence1 wrote:

Paisley, what is your reference that Tallis is "an expert in neuroscience research" or a "leading neuroscientist"? His training appears to be in medicine, not neuroscience. He tried biochemistry, but decided that it was not for him, so he became an MD.

There is no indication he was into any "research".

He is not qualified to express a serious scientific opinion on this, he basically discusses it in philosophical terms, which means he is just expressing personal intuitions and opinions not technically rigorous and informed comments.

He says in the video @ time 1:10 that his primary research has been in the field of clinical neuroscience.

I tried searching for his publications and all I could find was some stroke recovery therapy research; but those were just studies comparing therapeutic techniques. He writes books on philosophy, but I just can't find neurological research from him. Are you claiming that his analysis of the effectiveness of various stoke therapies makes him an authority on neurological matters? Are you sure that he isn't a practitioner of medicine who reviews the effectiveness of therapies and a philosopher; rather then a neurologist?
 

Lets see some of his research:
 

Effects of Conventional Physical Therapy and Functional Strength Training on Upper Limb Motor Recovery After Stroke: A Randomized Phase II Study.

Donaldson C, Tallis R, Miller S, Sunderland A, Lemon R, Pomeroy V.

Neurorehabil Neural Repair. 2008 Dec 24.


 

Anecdotes, data and the curse of the media case study.

Tallis R.

Med Leg J. 2007;75(Pt 4):139-42.


 

The relationship between balance, disability, and recovery after stroke: predictive validity of the Brunel Balance Assessment.

Tyson SF, Hanley M, Chillala J, Selley AB, Tallis RC.

Neurorehabil Neural Repair. 2007 Jul-Aug;21(4):341-6.


 

Distribution of weakness in the upper and lower limbs post-stroke.

Tyson SF, Chillala J, Hanley M, Selley AB, Tallis RC.

Disabil Rehabil. 2006 Jun 15;28(11):715-9.


 

Late-onset seizures as a predictor of subsequent stroke.

Cleary P, Shorvon S, Tallis R.

Lancet. 2004 Apr 10;363(9416):1184-6.


 


 

Give us some of his neurological research to review or we'll probably all dismiss your claims that he is a neurological researcher. Because, you know, he would actually have to perform neurological research to be a neurological researcher.

 My Post is all screwed up. I tried to edit it a few times, but I can't fix the problem.{FIXED}

"You say that it is your custom to burn widows. Very well. We also have a custom: when men burn a woman alive, we tie a rope around their necks and we hang them. Build your funeral pyre; beside it, my carpenters will build a gallows. You may follow your custom. And then we will follow ours."
British General Charles Napier while in India


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BobSpence1 wrote:Daniel

BobSpence1 wrote:
Daniel Dennett's frequently expressed position is that "the brain creates consciousness." This is not quite the same as "the mind is identical with the brain", it seems to me. Actually that statement doesn't quite make sense. The mind is clearly not a collection of cells, it is a process, so it cannot be identical with the brain, even if it is something purely generated by the brain.

Some (if not most) physicalists hold that mental events are identical with neuronal events. Be that as it may, I think the point is that science has not proven that the mental is completely reducible to the physical.  

BobSpence1 wrote:
Any more than it would make sense to say that Microsoft Windows is identical with a PC which happens to be running it.

So, the mind is the software and the brain is the hardware?

BobSpence1 wrote:

BobSpence1 wrote:
. Hardly surprising, since he has been directly studying the topic for much longer than Tallis has been studying anything particularly relevant.

This is your personal opinion.

BobSpence1 wrote:
Not impressed at all, Paisley. I'm sure you can find more people who seem to have ideas somewhat consistent with yours, since you appear to have given up trying to explain them with your own limited set of ideas.

Flinging ad hominems is not going change the fact that materialism is simply a metaphysical position, not a scientifically established fact beyond reproach.

"Scientists animated by the purpose of proving they are purposeless constitute an interesting subject for study." - Alfred North Whitehead


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There is some confusion or

There is some confusion or conflation between 'neurological' science or research, which usually is understood to be part of medicine, ie the study of the pathologies and disorders of the nervous system, whereas 'neuroscience' normally refers to more general studies of the structure and function of the nervous system and the brain, which includes the study of consciousness, etc. There is some overlap, of course, but as is consistent with his publications and career history, his studies and experience are strongly concentrated on the medical side.

He obviously shares the inability of many people, scientist or otherwise, to accept that their mental experience can be so readily mistaken. It 'feels' so totally convincing, but that feeling of directly grasping reality is just that - just another thought, which can be mistaken. Unless you want to insist that everyone who has become totally convinced of any concept must have been correct... an absurdity.

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

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BobSpence1 wrote:Tallis also

BobSpence1 wrote:
Tallis also seems not be aware of the latest ideas on just how our awareness of other consciousnesses arise, via the 'mirror neurones'.

What's the relevance of the "mirror neurons?"

BobSpence1 wrote:
I see that he also disagrees with the position that our perception of consciousness, what it feels like, is not necessarily an accurate guide to the ultimate nature of consciousness, but presents nothing but philosphical and metaphysical arguments for his position. In a simplistic sense it is true that our experience of consciousness is what consciousness is, by definition, but that does not tell us what the ultimate nature and origin of that experience is, which is the deeper question.

And neither does Daniel Dennett.

BobSpence1 wrote:
We know that the experience of seeing a complete integrated image of the world around us does not accurately represent the raw visual data coming from our eyes - the brain does a lot of processing before it becomes part of our experience. The eye only records a small part of the scene at any instant and is continually scanning to build up and maintain the image, and the brain is filling in visual data over the 'blind spots' in each eye where the optic nerve connects with the retina. Our experience of hearing sounds gives us no insight into the mechanism of sound perception in our ears. All these and other studies show that our direct mental experience is a construction by the brain from the underlying processing.

No one is denying that our brain and central nervous system processes sensory data. However, if consciousness is simply reduced to the processing of sensory data, then computer-systems designed to process sensory data must evidently be conscious.

BobSpence1 wrote:
So how can we justify being so confident that our experience of consciousness tells us anything about how consciousness 'works' at a deeper level?

I don't have to know how consciousness "works" (if that is even the right word) to know that I am conscious. And I don't need to know how free will works to know that I am now exercising it.

BobSpence1 wrote:
If the threat of imprisonment can be shown to usefully discourage various forms of undesirable behaviour, then it remains appropriate, whatever the underlying processes going on in the mind and/or brain of the persons involved. Similarly, if the thought processes behind the concepts of 'blame' and 'responsibility' can be employed to encourage people to behave better, then such language is still appropriate and useful, regardless of whethr thought is ultimately the outcome of very complex neuronal interactions in the brain or not.

Determining what is better or worse (i.e. good or bad) is a value judgment. I believe making value judgments are beyond the purview of science.

"Scientists animated by the purpose of proving they are purposeless constitute an interesting subject for study." - Alfred North Whitehead


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Paisley wrote:BobSpence1

Paisley wrote:

BobSpence1 wrote:
Tallis also seems not be aware of the latest ideas on just how our awareness of other consciousnesses arise, via the 'mirror neurones'.

What's the relevance of the "mirror neurons?"

They are deeply implicated in the latest theories of how self-awareness, selfconsciousness, arises - very relevant. Are you really that unaware of the latest ideas on consciousness??? You appear to be arguing from ignorance...

Quote:

BobSpence1 wrote:
I see that he also disagrees with the position that our perception of consciousness, what it feels like, is not necessarily an accurate guide to the ultimate nature of consciousness, but presents nothing but philosphical and metaphysical arguments for his position. In a simplistic sense it is true that our experience of consciousness is what consciousness is, by definition, but that does not tell us what the ultimate nature and origin of that experience is, which is the deeper question.

And neither does Daniel Dennett.

So you are accepting that our first-person experience does NOT give us real insight into the nature of mind of mind and consciusness?

Quote:

BobSpence1 wrote:
We know that the experience of seeing a complete integrated image of the world around us does not accurately represent the raw visual data coming from our eyes - the brain does a lot of processing before it becomes part of our experience. The eye only records a small part of the scene at any instant and is continually scanning to build up and maintain the image, and the brain is filling in visual data over the 'blind spots' in each eye where the optic nerve connects with the retina. Our experience of hearing sounds gives us no insight into the mechanism of sound perception in our ears. All these and other studies show that our direct mental experience is a construction by the brain from the underlying processing.

No one is denying that our brain and central nervous system processes sensory data. However, if consciousness is simply reduced to the processing of sensory data, then computer-systems designed to process sensory data must evidently be conscious.

You totally missed the point, as usual.

Its NOT about the fact that our brain processes sensory data, it's about the fact that our experience of seeing the world around does NOT reflect the nature of that processing and the flaws and limitations of those processes - similarly our experience of making decisions and other cognitive functions are also likely to NOT accurately reflect the underlying processes, so cannot be taken to positively affirm any metaphysical ideas about the nature of mind.

Quote:

BobSpence1 wrote:
So how can we justify being so confident that our experience of consciousness tells us anything about how consciousness 'works' at a deeper level?

I don't have to know how consciousness "works" (if that is even the right word) to know that I am conscious. And I don't need to know how free will works to know that I am now exercising it.

Neither Dennet or myself are denying that you are conscious, or that you exercise choice. It is about whether or not those experiences are explicable in naturalistic, non-dualistic terms, which surely DOES require more knowledge than we can gain purely from the first person experience.

Quote:

BobSpence1 wrote:
If the threat of imprisonment can be shown to usefully discourage various forms of undesirable behaviour, then it remains appropriate, whatever the underlying processes going on in the mind and/or brain of the persons involved. Similarly, if the thought processes behind the concepts of 'blame' and 'responsibility' can be employed to encourage people to behave better, then such language is still appropriate and useful, regardless of whethr thought is ultimately the outcome of very complex neuronal interactions in the brain or not.

Determining what is better or worse (i.e. good or bad) is a value judgment. I believe making value judgments are beyond the purview of science.

I agree, up to a point. We can and do study the thought processes and brain activities involved when we make value judgements, both via neuroscience and psychology, but we don't normally employ science in making value judgements.

I was not asserting they were to be scientifically determined - in the contrary, I was saying pretty much that the ultimate nature of mind and consciousness are not relevant to how we employ the concepts of good and bad, blame and responsibility.

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

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This article could make

This article could make Paisley's day.  I think he'll have plenty of interest in it.  Can anyone find problems with the proposed research?

BigUniverse wrote,

"Well the things that happen less often are more likely to be the result of the supper natural. A thing like loosing my keys in the morning is not likely supper natural, but finding a thousand dollars or meeting a celebrity might be."


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Paisley wrote:Flinging ad

Paisley wrote:

Flinging ad hominems is not going change the fact that materialism is simply a metaphysical position, not a scientifically established fact beyond reproach.

I absolutely agree. Materialism is a metaphysical position, not a scientific fact beyond reproach.

Materialism (or physicalism, which I believe is more accurate) is one of the fundamental underpinnings of science. It is an axiom of science. The validity of that axiom may only be judged by the success of its resulting epistemology. Every metaphysical position must be judged solely on the resulting epistemology.

What are the epistemological successes of dualism?

"Yes, I seriously believe that consciousness is a product of a natural process. I find that the neuroscientists, psychologists, and philosophers who proceed from that premise are the ones who are actually making useful contributions to our understanding of the mind." - PZ Myers


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Thomathy wrote:This article

Thomathy wrote:

This article could make Paisley's day.  I think he'll have plenty of interest in it.  Can anyone find problems with the proposed research?

ACK!

You just dropped a crystal in meth addicts' hand!

People who think there is something they refer to as god don't ask enough questions.


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Thomathy wrote:This article

Thomathy wrote:

This article could make Paisley's day.  I think he'll have plenty of interest in it.  Can anyone find problems with the proposed research?

But we have already done extensive research on how people's brains function and what they experience when deprived of oxygen. Dr. Jamer Winnery did centrifuge tests on pilots for the Air Force and they kept reporting out of body experiences. It turns out that you lose all sense of where you are when your brain is starved of oxygen. Also the pilots reported seeing bright lights, feeling at peace, and feeling that they are floating after passing out on the centrifuge. It was a classic case of NDEs, but these pilots weren't even dying, they were just spun around until enough blood was drawn out of their heads that they passed out. So "near death experiences" is a very poorly worded phrase. It is actually more of an "oxygen deprivation in the brain experience." Out of body experiences are the product of a brain that can not function properly due to oxygen deprivation. Unless centrifuges have a mystical property to them that frees the soul from the body, I think that out of body experiences and NDEs have a rather boring and non-mystical explanation.

 

"In these procedures, the body temperature is lowered and the heart is stopped, causing a medically controlled death that can last as long as an hour while the operation is completed."

What an incorrect sentence. Stopping the heart does not in any way, shape or form mean that someone is dead. There have been people that have lived for weeks or months with no heart. If artificial blood pumps are connected to you and your heart is removed, you are not dead. And the hypothermia part of this experiment will help their brains last longer without oxygen. My complaint against that is you need real oxygen deprivation for this to count. I hope the researches don't really think that this experiment has anything to do with death.

It was very wrong for this article to say that a stopped heart and a low body temperature is "medically controlled death." Do these people not know what death is? Do they not know that living people can temporarily have their hearts stopped and their temperature lowered without dying? That just isn't death.

"You say that it is your custom to burn widows. Very well. We also have a custom: when men burn a woman alive, we tie a rope around their necks and we hang them. Build your funeral pyre; beside it, my carpenters will build a gallows. You may follow your custom. And then we will follow ours."
British General Charles Napier while in India


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Thomathy wrote:This article

Thomathy wrote:
This article could make Paisley's day.  I think he'll have plenty of interest in it.  Can anyone find problems with the proposed research?

Thanks, I am intereseted in NDEs and I recently became aware of the research that Sam Parnia is conducting in this area. The results should prove to be interesting. 

"Scientists animated by the purpose of proving they are purposeless constitute an interesting subject for study." - Alfred North Whitehead


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Thomathy wrote:This article

Thomathy wrote:

This article could make Paisley's day.  I think he'll have plenty of interest in it.  Can anyone find problems with the proposed research?

I think Jormungander got it pretty much right.

I should add that the bit about putting something in a location that would only be visible to someone whose viewpoint genuinely shifted as in a 'true' out-of-body experience has been done, without any successful reports...

I think a genuine test would be entirely too risky to conduct, as it would require essentially switching off the brain for a short controlled period, not the heart.

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

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nigelTheBold wrote:I

nigelTheBold wrote:
I absolutely agree. Materialism is a metaphysical position, not a scientific fact beyond reproach.

Materialism (or physicalism, which I believe is more accurate) is one of the fundamental underpinnings of science. It is an axiom of science. The validity of that axiom may only be judged by the success of its resulting epistemology. Every metaphysical position must be judged solely on the resulting epistemology.

What are the epistemological successes of dualism?

Umm...the advancement of neuroscience? Sir John Eccles (Nobel laureate in neurophysiology) was a dualist, not a materialist.

I think you're confusing "scientific materialism" with "science." Scientific materialism is an ideology; it's not science or the scientific method. Also, materialism is not the axiom (that's not really the right term) of science. And I would argue that materialism is not even the "working assumption" of science. In fact, science was established under metaphysical dualism (more precisely, Cartesian dualism). I suggest you read up on the history of science and philosophy.

Incidentally, Karl Popper (prominent philosopher of science, best known for promoting the idea that the scientific method is based on falsification) was a dualist, not a materialist.

"Scientists animated by the purpose of proving they are purposeless constitute an interesting subject for study." - Alfred North Whitehead


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Paisley wrote:nigelTheBold

Paisley wrote:

nigelTheBold wrote:

What are the epistemological successes of dualism?

Umm...the advancement of neuroscience? Sir John Eccles (Nobel laureate in neurophysiology) was a dualist, not a materialist.

[Blah blah blah, more dodging, etc. etc. etc.]

Incidentally, Karl Popper (prominent philosopher of science, best known for promoting the idea that the scientific method is based on falsification) was a dualist, not a materialist.

Hmmm, speaking of falsifiability, why don't you answer the fucking question that was asked of you?

The question was not, 'What have some dualists done for science?' The question was 'What are the epistemological successes of dualism?'

As in, what *falsifiable* predictions has dualism made that have been tested and found consistent with the evidence?

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How could a

How could a ‘nonmaterial consciousness’ agglomerate?

What would hold it together?

Why would ‘nonmaterial consciousness’ need nature at all?

A ‘nonmaterial consciousness’ wouldn’t need nourishment, wouldn’t need any energy. In fact wouldn’t nature actually be a burden for a ‘nonmaterial consciousness’ to 'carry' around?

What would prevent ‘nonmaterial consciousnesses’ from hovering into each other as they are floating about? It's obvious that matter cannot contain it in the brain. They would meld and the thoughts of each would commingle and become nonsensical garble. Hence, reason couldn't exist in a 'nonmateial world'. Or do we call it 'nonworld'?

Where would ‘nonmaterial consciousness’  come from in the first place? In the sperm and egg? But then it would be microscopic in size. Would it grow with the development of the fetus? But if it grew, that would mean it absorbs energy. But, that’s stupid isn't it?

Wait, if it had size that would mean it had a dimension and if it had dimension that would make it material!

What would be the physics of nonmaterial? Nonphysics?

This absurdity is just laughable. Those who entertain such ideas of supernature are clearly insane. What would snap these idiots into reality?


 

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latincanuck wrote:Paisley

latincanuck wrote:
Paisley wrote:
Our first-person experience of free will provides proof-positive that the mind is distinct from the body. If you believe that free will is illusory, then the burden of proof is on you to prove that it is. Thus far, you have failed to provide sufficient proof.

Yet you haven't presented nothing that your views are correct, and you still cannot comprehend that first person experience is NOT PROOF positive of your position, as it has been stated to you many times before by bob spence,

What? Bob Spence has papal infallibility?

latincanuck wrote:
but hey paisley this is your game right, ignore the requirements, keep on requesting evidnece of illusionary free will (hey the brain damage that affects moral decision doesn't show that "free will" can be affected by damage to the brain, then I have no clue what else to show you at this moment of time because you cannot comphrend it). Yet you have not presented ANY SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE, STUDIES, etc, that your philosophical stance is correct, and one guy you use here, doesn't even subscribe to your view of it all.

I don't have to accept your requirements - the notion that the only type of evidence is scientific evidence. This is simply dogma and since I am a "free thinker" I will exercise my freedom by freely choosing to reject your requirements. That I know I am conscious does not qualify as scientific evidence. However, consciousness itself is axiomatic (self-evident). Any attempt to deny it presupposes it. Likewise, free will is axiomatic. Any attempt to deny it presupposes it. If you believe that free will is an illusion (something that you WILL presuppose if you DECIDE to repond to this post), then the burden is on you to prove it, not me. I am not going to debate this point anymore.

"Scientists animated by the purpose of proving they are purposeless constitute an interesting subject for study." - Alfred North Whitehead


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Paisley wrote:latincanuck

Paisley wrote:

latincanuck wrote:
Paisley wrote:
Our first-person experience of free will provides proof-positive that the mind is distinct from the body. If you believe that free will is illusory, then the burden of proof is on you to prove that it is. Thus far, you have failed to provide sufficient proof.

Yet you haven't presented nothing that your views are correct, and you still cannot comprehend that first person experience is NOT PROOF positive of your position, as it has been stated to you many times before by bob spence,

What? Bob Spence has papal infallibility?

latincanuck wrote:
but hey paisley this is your game right, ignore the requirements, keep on requesting evidnece of illusionary free will (hey the brain damage that affects moral decision doesn't show that "free will" can be affected by damage to the brain, then I have no clue what else to show you at this moment of time because you cannot comphrend it). Yet you have not presented ANY SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE, STUDIES, etc, that your philosophical stance is correct, and one guy you use here, doesn't even subscribe to your view of it all.

I don't have to accept your requirements - the notion that the only type of evidence is scientific evidence. This is simply dogma and since I am a "free thinker" I will exercise my freedom by freely choosing to reject your requirements. That I know I am conscious does not qualify as scientific evidence. However, consciousness itself is axiomatic (self-evident). Any attempt to deny it presupposes it. Likewise, free will is axiomatic. Any attempt to deny it presupposes it. If you believe that free will is an illusion (something that you WILL presuppose if you DECIDE to repond to this post), then the burden is on you to prove it, not me. I am not going to debate this point anymore.

Thank you Paisley, just as I thought, you have nothing to back up your statement other than opinion, which really means you know jack shit. Emperical evidence is important, especially when you are trying to prove something that is going to contradict the evidence from the scientific community, and your opinion means squat when your trying to disprove scientific evidence. So please stop these useless threads which is nothing more than your opinion and until you can actually explain how the mind can control the brain and are actually different from each other, then you have nothing new to add, as your trying to disprove scientific evidence with nothing more than mere speculation. Oh and that goes the same for you, I don't need to accept your requirements for my evidence to prove my side, however I have given you more than enough evidence to show your opinionis wrong, as has so many other people in so many threads. You have given us SQUAT SHIT.


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BobSpence1 wrote:From the

BobSpence1 wrote:
From the Guardian interview:

Quote:
He thinks a split between mind and body a philosophical absurdity. "You have to get them back together at some point," he observes drily. "Something Descartes couldn't do."Instead, Tallis finds himself stranded between the reductiveness of the neurocrats and the vagueness of dualism, in something he calls the unfashionable middle ground of consciousness as "embodied subjects".

Quote:
"The brain is a necessary condition for consciousness," he argues, "but it is not a sufficient one. Selves also require bodies, material environments and human communities."

I think there is some merit in that last comment.

You will note that he has no time for anything outside the natural realm.

There are naturalistic dualists. Also, in the article I posted in the OP, it stated that he "hates materialistic intepretations of the mind." And "embodied subjects" certainly smacks of dualism. Be that as it may, I don't care if he subscribes to materialism. That's actually better! The fact is that an atheist materialist (whose primary research is in clinical neuroscience) says there is no scientific evidence to say that the mind is the brain or there is no free will.

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Quote:naturalistic

Quote:
naturalistic dualists

Its a fucking oxymoron


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Paisley wrote:I don't have

Paisley wrote:

I don't have to accept your requirements - the notion that the only type of evidence is scientific evidence. This is simply dogma and since I am a "free thinker" I will exercise my freedom by freely choosing to reject your requirements.

You show 'em Paisley! Don't let their calls for evidence stop you from announcing your opinion as undisputable fact. You are too much of a 'free thinker' to be bothered with backing your claims up with evidence. Real free thinkers don't let the fact that they have no supporting evidence to stop them from announcing the perfect truth that is their uninformed opinion. And when they show you evidence that you are wrong, just point out the the evidence is so-called science; and you aren't going to be held back by anything as petty as scientific evidence. Using evidence to justify claims is just dogma that these so-called scientists use to try and skew people's opinions towards believing in things that have evidence to support them. Good thing you are fighting the good fight against these dogmatic evidence-worshiping scientists.

Keep fighting the Power, bro!

"You say that it is your custom to burn widows. Very well. We also have a custom: when men burn a woman alive, we tie a rope around their necks and we hang them. Build your funeral pyre; beside it, my carpenters will build a gallows. You may follow your custom. And then we will follow ours."
British General Charles Napier while in India


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natural wrote:Paisley

natural wrote:

Paisley wrote:

nigelTheBold wrote:

What are the epistemological successes of dualism?

Umm...the advancement of neuroscience? Sir John Eccles (Nobel laureate in neurophysiology) was a dualist, not a materialist.

[Blah blah blah, more dodging, etc. etc. etc.]

Incidentally, Karl Popper (prominent philosopher of science, best known for promoting the idea that the scientific method is based on falsification) was a dualist, not a materialist.

Hmmm, speaking of falsifiability, why don't you answer the fucking question that was asked of you?

The question was not, 'What have some dualists done for science?' The question was 'What are the epistemological successes of dualism?'

As in, what *falsifiable* predictions has dualism made that have been tested and found consistent with the evidence?

Because we now know why, it's all just paisley's opinion, not evidence that can be tested, just his word and idea's. Nothing more, just usless unprovable hypothesis that does nothing to disprove what science has so far proven, so far, and although science has more to find out about the mind/brain and the nature of consciousness what it has found so far does not indicate what paisley what to believe in. Now we all know why he dodges and evades, nothing but smoke and mirrors with paisley, shocking really.


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Jormungander wrote:Good

Jormungander wrote:

Good thing you are fighting the good fight against these dogmatic evidence-worshiping scientists.

Keep fighting the Power, bro!

Thanks for that, it was a good laugh. You and Bob seem to have this one (insofar as one can rebut this type of ever-changing confusion without feeling like Sisyphus).

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aiia wrote:Thomathy

aiia wrote:

Thomathy wrote:

This article could make Paisley's day.  I think he'll have plenty of interest in it.  Can anyone find problems with the proposed research?

ACK!

You just dropped a crystal in meth addicts' hand!

I think it's more like giving the opposing team the ball. That's what you do when the game is this one-sided.

Saint Will: no gyration without funkstification.
fabulae! nil satis firmi video quam ob rem accipere hunc mi expediat metum. - Terence


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Paisley wrote:Has science

Paisley wrote:

Has science proven [...]

Oh, for a muse of fire. Our earlier talks about falsification have led us nowhere, haven't they?

Saint Will: no gyration without funkstification.
fabulae! nil satis firmi video quam ob rem accipere hunc mi expediat metum. - Terence


nigelTheBold
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Paisley wrote:I think you're

Paisley wrote:

I think you're confusing "scientific materialism" with "science." Scientific materialism is an ideology; it's not science or the scientific method. Also, materialism is not the axiom (that's not really the right term) of science. And I would argue that materialism is not even the "working assumption" of science. In fact, science was established under metaphysical dualism (more precisely, Cartesian dualism). I suggest you read up on the history of science and philosophy.

Whatever science was founded upon, it is different now. The practice of science, and the philosophy upon which it is based, has been refined substantially.

For science to work as an epistemology, the universe must have these attributes:

1. The universe is coherent

2. The universe is consistent

3. The universe is observable

Science is predicated upon these base assumptions. Materialism (or physicalism, which might be a less-confusing term) is the most parsimonious metaphysics to provide these attributes. In fact, any metaphysics which incorporates science as an epistemological tool must be a superset of materialism.

As most forms of dualism incorporate materialism, science is a valid epistemological tool. However, there has never been an application of science to the non-materialistic aspect of dualism. There's not even a working proposal about how science may be applied to the non-materialistic aspect of dualism.

So, yes. Science is the province of materialism. And no, dualism lays claim to science only inasmuch as dualism incorporates the more parsimonious materialism.

The post to which I was originally responding made it seem as if you thought that, being "only a metaphysics," materialism and dualism were on equal standing. This is similar to the arguments that the intelligent design folks use: "Evolution is only a theory, and intelligent design is also a theory! Therefore, they are both equally possible."

This is false reasoning. Materialism may be a metaphysics, but it is a metaphysics which has been verified by the successful application of its epistemology, the scientific method.

Anyway, this is all way off topic. I intended to simply pointing out the fallacy of equating the validity of all possible metaphysics. Some metaphysics have quite a bit more evidential support than others.

"Yes, I seriously believe that consciousness is a product of a natural process. I find that the neuroscientists, psychologists, and philosophers who proceed from that premise are the ones who are actually making useful contributions to our understanding of the mind." - PZ Myers


BobSpence
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Paisley wrote:BobSpence1

Paisley wrote:

BobSpence1 wrote:
From the Guardian interview:

Quote:
He thinks a split between mind and body a philosophical absurdity. "You have to get them back together at some point," he observes drily. "Something Descartes couldn't do."Instead, Tallis finds himself stranded between the reductiveness of the neurocrats and the vagueness of dualism, in something he calls the unfashionable middle ground of consciousness as "embodied subjects".

Quote:
"The brain is a necessary condition for consciousness," he argues, "but it is not a sufficient one. Selves also require bodies, material environments and human communities."

I think there is some merit in that last comment.

You will note that he has no time for anything outside the natural realm.

There are naturalistic dualists. Also, in the article I posted in the OP, it stated that he "hates materialistic intepretations of the mind." And "embodied subjects" certainly smacks of dualism. Be that as it may, I don't care if he subscribes to materialism. That's actually better! The fact is that an atheist materialist (whose primary research is in clinical neuroscience) says there is no scientific evidence to say that the mind is the brain or there is no free will.

Fine. So he is just confused and conflicted. Like yourself, he is unable to get past the intuitive conviction, from first-person experience, that the mind is not  'reducible', or explicible, in terms of other, simpler, naturaistic elements. This is the crux, but it is not actually provable, even in an informal sense. It is totally logically invalid to justify any conclusion about the nature of experience purely from the content of experience itself - the conviction that 'mind' is an essentially different and irreducible thing, no matter how clearly experienced, is still just that, part of what has to be explained, not part of the explanation or justification. You can't use your intuitive conviction about the nature of mind to justify that conviction itself. It is totally circular.

The fact that another thinker sharing this common and understandable stance (in the psychological and neuroscientific sense, we can see why that feeling arises) on the nature of mind, also happens to share many or all of our views on the fallacies of religious belief, does not really represent any sort of problem for us.

While related to ideas of mind, Theism clearly includes a lot of additional concepts which are not rationally justifiable on their own terms.

We have to look at his arguments and evidence, not just his personal hangups, and like you, Paisley, he really just falls back on this intuitive feeling that the obvious and agreed differences in the nature of mental events from other accepted naturalistic phenomena, are significant enough to mean that they cannot, even in principle, be explained in terms of underlying 'non-mental' events, no matter how complex those underlying processes may be. This however is a purely negative position, and is very similar to the 'God-of-the-Gaps' argument, which is a version of the 'argument from ignorance'. Beyond that feeling, you are unable to justify this belief. Alternatively, your argument amounts to: if we can't disprove your claim that mind is sufficiently different from 'naturalistic' processes to not be reducible to such, then you are vindicated.

Despite the record of science in successfully providing conceptual models ('theories') explaining ever more complex and high level phenomena in naturalistic terms, frequently in the face of intuitively derived beliefs, about the nature and structure of the Cosmos, or the origins of infectious diseases, etc, etc, you have drawn another line which you claim cannot be crossed by 'reductionist' science.

It's a bit like the ID'ers, who insist that there are structures in living cells which cannot have arisen from simpler elements by successive functional stages, despite those steps being shown to them. Or the anti-evolutionists, who may accept 'micro' evolution, but insist there is some magic level of change which Natural Selection cannot go past, despite the evidence that continual small changes can eventually lead to arbitrarily large cumulative effects.

 

 

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

From the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology


Paisley
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BobSpence1 wrote:Paisley

BobSpence1 wrote:
Paisley wrote:
What's the relevance of the "mirror neurons?"

They are deeply implicated in the latest theories of how self-awareness, selfconsciousness, arises - very relevant. Are you really that unaware of the latest ideas on consciousness??? You appear to be arguing from ignorance...

Are neuronal events identical with mental events? Has science established that mirror neurons are the cause of consciousness? Has the discovery of mirror neurons proven that free will is an illusion?

If not, then what is the relevance of mirror neurons to the subject matter at hand?

BobSpence1 wrote:
Paisley wrote:
And neither does Daniel Dennett.

So you are accepting that our first-person experience does NOT give us real insight into the nature of mind of mind and consciusness

No, I'm not. I'm simply saying that Daniel Dennett does not know the ultimate nature and origin of consciousness.

BobSpence1 wrote:
You totally missed the point, as usual.

Its NOT about the fact that our brain processes sensory data, it's about the fact that our experience of seeing the world around does NOT reflect the nature of that processing and the flaws and limitations of those processes - similarly our experience of making decisions and other cognitive functions are also likely to NOT accurately reflect the underlying processes, so cannot be taken to positively affirm any metaphysical ideas about the nature of mind.

I disagree. The reason I believe I have free will is because I know I have the ability to exercise my will. Now, if you believe that our experience of free will is purely illusory, then the burden of proof is on you, not me. What? Do you think that everyone is simply going to concede the point that free will is illusory because you say it is? I don't think so. We want proof!

BobSpence1 wrote:
Paisley wrote:
I don't have to know how consciousness "works" (if that is even the right word) to know that I am conscious. And I don't need to know how free will works to know that I am now exercising it.
 

Neither Dennet or myself are denying that you are conscious, or that you exercise choice

It is about whether or not those experiences are explicable in naturalistic, non-dualistic terms, which surely DOES require more knowledge than we can gain purely from the first person experience.

I seriously doubt that Daniel Dennett believes in free will (libertarian). If he did, then he wouldn't be a staunch proponent of materialism.

BobSpence1 wrote:
I was not asserting they were to be scientifically determined - in the contrary, I was saying pretty much that the ultimate nature of mind and consciousness are not relevant to how we employ the concepts of good and bad, blame and responsibility.

I don't necessarily agree. How we view the ultimate nature of mind and consciousness directly influence our beliefs and attitudes. That being said, I am not certain how these beliefs and attitudes will play themselves out in life - either individually or collectively. Determining the implications is not exactly clear-cut. And I suspect that this is something that will require much more reflection on my part before I can articulate a better response.

"Scientists animated by the purpose of proving they are purposeless constitute an interesting subject for study." - Alfred North Whitehead


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Paisley wrote:BobSpence1

Paisley wrote:

BobSpence1 wrote:
Paisley wrote:
What's the relevance of the "mirror neurons?"

They are deeply implicated in the latest theories of how self-awareness, selfconsciousness, arises - very relevant. Are you really that unaware of the latest ideas on consciousness??? You appear to be arguing from ignorance...

Are neuronal events identical with mental events? Has science established that mirror neurons are the cause of consciousness? Has the discovery of mirror neurons proven that free will is an illusion?

If not, then what is the relevance of mirror neurons to the subject matter at hand?

It is NOT a logical requirement that "neuronal events [are] identical with mental events" for neuronal events to be fundamentally and intimately involved in the nature and origin of mental events. Your stubborn refusal and/or inabilty to grasp this fundamental point that "identity" between mind and brain, neuronal processes and mental is not required in any sense for neurones/the brain to be intimately involved with the phenomenon of consiousness has long ago become tiresome.

Mirror neurones do not 'cause' consciousness, necessarily, but they do appear to be an very significant part of the collection of interacting brain structures which collectively are what seems to support conscious thought.

Quote:

BobSpence1 wrote:
Paisley wrote:
And neither does Daniel Dennett.

So you are accepting that our first-person experience does NOT give us real insight into the nature of mind of mind and consciusness

No, I'm not. I'm simply saying that Daniel Dennett does not know the ultimate nature and origin of consciousness.

Since he doesn't really claim that, and no-one does know that, you have just made a totally pointless observation.

Quote:

BobSpence1 wrote:
You totally missed the point, as usual.

Its NOT about the fact that our brain processes sensory data, it's about the fact that our experience of seeing the world around does NOT reflect the nature of that processing and the flaws and limitations of those processes - similarly our experience of making decisions and other cognitive functions are also likely to NOT accurately reflect the underlying processes, so cannot be taken to positively affirm any metaphysical ideas about the nature of mind.

I disagree. The reason I believe I have free will is because I know I have the ability to exercise my will. Now, if you believe that our experience of free will is purely illusory, then the burden of proof is on you, not me. What? Do you think that everyone is simply going to concede the point that free will is illusory because you say it is? I don't think so. We want proof!

Of course you have "the ability to exercise my will".

Quote:

BobSpence1 wrote:
Paisley wrote:
I don't have to know how consciousness "works" (if that is even the right word) to know that I am conscious. And I don't need to know how free will works to know that I am now exercising it.
 

Neither Dennet or myself are denying that you are conscious, or that you exercise choice

It is about whether or not those experiences are explicable in naturalistic, non-dualistic terms, which surely DOES require more knowledge than we can gain purely from the first person experience.

I seriously doubt that Daniel Dennett believes in free will (libertarian). If he did, then he wouldn't be a staunch proponent of materialism.

That is not a response to my statement.

Quote:

BobSpence1 wrote:
I was not asserting they were to be scientifically determined - in the contrary, I was saying pretty much that the ultimate nature of mind and consciousness are not relevant to how we employ the concepts of good and bad, blame and responsibility.

I don't necessarily agree. How we view the ultimate nature of mind and consciousness directly influence our beliefs and attitudes. That being said, I am not certain how these beliefs and attitudes will play themselves out in life - either individually or collectively. Determining the implications is not exactly clear-cut. And I suspect that this is something that will require much more reflection on my part before I can articulate a better response.

Yes, how we view "the ultimate nature of mind and consciousness" will affect our beliefs and attitudes, I was referring to the what their ultimate nature may actually be, not so much what a particular person conceives them to be, which is what is relevant to their beliefs and attitudes.

It's a bit of a semantic quibble.

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

From the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology