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thought

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  • scanlonray
    Thinking explained on the head of a pin. The genome creates the brain without any help. It is wholly a matter of transcribing the neucleotides. The brain is
    Message 1 of 29 , Jan 12, 2013
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      Thinking explained on the head of a pin.

      The genome creates the brain without any help. It is wholly a matter of transcribing the neucleotides. The brain is made of a number of motor program generators.
      As a group the mpg's define all the movements of which the organism is capable. An mpg consists of a number of interconnected neurons that when triggered will produced an assemblage of axonal signals that when they arrive at the motor neurons will produce the motor movement that defines the mpg.

      Of particular interest are a group of mpg's that produce auditory output. When the muscles involved have been laid down by the genome, the mpg's are exercised and we hear baby talk. Baby talk is thought. By a process of modification of the genomic mpg's a natural language is acquired and these sounds will continue to constitute thought. The natural language will overwhelm the baby talk furnished by the genome, however with certain individuals baby talk will persist until entire paragraphs are constructed and exhibited as a thought.

      An important factor in thought is the thalamic reticular nucleus that forms an intermediate station in which any proposed mpg is momentarily halted before proceding to the motor cortex. If the motor program is not judged worthy it is halted and vanishes leaving a record of an unwanted mpg.
    • Jim Whitescarver
      ... vvvv Thank you. While I think you have succeeded in your mission, I cannot concede that complete truth is simple. ... vvvv mpg s can infact be considered
      Message 2 of 29 , Jan 12, 2013
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        On Sat, Jan 12, 2013 at 10:11 AM, scanlonray <rscan@...> wrote: 

        Thinking explained on the head of a pin.

        vvvv

        Thank you.  While I think you have succeeded in your mission, I cannot concede that complete truth is simple.

        ^^^^^^

        The genome creates the brain without any help. It is wholly a matter of transcribing the neucleotides. The brain is made of a number of motor program generators.

        vvvv

        mpg's can infact be considered complete because kinetics are fundamental   But we cannot forget logical as well as physical kinetics.  Possibilities have potencia whether or not they are realized. 

        For example, it is not trivial to describe the action of mirror neurons in terms of the physical.  We can understand the kinetic operation easily but not the implications.

        ^^^^

        As a group the mpg's define all the movements of which the organism is capable. An mpg consists of a number of interconnected neurons that when triggered will produced an assemblage of axonal signals that when they arrive at the motor neurons will produce the motor movement that defines the mpg.

        vvvv

        LOL.  The reductionist deterministic outcome of  prior cause determining the position of your arm, stand defeated.  But not incontradiction to the alternatives that are possible,  The issue is that the possibilities cannot reasonably be constrained in advance.

        ^^^^

        Of particular interest are a group of mpg's that produce auditory output.

        vvvv

        Of equal interest are, for example, the group of mpg's that produce auditory or visual input.

        ^^^^ 

        When the muscles involved have been laid down by the genome, the mpg's are exercised and we hear baby talk. Baby talk is thought. By a process of modification of the genomic mpg's a natural language is acquired and these sounds will continue to constitute thought.

        vvvv

        I believe our baby talk is our natural language.  That we limit thinking to a common language is a false notion in my view.  My vocalulary was 20 percential when I was 11, but ny natural private language was fully developed.

        ^^^^

        The natural language will overwhelm the baby talk furnished by the genome, however with certain individuals baby talk will persist until entire paragraphs are constructed and exhibited as a thought.

        vvvv

        Exactly.

        ^^^^ 


        An important factor in thought is the thalamic reticular nucleus that forms an intermediate station in which any proposed mpg is momentarily halted before proceding to the motor cortex. If the motor program is not judged worthy it is halted and vanishes leaving a record of an unwanted mpg.

        vvvv

        Well,  that a pattern is repressed allows a neural network to die.  The death is permanent but leaves no record except that future behavior excludes it. 

        Jim
        ^^^^
      • scanlonray
        On the transcription of DNA Little drops of water Little grains of sand Make the mighty ocean And the beauteous land Survival is the law. That which survives
        Message 3 of 29 , Jan 14, 2013
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          On the transcription of DNA

          Little drops of water
          Little grains of sand
          Make the mighty ocean
          And the beauteous land

          Survival is the law. That which survives if its own justification. There is no other.

          The genome prepares the organism to face the universe.

          Why does the genome do this. Because IT survived.

          The messenger RNA transcribes the DNA codon after codon until a molecule is constructed. Of these molecules the man is made.

          As part of the central nervous system, a set of motor program generators is constructed. An MPG is an assemblage neurons that, when triggered, produce a pattern of axonal pulses which, when they arrive at motor neurons, cause a motor act to be produced. These motor acts are the direct gift of the genome. They can be modified but not created. We can walk, and thus we can learn to dance. But we cannot learn to walk.

          Of the precocial birds, the champion, the scrub turkey of Australia, stands alone. Hatched in a decaying pile of vegetable matter, it does not know its parents and receives no help in its journey through the universe.

          After hatching, it slithers to the ground and takes off running. It does not pause to learn how to walk. It simply runs for cover, Within an hour it can fly. It does not stick around to imprint on its parents or siblings. How it manages to recognize a mate when the time comes is an academic question. However the species endures.

          One thing is certain, it maneuvers under the guidance of it genome. From its DNA alone it learns how to feed itself. The relative value of Nature and Nurture is resolved. Nurture is a big zero here.

          Whenever one considers the actual construction of a programmed motor generator and is temped to say, "this is really a big task for the codons of DNA!" One is told to envision the scrub turkey flying less than an hour after it hit the ground.
        • scanlonray
          The apparatus for producing speech is constructed by the genome More than one hundred pairs of orofacial, laryngeal, pharyngeal, and respiratory muscles
          Message 4 of 29 , Jan 20, 2013
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            The apparatus for producing speech is constructed by the genome More than one hundred pairs of orofacial, laryngeal, pharyngeal, and respiratory muscles together with all the neural groups that drive them.

            A motor neuron arrives at striated muscle fiber and terminates on it. When an axonal pulse arrives at the terminal the muscle fiber contracts. It is apparent that we can separate tahe motor neurons from the muscle fibers and view them abstractly as a set of terminals connected to a computer, and activate the muscles by a computer program, a program of
            incredible complexity, but not beyond human abilities. This is a thing that can be written by a computer programmer as a part of the days work..

            Any objection about the complexity of the neural network involved is answered by a reference to the flight of the brush turkey.

            We proceed under the assumption that the genome can construct the required circuitry and its flexibility.

            At this point we introduce the reticular thalamic nucleus, a thin layer of neurons that surrounds the thalamus like a blanket. Every motor program, every sensory group must enter the thalamus through this blanket. The neurons of the blanket are all alike in the their output is solely inhibitory.

            Some spoken utterance enters the thalamus. At the same time a snippet of baby talk enters. If there is any resemblance, the equivalence is recorded. If some agreement is reached the baby talk is allowed to proceed. Day by day the resemblances are recorded. It seems that nothing is gained, but link by link ground is gained. A language is learned.
            This continues for life

            When we come up against speakers with a different accent we adopt or reject slight differences always striking toward a weighted statistical average. The thalamus continues to examine each motor program as if passes through when we attempt an utterance that violates our maintained average of what is "right", the thalamic reticular nucleus is activated, and the utterance vanishes into the great cloud of things left unsaid..
          • Glen Sizemore
            It may be true that Tis a gift to be simple. However, tis no gift to be simplistic. And that is exactly how I would describe your posts that I have been
            Message 5 of 29 , Jan 21, 2013
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              It may be true that "'Tis a gift to be simple." However, 'tis no gift to be simplistic." And that is exactly how I would describe your posts that I have been reading now for, what, 5 years...10 years? On the other hand, I think that there is merit to what you say. But a fleshed-out position would integrate reinforcement principles which is exactly what you gloss over. As to language acquisition, I think that there is no question that heard utterances lead to parts of the utterances being a strange kind of conditioned reinforcer. When the child utters, for example, phonemes that it has heard, the hearing of these utterances automatically reinforce the behavior that leads to their production. This all requires a bunch of neuroanatomical structures like the basal ganglia etc. The segment of neurobiology concerned with analyzing the physiological mediation of operant behavior is an area of neuroscience that is relatively uncontaminated by the conceptual nonsense that plagues much of neuroscience. Of course, many workers in this area seem to struggle to obscure the connection to the vast literature that constitutes the natural science of behavior.

              --- On Sun, 1/20/13, scanlonray <rscan@...> wrote:

              From: scanlonray <rscan@...>
              Subject: [ai-philosophy] thought
              To: ai-philosophy@yahoogroups.com
              Date: Sunday, January 20, 2013, 11:11 AM

               

              The apparatus for producing speech is constructed by the genome More than one hundred pairs of orofacial, laryngeal, pharyngeal, and respiratory muscles together with all the neural groups that drive them.

              A motor neuron arrives at striated muscle fiber and terminates on it. When an axonal pulse arrives at the terminal the muscle fiber contracts. It is apparent that we can separate tahe motor neurons from the muscle fibers and view them abstractly as a set of terminals connected to a computer, and activate the muscles by a computer program, a program of
              incredible complexity, but not beyond human abilities. This is a thing that can be written by a computer programmer as a part of the days work..

              Any objection about the complexity of the neural network involved is answered by a reference to the flight of the brush turkey.

              We proceed under the assumption that the genome can construct the required circuitry and its flexibility.

              At this point we introduce the reticular thalamic nucleus, a thin layer of neurons that surrounds the thalamus like a blanket. Every motor program, every sensory group must enter the thalamus through this blanket. The neurons of the blanket are all alike in the their output is solely inhibitory.

              Some spoken utterance enters the thalamus. At the same time a snippet of baby talk enters. If there is any resemblance, the equivalence is recorded. If some agreement is reached the baby talk is allowed to proceed. Day by day the resemblances are recorded. It seems that nothing is gained, but link by link ground is gained. A language is learned.
              This continues for life

              When we come up against speakers with a different accent we adopt or reject slight differences always striking toward a weighted statistical average. The thalamus continues to examine each motor program as if passes through when we attempt an utterance that violates our maintained average of what is "right", the thalamic reticular nucleus is activated, and the utterance vanishes into the great cloud of things left unsaid..

            • Sergio Navega
              Boy, what a surprise to find 2 viewpoints that I disagree so much. Of course the hardware of the brain is important (and I agree that the hardware is mostly
              Message 6 of 29 , Jan 21, 2013
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                Boy, what a surprise to find 2 viewpoints that I disagree so much.
                Of course the "hardware" of the brain is important (and I agree that
                the hardware is mostly determined by genetic constraints). But let's
                take this analogy one step beyond: it is the "software" that makes the
                thing "behave" the way they do. And by software one has to concede
                that the fundamental thing are "experiences and interactions".
                 
                Which leads us to finally arrive at the important neuroscience of
                cognition, which not only has extraordinary explanatory success,
                but also has important multidisciplinary consequences. All is
                not lost for behaviorism though: it makes a damn good psychological
                therapy, with much greater efficacy than the nutcracks of the
                psychoanalysts.
                 
                Sergio Navega
                 
                 
                 
                 
                Sent: Monday, January 21, 2013 4:11 PM
                Subject: Re: [ai-philosophy] thought
                 
                 

                It may be true that "'Tis a gift to be simple." However, 'tis no gift to be simplistic." And that is exactly how I would describe your posts that I have been reading now for, what, 5 years...10 years? On the other hand, I think that there is merit to what you say. But a fleshed-out position would integrate reinforcement principles which is exactly what you gloss over. As to language acquisition, I think that there is no question that heard utterances lead to parts of the utterances being a strange kind of conditioned reinforcer. When the child utters, for example, phonemes that it has heard, the hearing of these utterances automatically reinforce the behavior that leads to their production. This all requires a bunch of neuroanatomical structures like the basal ganglia etc. The segment of neurobiology concerned with analyzing the physiological mediation of operant behavior is an area of neuroscience that is relatively uncontaminated by the conceptual nonsense that plagues much of neuroscience. Of course, many workers in this area seem to struggle to obscure the connection to the vast literature that constitutes the natural science of behavior.

                --- On Sun, 1/20/13, scanlonray <rscan@...> wrote:

                From: scanlonray <rscan@...>
                Subject: [ai-philosophy] thought
                To: ai-philosophy@yahoogroups.com
                Date: Sunday, January 20, 2013, 11:11 AM

                 

                The apparatus for producing speech is constructed by the genome More than one hundred pairs of orofacial, laryngeal, pharyngeal, and respiratory muscles together with all the neural groups that drive them.

                A motor neuron arrives at striated muscle fiber and terminates on it. When an axonal pulse arrives at the terminal the muscle fiber contracts. It is apparent that we can separate tahe motor neurons from the muscle fibers and view them abstractly as a set of terminals connected to a computer, and activate the muscles by a computer program, a program of
                incredible complexity, but not beyond human abilities. This is a thing that can be written by a computer programmer as a part of the days work..

                Any objection about the complexity of the neural network involved is answered by a reference to the flight of the brush turkey.

                We proceed under the assumption that the genome can construct the required circuitry and its flexibility.

                At this point we introduce the reticular thalamic nucleus, a thin layer of neurons that surrounds the thalamus like a blanket. Every motor program, every sensory group must enter the thalamus through this blanket. The neurons of the blanket are all alike in the their output is solely inhibitory.

                Some spoken utterance enters the thalamus. At the same time a snippet of baby talk enters. If there is any resemblance, the equivalence is recorded. If some agreement is reached the baby talk is allowed to proceed. Day by day the resemblances are recorded. It seems that nothing is gained, but link by link ground is gained. A language is learned.
                This continues for life

                When we come up against speakers with a different accent we adopt or reject slight differences always striking toward a weighted statistical average. The thalamus continues to examine each motor program as if passes through when we attempt an utterance that violates our maintained average of what is "right", the thalamic reticular nucleus is activated, and the utterance vanishes into the great cloud of things left unsaid..

              • scanlonray
                Message 7 of 29 , Jan 21, 2013
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                  --- In ai-philosophy@yahoogroups.com, Glen Sizemore wrote:
                  >
                  > It may be true that "'Tis a gift to be simple." However, 'tis no gift to be simplistic." And that is exactly how I would describe your posts that I have been reading now for, what, 5 years...10 years? On the other hand, I think that there is merit to what you say. But a fleshed-out position would integrate reinforcement principles which is exactly what you gloss over. As to language acquisition, I think that there is no question that heard utterances lead to parts of the utterances being a strange kind of conditioned reinforcer. When the child utters, for example, phonemes that it has heard, the hearing of these utterances automatically reinforce the behavior that leads to their production. This all requires a bunch of neuroanatomical structures like the basal ganglia etc. The segment of
                  > neurobiology concerned with analyzing the physiological mediation of operant behavior is an area of neuroscience that is relatively uncontaminated by the conceptual nonsense that plagues much of neuroscience. Of course, many workers in this area seem to struggle to obscure the connection to the vast literature that constitutes the natural science of behavior.
                  >
                  > --- On Sun, 1/20/13, scanlonray wrote:
                  >
                  > From: scanlonray
                  > Subject: [ai-philosophy] thought
                  > To: ai-philosophy@yahoogroups.com
                  > Date: Sunday, January 20, 2013, 11:11 AM
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >  
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > The apparatus for producing speech is constructed by the genome More than one hundred pairs of orofacial, laryngeal, pharyngeal, and respiratory muscles together with all the neural groups that drive them.
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > A motor neuron arrives at striated muscle fiber and terminates on it. When an axonal pulse arrives at the terminal the muscle fiber contracts. It is apparent that we can separate tahe motor neurons from the muscle fibers and view them abstractly as a set of terminals connected to a computer, and activate the muscles by a computer program, a program of
                  >
                  > incredible complexity, but not beyond human abilities. This is a thing that can be written by a computer programmer as a part of the days work..
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > Any objection about the complexity of the neural network involved is answered by a reference to the flight of the brush turkey.
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > We proceed under the assumption that the genome can construct the required circuitry and its flexibility.
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > At this point we introduce the reticular thalamic nucleus, a thin layer of neurons that surrounds the thalamus like a blanket. Every motor program, every sensory group must enter the thalamus through this blanket. The neurons of the blanket are all alike in the their output is solely inhibitory.
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > Some spoken utterance enters the thalamus. At the same time a snippet of baby talk enters. If there is any resemblance, the equivalence is recorded. If some agreement is reached the baby talk is allowed to proceed. Day by day the resemblances are recorded. It seems that nothing is gained, but link by link ground is gained. A language is learned.
                  >
                  > This continues for life
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > When we come up against speakers with a different accent we adopt or reject slight differences always striking toward a weighted statistical average. The thalamus continues to examine each motor program as if passes through when we attempt an utterance that violates our maintained average of what is "right", the thalamic reticular nucleus is activated, and the utterance vanishes into the great cloud of things left unsaid..
                  >
                • scanlonray
                  ... This is as the nature of a test. Iwrote a lengthy reply and it simply ran off into the great round-file. th ... to be simplistic. And that is exactly how
                  Message 8 of 29 , Jan 22, 2013
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                    --- In ai-philosophy@yahoogroups.com, "Sergio Navega" wrote:
                    >

                    This is as the nature of a test. Iwrote a lengthy reply and it simply
                    ran off into the great round-file.





























































                    th
                    > Boy, what a surprise to find 2 viewpoints that I disagree so much.
                    > Of course the "hardware" of the brain is important (and I agree that
                    > the hardware is mostly determined by genetic constraints). But let's
                    > take this analogy one step beyond: it is the "software" that makes the
                    > thing "behave" the way they do. And by software one has to concede
                    > that the fundamental thing are "experiences and interactions".
                    >
                    > Which leads us to finally arrive at the important neuroscience of
                    > cognition, which not only has extraordinary explanatory success,
                    > but also has important multidisciplinary consequences. All is
                    > not lost for behaviorism though: it makes a damn good psychological
                    > therapy, with much greater efficacy than the nutcracks of the
                    > psychoanalysts.
                    >
                    > Sergio Navega
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > From: Glen Sizemore
                    > Sent: Monday, January 21, 2013 4:11 PM
                    > To: ai-philosophy@yahoogroups.com
                    > Subject: Re: [ai-philosophy] thought
                    >
                    >
                    > It may be true that "'Tis a gift to be simple." However, 'tis no gift
                    to be simplistic." And that is exactly how I would describe your posts
                    that I have been reading now for, what, 5 years...10 years? On the other
                    hand, I think that there is merit to what you say. But a fleshed-out
                    position would integrate reinforcement principles which is exactly what
                    you gloss over. As to language acquisition, I think that there is no
                    question that heard utterances lead to parts of the utterances being a
                    strange kind of conditioned reinforcer. When the child utters, for
                    example, phonemes that it has heard, the hearing of these utterances
                    automatically reinforce the behavior that leads to their production.
                    This all requires a bunch of neuroanatomical structures like the basal
                    ganglia etc. The segment of neurobiology concerned with analyzing the
                    physiological mediation of operant behavior is an area of neuroscience
                    that is relatively uncontaminated by the conceptual nonsense that
                    plagues much of neuroscience. Of course, many workers in this area seem
                    to struggle to obscure the connection to the vast literature that
                    constitutes the natural science of behavior.
                    >
                    > --- On Sun, 1/20/13, scanlonray wrote:
                    >
                    >
                    > From: scanlonray
                    > Subject: [ai-philosophy] thought
                    > To: ai-philosophy@yahoogroups.com
                    > Date: Sunday, January 20, 2013, 11:11 AM
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > The apparatus for producing speech is constructed by the genome More
                    than one hundred pairs of orofacial, laryngeal, pharyngeal, and
                    respiratory muscles together with all the neural groups that drive them.
                    >
                    > A motor neuron arrives at striated muscle fiber and terminates on it.
                    When an axonal pulse arrives at the terminal the muscle fiber contracts.
                    It is apparent that we can separate tahe motor neurons from the muscle
                    fibers and view them abstractly as a set of terminals connected to a
                    computer, and activate the muscles by a computer program, a program of
                    > incredible complexity, but not beyond human abilities. This is a thing
                    that can be written by a computer programmer as a part of the days
                    work..
                    >
                    > Any objection about the complexity of the neural network involved is
                    answered by a reference to the flight of the brush turkey.
                    >
                    > We proceed under the assumption that the genome can construct the
                    required circuitry and its flexibility.
                    >
                    > At this point we introduce the reticular thalamic nucleus, a thin
                    layer of neurons that surrounds the thalamus like a blanket. Every motor
                    program, every sensory group must enter the thalamus through this
                    blanket. The neurons of the blanket are all alike in the their output is
                    solely inhibitory.
                    >
                    > Some spoken utterance enters the thalamus. At the same time a snippet
                    of baby talk enters. If there is any resemblance, the equivalence is
                    recorded. If some agreement is reached the baby talk is allowed to
                    proceed. Day by day the resemblances are recorded. It seems that nothing
                    is gained, but link by link ground is gained. A language is learned.
                    > This continues for life
                    >
                    > When we come up against speakers with a different accent we adopt or
                    reject slight differences always striking toward a weighted statistical
                    average. The thalamus continues to examine each motor program as if
                    passes through when we attempt an utterance that violates our maintained
                    average of what is "right", the thalamic reticular nucleus is activated,
                    and the utterance vanishes into the great cloud of things left unsaid..
                    >
                  • scanlonray
                    ... Let us say st the outset that mostly is a totel rejection of what I am preaching.The genome needs no help. The genome is complete i n itself, it needs
                    Message 9 of 29 , Jan 22, 2013
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                      --- In ai-philosophy@yahoogroups.com, "Sergio Navega" wrote:
                      >
                      > Boy, what a surprise to find 2 viewpoints that I disagree so much.
                      > Of course the "hardware" of the brain is important (and I agree that
                      > the hardware is mostly determined by genetic constraints).

                      Let us say st the outset that "mostly" is a totel rejection of what I am
                      preaching.The genome needs no help.

                      The genome is complete i n itself, it needs nohelp. Phrases such as
                      "mostly determined"

                      completely miss the point. The action of the genome is best desribed as
                      'determined'



                      But let's
                      > take this analogy one step beyond: it is the "software" that makes the
                      > thing "behave" the way they do. And by software one has to concede
                      > that the fundamental thing are "experiences and interactions".

                      The brain must be constructed wholy with all neurons firing before we
                      can speak

                      of experienc.



                      >
                      > Which leads us to finally arrive at the important neuroscience of
                      > cognition, which not only has extraordinary explanatory success,
                      > but also has important multidisciplinary consequences. All is
                      > not lost for behaviorism though: it makes a damn good psychological
                      > therapy, with much greater efficacy than the nutcracks of the
                      > psychoanalysts.


                      >
                      > Sergio Navega
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > From: Glen Sizemore
                      > Sent: Monday, January 21, 2013 4:11 PM
                      > To: ai-philosophy@yahoogroups.com
                      > Subject: Re: [ai-philosophy] thought
                      >
                      >
                      > It may be true that "'Tis a gift to be simple." However, 'tis no gift
                      to be simplistic." And that is exactly how I would describe your posts
                      that I have been reading now for, what, 5 years...10 years? On the other
                      hand, I think that there is merit to what you say. But a fleshed-out
                      position would integrate reinforcement principles which is exactly what
                      you gloss over. As to language acquisition, I think that there is no
                      question that heard utterances lead to parts of the utterances being a
                      strange kind of conditioned reinforcer. When the child utters, for
                      example, phonemes that it has heard, the hearing of these utterances
                      automatically reinforce the behavior that leads to their production.
                      This all requires a bunch of neuroanatomical structures like the basal
                      ganglia etc. The segment of neurobiology concerned with analyzing the
                      physiological mediation of operant behavior is an area of neuroscience
                      that is relatively uncontaminated by the conceptual nonsense that
                      plagues much of neuroscience. Of course, many workers in this area seem
                      to struggle to obscure the connection to the vast literature that
                      constitutes the natural science of behavior.
                      >
                      > --- On Sun, 1/20/13, scanlonray wrote:
                      >
                      >
                      > From: scanlonray
                      > Subject: [ai-philosophy] thought
                      > To: ai-philosophy@yahoogroups.com
                      > Date: Sunday, January 20, 2013, 11:11 AM
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > The apparatus for producing speech is constructed by the genome More
                      than one hundred pairs of orofacial, laryngeal, pharyngeal, and
                      respiratory muscles together with all the neural groups that drive them.
                      >
                      > A motor neuron arrives at striated muscle fiber and terminates on it.
                      When an axonal pulse arrives at the terminal the muscle fiber contracts.
                      It is apparent that we can separate tahe motor neurons from the muscle
                      fibers and view them abstractly as a set of terminals connected to a
                      computer, and activate the muscles by a computer program, a program of
                      > incredible complexity, but not beyond human abilities. This is a thing
                      that can be written by a computer programmer as a part of the days
                      work..
                      >
                      > Any objection about the complexity of the neural network involved is
                      answered by a reference to the flight of the brush turkey.
                      >
                      > We proceed under the assumption that the genome can construct the
                      required circuitry and its flexibility.
                      >
                      > At this point we introduce the reticular thalamic nucleus, a thin
                      layer of neurons that surrounds the thalamus like a blanket. Every motor
                      program, every sensory group must enter the thalamus through this
                      blanket. The neurons of the blanket are all alike in the their output is
                      solely inhibitory.
                      >
                      > Some spoken utterance enters the thalamus. At the same time a snippet
                      of baby talk enters. If there is any resemblance, the equivalence is
                      recorded. If some agreement is reached the baby talk is allowed to
                      proceed. Day by day the resemblances are recorded. It seems that nothing
                      is gained, but link by link ground is gained. A language is learned.
                      > This continues for life
                      >
                      > When we come up against speakers with a different accent we adopt or
                      reject slight differences always striking toward a weighted statistical
                      average. The thalamus continues to examine each motor program as if
                      passes through when we attempt an utterance that violates our maintained
                      average of what is "right", the thalamic reticular nucleus is activated,
                      and the utterance vanishes into the great cloud of things left unsaid..
                      >
                    • Glen Sizemore
                      ... From: Sergio Navega Subject: Re: [ai-philosophy] thought To: ai-philosophy@yahoogroups.com Date: Monday, January 21, 2013, 2:04 PM  
                      Message 10 of 29 , Jan 22, 2013
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                        --- On Mon, 1/21/13, Sergio Navega <snavega@...> wrote:

                        From: Sergio Navega <snavega@...>
                        Subject: Re: [ai-philosophy] thought
                        To: ai-philosophy@yahoogroups.com
                        Date: Monday, January 21, 2013, 2:04 PM

                         

                        SN: Boy, what a surprise to find 2 viewpoints that I disagree so much.

                        GS: Hardly surprising to me since I've known you for many years, and you were always duped by cognitive "science."


                        SN:Of course the "hardware" of the brain is important (and I agree that
                        the hardware is mostly determined by genetic constraints).


                        GS: Ah...a preformationist to boot!


                        SN: But let's
                        take this analogy one step beyond: it is the "software" that makes the
                        thing "behave" the way they do. And by software one has to concede
                        that the fundamental thing are "experiences and interactions".


                        GS: And what, precisely, are reinforcement contingencies? They determine much of what an animal experiences and they are, by definition, interactions between organism and environment. You must be one of the many who like to bad-mouth behaviorism but know next to nothing about it. Lot of that going around. 

                         
                        SN:Which leads us to finally arrive at the important neuroscience of
                        cognition, which not only has extraordinary explanatory success,
                        but also has important multidisciplinary consequences. 

                        GS: Too bad it's a conceptual cesspool. Anyway, though, to the hopelessly simple, made-up stuff often seems to explain a lot.



                        SN: All is
                        not lost for behaviorism though: it makes a damn good psychological
                        therapy, with much greater efficacy than the nutcracks of the
                        psychoanalysts.


                        GS: Yeah...interesting how natural sciences often lead to technologies isn't it? But cognitive "science" could lead to a technology of behavior - if there was anything to the implied homunculi of cognitive "science." Or, put it this way...cognitive science might lead to a technology if mercury atoms were "silvery" and "slippery." For if that were true, it might also be true that there are little homunculi in the brain that intend, and decide and read maps and think etc. etc. etc. etc.

                         

                         
                         
                         
                         
                        Sent: Monday, January 21, 2013 4:11 PM
                        Subject: Re: [ai-philosophy] thought
                         
                         

                        It may be true that "'Tis a gift to be simple." However, 'tis no gift to be simplistic." And that is exactly how I would describe your posts that I have been reading now for, what, 5 years...10 years? On the other hand, I think that there is merit to what you say. But a fleshed-out position would integrate reinforcement principles which is exactly what you gloss over. As to language acquisition, I think that there is no question that heard utterances lead to parts of the utterances being a strange kind of conditioned reinforcer. When the child utters, for example, phonemes that it has heard, the hearing of these utterances automatically reinforce the behavior that leads to their production. This all requires a bunch of neuroanatomical structures like the basal ganglia etc. The segment of neurobiology concerned with analyzing the physiological mediation of operant behavior is an area of neuroscience that is relatively uncontaminated by the conceptual nonsense that plagues much of neuroscience. Of course, many workers in this area seem to struggle to obscure the connection to the vast literature that constitutes the natural science of behavior.

                        --- On Sun, 1/20/13, scanlonray <rscan@...> wrote:

                        From: scanlonray <rscan@...>
                        Subject: [ai-philosophy] thought
                        To: ai-philosophy@yahoogroups.com
                        Date: Sunday, January 20, 2013, 11:11 AM

                         

                        The apparatus for producing speech is constructed by the genome More than one hundred pairs of orofacial, laryngeal, pharyngeal, and respiratory muscles together with all the neural groups that drive them.

                        A motor neuron arrives at striated muscle fiber and terminates on it. When an axonal pulse arrives at the terminal the muscle fiber contracts. It is apparent that we can separate tahe motor neurons from the muscle fibers and view them abstractly as a set of terminals connected to a computer, and activate the muscles by a computer program, a program of
                        incredible complexity, but not beyond human abilities. This is a thing that can be written by a computer programmer as a part of the days work..

                        Any objection about the complexity of the neural network involved is answered by a reference to the flight of the brush turkey.

                        We proceed under the assumption that the genome can construct the required circuitry and its flexibility.

                        At this point we introduce the reticular thalamic nucleus, a thin layer of neurons that surrounds the thalamus like a blanket. Every motor program, every sensory group must enter the thalamus through this blanket. The neurons of the blanket are all alike in the their output is solely inhibitory.

                        Some spoken utterance enters the thalamus. At the same time a snippet of baby talk enters. If there is any resemblance, the equivalence is recorded. If some agreement is reached the baby talk is allowed to proceed. Day by day the resemblances are recorded. It seems that nothing is gained, but link by link ground is gained. A language is learned.
                        This continues for life

                        When we come up against speakers with a different accent we adopt or reject slight differences always striking toward a weighted statistical average. The thalamus continues to examine each motor program as if passes through when we attempt an utterance that violates our maintained average of what is "right", the thalamic reticular nucleus is activated, and the utterance vanishes into the great cloud of things left unsaid..

                      • Sergio Navega
                        Glen, your mentioning of homunculi attest that you re criticizing something that has been abandoned decades ago. I m talking about modern cognitive
                        Message 11 of 29 , Jan 23, 2013
                        • 0 Attachment
                          Glen, your mentioning of "homunculi" attest that you're
                          criticizing something that has been abandoned decades ago.
                          I'm talking about modern cognitive neuroscience, where theories
                          of memory, language, perception, reasoning, categorization,
                          rule-induction, etc., are supported by imaging (fMRI, PET, etc.)
                          and also by data collection of neural activity (including single
                          and multi-neuron electrodes). Today's models of the workings of
                          populations of neurons are capable of explaining many cognitive
                          phenomena.
                           
                          Sergio Navega
                           
                           
                           
                          Sent: Tuesday, January 22, 2013 9:40 PM
                          Subject: Re: [ai-philosophy] thought
                           
                           



                          --- On Mon, 1/21/13, Sergio Navega <snavega@...> wrote:

                          From: Sergio Navega <snavega@...>
                          Subject: Re: [ai-philosophy] thought
                          To: ai-philosophy@yahoogroups.com
                          Date: Monday, January 21, 2013, 2:04 PM

                           
                          SN: Boy, what a surprise to find 2 viewpoints that I disagree so much.
                           
                          GS: Hardly surprising to me since I've known you for many years, and you were always duped by cognitive "science."
                           
                           
                          SN:Of course the "hardware" of the brain is important (and I agree that
                          the hardware is mostly determined by genetic constraints).
                           
                           
                          GS: Ah...a preformationist to boot!
                           
                           
                          SN: But let's
                          take this analogy one step beyond: it is the "software" that makes the
                          thing "behave" the way they do. And by software one has to concede
                          that the fundamental thing are "experiences and interactions".
                           
                           
                          GS: And what, precisely, are reinforcement contingencies? They determine much of what an animal experiences and they are, by definition, interactions between organism and environment. You must be one of the many who like to bad-mouth behaviorism but know next to nothing about it. Lot of that going around.
                           
                           
                          SN:Which leads us to finally arrive at the important neuroscience of
                          cognition, which not only has extraordinary explanatory success,
                          but also has important multidisciplinary consequences.
                           
                          GS: Too bad it's a conceptual cesspool. Anyway, though, to the hopelessly simple, made-up stuff often seems to explain a lot.
                           
                           
                           
                          SN: All is
                          not lost for behaviorism though: it makes a damn good psychological
                          therapy, with much greater efficacy than the nutcracks of the
                          psychoanalysts.
                           
                           
                          GS: Yeah...interesting how natural sciences often lead to technologies isn't it? But cognitive "science" could lead to a technology of behavior - if there was anything to the implied homunculi of cognitive "science." Or, put it this way...cognitive science might lead to a technology if mercury atoms were "silvery" and "slippery." For if that were true, it might also be true that there are little homunculi in the brain that intend, and decide and read maps and think etc. etc. etc. etc.
                           
                           
                           
                           
                           
                           
                           
                          Sent: Monday, January 21, 2013 4:11 PM
                          Subject: Re: [ai-philosophy] thought
                           
                           

                          It may be true that "'Tis a gift to be simple." However, 'tis no gift to be simplistic." And that is exactly how I would describe your posts that I have been reading now for, what, 5 years...10 years? On the other hand, I think that there is merit to what you say. But a fleshed-out position would integrate reinforcement principles which is exactly what you gloss over. As to language acquisition, I think that there is no question that heard utterances lead to parts of the utterances being a strange kind of conditioned reinforcer. When the child utters, for example, phonemes that it has heard, the hearing of these utterances automatically reinforce the behavior that leads to their production. This all requires a bunch of neuroanatomical structures like the basal ganglia etc. The segment of neurobiology concerned with analyzing the physiological mediation of operant behavior is an area of neuroscience that is relatively uncontaminated by the conceptual nonsense that plagues much of neuroscience. Of course, many workers in this area seem to struggle to obscure the connection to the vast literature that constitutes the natural science of behavior.

                          --- On Sun, 1/20/13, scanlonray <rscan@...> wrote:

                          From: scanlonray <rscan@...>
                          Subject: [ai-philosophy] thought
                          To: ai-philosophy@yahoogroups.com
                          Date: Sunday, January 20, 2013, 11:11 AM

                           

                          The apparatus for producing speech is constructed by the genome More than one hundred pairs of orofacial, laryngeal, pharyngeal, and respiratory muscles together with all the neural groups that drive them.

                          A motor neuron arrives at striated muscle fiber and terminates on it. When an axonal pulse arrives at the terminal the muscle fiber contracts. It is apparent that we can separate tahe motor neurons from the muscle fibers and view them abstractly as a set of terminals connected to a computer, and activate the muscles by a computer program, a program of
                          incredible complexity, but not beyond human abilities. This is a thing that can be written by a computer programmer as a part of the days work..

                          Any objection about the complexity of the neural network involved is answered by a reference to the flight of the brush turkey.

                          We proceed under the assumption that the genome can construct the required circuitry and its flexibility.

                          At this point we introduce the reticular thalamic nucleus, a thin layer of neurons that surrounds the thalamus like a blanket. Every motor program, every sensory group must enter the thalamus through this blanket. The neurons of the blanket are all alike in the their output is solely inhibitory.

                          Some spoken utterance enters the thalamus. At the same time a snippet of baby talk enters. If there is any resemblance, the equivalence is recorded. If some agreement is reached the baby talk is allowed to proceed. Day by day the resemblances are recorded. It seems that nothing is gained, but link by link ground is gained. A language is learned.
                          This continues for life

                          When we come up against speakers with a different accent we adopt or reject slight differences always striking toward a weighted statistical average. The thalamus continues to examine each motor program as if passes through when we attempt an utterance that violates our maintained average of what is "right", the thalamic reticular nucleus is activated, and the utterance vanishes into the great cloud of things left unsaid..

                        • Sergio Navega
                          Ray, don t you think that genomes are useless, unless the animal is immersed in a suitable environment? Much of gene expression is directly influenced by
                          Message 12 of 29 , Jan 23, 2013
                          • 0 Attachment
                            Ray, don't you think that genomes are useless, unless
                            the animal is immersed in a suitable environment? Much
                            of gene expression is directly influenced by environmental
                            constraints (not only at the stimuli level, but mainly at
                            the molecular level). Our genome is a function of selective
                            pressures over millions of years of environmental influence.
                            And as soon as the animal is born, many specific alterations
                            occur, the most dramatic being those associated with learning.
                             
                            Sergio Navega
                             
                             
                             
                            Sent: Tuesday, January 22, 2013 3:47 PM
                            Subject: [ai-philosophy] Re: thought
                             
                             



                            --- In mailto:ai-philosophy%40yahoogroups.com, "Sergio Navega" wrote:

                            >
                            > Boy, what a surprise to find 2 viewpoints
                            that I disagree so much.
                            > Of course the "hardware" of the brain is
                            important (and I agree that
                            > the hardware is mostly determined by genetic
                            constraints).

                            Let us say st the outset that "mostly" is a totel rejection of what I am
                            preaching.The genome needs no help.

                            The genome is complete i n itself, it needs nohelp. Phrases such as
                            "mostly determined"

                            completely miss the point. The action of the genome is best desribed as
                            'determined'

                            But let's
                            > take this analogy one step
                            beyond: it is the "software" that makes the
                            > thing "behave" the way they
                            do. And by software one has to concede
                            > that the fundamental thing are
                            "experiences and interactions".

                            The brain must be constructed wholy with all neurons firing before we
                            can speak

                            of experienc.

                            >
                            > Which leads us to finally arrive at the important
                            neuroscience of
                            > cognition, which not only has extraordinary explanatory
                            success,
                            > but also has important multidisciplinary consequences. All
                            is
                            > not lost for behaviorism though: it makes a damn good
                            psychological
                            > therapy, with much greater efficacy than the nutcracks of
                            the
                            > psychoanalysts.

                            >
                            > Sergio
                            Navega
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            > From: Glen Sizemore
                            > Sent:
                            Monday, January 21, 2013 4:11 PM
                            > To:
                            href="mailto:ai-philosophy%40yahoogroups.com">mailto:ai-philosophy%40yahoogroups.com
                            >
                            Subject: Re: [ai-philosophy] thought
                            >
                            >
                            > It may be true that
                            "'Tis a gift to be simple." However, 'tis no gift
                            to be simplistic." And that is exactly how I would describe your posts
                            that I have been reading now for, what, 5 years...10 years? On the other
                            hand, I think that there is merit to what you say. But a fleshed-out
                            position would integrate reinforcement principles which is exactly what
                            you gloss over. As to language acquisition, I think that there is no
                            question that heard utterances lead to parts of the utterances being a
                            strange kind of conditioned reinforcer. When the child utters, for
                            example, phonemes that it has heard, the hearing of these utterances
                            automatically reinforce the behavior that leads to their production.
                            This all requires a bunch of neuroanatomical structures like the basal
                            ganglia etc. The segment of neurobiology concerned with analyzing the
                            physiological mediation of operant behavior is an area of neuroscience
                            that is relatively uncontaminated by the conceptual nonsense that
                            plagues much of neuroscience. Of course, many workers in this area seem
                            to struggle to obscure the connection to the vast literature that
                            constitutes the natural science of behavior.
                            >
                            > --- On Sun,
                            1/20/13, scanlonray wrote:
                            >
                            >
                            > From: scanlonray
                            >
                            Subject: [ai-philosophy] thought
                            > To:
                            href="mailto:ai-philosophy%40yahoogroups.com">mailto:ai-philosophy%40yahoogroups.com
                            >
                            Date: Sunday, January 20, 2013, 11:11 AM
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            > The
                            apparatus for producing speech is constructed by the genome More
                            than one hundred pairs of orofacial, laryngeal, pharyngeal, and
                            respiratory muscles together with all the neural groups that drive them.
                            >
                            > A motor
                            neuron arrives at striated muscle fiber and terminates on it.
                            When an axonal pulse arrives at the terminal the muscle fiber contracts.
                            It is apparent that we can separate tahe motor neurons from the muscle
                            fibers and view them abstractly as a set of terminals connected to a
                            computer, and activate the muscles by a computer program, a program of
                            > incredible complexity, but
                            not beyond human abilities. This is a thing
                            that can be written by a computer programmer as a part of the days
                            work..
                            >
                            > Any objection about
                            the complexity of the neural network involved is
                            answered by a reference to the flight of the brush turkey.
                            >
                            > We proceed under the assumption
                            that the genome can construct the
                            required circuitry and its flexibility.
                            >
                            > At this point we introduce the reticular thalamic
                            nucleus, a thin
                            layer of neurons that surrounds the thalamus like a blanket. Every motor
                            program, every sensory group must enter the thalamus through this
                            blanket. The neurons of the blanket are all alike in the their output is
                            solely inhibitory.
                            >
                            > Some spoken utterance enters the
                            thalamus. At the same time a snippet
                            of baby talk enters. If there is any resemblance, the equivalence is
                            recorded. If some agreement is reached the baby talk is allowed to
                            proceed. Day by day the resemblances are recorded. It seems that nothing
                            is gained, but link by link ground is gained. A language is learned.
                            > This continues for life
                            >
                            > When we come up
                            against speakers with a different accent we adopt or
                            reject slight differences always striking toward a weighted statistical
                            average. The thalamus continues to examine each motor program as if
                            passes through when we attempt an utterance that violates our maintained
                            average of what is "right", the thalamic reticular nucleus is activated,
                            and the utterance vanishes into the great cloud of things left unsaid..
                            >

                          • Glen Sizemore
                            ... From: Sergio Navega Subject: Re: [ai-philosophy] thought To: ai-philosophy@yahoogroups.com Date: Wednesday, January 23, 2013, 10:03 AM
                            Message 13 of 29 , Jan 24, 2013
                            • 0 Attachment
                              --- On Wed, 1/23/13, Sergio Navega <snavega@...> wrote:

                              From: Sergio Navega <snavega@...>
                              Subject: Re: [ai-philosophy] thought
                              To: ai-philosophy@yahoogroups.com
                              Date: Wednesday, January 23, 2013, 10:03 AM
















                               
















                              SN: Glen, your mentioning of "homunculi" attest that you're
                              criticizing something that has been abandoned decades ago.
                              GS: The homunculi were always implied - therefore, there was really nothing to EXPLICITLY abandon. Nobody ever EXPLICITLY endorsed homunculi inside the head driving the rest of the body around like a car. And the homunculi are STILL implied. Another name for this conceptual nonsense is the "mereological fallacy" (cf, Bennett and Hacker).



                              SN: I'm talking about modern cognitive neuroscience, where theories
                              of memory, language, perception, reasoning, categorization,
                              rule-induction, etc., are supported by imaging (fMRI, PET, etc.)
                              and also by data collection of neural activity (including single
                              and multi-neuron electrodes).

                              GS: Since the theories are composed of (literally) nonsensical concepts (cf, Bennett and Hacker), you'll excuse me if I'm unimpressed. 

                              SN: Today's models of the workings of
                              populations of neurons are capable of explaining many cognitive
                              phenomena.

                              GS: Needless to say, I disagree with you. Most of the questions asked by cognitive neuroscience are literal nonsense (cf, Bennett and Hacker). Some of the actual facts are, perhaps, interesting (after divested of the ridiculous assumptions embodied by the concepts), but cognitive neuroscience explains nothing (since its underlying concepts are literal nonsense). 
                               
                              Cordially,
                              Glen
                               
                               


                               

                              From: Glen Sizemore
                              Sent: Tuesday, January 22, 2013 9:40 PM
                              To: ai-philosophy@yahoogroups.com

                              Subject: Re: [ai-philosophy] thought
                               
                               












                              --- On Mon, 1/21/13, Sergio
                              Navega <snavega@...> wrote:


                              From: Sergio
                              Navega <snavega@...>
                              Subject: Re: [ai-philosophy]
                              thought
                              To: ai-philosophy@yahoogroups.com
                              Date: Monday,
                              January 21, 2013, 2:04 PM



                               






                              SN: Boy, what a surprise to find 2 viewpoints that I disagree
                              so much.
                               
                              GS: Hardly surprising to me since I've known you for many
                              years, and you were always duped by cognitive "science."
                               
                               
                              SN:Of course the
                              "hardware" of the brain is important (and I agree that
                              the hardware is mostly determined by genetic
                              constraints).
                               
                               
                              GS: Ah...a preformationist to boot!
                               
                               
                              SN: But let's
                              take this analogy one step beyond: it is the "software" that
                              makes the
                              thing "behave" the way they do. And by software one has to
                              concede
                              that the fundamental thing are "experiences and
                              interactions".
                               
                               
                              GS: And what, precisely, are reinforcement contingencies?
                              They determine much of what an animal experiences and they are, by
                              definition, interactions between organism and environment. You
                              must be one of the many who like to bad-mouth behaviorism but know
                              next to nothing about it. Lot of that going around.
                               
                               
                              SN:Which leads us to
                              finally arrive at the important neuroscience of
                              cognition, which not only has extraordinary explanatory
                              success,
                              but also has important multidisciplinary consequences.
                               
                              GS: Too bad it's a conceptual cesspool. Anyway, though, to
                              the hopelessly simple, made-up stuff often seems to explain a
                              lot.
                               
                               
                               
                              SN: All is
                              not lost for behaviorism though: it makes a damn good
                              psychological
                              therapy, with much greater efficacy than the nutcracks of
                              the
                              psychoanalysts.
                               
                               
                              GS: Yeah...interesting how natural sciences often lead to
                              technologies isn't it? But cognitive "science" could lead to a
                              technology of behavior - if there was anything to the implied
                              homunculi of cognitive "science." Or, put it this way...cognitive
                              science might lead to a technology if mercury atoms were "silvery"
                              and "slippery." For if that were true, it might also be true that
                              there are little homunculi in the brain that intend, and decide
                              and read maps and think etc. etc. etc. etc.
                               
                               
                               
                               
                               
                               


                               

                              From: Glen
                              Sizemore
                              Sent: Monday, January 21, 2013 4:11 PM
                              To: ai-philosophy@yahoogroups.com
                              Subject: Re: [ai-philosophy] thought
                               
                               











                              It may be true that
                              "'Tis a gift to be simple." However, 'tis no gift to
                              be simplistic." And that is exactly how I would
                              describe your posts that I have been reading now for,
                              what, 5 years...10 years? On the other hand, I think
                              that there is merit to what you say. But a fleshed-out
                              position would integrate reinforcement principles
                              which is exactly what you gloss over. As to language
                              acquisition, I think that there is no question that
                              heard utterances lead to parts of the utterances being
                              a strange kind of conditioned reinforcer. When the
                              child utters, for example, phonemes that it has heard,
                              the hearing of these utterances automatically
                              reinforce the behavior that leads to their production.
                              This all requires a bunch of neuroanatomical
                              structures like the basal ganglia etc. The segment of
                              neurobiology concerned with analyzing the
                              physiological mediation of operant behavior is an area
                              of neuroscience that is relatively uncontaminated by
                              the conceptual nonsense that plagues much of
                              neuroscience. Of course, many workers in this area
                              seem to struggle to obscure the connection to the vast
                              literature that constitutes the natural science of
                              behavior.

                              --- On Sun, 1/20/13, scanlonray
                              <rscan@...> wrote:


                              From:
                              scanlonray <rscan@...>
                              Subject:
                              [ai-philosophy] thought
                              To:
                              ai-philosophy@yahoogroups.com
                              Date: Sunday,
                              January 20, 2013, 11:11 AM



                               

                              The apparatus for producing speech is constructed
                              by the genome More than one hundred pairs of
                              orofacial, laryngeal, pharyngeal, and respiratory
                              muscles together with all the neural groups that
                              drive them.

                              A motor neuron arrives at
                              striated muscle fiber and terminates on it. When an
                              axonal pulse arrives at the terminal the muscle
                              fiber contracts. It is apparent that we can separate
                              tahe motor neurons from the muscle fibers and view
                              them abstractly as a set of terminals connected to a
                              computer, and activate the muscles by a computer
                              program, a program of
                              incredible complexity, but
                              not beyond human abilities. This is a thing that can
                              be written by a computer programmer as a part of the
                              days work..

                              Any objection about the
                              complexity of the neural network involved is
                              answered by a reference to the flight of the brush
                              turkey.

                              We proceed under the assumption that
                              the genome can construct the required circuitry and
                              its flexibility.

                              At this point we introduce
                              the reticular thalamic nucleus, a thin layer of
                              neurons that surrounds the thalamus like a blanket.
                              Every motor program, every sensory group must enter
                              the thalamus through this blanket. The neurons of
                              the blanket are all alike in the their output is
                              solely inhibitory.

                              Some spoken utterance
                              enters the thalamus. At the same time a snippet of
                              baby talk enters. If there is any resemblance, the
                              equivalence is recorded. If some agreement is
                              reached the baby talk is allowed to proceed. Day by
                              day the resemblances are recorded. It seems that
                              nothing is gained, but link by link ground is
                              gained. A language is learned.
                              This continues for
                              life

                              When we come up against speakers with a
                              different accent we adopt or reject slight
                              differences always striking toward a weighted
                              statistical average. The thalamus continues to
                              examine each motor program as if passes through when
                              we attempt an utterance that violates our maintained
                              average of what is "right", the thalamic reticular
                              nucleus is activated, and the utterance vanishes
                              into the great cloud of things left
                              unsaid..
                            • scanlonray
                              A suitable environment for the genome is the interior of a living cell. In fact this is the only conceivable environment. The genome in action is a throbbing
                              Message 14 of 29 , Jan 24, 2013
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                                A suitable environment for the genome is the interior of a living cell. In fact this is the only conceivable environment. The genome in action is a throbbing interplay of organic molecules that cannot exist outside a similar throbbing cauldron of organic molecules.

                                The complexity involved seems past human grasping, However modern graphic imaging has made small segments conceivable.

                                One wonders if this is what you have in mind, or if you are thinking more along the lines of a human environment.

                                The notion of a lab rat under thr constraints of a laboratory environment is foreign to me. I prefer the notion of a genome constructing a brain from scratch, just as it constructs a liver of an eye. The important thing to me is that the genome needs no help. The brain is delivered ready-to-go at birth.

                                It has a suite of program motor generators that continue to function as the universe present itself. No `learning' is needed. If a swallow is in progress, it continues.
                              • Sergio Navega
                                Glen, there s a segment of what you say that I agree with you. I too am concerned with some things of cognitive science, mainly in the segment where this
                                Message 15 of 29 , Jan 25, 2013
                                • 0 Attachment
                                  Glen, there's a segment of what you say that I agree with
                                  you. I too am concerned with some things of cognitive science,
                                  mainly in the segment where this discipline is close to
                                  philosophy. There, at that particular junction, we find
                                  a lot of garbage and nonsense.
                                   
                                  The other extreme is where we find behaviorists (and Bennett
                                  and Hacker) who act as if humans had no brains. According
                                  to them, we have only bodies and behaviors, and that's
                                  what limits their explanatory pursuit. No wonder
                                  behaviorism is a forgotten scientific endeavor nowadays.
                                   
                                  The Mereological fallacy, if applied rigorously to any scientific
                                  discipline, would undermine most current science. Bennett and Hacker's
                                  argument can be applied to Physics, Chemistry, Biology,
                                  Astrophysics and more. No such disciplines would be allowed to
                                  build conceptual (categorical) constructions, even if these
                                  constructions were empirically justifiable. It would stall
                                  scientific progress entirely. That's why Bennett and Hacker's
                                  thoughts are nonsense (as Dennett and Searle pointed out).
                                   
                                  And in the same way that Physics do today, so does modern cognitive
                                  neuroscience. They are building conceptual structures (memory, 
                                  rule induction, workspace memory, task switching being some examples)
                                  that are being successfully supported by lower level explanations
                                  (mainly the binding and/or synchronization of populations
                                  of neurons).
                                   
                                  Take for instance this article, which is currently being published
                                  in Trends in Cognitive Sciences:
                                   
                                   
                                  This paper relates rule selection (a "cognitive concept") with
                                  neural synchronization in the prefrontal cortex (a directly
                                  measurable empirical evidence). This is exactly the very same
                                  process used in the majority of the hard sciences today (as I said,
                                  including Physics, Biology, Cosmology, Chemistry, Geology, etc.).
                                  But not behaviorism. What went wrong? I wonder if it is some
                                  sort of religious belief, the church of Skinner...
                                   
                                  Sergio Navega
                                   
                                   
                                   
                                   
                                   
                                  Sent: Thursday, January 24, 2013 11:48 AM
                                  Subject: Re: [ai-philosophy] thought
                                   
                                   



                                  --- On Wed, 1/23/13, Sergio Navega mailto:snavega%40gmail.com> wrote:

                                  From: Sergio Navega mailto:snavega%40gmail.com>
                                  Subject: Re: [ai-philosophy] thought
                                  To: mailto:ai-philosophy%40yahoogroups.com
                                  Date: Wednesday, January 23, 2013, 10:03 AM

                                   

                                  SN: Glen, your mentioning of "homunculi" attest that you're
                                  criticizing something that has been abandoned decades ago.
                                  GS: The homunculi were always implied - therefore, there was really nothing to EXPLICITLY abandon. Nobody ever EXPLICITLY endorsed homunculi inside the head driving the rest of the body around like a car. And the homunculi are STILL implied. Another name for this conceptual nonsense is the "mereological fallacy" (cf, Bennett and Hacker).

                                  SN: I'm talking about modern cognitive neuroscience, where theories
                                  of memory, language, perception, reasoning, categorization,
                                  rule-induction, etc., are supported by imaging (fMRI, PET, etc.)
                                  and also by data collection of neural activity (including single
                                  and multi-neuron electrodes).

                                  GS: Since the theories are composed of (literally) nonsensical concepts (cf, Bennett and Hacker), you'll excuse me if I'm unimpressed.

                                  SN: Today's models of the workings of
                                  populations of neurons are capable of explaining many cognitive
                                  phenomena.

                                  GS: Needless to say, I disagree with you. Most of the questions asked by cognitive neuroscience are literal nonsense (cf, Bennett and Hacker). Some of the actual facts are, perhaps, interesting (after divested of the ridiculous assumptions embodied by the concepts), but cognitive neuroscience explains nothing (since its underlying concepts are literal nonsense).
                                   
                                  Cordially,
                                  Glen
                                   
                                   

                                   

                                  From: Glen Sizemore
                                  Sent: Tuesday, January 22, 2013 9:40 PM
                                  To: mailto:ai-philosophy%40yahoogroups.com

                                  Subject: Re: [ai-philosophy] thought
                                   
                                   

                                  --- On Mon, 1/21/13, Sergio
                                  Navega mailto:snavega%40gmail.com> wrote:

                                  From: Sergio
                                  Navega mailto:snavega%40gmail.com>
                                  Subject: Re: [ai-philosophy]
                                  thought
                                  To: mailto:ai-philosophy%40yahoogroups.com
                                  Date: Monday,
                                  January 21, 2013, 2:04 PM

                                   






                                  SN: Boy, what a surprise to find 2 viewpoints that I disagree
                                  so much.
                                   
                                  GS: Hardly surprising to me since I've known you for many
                                  years, and you were always duped by cognitive "science."
                                   
                                   
                                  SN:Of course the
                                  "hardware" of the brain is important (and I agree that
                                  the hardware is mostly determined by genetic
                                  constraints).
                                   
                                   
                                  GS: Ah...a preformationist to boot!
                                   
                                   
                                  SN: But let's
                                  take this analogy one step beyond: it is the "software" that
                                  makes the
                                  thing "behave" the way they do. And by software one has to
                                  concede
                                  that the fundamental thing are "experiences and
                                  interactions".
                                   
                                   
                                  GS: And what, precisely, are reinforcement contingencies?
                                  They determine much of what an animal experiences and they are, by
                                  definition, interactions between organism and environment. You
                                  must be one of the many who like to bad-mouth behaviorism but know
                                  next to nothing about it. Lot of that going around.
                                   
                                   
                                  SN:Which leads us to
                                  finally arrive at the important neuroscience of
                                  cognition, which not only has extraordinary explanatory
                                  success,
                                  but also has important multidisciplinary consequences.
                                   
                                  GS: Too bad it's a conceptual cesspool. Anyway, though, to
                                  the hopelessly simple, made-up stuff often seems to explain a
                                  lot.
                                   
                                   
                                   
                                  SN: All is
                                  not lost for behaviorism though: it makes a damn good
                                  psychological
                                  therapy, with much greater efficacy than the nutcracks of
                                  the
                                  psychoanalysts.
                                   
                                   
                                  GS: Yeah...interesting how natural sciences often lead to
                                  technologies isn't it? But cognitive "science" could lead to a
                                  technology of behavior - if there was anything to the implied
                                  homunculi of cognitive "science." Or, put it this way...cognitive
                                  science might lead to a technology if mercury atoms were "silvery"
                                  and "slippery." For if that were true, it might also be true that
                                  there are little homunculi in the brain that intend, and decide
                                  and read maps and think etc. etc. etc. etc.
                                   
                                   
                                   
                                   
                                   
                                   


                                   

                                  From: Glen
                                  Sizemore
                                  Sent: Monday, January 21, 2013 4:11 PM
                                  To: mailto:ai-philosophy%40yahoogroups.com
                                  Subject: Re: [ai-philosophy] thought
                                   
                                   

                                  It may be true that
                                  "'Tis a gift to be simple." However, 'tis no gift to
                                  be simplistic." And that is exactly how I would
                                  describe your posts that I have been reading now for,
                                  what, 5 years...10 years? On the other hand, I think
                                  that there is merit to what you say. But a fleshed-out
                                  position would integrate reinforcement principles
                                  which is exactly what you gloss over. As to language
                                  acquisition, I think that there is no question that
                                  heard utterances lead to parts of the utterances being
                                  a strange kind of conditioned reinforcer. When the
                                  child utters, for example, phonemes that it has heard,
                                  the hearing of these utterances automatically
                                  reinforce the behavior that leads to their production.
                                  This all requires a bunch of neuroanatomical
                                  structures like the basal ganglia etc. The segment of
                                  neurobiology concerned with analyzing the
                                  physiological mediation of operant behavior is an area
                                  of neuroscience that is relatively uncontaminated by
                                  the conceptual nonsense that plagues much of
                                  neuroscience. Of course, many workers in this area
                                  seem to struggle to obscure the connection to the vast
                                  literature that constitutes the natural science of
                                  behavior.

                                  --- On Sun, 1/20/13, scanlonray
                                  mailto:rscan%40nycap.rr.com> wrote:

                                  From:
                                  scanlonray mailto:rscan%40nycap.rr.com>
                                  Subject:
                                  [ai-philosophy] thought
                                  To:
                                  mailto:ai-philosophy%40yahoogroups.com
                                  Date: Sunday,
                                  January 20, 2013, 11:11 AM

                                   

                                  The apparatus for producing speech is constructed
                                  by the genome More than one hundred pairs of
                                  orofacial, laryngeal, pharyngeal, and respiratory
                                  muscles together with all the neural groups that
                                  drive them.

                                  A motor neuron arrives at
                                  striated muscle fiber and terminates on it. When an
                                  axonal pulse arrives at the terminal the muscle
                                  fiber contracts. It is apparent that we can separate
                                  tahe motor neurons from the muscle fibers and view
                                  them abstractly as a set of terminals connected to a
                                  computer, and activate the muscles by a computer
                                  program, a program of
                                  incredible complexity, but
                                  not beyond human abilities. This is a thing that can
                                  be written by a computer programmer as a part of the
                                  days work..

                                  Any objection about the
                                  complexity of the neural network involved is
                                  answered by a reference to the flight of the brush
                                  turkey.

                                  We proceed under the assumption that
                                  the genome can construct the required circuitry and
                                  its flexibility.

                                  At this point we introduce
                                  the reticular thalamic nucleus, a thin layer of
                                  neurons that surrounds the thalamus like a blanket.
                                  Every motor program, every sensory group must enter
                                  the thalamus through this blanket. The neurons of
                                  the blanket are all alike in the their output is
                                  solely inhibitory.

                                  Some spoken utterance
                                  enters the thalamus. At the same time a snippet of
                                  baby talk enters. If there is any resemblance, the
                                  equivalence is recorded. If some agreement is
                                  reached the baby talk is allowed to proceed. Day by
                                  day the resemblances are recorded. It seems that
                                  nothing is gained, but link by link ground is
                                  gained. A language is learned.
                                  This continues for
                                  life

                                  When we come up against speakers with a
                                  different accent we adopt or reject slight
                                  differences always striking toward a weighted
                                  statistical average. The thalamus continues to
                                  examine each motor program as if passes through when
                                  we attempt an utterance that violates our maintained
                                  average of what is "right", the thalamic reticular
                                  nucleus is activated, and the utterance vanishes
                                  into the great cloud of things left
                                  unsaid..

                                • Sergio Navega
                                  ... But here s the thing, Ray: neurons connect to each other according to genetic rules, but the expression of these rules depend heavily on environmental
                                  Message 16 of 29 , Jan 25, 2013
                                  • 0 Attachment
                                    > The important thing to me is that the genome needs no help.
                                    > The brain is delivered ready-to-go at birth.
                                     
                                    But here's the thing, Ray: neurons connect to each other
                                    according to genetic rules, but the expression of these
                                    rules depend heavily on environmental factors. Stimuli
                                    received by an animal is what drives the need to create
                                    or reinforce a particular axon-dendrite connection.
                                     
                                    And this is important: it is the genome that says how this
                                    creation/reinforcement is made, but it was the stimuli from
                                    the environment that required it. Therefore brains are a
                                    function of genomic and environmental interaction.
                                     
                                    Sergio Navega
                                     
                                     
                                     
                                    Sent: Thursday, January 24, 2013 1:30 PM
                                    Subject: [ai-philosophy] thought
                                     
                                     

                                    A suitable environment for the genome is the interior of a living cell. In fact this is the only conceivable environment. The genome in action is a throbbing interplay of organic molecules that cannot exist outside a similar throbbing cauldron of organic molecules.

                                    The complexity involved seems past human grasping, However modern graphic imaging has made small segments conceivable.

                                    One wonders if this is what you have in mind, or if you are thinking more along the lines of a human environment.

                                    The notion of a lab rat under thr constraints of a laboratory environment is foreign to me. I prefer the notion of a genome constructing a brain from scratch, just as it constructs a liver of an eye. The important thing to me is that the genome needs no help. The brain is delivered ready-to-go at birth.

                                    It has a suite of program motor generators that continue to function as the universe present itself. No `learning' is needed. If a swallow is in progress, it continues.

                                  • scanlonray
                                    But here s the thing, Ray: neurons connect to each other according to genetic rules, but the expression of these rules depend heavily on environmental factors.
                                    Message 17 of 29 , Jan 25, 2013
                                    • 0 Attachment
                                      But here's the thing, Ray: neurons connect to each other
                                      according to genetic rules, but the expression of these
                                      rules depend heavily on environmental factors. Stimuli
                                      received by an animal is what drives the need to create
                                      or reinforce a particular axon-dendrite connection.
                                      And this is important: it is the genome that says how this
                                      creation/reinforcement is made, but it was the stimuli from
                                      the environment that required it. Therefore brains are a
                                      function of genomic and environmental interaction.
                                      Sergio Navega



                                      This is a straightforward statement of a position that I understand but do no share.
                                      If you believe in the tabula erasa then all else follows. If instead you are driven by the present day knowledge of the genome than a different scenario presents itself. For this we turn to the brush turkey, A living creature that enters the world with no help from the environment, with nothing but a brain constructed by the genome, a creature that does rather well to meet the environment.

                                      "Therefore brains are a function of genomic and aenvironmentsl interaction" This is a statement of belief, which is not present in the "brush turkey". What are we to say about `imprinting", when the brush turkey does not imprint, flies without instruction? A bird that eats without instruction? What are we to say about "reinforcement" to a bird that gets none?
                                    • Glen Sizemore
                                      ... From: Sergio Navega Subject: Re: [ai-philosophy] thought To: ai-philosophy@yahoogroups.com Date: Friday, January 25, 2013, 8:06 AM  
                                      Message 18 of 29 , Jan 25, 2013
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                                        --- On Fri, 1/25/13, Sergio Navega <snavega@...> wrote:

                                        From: Sergio Navega <snavega@...>
                                        Subject: Re: [ai-philosophy] thought
                                        To: ai-philosophy@yahoogroups.com
                                        Date: Friday, January 25, 2013, 8:06 AM

                                         

                                        SN: Glen, there's a segment of what you say that I agree with
                                        you. I too am concerned with some things of cognitive science,
                                        mainly in the segment where this discipline is close to
                                        philosophy. 


                                        GS: Anyplace there are concepts and assumptions in a science
                                        (i.e., everywhere) philosophy is relevant since concepts and
                                        assumptions can only be evaluated via philosophy. Thus, what 
                                        you say here makes no sense. Sorry...that happens to you a lot.



                                        SN:There, at that particular junction, we find
                                        a lot of garbage and nonsense.


                                        GS: So much of cognitive "science" and the fields it has 
                                        corrupted is conceptual crap that the field (and those it has
                                        corrupted) is not even science.
                                         
                                        SN: The other extreme is where we find behaviorists (and Bennett
                                        and Hacker) who act as if humans had no brains. 


                                        GS: Bennett is an accomplished neuroscientist and radical
                                        (Skinnerian) behaviorists have always held that it is 
                                        neuroscience that will provide a reductionistic treatment of 
                                        the behavioral phenomena elucidated by behavior analysis. 
                                        Thus, what you say is misguided nonsense. Sorry...that happens
                                        to you a lot.



                                        SB: According
                                        to them, we have only bodies and behaviors, and that's
                                        what limits their explanatory pursuit. No wonder
                                        behaviorism is a forgotten scientific endeavor nowadays.


                                        GS: First of all, behaviorism is a philosophy - not a science. 
                                        I have already dealt with behaviorism's position on neuroscience.
                                        And I think you should check into whether or not behavior
                                        analysis is actually "forgotten." But, you're right in the sense
                                        that cognitive "science" has corrupted ALMOST everyone whose
                                        concern involves behavior...but not quite everyone has his or her
                                        head up his or her rectum. 

                                         
                                        SN: The Mereological fallacy, if applied rigorously to any scientific
                                        discipline, would undermine most current science. 

                                        GS: How so? 



                                        SN: Bennett and Hacker's
                                        argument can be applied to Physics, Chemistry, Biology,
                                        Astrophysics and more.

                                        GS: How so?

                                        SN: No such disciplines would be allowed to
                                        build conceptual (categorical) constructions, even if these
                                        constructions were empirically justifiable. It would stall
                                        scientific progress entirely. 


                                        GS: I'm not convinced you understand the mereological fallacy.
                                        What you say above seems to make no sense.


                                        SN: That's why Bennett and Hacker's
                                        thoughts are nonsense (as Dennett and Searle pointed out).

                                        GS: I can't say if their arguments are cogent, since you
                                        have not described them. But, as I said, nothing you have
                                        said convinces me that you understand the issues. I can't
                                        speak to Dennett's and Searle's position. I do know that
                                        Dennett is a moron, though. 

                                         
                                        SN: And in the same way that Physics do today, so does modern cognitive
                                        neuroscience. 


                                        GS: You seem to be making an argument about "unobservables." No?
                                        But the mereological fallacy involves much more than that. It
                                        involves talking about parts as if they had the properties of
                                        the whole. It would be like saying that the entropy of a gas
                                        increases because the entropy of individual molecules is
                                        increasing. I don't think physics does that. I await further
                                        exposition on your part.


                                        SN: They are building conceptual structures (memory, 
                                        rule induction, workspace memory, task switching being some examples)
                                        that are being successfully supported by lower level explanations
                                        (mainly the binding and/or synchronization of populations
                                        of neurons).


                                        GS: The concepts underlying a science constitute, in part, the
                                        assumptions of that science (or "science" as the case may be)
                                        and assumptions are not testable - err...because they're
                                        assumptions. Take "rule induction." The observation is that,
                                        for example, an animal (human or otherwise) responds to a novel
                                        instance of some stimulus as it did to the exemplars by which it
                                        was trained. Observations of physiology may reveal certain
                                        similarities between the effects of training exemplars and novel
                                        exemplars. That is where the facts end. But the cognitivist says
                                        that the physiological similarities are "rule induction." But
                                        the physiology measured is not "rules" etc. What is measured is
                                        action potentials, of synchronized networks, or whatever. But
                                        the cognitivist says, "See! I told you there was 'rule
                                        induction!'" That is, whatever they find, they interpret it in
                                        light of their specious assumptions.  
                                         
                                        SN:Take for instance this article, which is currently being published
                                        in Trends in Cognitive Sciences:
                                         
                                         
                                        This paper relates rule selection (a "cognitive concept") with
                                        neural synchronization in the prefrontal cortex (a directly
                                        measurable empirical evidence). 


                                        GS: But this is not "evidence." There IS no evidence relevant
                                        to assumptions for assumptions are assumptions. The assumption
                                        is that all behavior results from rule-following. When some 
                                        regularity is found it is INTERPRETED in terms of the
                                        assumptions. 

                                        SN: This is exactly the very same
                                        process used in the majority of the hard sciences today (as I said,
                                        including Physics, Biology, Cosmology, Chemistry, Geology, etc.).
                                        But not behaviorism. What went wrong? I wonder if it is some
                                        sort of religious belief, the church of Skinner...

                                        Sergio Navega


                                        GS: It is NOT the process used in physics etc. It is the
                                        assumption that all behavior is "rule-following" that smacks
                                        of religion. Take the Higgs Boson, for example. It is not an
                                        assumption, it is an hypothesis that is generated by
                                        a mathematical theory. The theory predicts that there should
                                        be a particle that has certain properties. Observation of a
                                        particle that has these properties is, indeed, a kind of
                                        evidence. There is a big difference between assumptions and
                                        hypotheses/theories. Cognitive science muddles this distinction
                                        and is, thus, junk. Hope this helps.

                                        With magnanimity,

                                        Glen
                                         

                                         
                                         
                                         
                                         
                                         
                                        Sent: Thursday, January 24, 2013 11:48 AM
                                        Subject: Re: [ai-philosophy] thought
                                         
                                         



                                        --- On Wed, 1/23/13, Sergio Navega mailto:snavega%40gmail.com> wrote:

                                        From: Sergio Navega mailto:snavega%40gmail.com>
                                        Subject: Re: [ai-philosophy] thought
                                        To: mailto:ai-philosophy%40yahoogroups.com
                                        Date: Wednesday, January 23, 2013, 10:03 AM

                                         

                                        SN: Glen, your mentioning of "homunculi" attest that you're
                                        criticizing something that has been abandoned decades ago.
                                        GS: The homunculi were always implied - therefore, there was really nothing to EXPLICITLY abandon. Nobody ever EXPLICITLY endorsed homunculi inside the head driving the rest of the body around like a car. And the homunculi are STILL implied. Another name for this conceptual nonsense is the "mereological fallacy" (cf, Bennett and Hacker).

                                        SN: I'm talking about modern cognitive neuroscience, where theories
                                        of memory, language, perception, reasoning, categorization,
                                        rule-induction, etc., are supported by imaging (fMRI, PET, etc.)
                                        and also by data collection of neural activity (including single
                                        and multi-neuron electrodes).

                                        GS: Since the theories are composed of (literally) nonsensical concepts (cf, Bennett and Hacker), you'll excuse me if I'm unimpressed.

                                        SN: Today's models of the workings of
                                        populations of neurons are capable of explaining many cognitive
                                        phenomena.

                                        GS: Needless to say, I disagree with you. Most of the questions asked by cognitive neuroscience are literal nonsense (cf, Bennett and Hacker). Some of the actual facts are, perhaps, interesting (after divested of the ridiculous assumptions embodied by the concepts), but cognitive neuroscience explains nothing (since its underlying concepts are literal nonsense).
                                         
                                        Cordially,
                                        Glen
                                         
                                         

                                         

                                        From: Glen Sizemore
                                        Sent: Tuesday, January 22, 2013 9:40 PM
                                        To: mailto:ai-philosophy%40yahoogroups.com

                                        Subject: Re: [ai-philosophy] thought
                                         
                                         

                                        --- On Mon, 1/21/13, Sergio
                                        Navega mailto:snavega%40gmail.com> wrote:

                                        From: Sergio
                                        Navega mailto:snavega%40gmail.com>
                                        Subject: Re: [ai-philosophy]
                                        thought
                                        To: mailto:ai-philosophy%40yahoogroups.com
                                        Date: Monday,
                                        January 21, 2013, 2:04 PM

                                         






                                        SN: Boy, what a surprise to find 2 viewpoints that I disagree
                                        so much.
                                         
                                        GS: Hardly surprising to me since I've known you for many
                                        years, and you were always duped by cognitive "science."
                                         
                                         
                                        SN:Of course the
                                        "hardware" of the brain is important (and I agree that
                                        the hardware is mostly determined by genetic
                                        constraints).
                                         
                                         
                                        GS: Ah...a preformationist to boot!
                                         
                                         
                                        SN: But let's
                                        take this analogy one step beyond: it is the "software" that
                                        makes the
                                        thing "behave" the way they do. And by software one has to
                                        concede
                                        that the fundamental thing are "experiences and
                                        interactions".
                                         
                                         
                                        GS: And what, precisely, are reinforcement contingencies?
                                        They determine much of what an animal experiences and they are, by
                                        definition, interactions between organism and environment. You
                                        must be one of the many who like to bad-mouth behaviorism but know
                                        next to nothing about it. Lot of that going around.
                                         
                                         
                                        SN:Which leads us to
                                        finally arrive at the important neuroscience of
                                        cognition, which not only has extraordinary explanatory
                                        success,
                                        but also has important multidisciplinary consequences.
                                         
                                        GS: Too bad it's a conceptual cesspool. Anyway, though, to
                                        the hopelessly simple, made-up stuff often seems to explain a
                                        lot.
                                         
                                         
                                         
                                        SN: All is
                                        not lost for behaviorism though: it makes a damn good
                                        psychological
                                        therapy, with much greater efficacy than the nutcracks of
                                        the
                                        psychoanalysts.
                                         
                                         
                                        GS: Yeah...interesting how natural sciences often lead to
                                        technologies isn't it? But cognitive "science" could lead to a
                                        technology of behavior - if there was anything to the implied
                                        homunculi of cognitive "science." Or, put it this way...cognitive
                                        science might lead to a technology if mercury atoms were "silvery"
                                        and "slippery." For if that were true, it might also be true that
                                        there are little homunculi in the brain that intend, and decide
                                        and read maps and think etc. etc. etc. etc.
                                         
                                         
                                         
                                         
                                         
                                         


                                         

                                        From: Glen
                                        Sizemore
                                        Sent: Monday, January 21, 2013 4:11 PM
                                        To: mailto:ai-philosophy%40yahoogroups.com
                                        Subject: Re: [ai-philosophy] thought
                                         
                                         

                                        It may be true that
                                        "'Tis a gift to be simple." However, 'tis no gift to
                                        be simplistic." And that is exactly how I would
                                        describe your posts that I have been reading now for,
                                        what, 5 years...10 years? On the other hand, I think
                                        that there is merit to what you say. But a fleshed-out
                                        position would integrate reinforcement principles
                                        which is exactly what you gloss over. As to language
                                        acquisition, I think that there is no question that
                                        heard utterances lead to parts of the utterances being
                                        a strange kind of conditioned reinforcer. When the
                                        child utters, for example, phonemes that it has heard,
                                        the hearing of these utterances automatically
                                        reinforce the behavior that leads to their production.
                                        This all requires a bunch of neuroanatomical
                                        structures like the basal ganglia etc. The segment of
                                        neurobiology concerned with analyzing the
                                        physiological mediation of operant behavior is an area
                                        of neuroscience that is relatively uncontaminated by
                                        the conceptual nonsense that plagues much of
                                        neuroscience. Of course, many workers in this area
                                        seem to struggle to obscure the connection to the vast
                                        literature that constitutes the natural science of
                                        behavior.

                                        --- On Sun, 1/20/13, scanlonray
                                        mailto:rscan%40nycap.rr.com> wrote:

                                        From:
                                        scanlonray mailto:rscan%40nycap.rr.com>
                                        Subject:
                                        [ai-philosophy] thought
                                        To:
                                        mailto:ai-philosophy%40yahoogroups.com
                                        Date: Sunday,
                                        January 20, 2013, 11:11 AM

                                         

                                        The apparatus for producing speech is constructed
                                        by the genome More than one hundred pairs of
                                        orofacial, laryngeal, pharyngeal, and respiratory
                                        muscles together with all the neural groups that
                                        drive them.

                                        A motor neuron arrives at
                                        striated muscle fiber and terminates on it. When an
                                        axonal pulse arrives at the terminal the muscle
                                        fiber contracts. It is apparent that we can separate
                                        tahe motor neurons from the muscle fibers and view
                                        them abstractly as a set of terminals connected to a
                                        computer, and activate the muscles by a computer
                                        program, a program of
                                        incredible complexity, but
                                        not beyond human abilities. This is a thing that can
                                        be written by a computer programmer as a part of the
                                        days work..

                                        Any objection about the
                                        complexity of the neural network involved is
                                        answered by a reference to the flight of the brush
                                        turkey.

                                        We proceed under the assumption that
                                        the genome can construct the required circuitry and
                                        its flexibility.

                                        At this point we introduce
                                        the reticular thalamic nucleus, a thin layer of
                                        neurons that surrounds the thalamus like a blanket.
                                        Every motor program, every sensory group must enter
                                        the thalamus through this blanket. The neurons of
                                        the blanket are all alike in the their output is
                                        solely inhibitory.

                                        Some spoken utterance
                                        enters the thalamus. At the same time a snippet of
                                        baby talk enters. If there is any resemblance, the
                                        equivalence is recorded. If some agreement is
                                        reached the baby talk is allowed to proceed. Day by
                                        day the resemblances are recorded. It seems that
                                        nothing is gained, but link by link ground is
                                        gained. A language is learned.
                                        This continues for
                                        life

                                        When we come up against speakers with a
                                        different accent we adopt or reject slight
                                        differences always striking toward a weighted
                                        statistical average. The thalamus continues to
                                        examine each motor program as if passes through when
                                        we attempt an utterance that violates our maintained
                                        average of what is "right", the thalamic reticular
                                        nucleus is activated, and the utterance vanishes
                                        into the great cloud of things left
                                        unsaid..

                                      • Glen Sizemore
                                        Both Navega and Scanlon are preformationists but, at least, Navega pays lip-service to the environment. Scanlon doesn t even pay lip-service. His position is
                                        Message 19 of 29 , Jan 25, 2013
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                                          Both Navega and Scanlon are preformationists but, at least, Navega pays lip-service to the environment. Scanlon doesn't even pay lip-service. His position is laughably naive. Not that Navega's position isn't worth a chuckle or two. For example, if you excise a forelimb bud and transplant it to the hind limp, you get a hind limb. The expression of the genes depends on the local embryological environment. Genes are the same, no? But then, the preformationist says, "Well...yeah...the rules are in the genes but the environment allows the expression of THE rule." Oy Vey! Can you get anymore imbued with "belief"?  Maybe it's "evolution's plan," eh, Ray? But how could you tell? Maybe it's God's plan? But maybe there is no plan. Maybe development at all biological levels involves genes as merely ONE variable in an exceedingly complex dynamic developmental process; sometimes really important (my adopted son looks like a dark-skinned Romanian while my wife and I are blond), sometimes much less important (he speaks English pretty well, like my wife and me, but his Romanian sucks - like my wife's and mine). But then, you can always claim (especially when you refuse to say very much aside from pseudo-profound jabber) that all these plans are in the genes. Again, talk about "beliefs"! Ray is an amusing example of a not-so-well-informed hypocrite. I'm not sure which aspect of his "intellectual" endeavors is more troublesome.  


                                          Cordially,

                                          Uncle Glen



                                          --- On Fri, 1/25/13, scanlonray <rscan@...> wrote:

                                          From: scanlonray <rscan@...>
                                          Subject: [ai-philosophy] thought
                                          To: ai-philosophy@yahoogroups.com
                                          Date: Friday, January 25, 2013, 12:48 PM

                                           

                                          But here's the thing, Ray: neurons connect to each other
                                          according to genetic rules, but the expression of these
                                          rules depend heavily on environmental factors. Stimuli
                                          received by an animal is what drives the need to create
                                          or reinforce a particular axon-dendrite connection.
                                          And this is important: it is the genome that says how this
                                          creation/reinforcement is made, but it was the stimuli from
                                          the environment that required it. Therefore brains are a
                                          function of genomic and environmental interaction.
                                          Sergio Navega

                                          This is a straightforward statement of a position that I understand but do no share.
                                          If you believe in the tabula erasa then all else follows. If instead you are driven by the present day knowledge of the genome than a different scenario presents itself. For this we turn to the brush turkey, A living creature that enters the world with no help from the environment, with nothing but a brain constructed by the genome, a creature that does rather well to meet the environment.

                                          "Therefore brains are a function of genomic and aenvironmentsl interaction" This is a statement of belief, which is not present in the "brush turkey". What are we to say about `imprinting", when the brush turkey does not imprint, flies without instruction? A bird that eats without instruction? What are we to say about "reinforcement" to a bird that gets none?

                                        • Sergio Navega
                                          ... And that s where you show you re wrong. Scientific concepts and assumptions are evaluated essentially through experimental support, not via philosophy. Of
                                          Message 20 of 29 , Jan 26, 2013
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                                            > Anyplace there are concepts and assumptions in a science
                                            > (i.e., everywhere) philosophy is relevant since concepts and
                                            > assumptions can only be evaluated via philosophy.
                                             
                                            And that's where you show you're wrong. Scientific concepts
                                            and assumptions are evaluated essentially through experimental
                                            support, not via philosophy. Of course, they must be logically
                                            coherent (and this is where philosophy might help), but
                                            experimental support is a must, and that's what decides if
                                            the concept is good or just garbage. A case in point (in
                                            search of empirical corroboration): string theory in Physics.
                                             
                                            > Bennett is an accomplished neuroscientist and radical
                                            > (Skinnerian) behaviorists have always
                                            held that it is
                                            > neuroscience that will provide a reductionistic treatment of
                                            > the behavioral phenomena elucidated by behavior analysis
                                             
                                            And here is where you show that the worldview of behaviorists
                                            is composed of black and white only. It's the gray stuff that
                                            matters! Take a specific behavior. Now take the firing of a
                                            particular neuron. This is the level of analysis that behaviorists
                                            are proposing. But all the action happens in the middle of these
                                            two extremes.
                                             
                                            And in the middle, what we find are cognitive neuroscientific
                                            stuff. And this is not "my opinion": it is the way brain
                                            science is being made today, by 95% of the researchers in
                                            the world. So what you're saying is that all these guys are
                                            wrong, that they are doing "nonsense", creating useless concepts.
                                            Kinda weird position yours is, don't you think?
                                             
                                            > First of all, behaviorism is a philosophy - not a science
                                             
                                            Finally! At last! Something we agree entirely ;-)
                                             
                                            > but not quite everyone has his or her he
                                            style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt">ad up his or her rectum
                                             
                                            From that I infer that you're saying that more than 95% of brain
                                            researchers in the world are, at the moment, performing colonoscopy
                                            on themselves (which, let's say, is somewhat useful ;-).
                                            So the world is filled with misguided guys! How nice that
                                            behaviorists are still here to save us all!
                                             
                                            > I do know that Dennett is a moron, though.
                                             
                                            I wouldn't expect more of you, Glen ;-)
                                             
                                            > You seem to be making an argument about "unobservables." No?
                                             
                                            More than that. When some cognitive scientist talks about
                                            "short term memory", he/she is creating something that is
                                            unobservable. But is empirically verifiable! And now with
                                            the help of cognitive neuroscience we're understanding the
                                            brain areas that execute this fuction, as opposed, for instance
                                            to long term memory. So this means that something that was
                                            born as an unobservable concept became empirically corroborable,
                                            surviving the first treadmill of science, and on it's way to
                                            be completely explained by reductionist mechanisms. Compare
                                            that with lots of concepts that were abandoned in the past
                                            because of lack of empirical support and you get a self-correcting
                                            way of making science.
                                             
                                            That's the way science progresses, and here I'm not
                                            talking about cognitive neuroscience only, but ALL scientific
                                            disciplines, including Physics, Biology, Astrophysics, etc.
                                             
                                            > and assumptions are not testable - err...because they're
                                            > assumptions.
                                             
                                            That's not the way it works. Assumptions are indirectly subject
                                            to empirical scrutiny. Take one assumption. From it you derive
                                            a series of logically sound consequences. You test those
                                            consequences and they do not match the predictions. Then
                                            something is wrong: your deductions or your assumptions!
                                            Change them and see what you've got. That's how science
                                            proceeeds.
                                             
                                            > But the cognitivist says
                                            > that the physiological similarities are "rule induction." But
                                            > the physiology measured is not "rules" etc. What is measured is
                                            > action potentials, of synchronized networks, or whatever. But
                                            > the cognitivist says, "See! I told you there was 'rule
                                            > induction!'" That is, whatever they find, they interpret it in
                                            > light of their specious assumptions.
                                             
                                            From the idea of "rule induction" cognitive neuroscientists
                                            start to list the properties that this whole process must possess.
                                            This is the "filling up with meat" of the skeleton of a concept.
                                            Each chunk of meat that you put in that concept is something
                                            that can be empirically tested, and will be rejected if predictions
                                            fail. And again, this is not specific to cognitive neuroscience,
                                            this is how all science works. If you doubt this, get a book
                                            of Organic Chemistry, or Electromagnetism or Geology and see
                                            how many "conceptual structures" they use.
                                             
                                            > The assumption is that all behavior results from rule-following.
                                             
                                            And this is easily falsifiable, given the level of depth that
                                            we have today in brain analysis, from the recording of microelectrodes
                                            to fMRI and other techniques. 
                                             
                                             
                                            Let me give you another example. Few constructs are more "to the
                                            core" of cognitive science than "short term memory" and "working
                                            memory". You measure behavioral responses and sees that Miller's
                                            magical number 7 (plus or minus 2) is a fact. Behaviorists stop
                                            there. Nothing further is pursued. Cognitive Neuroscientists
                                            go on, proposing working memory store, long term memory,
                                            the process of chunking, task switching, etc. And what do we have
                                            now? Many, many studies relating these concepts to lower level
                                            (empirically sound) phenomena, advancing our understanding of
                                            the whole thing. One simple example among many:
                                             
                                            Phase-dependent neuronal coding of objects in short-term memory
                                             
                                            In my way of seeing things (and in 95% of researchers in the world)
                                            this is pure science, advancing our knowledge.
                                             
                                            Meanwhile, behaviorists are resting in their chairs, telling
                                            us that all this is nonsense...
                                             
                                            Sergio Navega
                                             
                                             
                                             
                                             
                                            Sent: Friday, January 25, 2013 6:10 PM
                                            Subject: Re: [ai-philosophy] thought
                                             
                                             



                                            --- On Fri, 1/25/13, Sergio Navega <snavega@...> wrote:

                                            From: Sergio Navega <snavega@...>
                                            Subject: Re: [ai-philosophy] thought
                                            To: ai-philosophy@yahoogroups.com
                                            Date: Friday, January 25, 2013, 8:06 AM

                                             
                                            SN: Glen, there's a segment of what you say that I agree with
                                            you. I too am concerned with some things of cognitive science,
                                            mainly in the segment where this discipline is close to
                                            philosophy.
                                             
                                             
                                            GS: Anyplace there are concepts and assumptions in a science
                                            (i.e., everywhere) philosophy is relevant since concepts and
                                            assumptions can only be evaluated via philosophy. Thus, what
                                            you say here makes no sense. Sorry...that happens to you a lot.
                                             
                                             
                                             
                                            SN:There, at that particular junction, we find
                                            a lot of garbage and nonsense.
                                             
                                             
                                            GS: So much of cognitive "science" and the fields it has
                                            corrupted is conceptual crap that the field (and those it has
                                            corrupted) is not even science.
                                             
                                            SN: The other extreme is where we find behaviorists (and Bennett
                                            and Hacker) who act as if humans had no brains.
                                             
                                             
                                            GS: Bennett is an accomplished neuroscientist and radical
                                            (Skinnerian) behaviorists have always held that it is
                                            neuroscience that will provide a reductionistic treatment of
                                            the behavioral phenomena elucidated by behavior analysis.
                                            Thus, what you say is misguided nonsense. Sorry...that happens
                                            to you a lot.
                                             
                                             
                                             
                                            SB: According
                                            to them, we have only bodies and behaviors, and that's
                                            what limits their explanatory pursuit. No wonder
                                            behaviorism is a forgotten scientific endeavor nowadays.
                                             
                                             
                                            GS: First of all, behaviorism is a philosophy - not a science.
                                            I have already dealt with behaviorism's position on neuroscience.
                                            And I think you should check into whether or not behavior
                                            analysis is actually "forgotten." But, you're right in the sense
                                            that cognitive "science" has corrupted ALMOST everyone whose
                                            concern involves behavior...but not quite everyone has his or her
                                            head up his or her rectum.
                                             
                                             
                                            SN: The Mereological fallacy, if applied rigorously to any scientific
                                            discipline, would undermine most current science.
                                             
                                            GS: How so?
                                             
                                             
                                             
                                            SN: Bennett and Hacker's
                                            argument can be applied to Physics, Chemistry, Biology,
                                            Astrophysics and more.
                                             
                                            GS: How so?
                                             
                                            SN: No such disciplines would be allowed to
                                            build conceptual (categorical) constructions, even if these
                                            constructions were empirically justifiable. It would stall
                                            scientific progress entirely.
                                             
                                             
                                            GS: I'm not convinced you understand the mereological fallacy.
                                            What you say above seems to make no sense.
                                             
                                             
                                            SN: That's why Bennett and Hacker's
                                            thoughts are nonsense (as Dennett and Searle pointed out).
                                             
                                            GS: I can't say if their arguments are cogent, since you
                                            have not described them. But, as I said, nothing you have
                                            said convinces me that you understand the issues. I can't
                                            speak to Dennett's and Searle's position. I do know that
                                            Dennett is a moron, though.
                                             
                                             
                                            SN: And in the same way that Physics do today, so does modern cognitive
                                            neuroscience.
                                             
                                             
                                            GS: You seem to be making an argument about "unobservables." No?
                                            But the mereological fallacy involves much more than that. It
                                            involves talking about parts as if they had the properties of
                                            the whole. It would be like saying that the entropy of a gas
                                            increases because the entropy of individual molecules is
                                            increasing. I don't think physics does that. I await further
                                            exposition on your part.
                                             
                                             
                                            SN: They are building conceptual structures (memory, 
                                            rule induction, workspace memory, task switching being some examples)
                                            that are being successfully supported by lower level explanations
                                            (mainly the binding and/or synchronization of populations
                                            of neurons).
                                             
                                             
                                            GS: The concepts underlying a science constitute, in part, the
                                            assumptions of that science (or "science" as the case may be)
                                            and assumptions are not testable - err...because they're
                                            assumptions. Take "rule induction." The observation is that,
                                            for example, an animal (human or otherwise) responds to a novel
                                            instance of some stimulus as it did to the exemplars by which it
                                            was trained. Observations of physiology may reveal certain
                                            similarities between the effects of training exemplars and novel
                                            exemplars. That is where the facts end. But the cognitivist says
                                            that the physiological similarities are "rule induction." But
                                            the physiology measured is not "rules" etc. What is measured is
                                            action potentials, of synchronized networks, or whatever. But
                                            the cognitivist says, "See! I told you there was 'rule
                                            induction!'" That is, whatever they find, they interpret it in
                                            light of their specious assumptions. 
                                             
                                            SN:Take for instance this article, which is currently being published
                                            in Trends in Cognitive Sciences:
                                             
                                             
                                            This paper relates rule selection (a "cognitive concept") with
                                            neural synchronization in the prefrontal cortex (a directly
                                            measurable empirical evidence).
                                             
                                             
                                            GS: But this is not "evidence." There IS no evidence relevant
                                            to assumptions for assumptions are assumptions. The assumption
                                            is that all behavior results from rule-following. When some
                                            regularity is found it is INTERPRETED in terms of the
                                            assumptions.
                                             
                                            SN: This is exactly the very same
                                            process used in the majority of the hard sciences today (as I said,
                                            including Physics, Biology, Cosmology, Chemistry, Geology, etc.).
                                            But not behaviorism. What went wrong? I wonder if it is some
                                            sort of religious belief, the church of Skinner...
                                             
                                            Sergio Navega
                                             
                                             
                                            GS: It is NOT the process used in physics etc. It is the
                                            assumption that all behavior is "rule-following" that smacks
                                            of religion. Take the Higgs Boson, for example. It is not an
                                            assumption, it is an hypothesis that is generated by
                                            a mathematical theory. The theory predicts that there should
                                            be a particle that has certain properties. Observation of a
                                            particle that has these properties is, indeed, a kind of
                                            evidence. There is a big difference between assumptions and
                                            hypotheses/theories. Cognitive science muddles this distinction
                                            and is, thus, junk. Hope this helps.
                                             
                                            With magnanimity,
                                             
                                            Glen
                                             
                                             
                                             
                                             
                                             
                                             
                                             
                                            Sent: Thursday, January 24, 2013 11:48 AM
                                            Subject: Re: [ai-philosophy] thought
                                             
                                             



                                            --- On Wed, 1/23/13, Sergio Navega mailto:snavega%40gmail.com> wrote:

                                            From: Sergio Navega mailto:snavega%40gmail.com>
                                            Subject: Re: [ai-philosophy] thought
                                            To: mailto:ai-philosophy%40yahoogroups.com
                                            Date: Wednesday, January 23, 2013, 10:03 AM

                                             

                                            SN: Glen, your mentioning of "homunculi" attest that you're
                                            criticizing something that has been abandoned decades ago.
                                            GS: The homunculi were always implied - therefore, there was really nothing to EXPLICITLY abandon. Nobody ever EXPLICITLY endorsed homunculi inside the head driving the rest of the body around like a car. And the homunculi are STILL implied. Another name for this conceptual nonsense is the "mereological fallacy" (cf, Bennett and Hacker).

                                            SN: I'm talking about modern cognitive neuroscience, where theories
                                            of memory, language, perception, reasoning, categorization,
                                            rule-induction, etc., are supported by imaging (fMRI, PET, etc.)
                                            and also by data collection of neural activity (including single
                                            and multi-neuron electrodes).

                                            GS: Since the theories are composed of (literally) nonsensical concepts (cf, Bennett and Hacker), you'll excuse me if I'm unimpressed.

                                            SN: Today's models of the workings of
                                            populations of neurons are capable of explaining many cognitive
                                            phenomena.

                                            GS: Needless to say, I disagree with you. Most of the questions asked by cognitive neuroscience are literal nonsense (cf, Bennett and Hacker). Some of the actual facts are, perhaps, interesting (after divested of the ridiculous assumptions embodied by the concepts), but cognitive neuroscience explains nothing (since its underlying concepts are literal nonsense).
                                             
                                            Cordially,
                                            Glen
                                             
                                             

                                             

                                            From: Glen Sizemore
                                            Sent: Tuesday, January 22, 2013 9:40 PM
                                            To: mailto:ai-philosophy%40yahoogroups.com

                                            Subject: Re: [ai-philosophy] thought
                                             
                                             

                                            --- On Mon, 1/21/13, Sergio
                                            Navega mailto:snavega%40gmail.com> wrote:

                                            From: Sergio
                                            Navega mailto:snavega%40gmail.com>
                                            Subject: Re: [ai-philosophy]
                                            thought
                                            To: mailto:ai-philosophy%40yahoogroups.com
                                            Date: Monday,
                                            January 21, 2013, 2:04 PM

                                             






                                            SN: Boy, what a surprise to find 2 viewpoints that I disagree
                                            so much.
                                             
                                            GS: Hardly surprising to me since I've known you for many
                                            years, and you were always duped by cognitive "science."
                                             
                                             
                                            SN:Of course the
                                            "hardware" of the brain is important (and I agree that
                                            the hardware is mostly determined by genetic
                                            constraints).
                                             
                                             
                                            GS: Ah...a preformationist to boot!
                                             
                                             
                                            SN: But let's
                                            take this analogy one step beyond: it is the "software" that
                                            makes the
                                            thing "behave" the way they do. And by software one has to
                                            concede
                                            that the fundamental thing are "experiences and
                                            interactions".
                                             
                                             
                                            GS: And what, precisely, are reinforcement contingencies?
                                            They determine much of what an animal experiences and they are, by
                                            definition, interactions between organism and environment. You
                                            must be one of the many who like to bad-mouth behaviorism but know
                                            next to nothing about it. Lot of that going around.
                                             
                                             
                                            SN:Which leads us to
                                            finally arrive at the important neuroscience of
                                            cognition, which not only has extraordinary explanatory
                                            success,
                                            but also has important multidisciplinary consequences.
                                             
                                            GS: Too bad it's a conceptual cesspool. Anyway, though, to
                                            the hopelessly simple, made-up stuff often seems to explain a
                                            lot.
                                             
                                             
                                             
                                            SN: All is
                                            not lost for behaviorism though: it makes a damn good
                                            psychological
                                            therapy, with much greater efficacy than the nutcracks of
                                            the
                                            psychoanalysts.
                                             
                                             
                                            GS: Yeah...interesting how natural sciences often lead to
                                            technologies isn't it? But cognitive "science" could lead to a
                                            technology of behavior - if there was anything to the implied
                                            homunculi of cognitive "science." Or, put it this way...cognitive
                                            science might lead to a technology if mercury atoms were "silvery"
                                            and "slippery." For if that were true, it might also be true that
                                            there are little homunculi in the brain that intend, and decide
                                            and read maps and think etc. etc. etc. etc.
                                             
                                             
                                             
                                             
                                             
                                             


                                             

                                            From: Glen
                                            Sizemore
                                            Sent: Monday, January 21, 2013 4:11 PM
                                            To: mailto:ai-philosophy%40yahoogroups.com
                                            Subject: Re: [ai-philosophy] thought
                                             
                                             

                                            It may be true that
                                            "'Tis a gift to be simple." However, 'tis no gift to
                                            be simplistic." And that is exactly how I would
                                            describe your posts that I have been reading now for,
                                            what, 5 years...10 years? On the other hand, I think
                                            that there is merit to what you say. But a fleshed-out
                                            position would integrate reinforcement principles
                                            which is exactly what you gloss over. As to language
                                            acquisition, I think that there is no question that
                                            heard utterances lead to parts of the utterances being
                                            a strange kind of conditioned reinforcer. When the
                                            child utters, for example, phonemes that it has heard,
                                            the hearing of these utterances automatically
                                            reinforce the behavior that leads to their production.
                                            This all requires a bunch of neuroanatomical
                                            structures like the basal ganglia etc. The segment of
                                            neurobiology concerned with analyzing the
                                            physiological mediation of operant behavior is an area
                                            of neuroscience that is relatively uncontaminated by
                                            the conceptual nonsense that plagues much of
                                            neuroscience. Of course, many workers in this area
                                            seem to struggle to obscure the connection to the vast
                                            literature that constitutes the natural science of
                                            behavior.

                                            --- On Sun, 1/20/13, scanlonray
                                            mailto:rscan%40nycap.rr.com> wrote:

                                            From:
                                            scanlonray mailto:rscan%40nycap.rr.com>
                                            Subject:
                                            [ai-philosophy] thought
                                            To:
                                            mailto:ai-philosophy%40yahoogroups.com
                                            Date: Sunday,
                                            January 20, 2013, 11:11 AM

                                             

                                            The apparatus for producing speech is constructed
                                            by the genome More than one hundred pairs of
                                            orofacial, laryngeal, pharyngeal, and respiratory
                                            muscles together with all the neural groups that
                                            drive them.

                                            A motor neuron arrives at
                                            striated muscle fiber and terminates on it. When an
                                            axonal pulse arrives at the terminal the muscle
                                            fiber contracts. It is apparent that we can separate
                                            tahe motor neurons from the muscle fibers and view
                                            them abstractly as a set of terminals connected to a
                                            computer, and activate the muscles by a computer
                                            program, a program of
                                            incredible complexity, but
                                            not beyond human abilities. This is a thing that can
                                            be written by a computer programmer as a part of the
                                            days work..

                                            Any objection about the
                                            complexity of the neural network involved is
                                            answered by a reference to the flight of the brush
                                            turkey.

                                            We proceed under the assumption that
                                            the genome can construct the required circuitry and
                                            its flexibility.

                                            At this point we introduce
                                            the reticular thalamic nucleus, a thin layer of
                                            neurons that surrounds the thalamus like a blanket.
                                            Every motor program, every sensory group must enter
                                            the thalamus through this blanket. The neurons of
                                            the blanket are all alike in the their output is
                                            solely inhibitory.

                                            Some spoken utterance
                                            enters the thalamus. At the same time a snippet of
                                            baby talk enters. If there is any resemblance, the
                                            equivalence is recorded. If some agreement is
                                            reached the baby talk is allowed to proceed. Day by
                                            day the resemblances are recorded. It seems that
                                            nothing is gained, but link by link ground is
                                            gained. A language is learned.
                                            This continues for
                                            life

                                            When we come up against speakers with a
                                            different accent we adopt or reject slight
                                            differences always striking toward a weighted
                                            statistical average. The thalamus continues to
                                            examine each motor program as if passes through when
                                            we attempt an utterance that violates our maintained
                                            average of what is "right", the thalamic reticular
                                            nucleus is activated, and the utterance vanishes
                                            into the great cloud of things left
                                            unsaid..

                                          • Sergio Navega
                                            ... But Ray, you should! Think again, my friend! ... Lucky me that I don t believe in tabula rasa. Neither in complete genetic determination. The whole thing
                                            Message 21 of 29 , Jan 26, 2013
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                                              > This is a straightforward statement of a position that I understand
                                              but do no share
                                               
                                              But Ray, you should! Think again, my friend!
                                               
                                              > If you believe in the tabula erasa then all else follows.
                                               
                                              Lucky me that I don't believe in tabula rasa. Neither in
                                              complete genetic determination. The whole thing is a lot
                                              more "gray level".
                                               
                                              Take for instance the "feral children", who lived in
                                              isolation from human contact. These children, when later
                                              brought to civilization, would have many cognitive
                                              impairments, inabilities to fully learn a language,
                                              difficulties in posture, habits, etc. All this point out to
                                              lack of brain development in critical times (childhood),
                                              that cannot be recovered by later learning. In short,
                                              these brains had no chance to be "molded" during the
                                              critical period of their lives. Their genetic content
                                              is the same, but their brains are completely different
                                              than if they had lived in civilization since they
                                              were born.
                                               
                                              Sergio Navega
                                               
                                               
                                               
                                              Sent: Friday, January 25, 2013 3:48 PM
                                              Subject: [ai-philosophy] thought
                                               
                                               

                                              But here's the thing, Ray: neurons connect to each other
                                              according to genetic rules, but the expression of these
                                              rules depend heavily on environmental factors. Stimuli
                                              received by an animal is what drives the need to create
                                              or reinforce a particular axon-dendrite connection.
                                              And this is important: it is the genome that says how this
                                              creation/reinforcement is made, but it was the stimuli from
                                              the environment that required it. Therefore brains are a
                                              function of genomic and environmental interaction.
                                              Sergio Navega

                                              This is a straightforward statement of a position that I understand but do no share.
                                              If you believe in the tabula erasa then all else follows. If instead you are driven by the present day knowledge of the genome than a different scenario presents itself. For this we turn to the brush turkey, A living creature that enters the world with no help from the environment, with nothing but a brain constructed by the genome, a creature that does rather well to meet the environment.

                                              "Therefore brains are a function of genomic and aenvironmentsl interaction" This is a statement of belief, which is not present in the "brush turkey". What are we to say about `imprinting", when the brush turkey does not imprint, flies without instruction? A bird that eats without instruction? What are we to say about "reinforcement" to a bird that gets none?

                                            • Sergio Navega
                                              Uncle Glen, isn t it time for your afternoon tea? And don t forget to take your medications, ;-) Sergio Navega From: Glen Sizemore Sent: Friday, January 25,
                                              Message 22 of 29 , Jan 26, 2013
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                                                Uncle Glen, isn't it time for your afternoon tea?
                                                And don't forget to take your medications, ;-)
                                                 
                                                Sergio Navega
                                                 
                                                 
                                                 
                                                 
                                                Sent: Friday, January 25, 2013 7:13 PM
                                                Subject: Re: [ai-philosophy] thought
                                                 
                                                 

                                                Both Navega and Scanlon are preformationists but, at least, Navega pays lip-service to the environment. Scanlon doesn't even pay lip-service. His position is laughably naive. Not that Navega's position isn't worth a chuckle or two. For example, if you excise a forelimb bud and transplant it to the hind limp, you get a hind limb. The expression of the genes depends on the local embryological environment. Genes are the same, no? But then, the preformationist says, "Well...yeah...the rules are in the genes but the environment allows the expression of THE rule." Oy Vey! Can you get anymore imbued with "belief"?  Maybe it's "evolution's plan," eh, Ray? But how could you tell? Maybe it's God's plan? But maybe there is no plan. Maybe development at all biological levels involves genes as merely ONE variable in an exceedingly complex dynamic developmental process; sometimes really important (my adopted son looks like a dark-skinned Romanian while my wife and I are blond), sometimes much less important (he speaks English pretty well, like my wife and me, but his Romanian sucks - like my wife's and mine). But then, you can always claim (especially when you refuse to say very much aside from pseudo-profound jabber) that all these plans are in the genes. Again, talk about "beliefs"! Ray is an amusing example of a not-so-well-informed hypocrite. I'm not sure which aspect of his "intellectual" endeavors is more troublesome.  
                                                 
                                                 
                                                Cordially,
                                                 
                                                Uncle Glen
                                                 


                                                --- On Fri, 1/25/13, scanlonray <rscan@...> wrote:

                                                From: scanlonray <rscan@...>
                                                Subject: [ai-philosophy] thought
                                                To: ai-philosophy@yahoogroups.com
                                                Date: Friday, January 25, 2013, 12:48 PM

                                                 

                                                But here's the thing, Ray: neurons connect to each other
                                                according to genetic rules, but the expression of these
                                                rules depend heavily on environmental factors. Stimuli
                                                received by an animal is what drives the need to create
                                                or reinforce a particular axon-dendrite connection.
                                                And this is important: it is the genome that says how this
                                                creation/reinforcement is made, but it was the stimuli from
                                                the environment that required it. Therefore brains are a
                                                function of genomic and environmental interaction.
                                                Sergio Navega

                                                This is a straightforward statement of a position that I understand but do no share.
                                                If you believe in the tabula erasa then all else follows. If instead you are driven by the present day knowledge of the genome than a different scenario presents itself. For this we turn to the brush turkey, A living creature that enters the world with no help from the environment, with nothing but a brain constructed by the genome, a creature that does rather well to meet the environment.

                                                "Therefore brains are a function of genomic and aenvironmentsl interaction" This is a statement of belief, which is not present in the "brush turkey". What are we to say about `imprinting", when the brush turkey does not imprint, flies without instruction? A bird that eats without instruction? What are we to say about "reinforcement" to a bird that gets none?

                                              • scanlonray
                                                Glen: Don t be so glib to fling about epithets of preformationist. Take a little time to think about the implications of Schroedinger s aperiodic chrystal.
                                                Message 23 of 29 , Jan 26, 2013
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                                                  Glen:

                                                  Don't be so glib to fling about epithets of preformationist. Take a little time to think about the implications of Schroedinger's aperiodic chrystal. Take a course in coding theory and follow up with a course in the life of the brush turkey of Australia.
                                                • scanlonray
                                                  Sergio I would approach any tale of feral children with the greatest skepticism. Start with Wikipedia and go from there. See Eye, Brain, and Vision , Hubel
                                                  Message 24 of 29 , Jan 26, 2013
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                                                    Sergio

                                                     

                                                    I would approach any tale of feral children with the greatest skepticism. Start with Wikipedia and go from there. See "Eye, Brain, and Vision", Hubel and Wiesel, for effect of deprivation on neurons of area 17. Although a popular book, this work contains all laboratory results. For preformative results this could be read with most profit by Glen.

                                                     

                                                     

                                                  • Glen Sizemore
                                                    Oh Ray the Simple, Just because there are cells that respond preferentially to a particular subset of simple stimuli (like a bar moving slowly at a 45 degree
                                                    Message 25 of 29 , Jan 27, 2013
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                                                      Oh Ray the Simple,


                                                      Just because there are cells that respond preferentially to a particular subset of simple stimuli (like a bar moving slowly at a 45 degree angle etc.) doesn't mean that the complex behavior we call seeing is "preformed." Indeed, it is quite obvious to anyone who cares to look that most of what is seeing is learned. C'mon Ray...pull your head out and smell the fresh air of fact.

                                                      --- On Sat, 1/26/13, scanlonray <rscan@...> wrote:

                                                      From: scanlonray <rscan@...>
                                                      Subject: [ai-philosophy] thought
                                                      To: ai-philosophy@yahoogroups.com
                                                      Date: Saturday, January 26, 2013, 8:39 PM

                                                       

                                                      Sergio

                                                       

                                                      I would approach any tale of feral children with the greatest skepticism. Start with Wikipedia and go from there. See "Eye, Brain, and Vision", Hubel and Wiesel, for effect of deprivation on neurons of area 17. Although a popular book, this work contains all laboratory results. For preformative results this could be read with most profit by Glen.

                                                       

                                                       

                                                    • Glen Sizemore
                                                      ... From: Sergio Navega Subject: Re: [ai-philosophy] thought To: ai-philosophy@yahoogroups.com Date: Saturday, January 26, 2013, 8:08 AM  
                                                      Message 26 of 29 , Jan 27, 2013
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                                                        --- On Sat, 1/26/13, Sergio Navega <snavega@...> wrote:

                                                        From: Sergio Navega <snavega@...>
                                                        Subject: Re: [ai-philosophy] thought
                                                        To: ai-philosophy@yahoogroups.com
                                                        Date: Saturday, January 26, 2013, 8:08 AM

                                                         

                                                        > Anyplace there are concepts and assumptions in a science
                                                        > (i.e., everywhere) philosophy is relevant since concepts and
                                                        > assumptions can only be evaluated via philosophy.
                                                         
                                                        SN: And that's where you show you're wrong. Scientific concepts
                                                        and assumptions are evaluated essentially through experimental
                                                        support, not via philosophy. Of course, they must be logically
                                                        coherent (and this is where philosophy might help), but
                                                        experimental support is a must, and that's what decides if
                                                        the concept is good or just garbage. A case in point (in
                                                        search of empirical corroboration): string theory in Physics.
                                                         

                                                        GS: No, this is where you're wrong. Exactly how is an assumption
                                                        validated by experiment? I think that (b) is the most pertinent
                                                        here, no? 

                                                        5
                                                        a : an assuming that something is true
                                                        b : a fact or statement (as a proposition, axiom, postulate, or notion) 
                                                        taken for granted

                                                        Pretty much says it all, eh, Sergio? 

                                                        > Bennett is an accomplished neuroscientist and radical
                                                        > (Skinnerian) behaviorists have always held that it is
                                                        > neuroscience that will provide a reductionistic treatment of
                                                        > the behavioral phenomena elucidated by behavior analysis
                                                         
                                                        SN: And here is where you show that the worldview of behaviorists
                                                        is composed of black and white only. It's the gray stuff that
                                                        matters! Take a specific behavior. Now take the firing of a
                                                        particular neuron. This is the level of analysis that behaviorists
                                                        are proposing. But all the action happens in the middle of these
                                                        two extremes.


                                                        GS: What in the name of Almighty Yahweh are you talking about? 
                                                        Behaviorism makes no claims about the anatomical units
                                                        appropriate to a physiology of behavior. What you claim is
                                                        absurd.   

                                                         
                                                        SN: And in the middle, what we find are cognitive neuroscientific
                                                        stuff. And this is not "my opinion": it is the way brain
                                                        science is being made today, by 95% of the researchers in
                                                        the world. So what you're saying is that all these guys are
                                                        wrong, that they are doing "nonsense", creating useless concepts.
                                                        Kinda weird position yours is, don't you think?


                                                        GS: Why is it that cognitivists always resort to argumentum ad
                                                        populum? But, no, I don't find my position "weird" except in
                                                        the sense that it is a minority position. 
                                                         
                                                        > First of all, behaviorism is a philosophy - not a science
                                                         
                                                        SN: Finally! At last! Something we agree entirely ;-)


                                                        GS: But so is representationalism (the heart of cognitive
                                                        "science")a philosophy.
                                                         
                                                        > but not quite everyone has his or her head up his or her rectum
                                                         
                                                        SN: From that I infer that you're saying that more than 95% of brain
                                                        researchers in the world are, at the moment, performing colonoscopy
                                                        on themselves (which, let's say, is somewhat useful ;-).
                                                        So the world is filled with misguided guys! How nice that
                                                        behaviorists are still here to save us all!


                                                        GS: Yes, but there is no guarantee that the rescue will be
                                                        successful. Standing in the way is the conceptual error of
                                                        mistaking assumptions for hypotheses or theories. 
                                                         
                                                        > I do know that Dennett is a moron, though.
                                                         
                                                        SN: I wouldn't expect more of you, Glen ;-)


                                                        GS: And you have lived up to all my expectations of you.
                                                         
                                                        > You seem to be making an argument about "unobservables." No?
                                                         
                                                        SN: More than that. When some cognitive scientist talks about
                                                        "short term memory", he/she is creating something that is
                                                        unobservable. But is empirically verifiable! 


                                                        GS: Oh Lord (see, you've forced an atheist to invoke God twice)!
                                                        The only thing that is "verifiable" are the behavioral facts
                                                        said to characterize "STM." It is an assumption that the facts
                                                        are as they are because of some "module" that (miraculously) has
                                                        exactly the character necessary to explain the facts from which
                                                        it is inferred. Amazing! Can you say "dormitive virtue"? As
                                                        Skinner said, "Moliere's audience laughed."    



                                                        SN: And now with
                                                        the help of cognitive neuroscience we're understanding the
                                                        brain areas that execute this fuction, as opposed, for instance
                                                        to long term memory. So this means that something that was
                                                        born as an unobservable concept became empirically corroborable,
                                                        surviving the first treadmill of science, and on it's way to
                                                        be completely explained by reductionist mechanisms. Compare
                                                        that with lots of concepts that were abandoned in the past
                                                        because of lack of empirical support and you get a self-correcting
                                                        way of making science.


                                                        GS: And how, exactly, would the notion that there is a
                                                        specialized "thing" called STM, that is responsible for the data
                                                        collected under the rubric of "investigation of STM," be
                                                        falsified? No matter what data are collected - even if
                                                        surprising - the characteristics of the "STM module" are simply
                                                        altered to reflect the data! It is ironic that under the guise
                                                        of the Popperian philosophy of science, cognitive "scientists"
                                                        adopt a strategy of modifying, post hoc, the concept allegedly
                                                        "tested."    


                                                         
                                                        SN: That's the way science progresses, and here I'm not
                                                        talking about cognitive neuroscience only, but ALL scientific
                                                        disciplines, including Physics, Biology, Astrophysics, etc.


                                                        GS: Your vision of science is laughably sophomoric. 

                                                         
                                                        > and assumptions are not testable - err...because they're
                                                        > assumptions.
                                                         
                                                        SN: That's not the way it works. Assumptions are indirectly subject
                                                        to empirical scrutiny. Take one assumption. From it you derive
                                                        a series of logically sound consequences. You test those
                                                        consequences and they do not match the predictions. Then
                                                        something is wrong: your deductions or your assumptions!
                                                        Change them and see what you've got. That's how science
                                                        proceeeds.


                                                        GS: What part of the definition of "assumption" eludes you? 

                                                         
                                                        > But the cognitivist says
                                                        > that the physiological similarities are "rule induction." But
                                                        > the physiology measured is not "rules" etc. What is measured is
                                                        > action potentials, of synchronized networks, or whatever. But
                                                        > the cognitivist says, "See! I told you there was 'rule
                                                        > induction!'" That is, whatever they find, they interpret it in
                                                        > light of their specious assumptions.
                                                         
                                                        SN: From the idea of "rule induction" cognitive neuroscientists
                                                        start to list the properties that this whole process must possess.
                                                        This is the "filling up with meat" of the skeleton of a concept.
                                                        Each chunk of meat that you put in that concept is something
                                                        that can be empirically tested, and will be rejected if predictions
                                                        fail. And again, this is not specific to cognitive neuroscience,
                                                        this is how all science works. If you doubt this, get a book
                                                        of Organic Chemistry, or Electromagnetism or Geology and see
                                                        how many "conceptual structures" they use.


                                                        GS: I'm not condemning assumptions and concepts. I am saying that
                                                        there are issues of fact and theory and there are issues that are
                                                        purely conceptual. Mainstream psychology has rejected all but the most
                                                        trivial of conceptual analyses.  
                                                         
                                                        > The assumption is that all behavior results from rule-following.
                                                         
                                                        SN: And this is easily falsifiable, given the level of depth that
                                                        we have today in brain analysis, from the recording of microelectrodes
                                                        to fMRI and other techniques. 

                                                        GS: Hardly. Any physiological data are interpreted from within
                                                        the philosophical assumptions that characterize it.
                                                         
                                                         
                                                        SN: Let me give you another example. Few constructs are more "to the
                                                        core" of cognitive science than "short term memory" and "working
                                                        memory". You measure behavioral responses and sees that Miller's
                                                        magical number 7 (plus or minus 2) is a fact. Behaviorists stop
                                                        there. Nothing further is pursued. Cognitive Neuroscientists
                                                        go on, proposing working memory store, long term memory,
                                                        the process of chunking, task switching, etc. And what do we have
                                                        now? Many, many studies relating these concepts to lower level
                                                        (empirically sound) phenomena, advancing our understanding of
                                                        the whole thing. One simple example among many:
                                                         
                                                        Phase-dependent neuronal coding of objects in short-term memory
                                                         
                                                        In my way of seeing things (and in 95% of researchers in the world)
                                                        this is pure science, advancing our knowledge.
                                                         
                                                        Meanwhile, behaviorists are resting in their chairs, telling
                                                        us that all this is nonsense...

                                                        Sergio Navega


                                                        GS: The facts are not nonsense. What behaviorists do, however, is
                                                        to examine the histories necessary for certain behavioral
                                                        phenomena to be observed. Cognitive "science," for the most part
                                                        treats behavioral phenomena as ahistorical. For example, when you
                                                        train animals in delayed match-to-sample, the "forgetting curve"
                                                        is a function of training. If you train animals with a zero
                                                        second delay and then test at longer delays, the curve is quite
                                                        steep. If you give them training with gradually increasing
                                                        delays, the curve becomes less steep until it starts dropping
                                                        off. Whatever "working memory" is, it is learned. Behaviorism
                                                        differs from cognitive "science" too in that behaviorists have
                                                        a limited set of observable behavioral processes (i.e., it is
                                                        parsimonious) and it interprets complex phenomena using these
                                                        concepts. Cognitive "science," on the other hand, invents
                                                        unobservable processes to fit its need. Dormitive virtue. Look
                                                        it up.   
                                                         
                                                        With Affection,

                                                        Uncle Glen
                                                         
                                                         
                                                         
                                                         
                                                        Sent: Friday, January 25, 2013 6:10 PM
                                                        Subject: Re: [ai-philosophy] thought
                                                         
                                                         



                                                        --- On Fri, 1/25/13, Sergio Navega <snavega@...> wrote:

                                                        From: Sergio Navega <snavega@...>
                                                        Subject: Re: [ai-philosophy] thought
                                                        To: ai-philosophy@yahoogroups.com
                                                        Date: Friday, January 25, 2013, 8:06 AM

                                                         
                                                        SN: Glen, there's a segment of what you say that I agree with
                                                        you. I too am concerned with some things of cognitive science,
                                                        mainly in the segment where this discipline is close to
                                                        philosophy.
                                                         
                                                         
                                                        GS: Anyplace there are concepts and assumptions in a science
                                                        (i.e., everywhere) philosophy is relevant since concepts and
                                                        assumptions can only be evaluated via philosophy. Thus, what
                                                        you say here makes no sense. Sorry...that happens to you a lot.
                                                         
                                                         
                                                         
                                                        SN:There, at that particular junction, we find
                                                        a lot of garbage and nonsense.
                                                         
                                                         
                                                        GS: So much of cognitive "science" and the fields it has
                                                        corrupted is conceptual crap that the field (and those it has
                                                        corrupted) is not even science.
                                                         
                                                        SN: The other extreme is where we find behaviorists (and Bennett
                                                        and Hacker) who act as if humans had no brains.
                                                         
                                                         
                                                        GS: Bennett is an accomplished neuroscientist and radical
                                                        (Skinnerian) behaviorists have always held that it is
                                                        neuroscience that will provide a reductionistic treatment of
                                                        the behavioral phenomena elucidated by behavior analysis.
                                                        Thus, what you say is misguided nonsense. Sorry...that happens
                                                        to you a lot.
                                                         
                                                         
                                                         
                                                        SB: According
                                                        to them, we have only bodies and behaviors, and that's
                                                        what limits their explanatory pursuit. No wonder
                                                        behaviorism is a forgotten scientific endeavor nowadays.
                                                         
                                                         
                                                        GS: First of all, behaviorism is a philosophy - not a science.
                                                        I have already dealt with behaviorism's position on neuroscience.
                                                        And I think you should check into whether or not behavior
                                                        analysis is actually "forgotten." But, you're right in the sense
                                                        that cognitive "science" has corrupted ALMOST everyone whose
                                                        concern involves behavior...but not quite everyone has his or her
                                                        head up his or her rectum.
                                                         
                                                         
                                                        SN: The Mereological fallacy, if applied rigorously to any scientific
                                                        discipline, would undermine most current science.
                                                         
                                                        GS: How so?
                                                         
                                                         
                                                         
                                                        SN: Bennett and Hacker's
                                                        argument can be applied to Physics, Chemistry, Biology,
                                                        Astrophysics and more.
                                                         
                                                        GS: How so?
                                                         
                                                        SN: No such disciplines would be allowed to
                                                        build conceptual (categorical) constructions, even if these
                                                        constructions were empirically justifiable. It would stall
                                                        scientific progress entirely.
                                                         
                                                         
                                                        GS: I'm not convinced you understand the mereological fallacy.
                                                        What you say above seems to make no sense.
                                                         
                                                         
                                                        SN: That's why Bennett and Hacker's
                                                        thoughts are nonsense (as Dennett and Searle pointed out).
                                                         
                                                        GS: I can't say if their arguments are cogent, since you
                                                        have not described them. But, as I said, nothing you have
                                                        said convinces me that you understand the issues. I can't
                                                        speak to Dennett's and Searle's position. I do know that
                                                        Dennett is a moron, though.
                                                         
                                                         
                                                        SN: And in the same way that Physics do today, so does modern cognitive
                                                        neuroscience.
                                                         
                                                         
                                                        GS: You seem to be making an argument about "unobservables." No?
                                                        But the mereological fallacy involves much more than that. It
                                                        involves talking about parts as if they had the properties of
                                                        the whole. It would be like saying that the entropy of a gas
                                                        increases because the entropy of individual molecules is
                                                        increasing. I don't think physics does that. I await further
                                                        exposition on your part.
                                                         
                                                         
                                                        SN: They are building conceptual structures (memory, 
                                                        rule induction, workspace memory, task switching being some examples)
                                                        that are being successfully supported by lower level explanations
                                                        (mainly the binding and/or synchronization of populations
                                                        of neurons).
                                                         
                                                         
                                                        GS: The concepts underlying a science constitute, in part, the
                                                        assumptions of that science (or "science" as the case may be)
                                                        and assumptions are not testable - err...because they're
                                                        assumptions. Take "rule induction." The observation is that,
                                                        for example, an animal (human or otherwise) responds to a novel
                                                        instance of some stimulus as it did to the exemplars by which it
                                                        was trained. Observations of physiology may reveal certain
                                                        similarities between the effects of training exemplars and novel
                                                        exemplars. That is where the facts end. But the cognitivist says
                                                        that the physiological similarities are "rule induction." But
                                                        the physiology measured is not "rules" etc. What is measured is
                                                        action potentials, of synchronized networks, or whatever. But
                                                        the cognitivist says, "See! I told you there was 'rule
                                                        induction!'" That is, whatever they find, they interpret it in
                                                        light of their specious assumptions. 
                                                         
                                                        SN:Take for instance this article, which is currently being published
                                                        in Trends in Cognitive Sciences:
                                                         
                                                         
                                                        This paper relates rule selection (a "cognitive concept") with
                                                        neural synchronization in the prefrontal cortex (a directly
                                                        measurable empirical evidence).
                                                         
                                                         
                                                        GS: But this is not "evidence." There IS no evidence relevant
                                                        to assumptions for assumptions are assumptions. The assumption
                                                        is that all behavior results from rule-following. When some
                                                        regularity is found it is INTERPRETED in terms of the
                                                        assumptions.
                                                         
                                                        SN: This is exactly the very same
                                                        process used in the majority of the hard sciences today (as I said,
                                                        including Physics, Biology, Cosmology, Chemistry, Geology, etc.).
                                                        But not behaviorism. What went wrong? I wonder if it is some
                                                        sort of religious belief, the church of Skinner...
                                                         
                                                        Sergio Navega
                                                         
                                                         
                                                        GS: It is NOT the process used in physics etc. It is the
                                                        assumption that all behavior is "rule-following" that smacks
                                                        of religion. Take the Higgs Boson, for example. It is not an
                                                        assumption, it is an hypothesis that is generated by
                                                        a mathematical theory. The theory predicts that there should
                                                        be a particle that has certain properties. Observation of a
                                                        particle that has these properties is, indeed, a kind of
                                                        evidence. There is a big difference between assumptions and
                                                        hypotheses/theories. Cognitive science muddles this distinction
                                                        and is, thus, junk. Hope this helps.
                                                         
                                                        With magnanimity,
                                                         
                                                        Glen
                                                         
                                                         
                                                         
                                                         
                                                         
                                                         
                                                         
                                                        Sent: Thursday, January 24, 2013 11:48 AM
                                                        Subject: Re: [ai-philosophy] thought
                                                         
                                                         



                                                        --- On Wed, 1/23/13, Sergio Navega mailto:snavega%40gmail.com> wrote:

                                                        From: Sergio Navega mailto:snavega%40gmail.com>
                                                        Subject: Re: [ai-philosophy] thought
                                                        To: mailto:ai-philosophy%40yahoogroups.com
                                                        Date: Wednesday, January 23, 2013, 10:03 AM

                                                         

                                                        SN: Glen, your mentioning of "homunculi" attest that you're
                                                        criticizing something that has been abandoned decades ago.
                                                        GS: The homunculi were always implied - therefore, there was really nothing to EXPLICITLY abandon. Nobody ever EXPLICITLY endorsed homunculi inside the head driving the rest of the body around like a car. And the homunculi are STILL implied. Another name for this conceptual nonsense is the "mereological fallacy" (cf, Bennett and Hacker).

                                                        SN: I'm talking about modern cognitive neuroscience, where theories
                                                        of memory, language, perception, reasoning, categorization,
                                                        rule-induction, etc., are supported by imaging (fMRI, PET, etc.)
                                                        and also by data collection of neural activity (including single
                                                        and multi-neuron electrodes).

                                                        GS: Since the theories are composed of (literally) nonsensical concepts (cf, Bennett and Hacker), you'll excuse me if I'm unimpressed.

                                                        SN: Today's models of the workings of
                                                        populations of neurons are capable of explaining many cognitive
                                                        phenomena.

                                                        GS: Needless to say, I disagree with you. Most of the questions asked by cognitive neuroscience are literal nonsense (cf, Bennett and Hacker). Some of the actual facts are, perhaps, interesting (after divested of the ridiculous assumptions embodied by the concepts), but cognitive neuroscience explains nothing (since its underlying concepts are literal nonsense).
                                                         
                                                        Cordially,
                                                        Glen
                                                         
                                                         

                                                         

                                                        From: Glen Sizemore
                                                        Sent: Tuesday, January 22, 2013 9:40 PM
                                                        To: mailto:ai-philosophy%40yahoogroups.com

                                                        Subject: Re: [ai-philosophy] thought
                                                         
                                                         

                                                        --- On Mon, 1/21/13, Sergio
                                                        Navega mailto:snavega%40gmail.com> wrote:

                                                        From: Sergio
                                                        Navega mailto:snavega%40gmail.com>
                                                        Subject: Re: [ai-philosophy]
                                                        thought
                                                        To: mailto:ai-philosophy%40yahoogroups.com
                                                        Date: Monday,
                                                        January 21, 2013, 2:04 PM

                                                         






                                                        SN: Boy, what a surprise to find 2 viewpoints that I disagree
                                                        so much.
                                                         
                                                        GS: Hardly surprising to me since I've known you for many
                                                        years, and you were always duped by cognitive "science."
                                                         
                                                         
                                                        SN:Of course the
                                                        "hardware" of the brain is important (and I agree that
                                                        the hardware is mostly determined by genetic
                                                        constraints).
                                                         
                                                         
                                                        GS: Ah...a preformationist to boot!
                                                         
                                                         
                                                        SN: But let's
                                                        take this analogy one step beyond: it is the "software" that
                                                        makes the
                                                        thing "behave" the way they do. And by software one has to
                                                        concede
                                                        that the fundamental thing are "experiences and
                                                        interactions".
                                                         
                                                         
                                                        GS: And what, precisely, are reinforcement contingencies?
                                                        They determine much of what an animal experiences and they are, by
                                                        definition, interactions between organism and environment. You
                                                        must be one of the many who like to bad-mouth behaviorism but know
                                                        next to nothing about it. Lot of that going around.
                                                         
                                                         
                                                        SN:Which leads us to
                                                        finally arrive at the important neuroscience of
                                                        cognition, which not only has extraordinary explanatory
                                                        success,
                                                        but also has important multidisciplinary consequences.
                                                         
                                                        GS: Too bad it's a conceptual cesspool. Anyway, though, to
                                                        the hopelessly simple, made-up stuff often seems to explain a
                                                        lot.
                                                         
                                                         
                                                         
                                                        SN: All is
                                                        not lost for behaviorism though: it makes a damn good
                                                        psychological
                                                        therapy, with much greater efficacy than the nutcracks of
                                                        the
                                                        psychoanalysts.
                                                         
                                                         
                                                        GS: Yeah...interesting how natural sciences often lead to
                                                        technologies isn't it? But cognitive "science" could lead to a
                                                        technology of behavior - if there was anything to the implied
                                                        homunculi of cognitive "science." Or, put it this way...cognitive
                                                        science might lead to a technology if mercury atoms were "silvery"
                                                        and "slippery." For if that were true, it might also be true that
                                                        there are little homunculi in the brain that intend, and decide
                                                        and read maps and think etc. etc. etc. etc.
                                                         
                                                         
                                                         
                                                         
                                                         
                                                         


                                                         

                                                        From: Glen
                                                        Sizemore
                                                        Sent: Monday, January 21, 2013 4:11 PM
                                                        To: mailto:ai-philosophy%40yahoogroups.com
                                                        Subject: Re: [ai-philosophy] thought
                                                         
                                                         

                                                        It may be true that
                                                        "'Tis a gift to be simple." However, 'tis no gift to
                                                        be simplistic." And that is exactly how I would
                                                        describe your posts that I have been reading now for,
                                                        what, 5 years...10 years? On the other hand, I think
                                                        that there is merit to what you say. But a fleshed-out
                                                        position would integrate reinforcement principles
                                                        which is exactly what you gloss over. As to language
                                                        acquisition, I think that there is no question that
                                                        heard utterances lead to parts of the utterances being
                                                        a strange kind of conditioned reinforcer. When the
                                                        child utters, for example, phonemes that it has heard,
                                                        the hearing of these utterances automatically
                                                        reinforce the behavior that leads to their production.
                                                        This all requires a bunch of neuroanatomical
                                                        structures like the basal ganglia etc. The segment of
                                                        neurobiology concerned with analyzing the
                                                        physiological mediation of operant behavior is an area
                                                        of neuroscience that is relatively uncontaminated by
                                                        the conceptual nonsense that plagues much of
                                                        neuroscience. Of course, many workers in this area
                                                        seem to struggle to obscure the connection to the vast
                                                        literature that constitutes the natural science of
                                                        behavior.

                                                        --- On Sun, 1/20/13, scanlonray
                                                        mailto:rscan%40nycap.rr.com> wrote:

                                                        From:
                                                        scanlonray mailto:rscan%40nycap.rr.com>
                                                        Subject:
                                                        [ai-philosophy] thought
                                                        To:
                                                        mailto:ai-philosophy%40yahoogroups.com
                                                        Date: Sunday,
                                                        January 20, 2013, 11:11 AM

                                                         

                                                        The apparatus for producing speech is constructed
                                                        by the genome More than one hundred pairs of
                                                        orofacial, laryngeal, pharyngeal, and respiratory
                                                        muscles together with all the neural groups that
                                                        drive them.

                                                        A motor neuron arrives at
                                                        striated muscle fiber and terminates on it. When an
                                                        axonal pulse arrives at the terminal the muscle
                                                        fiber contracts. It is apparent that we can separate
                                                        tahe motor neurons from the muscle fibers and view
                                                        them abstractly as a set of terminals connected to a
                                                        computer, and activate the muscles by a computer
                                                        program, a program of
                                                        incredible complexity, but
                                                        not beyond human abilities. This is a thing that can
                                                        be written by a computer programmer as a part of the
                                                        days work..

                                                        Any objection about the
                                                        complexity of the neural network involved is
                                                        answered by a reference to the flight of the brush
                                                        turkey.

                                                        We proceed under the assumption that
                                                        the genome can construct the required circuitry and
                                                        its flexibility.

                                                        At this point we introduce
                                                        the reticular thalamic nucleus, a thin layer of
                                                        neurons that surrounds the thalamus like a blanket.
                                                        Every motor program, every sensory group must enter
                                                        the thalamus through this blanket. The neurons of
                                                        the blanket are all alike in the their output is
                                                        solely inhibitory.

                                                        Some spoken utterance
                                                        enters the thalamus. At the same time a snippet of
                                                        baby talk enters. If there is any resemblance, the
                                                        equivalence is recorded. If some agreement is
                                                        reached the baby talk is allowed to proceed. Day by
                                                        day the resemblances are recorded. It seems that
                                                        nothing is gained, but link by link ground is
                                                        gained. A language is learned.
                                                        This continues for
                                                        life

                                                        When we come up against speakers with a
                                                        different accent we adopt or reject slight
                                                        differences always striking toward a weighted
                                                        statistical average. The thalamus continues to
                                                        examine each motor program as if passes through when
                                                        we attempt an utterance that violates our maintained
                                                        average of what is "right", the thalamic reticular
                                                        nucleus is activated, and the utterance vanishes
                                                        into the great cloud of things left
                                                        unsaid..

                                                      • Glen Sizemore
                                                        Read some Oyama. Developmental Systems Theory.  ... From: Sergio Navega Subject: Re: [ai-philosophy] thought To:
                                                        Message 27 of 29 , Jan 27, 2013
                                                        • 0 Attachment
                                                          Read some Oyama. Developmental Systems Theory. 

                                                          --- On Sat, 1/26/13, Sergio Navega <snavega@...> wrote:

                                                          From: Sergio Navega <snavega@...>
                                                          Subject: Re: [ai-philosophy] thought
                                                          To: ai-philosophy@yahoogroups.com
                                                          Date: Saturday, January 26, 2013, 8:12 AM

                                                           

                                                          Uncle Glen, isn't it time for your afternoon tea?
                                                          And don't forget to take your medications, ;-)
                                                           
                                                          Sergio Navega
                                                           
                                                           
                                                           
                                                           
                                                          Sent: Friday, January 25, 2013 7:13 PM
                                                          Subject: Re: [ai-philosophy] thought
                                                           
                                                           

                                                          Both Navega and Scanlon are preformationists but, at least, Navega pays lip-service to the environment. Scanlon doesn't even pay lip-service. His position is laughably naive. Not that Navega's position isn't worth a chuckle or two. For example, if you excise a forelimb bud and transplant it to the hind limp, you get a hind limb. The expression of the genes depends on the local embryological environment. Genes are the same, no? But then, the preformationist says, "Well...yeah...the rules are in the genes but the environment allows the expression of THE rule." Oy Vey! Can you get anymore imbued with "belief"?  Maybe it's "evolution's plan," eh, Ray? But how could you tell? Maybe it's God's plan? But maybe there is no plan. Maybe development at all biological levels involves genes as merely ONE variable in an exceedingly complex dynamic developmental process; sometimes really important (my adopted son looks like a dark-skinned Romanian while my wife and I are blond), sometimes much less important (he speaks English pretty well, like my wife and me, but his Romanian sucks - like my wife's and mine). But then, you can always claim (especially when you refuse to say very much aside from pseudo-profound jabber) that all these plans are in the genes. Again, talk about "beliefs"! Ray is an amusing example of a not-so-well-informed hypocrite. I'm not sure which aspect of his "intellectual" endeavors is more troublesome.  
                                                           
                                                           
                                                          Cordially,
                                                           
                                                          Uncle Glen
                                                           


                                                          --- On Fri, 1/25/13, scanlonray <rscan@...> wrote:

                                                          From: scanlonray <rscan@...>
                                                          Subject: [ai-philosophy] thought
                                                          To: ai-philosophy@yahoogroups.com
                                                          Date: Friday, January 25, 2013, 12:48 PM

                                                           

                                                          But here's the thing, Ray: neurons connect to each other
                                                          according to genetic rules, but the expression of these
                                                          rules depend heavily on environmental factors. Stimuli
                                                          received by an animal is what drives the need to create
                                                          or reinforce a particular axon-dendrite connection.
                                                          And this is important: it is the genome that says how this
                                                          creation/reinforcement is made, but it was the stimuli from
                                                          the environment that required it. Therefore brains are a
                                                          function of genomic and environmental interaction.
                                                          Sergio Navega

                                                          This is a straightforward statement of a position that I understand but do no share.
                                                          If you believe in the tabula erasa then all else follows. If instead you are driven by the present day knowledge of the genome than a different scenario presents itself. For this we turn to the brush turkey, A living creature that enters the world with no help from the environment, with nothing but a brain constructed by the genome, a creature that does rather well to meet the environment.

                                                          "Therefore brains are a function of genomic and aenvironmentsl interaction" This is a statement of belief, which is not present in the "brush turkey". What are we to say about `imprinting", when the brush turkey does not imprint, flies without instruction? A bird that eats without instruction? What are we to say about "reinforcement" to a bird that gets none?

                                                        • Sergio Navega
                                                          Glen, you must notice that assumptions and conceptual structures in science in general are eventually subject to rejection and substitution when competing
                                                          Message 28 of 29 , Jan 28, 2013
                                                          • 0 Attachment
                                                            Glen, you must notice that assumptions and conceptual
                                                            structures in science in general are eventually subject to
                                                            rejection and substitution when competing theories appear and
                                                            turns them into outdated material. This has been so since the
                                                            substitution of Ptolemaic by Copernican models of the solar
                                                            system. And cognitive neuroscience is doing just that, and
                                                            today more than ever, because of the strong link with studies
                                                            of the dynamics of populations of neurons. Take a look at
                                                            the table of contents of a first-class journal like "Trends
                                                            in Cognitive Sciences": you'll find lots of articles with
                                                            neuroscience stuff. So the skinnerian "philosophy of behavior
                                                            analysis" is now a topic in the history of science, in the
                                                            same chapter about alchemy ;-)
                                                             
                                                            Sergio Navega
                                                             
                                                             
                                                             
                                                            Sent: Sunday, January 27, 2013 3:16 PM
                                                            Subject: Re: [ai-philosophy] thought
                                                             
                                                             



                                                            --- On Sat, 1/26/13, Sergio Navega <snavega@...> wrote:

                                                            From: Sergio Navega <snavega@...>
                                                            Subject: Re: [ai-philosophy] thought
                                                            To: ai-philosophy@yahoogroups.com
                                                            Date: Saturday, January 26, 2013, 8:08 AM

                                                             
                                                            > Anyplace there are concepts and assumptions in a science
                                                            > (i.e., everywhere) philosophy is relevant since concepts and
                                                            > assumptions can only be evaluated via philosophy.
                                                             
                                                            SN: And that's where you show you're wrong. Scientific concepts
                                                            and assumptions are evaluated essentially through experimental
                                                            support, not via philosophy. Of course, they must be logically
                                                            coherent (and this is where philosophy might help), but
                                                            experimental support is a must, and that's what decides if
                                                            the concept is good or just garbage. A case in point (in
                                                            search of empirical corroboration): string theory in Physics.
                                                             
                                                             
                                                            GS: No, this is where you're wrong. Exactly how is an assumption
                                                            validated by experiment? I think that (b) is the most pertinent
                                                            here, no?
                                                             
                                                            5
                                                            a : an assuming that something is true
                                                            b : a fact or statement (as a proposition, axiom, postulate, or notion)
                                                            taken for granted
                                                             
                                                            Pretty much says it all, eh, Sergio?
                                                             
                                                            > Bennett is an accomplished neuroscientist and radical
                                                            > (Skinnerian) behaviorists have always held that it is
                                                            > neuroscience that will provide a reductionistic treatment of
                                                            > the behavioral phenomena elucidated by behavior analysis
                                                             
                                                            SN: And here is where you show that the worldview of behaviorists
                                                            is composed of black and white only. It's the gray stuff that
                                                            matters! Take a specific behavior. Now take the firing of a
                                                            particular neuron. This is the level of analysis that behaviorists
                                                            are proposing. But all the action happens in the middle of these
                                                            two extremes.
                                                             
                                                             
                                                            GS: What in the name of Almighty Yahweh are you talking about?
                                                            Behaviorism makes no claims about the anatomical units
                                                            appropriate to a physiology of behavior. What you claim is
                                                            absurd.  
                                                             
                                                             
                                                            SN: And in the middle, what we find are cognitive neuroscientific
                                                            stuff. And this is not "my opinion": it is the way brain
                                                            science is being made today, by 95% of the researchers in
                                                            the world. So what you're saying is that all these guys are
                                                            wrong, that they are doing "nonsense", creating useless concepts.
                                                            Kinda weird position yours is, don't you think?
                                                             
                                                             
                                                            GS: Why is it that cognitivists always resort to argumentum ad
                                                            populum? But, no, I don't find my position "weird" except in
                                                            the sense that it is a minority position.
                                                             
                                                            > First of all, behaviorism is a philosophy - not a science
                                                             
                                                            SN: Finally! At last! Something we agree entirely ;-)
                                                             
                                                             
                                                            GS: But so is representationalism (the heart of cognitive
                                                            "science")a philosophy.
                                                             
                                                            > but not quite everyone has his or her head up his or her rectum
                                                             
                                                            SN: From that I infer that you're saying that more than 95% of brain
                                                            researchers in the world are, at the moment, performing colonoscopy
                                                            on themselves (which, let's say, is somewhat useful ;-).
                                                            So the world is filled with misguided guys! How nice that
                                                            behaviorists are still here to save us all!
                                                             
                                                             
                                                            GS: Yes, but there is no guarantee that the rescue will be
                                                            successful. Standing in the way is the conceptual error of
                                                            mistaking assumptions for hypotheses or theories.
                                                             
                                                            > I do know that Dennett is a moron, though.
                                                             
                                                            SN: I wouldn't expect more of you, Glen ;-)
                                                             
                                                             
                                                            GS: And you have lived up to all my expectations of you.
                                                             
                                                            > You seem to be making an argument about "unobservables." No?
                                                             
                                                            SN: More than that. When some cognitive scientist talks about
                                                            "short term memory", he/she is creating something that is
                                                            unobservable. But is empirically verifiable!
                                                             
                                                             
                                                            GS: Oh Lord (see, you've forced an atheist to invoke God twice)!
                                                            The only thing that is "verifiable" are the behavioral facts
                                                            said to characterize "STM." It is an assumption that the facts
                                                            are as they are because of some "module" that (miraculously) has
                                                            exactly the character necessary to explain the facts from which
                                                            it is inferred. Amazing! Can you say "dormitive virtue"? As
                                                            Skinner said, "Moliere's audience laughed."   
                                                             
                                                             
                                                             
                                                            SN: And now with
                                                            the help of cognitive neuroscience we're understanding the
                                                            brain areas that execute this fuction, as opposed, for instance
                                                            to long term memory. So this means that something that was
                                                            born as an unobservable concept became empirically corroborable,
                                                            surviving the first treadmill of science, and on it's way to
                                                            be completely explained by reductionist mechanisms. Compare
                                                            that with lots of concepts that were abandoned in the past
                                                            because of lack of empirical support and you get a self-correcting
                                                            way of making science.
                                                             
                                                             
                                                            GS: And how, exactly, would the notion that there is a
                                                            specialized "thing" called STM, that is responsible for the data
                                                            collected under the rubric of "investigation of STM," be
                                                            falsified? No matter what data are collected - even if
                                                            surprising - the characteristics of the "STM module" are simply
                                                            altered to reflect the data! It is ironic that under the guise
                                                            of the Popperian philosophy of science, cognitive "scientists"
                                                            adopt a strategy of modifying, post hoc, the concept allegedly
                                                            "tested."   
                                                             
                                                             
                                                             
                                                            SN: That's the way science progresses, and here I'm not
                                                            talking about cognitive neuroscience only, but ALL scientific
                                                            disciplines, including Physics, Biology, Astrophysics, etc.
                                                             
                                                             
                                                            GS: Your vision of science is laughably sophomoric.
                                                             
                                                             
                                                            > and assumptions are not testable - err...because they're
                                                            > assumptions.
                                                             
                                                            SN: That's not the way it works. Assumptions are indirectly subject
                                                            to empirical scrutiny. Take one assumption. From it you derive
                                                            a series of logically sound consequences. You test those
                                                            consequences and they do not match the predictions. Then
                                                            something is wrong: your deductions or your assumptions!
                                                            Change them and see what you've got. That's how science
                                                            proceeeds.
                                                             
                                                             
                                                            GS: What part of the definition of "assumption" eludes you?
                                                             
                                                             
                                                            > But the cognitivist says
                                                            > that the physiological similarities are "rule induction." But
                                                            > the physiology measured is not "rules" etc. What is measured is
                                                            > action potentials, of synchronized networks, or whatever. But
                                                            > the cognitivist says, "See! I told you there was 'rule
                                                            > induction!'" That is, whatever they find, they interpret it in
                                                            > light of their specious assumptions.
                                                             
                                                            SN: From the idea of "rule induction" cognitive neuroscientists
                                                            start to list the properties that this whole process must possess.
                                                            This is the "filling up with meat" of the skeleton of a concept.
                                                            Each chunk of meat that you put in that concept is something
                                                            that can be empirically tested, and will be rejected if predictions
                                                            fail. And again, this is not specific to cognitive neuroscience,
                                                            this is how all science works. If you doubt this, get a book
                                                            of Organic Chemistry, or Electromagnetism or Geology and see
                                                            how many "conceptual structures" they use.
                                                             
                                                             
                                                            GS: I'm not condemning assumptions and concepts. I am saying that
                                                            there are issues of fact and theory and there are issues that are
                                                            purely conceptual. Mainstream psychology has rejected all but the most
                                                            trivial of conceptual analyses. 
                                                             
                                                            > The assumption is that all behavior results from rule-following.
                                                             
                                                            SN: And this is easily falsifiable, given the level of depth that
                                                            we have today in brain analysis, from the recording of microelectrodes
                                                            to fMRI and other techniques. 
                                                             
                                                            GS: Hardly. Any physiological data are interpreted from within
                                                            the philosophical assumptions that characterize it.
                                                             
                                                             
                                                            SN: Let me give you another example. Few constructs are more "to the
                                                            core" of cognitive science than "short term memory" and "working
                                                            memory". You measure behavioral responses and sees that Miller's
                                                            magical number 7 (plus or minus 2) is a fact. Behaviorists stop
                                                            there. Nothing further is pursued. Cognitive Neuroscientists
                                                            go on, proposing working memory store, long term memory,
                                                            the process of chunking, task switching, etc. And what do we have
                                                            now? Many, many studies relating these concepts to lower level
                                                            (empirically sound) phenomena, advancing our understanding of
                                                            the whole thing. One simple example among many:
                                                             
                                                            Phase-dependent neuronal coding of objects in short-term memory
                                                             
                                                            In my way of seeing things (and in 95% of researchers in the world)
                                                            this is pure science, advancing our knowledge.
                                                             
                                                            Meanwhile, behaviorists are resting in their chairs, telling
                                                            us that all this is nonsense...
                                                             
                                                            Sergio Navega
                                                             
                                                             
                                                            GS: The facts are not nonsense. What behaviorists do, however, is
                                                            to examine the histories necessary for certain behavioral
                                                            phenomena to be observed. Cognitive "science," for the most part
                                                            treats behavioral phenomena as ahistorical. For example, when you
                                                            train animals in delayed match-to-sample, the "forgetting curve"
                                                            is a function of training. If you train animals with a zero
                                                            second delay and then test at longer delays, the curve is quite
                                                            steep. If you give them training with gradually increasing
                                                            delays, the curve becomes less steep until it starts dropping
                                                            off. Whatever "working memory" is, it is learned. Behaviorism
                                                            differs from cognitive "science" too in that behaviorists have
                                                            a limited set of observable behavioral processes (i.e., it is
                                                            parsimonious) and it interprets complex phenomena using these
                                                            concepts. Cognitive "science," on the other hand, invents
                                                            unobservable processes to fit its need. Dormitive virtue. Look
                                                            it up.  
                                                             
                                                            With Affection,
                                                             
                                                            Uncle Glen
                                                             
                                                             
                                                             
                                                             
                                                            Sent: Friday, January 25, 2013 6:10 PM
                                                            Subject: Re: [ai-philosophy] thought
                                                             
                                                             



                                                            --- On Fri, 1/25/13, Sergio Navega <snavega@...> wrote:

                                                            From: Sergio Navega <snavega@...>
                                                            Subject: Re: [ai-philosophy] thought
                                                            To: ai-philosophy@yahoogroups.com
                                                            Date: Friday, January 25, 2013, 8:06 AM

                                                             
                                                            SN: Glen, there's a segment of what you say that I agree with
                                                            you. I too am concerned with some things of cognitive science,
                                                            mainly in the segment where this discipline is close to
                                                            philosophy.
                                                             
                                                             
                                                            GS: Anyplace there are concepts and assumptions in a science
                                                            (i.e., everywhere) philosophy is relevant since concepts and
                                                            assumptions can only be evaluated via philosophy. Thus, what
                                                            you say here makes no sense. Sorry...that happens to you a lot.
                                                             
                                                             
                                                             
                                                            SN:There, at that particular junction, we find
                                                            a lot of garbage and nonsense.
                                                             
                                                             
                                                            GS: So much of cognitive "science" and the fields it has
                                                            corrupted is conceptual crap that the field (and those it has
                                                            corrupted) is not even science.
                                                             
                                                            SN: The other extreme is where we find behaviorists (and Bennett
                                                            and Hacker) who act as if humans had no brains.
                                                             
                                                             
                                                            GS: Bennett is an accomplished neuroscientist and radical
                                                            (Skinnerian) behaviorists have always held that it is
                                                            neuroscience that will provide a reductionistic treatment of
                                                            the behavioral phenomena elucidated by behavior analysis.
                                                            Thus, what you say is misguided nonsense. Sorry...that happens
                                                            to you a lot.
                                                             
                                                             
                                                             
                                                            SB: According
                                                            to them, we have only bodies and behaviors, and that's
                                                            what limits their explanatory pursuit. No wonder
                                                            behaviorism is a forgotten scientific endeavor nowadays.
                                                             
                                                             
                                                            GS: First of all, behaviorism is a philosophy - not a science.
                                                            I have already dealt with behaviorism's position on neuroscience.
                                                            And I think you should check into whether or not behavior
                                                            analysis is actually "forgotten." But, you're right in the sense
                                                            that cognitive "science" has corrupted ALMOST everyone whose
                                                            concern involves behavior...but not quite everyone has his or her
                                                            head up his or her rectum.
                                                             
                                                             
                                                            SN: The Mereological fallacy, if applied rigorously to any scientific
                                                            discipline, would undermine most current science.
                                                             
                                                            GS: How so?
                                                             
                                                             
                                                             
                                                            SN: Bennett and Hacker's
                                                            argument can be applied to Physics, Chemistry, Biology,
                                                            Astrophysics and more.
                                                             
                                                            GS: How so?
                                                             
                                                            SN: No such disciplines would be allowed to
                                                            build conceptual (categorical) constructions, even if these
                                                            constructions were empirically justifiable. It would stall
                                                            scientific progress entirely.
                                                             
                                                             
                                                            GS: I'm not convinced you understand the mereological fallacy.
                                                            What you say above seems to make no sense.
                                                             
                                                             
                                                            SN: That's why Bennett and Hacker's
                                                            thoughts are nonsense (as Dennett and Searle pointed out).
                                                             
                                                            GS: I can't say if their arguments are cogent, since you
                                                            have not described them. But, as I said, nothing you have
                                                            said convinces me that you understand the issues. I can't
                                                            speak to Dennett's and Searle's position. I do know that
                                                            Dennett is a moron, though.
                                                             
                                                             
                                                            SN: And in the same way that Physics do today, so does modern cognitive
                                                            neuroscience.
                                                             
                                                             
                                                            GS: You seem to be making an argument about "unobservables." No?
                                                            But the mereological fallacy involves much more than that. It
                                                            involves talking about parts as if they had the properties of
                                                            the whole. It would be like saying that the entropy of a gas
                                                            increases because the entropy of individual molecules is
                                                            increasing. I don't think physics does that. I await further
                                                            exposition on your part.
                                                             
                                                             
                                                            SN: They are building conceptual structures (memory, 
                                                            rule induction, workspace memory, task switching being some examples)
                                                            that are being successfully supported by lower level explanations
                                                            (mainly the binding and/or synchronization of populations
                                                            of neurons).
                                                             
                                                             
                                                            GS: The concepts underlying a science constitute, in part, the
                                                            assumptions of that science (or "science" as the case may be)
                                                            and assumptions are not testable - err...because they're
                                                            assumptions. Take "rule induction." The observation is that,
                                                            for example, an animal (human or otherwise) responds to a novel
                                                            instance of some stimulus as it did to the exemplars by which it
                                                            was trained. Observations of physiology may reveal certain
                                                            similarities between the effects of training exemplars and novel
                                                            exemplars. That is where the facts end. But the cognitivist says
                                                            that the physiological similarities are "rule induction." But
                                                            the physiology measured is not "rules" etc. What is measured is
                                                            action potentials, of synchronized networks, or whatever. But
                                                            the cognitivist says, "See! I told you there was 'rule
                                                            induction!'" That is, whatever they find, they interpret it in
                                                            light of their specious assumptions. 
                                                             
                                                            SN:Take for instance this article, which is currently being published
                                                            in Trends in Cognitive Sciences:
                                                             
                                                             
                                                            This paper relates rule selection (a "cognitive concept") with
                                                            neural synchronization in the prefrontal cortex (a directly
                                                            measurable empirical evidence).
                                                             
                                                             
                                                            GS: But this is not "evidence." There IS no evidence relevant
                                                            to assumptions for assumptions are assumptions. The assumption
                                                            is that all behavior results from rule-following. When some
                                                            regularity is found it is INTERPRETED in terms of the
                                                            assumptions.
                                                             
                                                            SN: This is exactly the very same
                                                            process used in the majority of the hard sciences today (as I said,
                                                            including Physics, Biology, Cosmology, Chemistry, Geology, etc.).
                                                            But not behaviorism. What went wrong? I wonder if it is some
                                                            sort of religious belief, the church of Skinner...
                                                             
                                                            Sergio Navega
                                                             
                                                             
                                                            GS: It is NOT the process used in physics etc. It is the
                                                            assumption that all behavior is "rule-following" that smacks
                                                            of religion. Take the Higgs Boson, for example. It is not an
                                                            assumption, it is an hypothesis that is generated by
                                                            a mathematical theory. The theory predicts that there should
                                                            be a particle that has certain properties. Observation of a
                                                            particle that has these properties is, indeed, a kind of
                                                            evidence. There is a big difference between assumptions and
                                                            hypotheses/theories. Cognitive science muddles this distinction
                                                            and is, thus, junk. Hope this helps.
                                                             
                                                            With magnanimity,
                                                             
                                                            Glen
                                                             
                                                             
                                                             
                                                             
                                                             
                                                             
                                                             
                                                            Sent: Thursday, January 24, 2013 11:48 AM
                                                            Subject: Re: [ai-philosophy] thought
                                                             
                                                             



                                                            --- On Wed, 1/23/13, Sergio Navega mailto:snavega%40gmail.com> wrote:

                                                            From: Sergio Navega mailto:snavega%40gmail.com>
                                                            Subject: Re: [ai-philosophy] thought
                                                            To: mailto:ai-philosophy%40yahoogroups.com
                                                            Date: Wednesday, January 23, 2013, 10:03 AM

                                                             

                                                            SN: Glen, your mentioning of "homunculi" attest that you're
                                                            criticizing something that has been abandoned decades ago.
                                                            GS: The homunculi were always implied - therefore, there was really nothing to EXPLICITLY abandon. Nobody ever EXPLICITLY endorsed homunculi inside the head driving the rest of the body around like a car. And the homunculi are STILL implied. Another name for this conceptual nonsense is the "mereological fallacy" (cf, Bennett and Hacker).

                                                            SN: I'm talking about modern cognitive neuroscience, where theories
                                                            of memory, language, perception, reasoning, categorization,
                                                            rule-induction, etc., are supported by imaging (fMRI, PET, etc.)
                                                            and also by data collection of neural activity (including single
                                                            and multi-neuron electrodes).

                                                            GS: Since the theories are composed of (literally) nonsensical concepts (cf, Bennett and Hacker), you'll excuse me if I'm unimpressed.

                                                            SN: Today's models of the workings of
                                                            populations of neurons are capable of explaining many cognitive
                                                            phenomena.

                                                            GS: Needless to say, I disagree with you. Most of the questions asked by cognitive neuroscience are literal nonsense (cf, Bennett and Hacker). Some of the actual facts are, perhaps, interesting (after divested of the ridiculous assumptions embodied by the concepts), but cognitive neuroscience explains nothing (since its underlying concepts are literal nonsense).
                                                             
                                                            Cordially,
                                                            Glen
                                                             
                                                             

                                                             

                                                            From: Glen Sizemore
                                                            Sent: Tuesday, January 22, 2013 9:40 PM
                                                            To: mailto:ai-philosophy%40yahoogroups.com

                                                            Subject: Re: [ai-philosophy] thought
                                                             
                                                             

                                                            --- On Mon, 1/21/13, Sergio
                                                            Navega mailto:snavega%40gmail.com> wrote:

                                                            From: Sergio
                                                            Navega mailto:snavega%40gmail.com>
                                                            Subject: Re: [ai-philosophy]
                                                            thought
                                                            To: mailto:ai-philosophy%40yahoogroups.com
                                                            Date: Monday,
                                                            January 21, 2013, 2:04 PM

                                                             






                                                            SN: Boy, what a surprise to find 2 viewpoints that I disagree
                                                            so much.
                                                             
                                                            GS: Hardly surprising to me since I've known you for many
                                                            years, and you were always duped by cognitive "science."
                                                             
                                                             
                                                            SN:Of course the
                                                            "hardware" of the brain is important (and I agree that
                                                            the hardware is mostly determined by genetic
                                                            constraints).
                                                             
                                                             
                                                            GS: Ah...a preformationist to boot!
                                                             
                                                             
                                                            SN: But let's
                                                            take this analogy one step beyond: it is the "software" that
                                                            makes the
                                                            thing "behave" the way they do. And by software one has to
                                                            concede
                                                            that the fundamental thing are "experiences and
                                                            interactions".
                                                             
                                                             
                                                            GS: And what, precisely, are reinforcement contingencies?
                                                            They determine much of what an animal experiences and they are, by
                                                            definition, interactions between organism and environment. You
                                                            must be one of the many who like to bad-mouth behaviorism but know
                                                            next to nothing about it. Lot of that going around.
                                                             
                                                             
                                                            SN:Which leads us to
                                                            finally arrive at the important neuroscience of
                                                            cognition, which not only has extraordinary explanatory
                                                            success,
                                                            but also has important multidisciplinary consequences.
                                                             
                                                            GS: Too bad it's a conceptual cesspool. Anyway, though, to
                                                            the hopelessly simple, made-up stuff often seems to explain a
                                                            lot.
                                                             
                                                             
                                                             
                                                            SN: All is
                                                            not lost for behaviorism though: it makes a damn good
                                                            psychological
                                                            therapy, with much greater efficacy than the nutcracks of
                                                            the
                                                            psychoanalysts.
                                                             
                                                             
                                                            GS: Yeah...interesting how natural sciences often lead to
                                                            technologies isn't it? But cognitive "science" could lead to a
                                                            technology of behavior - if there was anything to the implied
                                                            homunculi of cognitive "science." Or, put it this way...cognitive
                                                            science might lead to a technology if mercury atoms were "silvery"
                                                            and "slippery." For if that were true, it might also be true that
                                                            there are little homunculi in the brain that intend, and decide
                                                            and read maps and think etc. etc. etc. etc.
                                                             
                                                             
                                                             
                                                             
                                                             
                                                             


                                                             

                                                            From: Glen
                                                            Sizemore
                                                            Sent: Monday, January 21, 2013 4:11 PM
                                                            To: mailto:ai-philosophy%40yahoogroups.com
                                                            Subject: Re: [ai-philosophy] thought
                                                             
                                                             

                                                            It may be true that
                                                            "'Tis a gift to be simple." However, 'tis no gift to
                                                            be simplistic." And that is exactly how I would
                                                            describe your posts that I have been reading now for,
                                                            what, 5 years...10 years? On the other hand, I think
                                                            that there is merit to what you say. But a fleshed-out
                                                            position would integrate reinforcement principles
                                                            which is exactly what you gloss over. As to language
                                                            acquisition, I think that there is no question that
                                                            heard utterances lead to parts of the utterances being
                                                            a strange kind of conditioned reinforcer. When the
                                                            child utters, for example, phonemes that it has heard,
                                                            the hearing of these utterances automatically
                                                            reinforce the behavior that leads to their production.
                                                            This all requires a bunch of neuroanatomical
                                                            structures like the basal ganglia etc. The segment of
                                                            neurobiology concerned with analyzing the
                                                            physiological mediation of operant behavior is an area
                                                            of neuroscience that is relatively uncontaminated by
                                                            the conceptual nonsense that plagues much of
                                                            neuroscience. Of course, many workers in this area
                                                            seem to struggle to obscure the connection to the vast
                                                            literature that constitutes the natural science of
                                                            behavior.

                                                            --- On Sun, 1/20/13, scanlonray
                                                            mailto:rscan%40nycap.rr.com> wrote:

                                                            From:
                                                            scanlonray mailto:rscan%40nycap.rr.com>
                                                            Subject:
                                                            [ai-philosophy] thought
                                                            To:
                                                            mailto:ai-philosophy%40yahoogroups.com
                                                            Date: Sunday,
                                                            January 20, 2013, 11:11 AM

                                                             

                                                            The apparatus for producing speech is constructed
                                                            by the genome More than one hundred pairs of
                                                            orofacial, laryngeal, pharyngeal, and respiratory
                                                            muscles together with all the neural groups that
                                                            drive them.

                                                            A motor neuron arrives at
                                                            striated muscle fiber and terminates on it. When an
                                                            axonal pulse arrives at the terminal the muscle
                                                            fiber contracts. It is apparent that we can separate
                                                            tahe motor neurons from the muscle fibers and view
                                                            them abstractly as a set of terminals connected to a
                                                            computer, and activate the muscles by a computer
                                                            program,

                                                            (Message over 64 KB, truncated)

                                                          • scanlonray
                                                            I thought that a few references to the genome and the brush turkey of Australia ahould be enough to start up s discussion, but I guess not. This is the century
                                                            Message 29 of 29 , Feb 15, 2013
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                                                              I thought that a few references to the genome and the brush turkey of Australia ahould be enough to start up s discussion, but I guess not. This is the century of the genome. And we are given a brain driven organism, completely constructed by the genome so that it is ready to deal with the universe.

                                                              Glen, before you slap on your three-cornered hat and spring to the defense of behaviorism, give a thought to your position as the last leaf upon the tree.
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