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Re: [Mind_Brain_Consciousness] Mind and Brain: A formulation to tear apart, if you can

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  • Ajai Singh
    Psychiatry is a favourite whipping boy for many, and dissident psychiatrists are no less responsible for it. Let me tell you all, that Depression is very much
    Message 1 of 60 , Mar 2, 2010
      Psychiatry is a favourite whipping boy for many, and dissident psychiatrists are no less responsible for it.
      Let me tell you all, that Depression is very much a disorder for which treatment is available. Patients really get well, they go back to work and proper living with the available medicines and psychotherapy. You should meet some of these patients. The unfortunate part is, due to the stigma attached, patients do not want to come out in the open and speak about their recovery.
      If only people could as proudly speak about getting control of their depression as they do about getting control of their blood pressure/diabetes/heart problems. Then, life for many, who continue to suffer from depression but don't seek help, and therefore keep suffering, would no longer remain one big burden. And so many suicides prevented.
      I, for one, who handles such problems day in and day out, am immensely grateful that modern medicine, with all its flaws and imperfections, still manages to help relieve so many of their depressive and other psychiatric disorders.
      So, if someone has sustained depressed mood, doesn't sleep well, feels life is not worth living, gets suicidal thoughts -- it's time to stop discussion and visit a psychiatrist. Just as when you have high fever, or blood in your sputum/stools/urine, you don't sit and just discuss.
      You go seek professional help.
      As for the other point: Is psychiatry a science?
      It very much is, because it is based on evidence and experimental work.
      My point was different. I was discussing if it is a full fledged branch of medicine. And I said it was at an interim stage because it had still to find biological basis for its disorders.
      Still to find, not impossible to find.
      That is the whole thrust of modern psychiatry, and justifiably so, much as its critics may try to waylay the agenda.

      Ajai
      3 Mar 2010
      Dr. Ajai Singh M.D.,
      Editor,
      Mens Sana Monographs,
      Medicine. Mental Health. Man, And their Matrix.
       
      Correspondence:
      Mens Sana Research Foundation,
      14,Shiv Kripa, Trimurty Road,
      Nahur, Mulund(W), Mumbai-400080, INDIA.
       


      --- On Mon, 22/2/10, Alfredo Pereira <alfredo.pereira@...> wrote:

      From: Alfredo Pereira <alfredo.pereira@...>
      Subject: Re: [Mind_Brain_Consciousness] Mind and Brain: A formulation to tearapart, if you can
      To: Mind_Brain_Consciousness@yahoogroups.com
      Date: Monday, 22 February, 2010, 22:14

       
      Today in The New Yorker:
       

      "You arrive for work and someone informs you that you have until five o'clock to clean out your office. You have been laid off. ... After a week, you have a hard time getting out of bed in the morning. After two weeks, you have a hard time getting out of the house. You go see a doctor. The doctor hears your story and prescribes an antidepressant. Do you take it?

      However you go about making this decision, do not read the psychiatric literature. Everything in it, from the science (do the meds really work?) to the metaphysics (is depression really a disease?), will confuse you. There is little agreement about what causes depression and no consensus about what cures it. ... There is suspicion that the pharmaceutical industry is cooking the studies that prove that antidepressant drugs are safe and effective, and that the industry's direct-to-consumer advertising is encouraging people to demand pills to cure conditions that are not diseases. ...

      These complaints are not coming just from sociologists, English professors, and other troublemakers; they are being made by people within the field of psychiatry itself. As a branch of medicine, depression seems to be a mess. Business, however, is extremely good. Between 1988, the year after Prozac was approved by the F.D.A., and 2000, adult use of antidepressants almost tripled. By 2005, one out of every ten Americans had a prescription for an antidepressant. ... As a depressed person might ask, What does it all mean?"


    • AJAI
      Brain functions are no doubt different from digestion and respiration. But the same is true vice versa. They all have their distinctive features, since they
      Message 60 of 60 , Mar 26, 2010
        Brain functions are no doubt different from digestion and respiration. But the same is true vice versa. They all have their distinctive features, since they have different functions to perform.
        And yet at some fundamental level there may also be common factors. Cells, and their organelles, for example, have some common attributes, whether in the stomach, lungs or the brain.
        Unravelling these common [and contrasting] features is a vast fascinating terrain that science is attempting to traverse, ableit gingerly, but it's a journey well worth joining in.
        What I have found good about Science is that it is honest in accepting it has still a lot to find, but is persistent enough to go find it.

        Ajai
        27 Mar 2010

        ............................

        --- In Mind_Brain_Consciousness@yahoogroups.com, Alfredo Pereira <alfredo.pereira@...> wrote:
        >
        > Dear Ajai:
        >
        > The new elaboration is very closer to my understanding of these matters.
        > The only comment I make is that the mind is not a a biological function like
        > digestion or respiration, but an affective/cognitive function that requires
        > a special kind of mechanism to be generated. Science is beginning to
        > discover this mechanism but its nature is still very controversial.
        >
        > Best
        >
        > Alfredo
        >
        > 2010/3/12 AJAI <mensanamonographs@...>
        >
        > >
        > >
        > > I present a further elaboration of this thought for your consideration
        > > 1. The term mind must be understood as a convenient collection of brain
        > > functions, and nothing else.
        > > 2. The mind does have an independent identity of its own, separate from the
        > > brain that produces it. But that is after the brain has produced it. The
        > > mind cannot exist without a brain producing it. It is not 'a priori' to the
        > > brain.
        > > 3. The problem is we reify mind. It has no physical structure or physical
        > > form. That is an attribute of the brain.
        > > 4. It is essential that we understand the distinction between mind and
        > > brain very clearly, and use it thus in our philosophical/scientific
        > > discourse. Let us not use the two terms interchangeably.
        > > 5. After the brain has functioned and its products are produced [which we
        > > subsume under 'mind'], we must understand that these products [ie mind] have
        > > their own internal structure and organisation. But this structure is not
        > > physical, it is intellectual/emotional/perceptual as the case maybe. If the
        > > thought structure is consistent, it withstands critical scrutiny of peers.
        > > If not, it falls. Such is the case with many theories, for example.
        > > 6. After thought/s is/are produced by a brain, where does it remain? It
        > > remains in intelligent systems that can store and transmit knowledge from
        > > one person/society/generation to another eg in individual brains, computers,
        > > literature, genes, word of mouth transmission etc etc
        > > Let's try and look into these points and see it they can be
        > > contradicted/elaborated/modified/refuted.
        > >
        > > Ajai
        > > 13 Mar 2010
        > >
        > > .................................
        > >
        > >
        > > --- In Mind_Brain_Consciousness@yahoogroups.com<Mind_Brain_Consciousness%40yahoogroups.com>,
        > > Ajai Singh <mensanamonographs@> wrote:
        > > >
        > > > I am aware that the word 'mind' has been used in different contexts with
        > > varied meanings. And that is the root of the problem.
        > > > That leads to ambiguity and a consequent jungle like and amorphous
        > > proliferation of ideas.
        > > > I laid a formulation which said
        > > > 1. Mind is a collection of functions of the brain. It is not a physical
        > > entity, but the product of a physical entity called the brain.
        > > > 2. It is a set of many brain functions -Â consciousness, memory,
        > > intelligence etc being its elements.
        > >
        > > > 3. Consciousness is a function of the brain, and an element of the larger
        > > group called mind.
        > > > Consciousness is not identical with mind.
        > > > 4. Mind may have been used interchangeably with 'soul', 'consciousness'
        > > whatever. That compounds the problem, does not solve it.
        > > > 5. 'Self organising systems that Alfredo talks of are themselves the
        > > product of peoples' brains. Why do I say so? Well, let the people whose
        > > brains initiated, and later perpetuated, these systems, not have existed,
        > > and would we have had these systems?
        > > > 6. Common way in which we use the term 'mind'Â leads to many confusions,
        > > Arun, and should be avoided in technical discussions. We know in
        > > psychiatry, for example, use of terms like 'psychotic',
        > > 'depressed','schizophrenic', 'neurotic' in common parlance is very different
        > > from the way it is techically used. So when someone says, 'Keep it in
        > > mind', he actually means, 'Keep it in memory', or, 'Make a note of it'. It
        > > is improper use of the term mind as we have understood it.
        > > > Enough for the present.
        > > >
        > > > Â Ajai
        > >
        > > > 18 Feb 2010
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > > Dr. Ajai Singh M.D.,
        > > > Editor,
        > > > Mens Sana Monographs,
        > > > Medicine. Mental Health. Man, And their Matrix.
        > > > Â
        > >
        > > > Correspondence:
        > > > Mens Sana Research Foundation,
        > > > 14,Shiv Kripa, Trimurty Road,
        > > > Nahur, Mulund(W), Mumbai-400080, INDIA.
        > > > http://www.msmonographs.org
        > > > Â
        > > >
        > > > --- On Wed, 17/2/10, Alfredo Pereira <alfredo.pereira@> wrote:
        > > >
        > > >
        > > > From: Alfredo Pereira <alfredo.pereira@>
        > >
        > > > Subject: Re: [Mind_Brain_Consciousness] Mind and Brain: A formulation to
        > > tear apart, if you can
        > > > To: Mind_Brain_Consciousness@yahoogroups.com<Mind_Brain_Consciousness%40yahoogroups.com>
        > > > Date: Wednesday, 17 February, 2010, 14:35
        > > >
        > > >
        > > > Â
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > > Dear Arun:
        > > > Â
        > > > I agree with you that the term "Mind" has many meanings. In some of these
        > > meanings, "Mind" can be reduced to functions of the brain, but not in
        > > others. The Platonic and Neo-Platonic (Plotino's)Â meaning of the term is an
        > > exemple. I am not Platonic or Neo-Platonic, but would not discard a
        > > broader view of "Mind".
        > > > For instance, in the discussion of biological evolution there may be a
        > > "Baldwin Effect" (see T. Deacon´s book, "The Symbolic Species") by which a
        > > stable cultural pattern contributes to the definition of the most adapted
        > > (fittest)Â individual s in a population. I have been involved for many years
        > > with the discussion of "self-organizing systems", those where function
        > > affects structure. Brain plasticity is a good example of self-organization
        > > . Musicians develop their auditory cortex more than non-musicians.
        > > > Therefore, to say that mental operations go beyond brain functions is not
        > > to say that they are completely independent, in a Platonic fashion. What I
        > > am saying is that the mental product of one living individual (including,
        > > of course, the workings of his/her brain) can have consequences on culture
        > > and can transform the same brain that produced it.
        > > > Best
        > > > Alfredo
        > > >
        > > >
        > > > 2010/2/17 arun kishore <nrarunkishore@ yahoo.co. in>
        > > >
        > > >
        > > > Â
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > > No Ajai, issues are not clear. Let me explain.
        > > > I think the problem is with the term Mind. This is often used
        > > interchangeably with Consciousness and with other functions of the brain (in
        > > Alfredo's paper for eg). If in the examples you gave we took out the term
        > > Mind (His mind is disturbed) and just said 'He is disturbed' it would mean
        > > the same. When we say 'keep that in mind' we mean 'to have something in
        > > one's memory'. The term mind is a manner of speaking, figuratively.
        > > > The term has been used since the time of Plato (his 'nous') and was, in
        > > Plato's time, used interchangeably with the term 'soul'. We have been
        > > handed down the tradition of using this term ( I will not go into the
        > > history here) and continue to use it. But then language, in a
        > > Wittgensteinian sense, is but a tool we use to describe what we experience.
        > > So if we take the term Mind out and use instead terms such as Consciousness,
        > > Memory, Attention etc we may be able to describe them as functions of the
        > > brain.
        > > > This of course will not explain the unitary experience of self.Â
        > > > Â
        > > > Arun
        > > > Â
        > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > > From: Ajai Singh <mensanamonographs@ yahoo.co. uk>
        > > > To: Mind_Brain_Consciou sness@yahoogroup s.com
        > > > Sent: Mon, February 15, 2010 5:19:54 AM
        > > >
        > > > Subject: Re: [Mind_Brain_ Consciousness] Mind and Brain: A formulation to
        > > tear apart, if you can
        > > >
        > > > Â
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > > Thanks for raising these points, Arun.
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > > Let me clarify.
        > > > A small correction would be in order to explain Consciousness vis a vis
        > > Brain and Mind.
        > > > You say Consciousness = f[Mind].
        > > > I look at it somewhat diferently.
        > > > Consciousness is not a function of the Mind, but a function of the Brain.
        > > Mind itself being a collection of functions, and not a structure, cannot
        > > have a function. It has components or elements in its set [lets call it
        > > 'c'Â eg intelligence, memory, judgement, consciousness etc etc.
        > >
        > > > Mind = set of f[Brain]
        > > > Mind = set of components/elements eg intelligence, perception, memory,
        > > consciousness etc
        > > > Consciousness = c [Mind] ....... where 'c' stands for 'Component of'
        > > > Consciousness = one of the f[Brain]Â Â ........ where f stands for
        > > 'function of''
        > > > Consciousness not= f[Mind]  ....... because Mind itself is a
        > > function of the brain.
        > > > Â
        > >
        > > > We often use the term 'mind' interchangeably with 'brain'. It maybe
        > > better we don't, or understand what we really mean.
        > > > For example, when we say,
        > > > 'His mind is disturbed.'
        > > > We actually mean, 'His brain is disturbed', or
        > > > 'The function of his brain [ie mind] is disturbed.'
        > > > When we say, 'His mind is not functioning'
        > > > what we should actually say is,
        > > > 'His brain is not functioning' , or
        > > > 'The function of his brain is out of order'
        > > > for it is absurd to say,
        > > > 'The function of his brain [mind] is not functioning. '
        > > > When we use terminology, we have already accepted certain meanings.
        > > > Often our use of the term 'mind' gives it the attribute of being a
        > > physical entity, which it is not.
        > > > In fact what we should use is the term 'brain'.
        > > > That is why when someone say, 'The mind thinks... so and so....' and
        > > points to his head, he actually means, 'The brain thinks.... so and so....'.
        > > > The pointing to his head gives him away, for he is actually referring to
        > > his 'brain' but uses the term 'mind'.
        > > > In fact in most everyday use of the term 'mind', what we actually mean is
        > > the term 'brain'.
        > > > To clarify such semantic confusion, we must first be clear of our
        > > meanings. That would be an important step to take to clarify issues, and lay
        > > a common ground for further dialogue between the disciplines of science and
        > > philosophy - the two important stakeholders here.
        > > > Â
        > > > 2. As regards the 2nd point, I was just clarifying the point Alfredo had
        > > raised about a 'mind' functioning in the absence of a brain. He thought it
        > > was possible, while I reiterated it was not.
        > > > Â
        > > > Clear? Or more confused?
        > > > Â
        > >
        > > > This discussion is getting more and more interesting. Kindly do not
        > > hesitate to point loopholes in these arguments.
        > > > The discussions have the potential to become an article worthy of
        > > publication in the Mens Sana Monographs. We have done that earlier with a
        > > discussion. See
        > > > http://www.msmonogr aphs.org/ article.asp? issn=0973- 1229;year=
        > > 2007;volume= 5;issue=1; spage=205; epage=227; aulast=Roy,
        > > >
        > > > Â
        > > > So get going, friends.
        > > > Â
        > >
        > > > Ajai
        > > > 15 Feb 2010
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > > Dr. Ajai Singh M.D.,
        > > > Editor,
        > > > Mens Sana Monographs,
        > > > Medicine. Mental Health. Man, And their Matrix.
        > > > Â
        > >
        > > > Correspondence:
        > > > Mens Sana Research Foundation,
        > > > 14,Shiv Kripa, Trimurty Road,
        > > > Nahur, Mulund(W), Mumbai-400080, INDIA.
        > > > http://www.msmonogr aphs.org
        > > > Â
        > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > > --- On Sun, 14/2/10, arun kishore <nrarunkishore@ yahoo.co. in> wrote:
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > > From: arun kishore <nrarunkishore@ yahoo.co. in>
        > > > Subject: Re: [Mind_Brain_ Consciousness] Mind and Brain: A formulation to
        > > tear apart, if you can
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > > To: Mind_Brain_Consciou sness@yahoogroup s.com
        > > > Date: Sunday, 14 February, 2010, 14:18
        > > >
        > > >
        > > > Â
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > > Dear Ajai,
        > > > Â
        > >
        > > > I am a little confused here. The confusion being one of terminology. Let
        > > me explain and state my understanding.
        > > > 1. We used the term Brain and Mind and said that Mind=f Brain. I have no
        > > arguments against that. We then went on to use terms suc as Mental
        > > operations , mental functions (which I presume means the same as the
        > > former) and Consciousness. It is this last one which confused me.
        > > > My understanding is that we are talking about Consciousness as = f Mind
        > > (there being other functions of the mind which can be put under the broader
        > > rubric of mental functions).
        > > > I would agree with your statement that there are various degrees of
        > > consciousness.
        > > > 2. This then brings me to my second confusion. We have accepted that
        > > Mind= f Brain. Then is there a point in trying to argue about the existence
        > > of Mind without Brain ? This is from a scientific point of view. If one
        > > argues from a social or religious paradigm then the term Mind changes its
        > > meaning and one could argue for the existence of the mind without a brain.
        > > > Â
        > >
        > > > I hope others join this interesting discussion.
        > > > Thank you Alfredo or sending that link to your extremely interesting
        > > paper.
        > > > Â
        > > > Regards
        > > > Â
        > >
        > > > Arun
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > > From: Ajai Singh <mensanamonographs@ yahoo.co. uk>
        > > > To: Mind Brain Consciousness MBC <Mind_Brain_Consciou sness@yahoogroup
        > > s.com>
        > > > Sent: Thu, February 11, 2010 1:20:36 AM
        > > > Subject: [Mind_Brain_ Consciousness] Mind and Brain: A formulation to
        > > tear apart, if you can
        > > >
        > > > Â
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > > Let me take up each point, one by one. Thanks, Alfredo, for carrying the
        > > discussion forward.
        > > > 1.
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > > I think you are referring to a certain type of consciousness, that is, a
        > > focussed consciousness in the waking state. For example, when I write
        > > now, I am focussed on writing, I am conscious of it, and not distracted, or
        > > in sleep, or thinking of other things at the same time.
        > > >
        > > >
        > > > I propose this is but one type of consciousness, albeit
        > > desirable. Let's call it Active Focussed Consciousness [AFC]. Active,
        > > because the person is awake, not sleeping; is actively doing things, not
        > > passively getting things done on him [eg as in a massage, hair cut, surgery
        > > etc]. It is focussed, because there is no distraction to any degree that he
        > > cannot continue his activity.
        > > > Consciousness as awareness has different levels. From being AFC one may
        > > be Active but unfocussed. One may be awake but drowsy, which drowsiness
        > > itself may become deeper to result in sleep. Which sleep itself has stages,
        > > including REM and NREM.Â
        > > > The individual may, further, be in different stages of coma or
        > > delirium.
        > > > All these are types of consciousness.
        > > > They can be graded from active focussed consciousness to deep sleep in
        > > normals. And active focussed consciousness to deep coma/delirium in abnormal
        > > mental states.
        > > > An acceptance of this empirical reality is essential to understand
        > > consciousness and conscious states.
        > > > So that we can study these states and find their structutal and
        > > functional correlates in the brain by the means that are now available eg
        > > fMRI etc.
        > > > When I put forward the question
        > > > 1. Can humans, or other organisms which have a brain, carry out any
        > > mental operations without consciousness? [And by consciousness I do not mean
        > > only the waking state, for there are states of consciousness, including
        > > coma.]
        > > > And I said
        > > > My answer is no.Â
        > > > I meant that without one of these states of consciousness, no mental
        > > operation is possible, whether in the waking, sleeping, or
        > > comatose/delirious state. For mental operations are occurring in all these
        > > states. They stop only with the death of an organism.
        > > > Â
        > > > 2.
        > > > The second question was
        > > > Can humans carry out any mental operations without a brain?
        > > > Without a brain, no mental function is possible, because you say the
        > > person dies. That is true. But even if we could keep the person alive, say
        > > by a heart-lung machine/ventilator, [when the person is comatose, for
        > > example], any mental operations that can be detected in such an individual
        > > [by means of fMRI etc now available], cannot be possible without a
        > > functioning brain, howsoever minimal the functioning may be. Even if we
        > > were to ever develop a mechanical apparatus which carries out brain
        > > functions in a living organism [eg in the brain dead], it would still be of
        > > the nature and function of the living brain, and would become a 'mechanical
        > > brain' or 'surrogate brain'.
        > > > As regards the existence of Pythagorean theorem even after Pythagoras'
        > > brain has ceased to function, let's not forget Pythagorean theorem is a
        > > thought, and a functional output of his brain. A functional output can
        > > definitely exist even after the structure that produced it is no longer in
        > > existence. It has its own independent existence, here as a thought,
        > > which can be then understood and accepted/rejected by other brains.
        > > > The point was - can human being, who are alive, carry out any mental
        > > functions, without a brain. Could Pythagoras think of his theorem without
        > > his brain? Could we understand Pythagoras' theorem today, or ever, without
        > > our brains?
        > > > The answer has to be a no.
        > > > Can someone refute this?
        > > > Further we must consider the statement
        > > > 'The mental operation he created (or discovered) survives his death'.Â
        > > > The mental operation survives because it is a 'product' in the form of a
        > > thought. Any product can survive after the 'machine' that produced it no
        > > longer exists. A machine produces a fan. After it is produced, the machine
        > > is not needed for the further existence of the fan. A child is produced by a
        > > mother. For further survival, the mother is not essential.
        > > > The thought, after being created, develops its own independent existence.
        > > However, thought cannot be created without a brain. And the thought, after
        > > its creation, cannot be understood later by another, without the presence of
        > > a brain in him.
        > > > Hence to the second question
        > > > Can humans carry out any mental operations without a brain?
        > > > The answer has to continue to remain a no.
        > > > Â
        > > > Pardon the long post. Hope it made some sense, however.
        > > > I hope someone can find any loop-holes in this argument, or elaborate
        > > upon its nuances.
        > > > All the best.
        > > > Â
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > > Â
        > >
        > > > Ajai
        > > > 11 Feb 2010
        > > > Dr. Ajai Singh M.D.,
        > > > Editor,
        > > > Mens Sana Monographs,
        > > > Medicine. Mental Health. Man, And their Matrix.
        > > > Â
        > >
        > > > Correspondence:
        > > > Mens Sana Research Foundation,
        > > > 14,Shiv Kripa, Trimurty Road,
        > > > Nahur, Mulund(W), Mumbai-400080, INDIA.
        > > > http://www.msmonogr aphs.org
        > > > Â
        > > > Â
        > >
        > > > --- On Mon, 8/2/10, Alfredo wrote:
        > > >
        > > > Â
        > > > Dear Ajai:
        > > > Â
        > > > I would like to leave room for everyone to express their views, so
        > > I present my comments on your last challenges and then take a rest:
        > > > Â
        > >
        > > > 1. Can humans, or other organisms which have a brain, carry out any
        > > mental operations without consciousness?
        > > > Alfredo - Yes, because there are good evidences for unconscious
        > > processing, e.g. in subliminar and automatic responses, procedural memory,
        > > "blindsight" , etc. Of course, people who carry these operations are
        > > conscious of other things (e.g., you are thinking about your appointments
        > > for the day when somebody walks in front of your car and then you brake
        > > automatically. This action was not conscious, it becomes conscious only
        > > after you did it);
        > > > Â
        > >
        > > > 2. Can humans carry out any mental operations without a brain?
        > > > Alfredo - The answer has to be a "no", because without a brain essential
        > > functions cannot be executed and then the individual dies. However, in a
        > > broader sense, human culture makes it possible, e.g. Pythagoras' theorem has
        > > been used since Pythagoras died and his brain disappeared. The mental
        > > operation he created (or discovered) survives his death.
        > > > Â
        > > > Best Regards
        > > > Â
        > >
        > > > Alfredo
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > > --- On Mon, 8/2/10, Ajai Singh <mensanamonographs@ yahoo.co. uk> wrote:
        > > >
        > > >
        > > > From: Ajai Singh <mensanamonographs@ yahoo.co. uk>
        > > > Subject: Re: [Mind_Brain_ Consciousness] Mind and Brain: A formulation to
        > > tear apart, if you can
        > > > To: Mind_Brain_Consciou sness@yahoogroup s.com
        > > > Date: Monday, 8 February, 2010, 18:08
        > > >
        > > >
        > > > Â
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > > By brain I do not mean any nervous system. I mean the executive and
        > > perceptive head of any nervous system. [As I also mean an
        > > executive/perceptiv e head in an organism which doesn't have a nervous
        > > system.]
        > > > The essential characteristic is that the brain is the head or center
        > > where perception from the outside world, [and from the organism itself], and
        > > executive orders to the different areas of the body, [or parts of the brain
        > > itself], are sent.
        > >
        > > > By mental activities I meant human mental activities, or mental
        > > activities in a living organism. Not machines.
        > > > 1. Can humans, or other organisms which have a brain, carry out any
        > > mental operations without consciousness? [And by consciousness I do not mean
        > > only the waking state, for there are states of consciousness, including
        > > coma.]
        > > > My answer is no.Â
        > >
        > > > 2. Can humans carry out any mental operations without a brain?
        > > > My answer again is no.
        > > > These are the key argument to refute, if someone can.Â
        > >
        > > >
        > > > Ajai
        > > > 8 Feb 2010
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > > Dr. Ajai Singh M.D.,
        > > > Editor,
        > > > Mens Sana Monographs,
        > > > Medicine. Mental Health. Man, And their Matrix.
        > > > Â
        > >
        > > > Correspondence:
        > > > Mens Sana Research Foundation,
        > > > 14,Shiv Kripa, Trimurty Road,
        > > > Nahur, Mulund(W), Mumbai-400080, INDIA.
        > > > http://www.msmonogr aphs.org
        > > > Â
        > >
        > > >
        > > > --- On Mon, 8/2/10, Alfredo Pereira <alfredo.pereira@ gmail.com> wrote:
        > > >
        > > >
        > > > From: Alfredo Pereira <alfredo.pereira@ gmail.com>
        > > > Subject: Re: [Mind_Brain_ Consciousness] Mind and Brain: A formulation to
        > > tear apart, if you can
        > > > To: Mind_Brain_Consciou sness@yahoogroup s.com
        > > > Date: Monday, 8 February, 2010, 17:38
        > > >
        > > >
        > > > Â
        > > >
        > > >
        > > > Dear Ajai:
        > > > Â
        > > > 1) Most animals (insects, even the fish) do not have a brain; they have a
        > > nervous system. But OK, it seems that you are using the term "brain" for any
        > > kind of nervous system (in this case, I remark that unicellular animals do
        > > not have a nervous system);
        > > > 2) Mental activities are operations on patterns, e.g. mathematical
        > > operations, problem-solving, etc. They do not require consciousness. Our
        > > computers can execute mental operations, although they surely are not
        > > conscious. Do they have a "mind"? Yes, they do, in the sense that they
        > > execute mental operations. I have mentioned some of the hypothesis. The one
        > > I prefer is Peirce's theory of semiotics. A mental process, according to his
        > > theory, has at least three steps, each one characterized by a sign
        > > (firstness, secondness and thirdness; I will not explain them now). Any
        > > place of the universe where there´s such a kind of process then there is
        > > mental activity.
        > >
        > > > Best
        > > > Alfredo
        > > >
        > > >
        > > > 2010/2/8 Ajai Singh <mensanamonographs@ yahoo.co. uk>
        > > >
        > > >
        > > > Â
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > > Thanks for summrising your arguments, Alfredo. Let me try and understand
        > > you better.
        > > > 1. Which are these animals which can carry out mental operations without
        > > a brain?
        > > > [I hope we agree that the human brain is only one type of brain. Animals
        > > also have brains, as do the most primitive. Extending the argument further,
        > > even a unicellular organism like the amoeba has a nucleus, which is its
        > > 'brain'. By brain I mean the executive and perceptive center of any
        > > organism. Further, I put forward the argument that 'mental' is just the
        > > adjective form of 'mind', and mind is a convenient name for the collection
        > > of activities/function s of the brain.]
        > >
        > > > 2. Tell us about the hypotheses which say mental activity is possible
        > > without brain and consciousness? Which are those mental activities?
        > > >
        > > > Ajai
        > > >
        > > > 8 Feb 2010
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > > Dr. Ajai Singh M.D.,
        > > > Editor,
        > > > Mens Sana Monographs,
        > > > Medicine. Mental Health. Man, And their Matrix.
        > > > Â
        > >
        > > > Correspondence:
        > > > Mens Sana Research Foundation,
        > > > 14,Shiv Kripa, Trimurty Road,
        > > > Nahur, Mulund(W), Mumbai-400080, INDIA.
        > > > http://www.msmonogr aphs.org
        > > > Â
        > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > > --- On Mon, 8/2/10, Alfredo Pereira <alfredo.pereira@ gmail.com> wrote:
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > > From: Alfredo Pereira <alfredo.pereira@ gmail.com>
        > > >
        > > > Subject: Re: [Mind_Brain_ Consciousness] Mind and Brain: A formulation to
        > > tear apart, if you can
        > > > To: Mind_Brain_Consciou sness@yahoogroup s.com
        > > > Date: Monday, 8 February, 2010, 14:41
        > > >
        > > >
        > > > Â
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > > Dear Ajai, just to summarize what I have expressed in my posts:
        > > > 1) Conscious activity depends on the activity of a brain;
        > > > 2) Mental activity does not depend on a brain; animals without a brain
        > > can carry mental operations. There are several hypothesis about how mental
        > > activity without brain and consciousness is possible.
        > > > Best
        > > > Alfredo
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > > 2010/2/8 Ajai Singh <mensanamonographs@ yahoo.co. uk>
        > > >
        > > >
        > > > Â
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > > Thanks for bringing the central point from where we started into focus
        > > once again, Veena.
        > > > Let me lay down a further extension of the thought I presented earlier.
        > > > See if you can pick holes in it.
        > > > What then exists?
        > > > The brain, the mind, consciousness?
        > > > The further formulation is as follows:
        > > > 1. The brain exists as an entity.
        > > > 2. The functions of the brain exist as activities.
        > > > [Which means the brain doesn't exist as an activity, and the functions of
        > > the brain do not exist as enteties]
        > > > 3. One of these functions is Consciousness. Which means it is a function
        > > of the brain, and part of the collection of activities called mind.
        > >
        > > > 4. The mind does not exist as an entity, like the brain does. It is just
        > > a convenient label for all the different activities of the entity called the
        > > brain.
        > > > 5. The major problem in philosophy has been to neglect the entity called
        > > brain by giving the status of an entity to the mind. In other words, 'mind'
        > > as a concept has usurped the 'entity' status of brain. That has given rise
        > > to the huge confusion between mind and brain, only matching the confusion
        > > between mind and body.
        > > > Â
        > >
        > > > Now, get going in a focussed way on this extension of the earlier
        > > formulation, my friends. See if you can tear this apart.
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > > Â
        > > > Ajai
        > > > 8 Feb 2010
        > > > Dr. Ajai Singh M.D.,
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > > Editor,
        > > > Mens Sana Monographs,
        > > > Medicine. Mental Health. Man, And their Matrix.
        > > > Â
        > >
        > > > Correspondence:
        > > > Mens Sana Research Foundation,
        > > > 14,Shiv Kripa, Trimurty Road,
        > > > Nahur, Mulund(W), Mumbai-400080, INDIA.
        > > > http://www.msmonogr aphs.org
        > > > Â
        > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > > --- On Mon, 8/2/10, veena garyali <vgaryali@hotmail. com> wrote:
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > > From: veena garyali <vgaryali@hotmail. com>
        > > > Subject: RE: [Mind_Brain_ Consciousness] Mind and Brain: A formulation to
        > > tear apart, if you can
        > > > To: mind_brain_consciou sness@yahoogroup s.com
        > > >
        > > > Date: Monday, 8 February, 2010, 0:51
        > > >
        > > >
        > > > Â
        > > >
        > > >
        > > > I have been reading the discussion with great interest. Attending the
        > > conference in Thane was indeed a delightfully educational experience.
        > > > This discussion started with Dr Singh's assertion that if there is no
        > > brain there is no mind and if there is no brain there is no consciousness.
        > >
        > > > please correct me if I am wrong but I think the discussion went off on a
        > > tangent after that.
        > > > I agree with Ajay. Is anyone disagreeing with that statement?
        > > > Lately there are reports that there is some activity in the brains of
        > > people who have been in coma for years. But it is all a matter of there
        > > being a brain in the skull. If there is no brain would there be this
        > > discussion? whold there be anything-would there be language?
        > > > Â
        > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > > To: Mind_Brain_Consciou sness@yahoogroup s.com
        > > >
        > > > From: dr.saranya@gmail. com
        > > > Date: Mon, 8 Feb 2010 00:39:14 +0530
        > > > Subject: Re: [Mind_Brain_ Consciousness] Mind and Brain: A formulation to
        > > tear apart, if you can
        > > >
        > > > Â
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > > Let us talk of the stage II or III of anaesthesia differently. We are
        > > talking about dreamless sleep - instead let us talk about REM or NREM sleep.
        > > > Â
        > >
        > > > For neural correlates, if we talk the same language, it will be helpful.
        > > > Â
        > > > Saranya.
        > > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        >
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