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Re: [anthroposophy] Re: Hanging around

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  • Maurice McCarthy
    Oops! Yes, I meant funCtionalist. ... Let me first give my phrasing of how I try to see clearly in this. At issue is the relation of the mind and the brain,
    Message 1 of 13 , Mar 1, 2004
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      Oops! Yes, I meant funCtionalist.


      On Mon, Mar 01, 2004 at 03:01:25PM -0000 or thereabouts, holderlin66 wrote:
      > --- In anthroposophy@yahoogroups.com,
      >
      > Maurice McCarthy <maurice.mccarthy@n...> wrote:
      >
      > "distinct from matter. Almost all cognitive scientists, neurologists
      > and Artificial Intelligence folk are funtionalists."
      >
      > Bradford asks;
      >
      > functionalists or fun, as funtionalists... I think I like FUN
      > better, although I suspect you meant, and to clarify, did you mean,
      > FUNCTION?

      Let me first give my phrasing of how I try to see clearly in this. At
      issue is the relation of the mind and the brain, which all consider most
      difficult. Especially unpopular are dualisms Substance Dualism is after
      Descartes and considered the Folk Psychology view, where Folk Psychology
      is the worldview of the man in the street - a naive realism modified by
      experience and education.

      As I see it the relation of mind and brain is, in the abstract,
      analogous to number and matter, respectively. No one seems to think the
      relation of number and matter mysterious - not that I've seen. All forms
      of physical matter can be described by numbers and operations of numbers
      (number itself is a counted unity and so an operation of its own and a
      definite quantity). Matter is the What of a thing, Number is the How of
      the same thing. The What cannot exist without the How because its How is
      exactly how it became what it is. In itself anything is at once a What
      and a How in undivided unity. Perception strips out the How and leaves
      the What. Thinking reveals the How and re-unites it to the what.

      The mind is the How of the brain, which is a What. Thus we avoid
      substance dualism but by its nature consciousness has to be a duality.
      The brain is always structured by the mind. "Use it or lose it." is a
      phrase beloved by Susan Greenfield, the best known neurologist in
      Britain. The brain structure dissolves if it is not supported by its
      How - because it is the How which does the structuring. Somehow she
      still sees the brain matter as primary but the penny will drop sooner or
      later. She's teetering on the brink of the realisation, her own first
      little threshold.

      Got to go - call to the shops
      Will be back later.

      Big M ;-)

      >
      > You wrote;
      >
      > "Chomsky is the man most responsible for this change - that the mind
      > is
      > born with a pre-configured modularity. As I see it this is within an
      > ace of declaring the soul.
      >
      > Maurice
      >
      > Bradford comments;
      >
      > Pre-configured Modularity...funny I was thinking Pre-configured
      > modality..so modularity, does modularity give more mobility
      > potential then something more hard wired like modality. It is is
      > always interesting to discover Terms of Endearment or Terms of
      > agreement..New Terms - Hard wired, Modularity, Modality, to
      > determine soul.
      >
      > So Maurice if you might widen these two out, function and modulaity.
      > Functional brain apparatus as standard issue or unique modularity as
      > user friendly, user designed?
      >
      >
    • Hogie McM
      Re: The What and the How in relation to the Mind and Brain. Is not the Number just an expression of the How, and not the How itself? So it would seem to me we
      Message 2 of 13 , Mar 1, 2004
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        Re: The What and the How in relation to the Mind and Brain.
        Is not the Number  just an expression of the How, and not the How itself?
        So it would seem to me we are dealing with a Triune model, and not a Dualism.
         
        and the What is perhaps, yes, an expression of an underlying reality,
        so are we thus dealing with a Quaternity?
         
        The Number comes from the Ahrimanic realm, level 3, (inspired consciousness),
        from the deep unconscious Will, and enters into the Level 1 conceptual consciousness,
        the Mind (of the the Luciferic realm), which has entered human evolution as a result
        of the War in Heaven with Michael (1839-1879), as he thre Lucifer out of the
        Spiritual worlds in to the Earthly worlds of Human nature?
         
        The Brain is the physical structure then that manifests from the activities
        of the Spirits of Form, and which is perceived by the Physical Senses only as a reflection,
        within the Catch-22 of the brain activites itself, wherein my inquiry falls to pieces
        a bit, or at least gets convoluted.
         
        Hogie
        ----- Original Message -----
        Sent: Monday, March 01, 2004 7:27 AM
        Subject: Re: [anthroposophy] Re: Hanging around

        Oops! Yes, I meant funCtionalist.


        On Mon, Mar 01, 2004 at 03:01:25PM -0000 or thereabouts, holderlin66 wrote:
        > --- In anthroposophy@yahoogroups.com,
        >
        > Maurice McCarthy <maurice.mccarthy@n...> wrote:
        >
        > "distinct from matter. Almost all cognitive scientists, neurologists
        > and Artificial Intelligence folk are funtionalists."
        >
        > Bradford asks;
        >
        > functionalists or fun, as funtionalists... I think I like FUN
        > better, although I suspect you meant, and to clarify, did you mean,
        > FUNCTION?

        Let me first give my phrasing of how I try to see clearly in this. At
        issue is the relation of the mind and the brain, which all consider most
        difficult. Especially unpopular are dualisms Substance Dualism is after
        Descartes and considered the Folk Psychology view, where Folk Psychology
        is the worldview of the man in the street - a naive realism modified by
        experience and education.

        As I see it the relation of mind and brain is, in the abstract,
        analogous to number and matter, respectively. No one seems to think the
        relation of number and matter mysterious - not that I've seen. All forms
        of physical matter can be described by numbers and operations of numbers
        (number itself is a counted unity and so an operation of its own and a
        definite quantity). Matter is the What of a thing, Number is the How of
        the same thing. The What cannot exist without the How because its How is
        exactly how it became what it is. In itself anything is at once a What
        and a How in undivided unity. Perception strips out the How and leaves
        the What. Thinking reveals the How and re-unites it to the what.

        The mind is the How of the brain, which is a What. Thus we avoid
        substance dualism but by its nature consciousness has to be a duality.
        The brain is always structured by the mind. "Use it or lose it." is a
        phrase beloved by Susan Greenfield, the best known neurologist in
        Britain. The brain structure dissolves if it is not supported by its
        How - because it is the How which does the structuring. Somehow she
        still sees the brain matter as primary but the penny will drop sooner or
        later. She's teetering on the brink of the realisation, her own first
        little threshold.

        Got to go - call to the shops
        Will be back later.

        Big M ;-)

        >
        > You wrote;
        >
        > "Chomsky is the man most responsible for this change - that the mind
        > is
        > born with a pre-configured modularity. As I see it this is within an
        > ace of declaring the soul.
        >
        > Maurice
        >
        > Bradford comments;
        >
        > Pre-configured Modularity...funny I was thinking Pre-configured
        > modality..so modularity, does modularity give more mobility
        > potential then something more hard wired like modality. It is is
        > always interesting to discover Terms of Endearment or Terms of
        > agreement..New Terms - Hard wired, Modularity, Modality, to
        > determine soul.
        >
        > So Maurice if you might widen these two out, function and modulaity.
        > Functional brain apparatus as standard issue or unique modularity as
        > user friendly, user designed?
        >
        >


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      • holderlin66
        ... Hogie McM wrote: The Number comes from the Ahrimanic realm, level 3, (inspired consciousness), ... conceptual consciousness, ... evolution
        Message 3 of 13 , Mar 1, 2004
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          --- In anthroposophy@yahoogroups.com,

          "Hogie McM" <hogie@a...> wrote:

          The Number comes from the Ahrimanic realm, level 3, (inspired
          consciousness),
          > from the deep unconscious Will, and enters into the Level 1
          conceptual consciousness,
          > the Mind (of the the Luciferic realm), which has entered human
          evolution as a result
          > of the War in Heaven with Michael (1839-1879), as he thre Lucifer
          out of the
          > Spiritual worlds in to the Earthly worlds of Human nature?
          >
          > The Brain is the physical structure then that manifests from the
          activities
          > of the Spirits of Form, and which is perceived by the Physical
          Senses only as a reflection,
          > within the Catch-22 of the brain activites itself, wherein my
          inquiry falls to pieces
          > a bit, or at least gets convoluted.

          http://faculty.virginia.edu/kubovylab/101_97/Lectures/Lecture02.html

          Dreams and modularity

          Five features of dreams
          Intense emotion
          Illogical content and organization
          Clear sensory impressions
          Uncritical acceptance
          Difficulty of remembering the dream

          The principle of modularity
          The mind is not controlled by a single agency
          It is more like a collection of specialized devices: modules
          In dreams some of the modules that work when we are awake are turned
          off; others work harder
          Another example of modularity: autism, a condition that may not
          affect intelligence, but prevents the individual from understanding
          others

          WHERE AM I?
          Mind = soul = spirit
          Why "mind"?
          Is the mind in the heart or in the brain?
          Aristotle (384-322 BCE): heart
          Galen (129-199 CE): brain

          Galen's brain theory
          Experiments on Barbary apes
          Squeeze heart and brain
          Tie off nerve from brain to vocal chords

          Facts about the cortex of the brain

          THE BRAIN
          Total cortical area = 1.3 x 105 mm2
          = a square sheet about 14" on a side
          Cortical thickness = 1.7 mm
          about 1/16" thick
          Number of cortical neurons = 1010
          10,000,000,000 = 10 billion
          Density of cortical neurons = 105/mm3
          1,638,706,400 = about 1.7 billion in a 1" cube

          THE BRAIN
          Number of synapses per neuron = 4x103
          4,000
          Axons: 3 km/mm3
          80,000 miles in a 1" cube
          Number of corpus callosum fibers = 5x108
          500,000,000 = 500 million
          Electrical activity of the brain
        • Maurice McCarthy
          Dear Hogie, Please forgive me for not answering you directly. In a sense you go on to say what I wanted to add. If one holds, in fixity, to the point of view
          Message 4 of 13 , Mar 1, 2004
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            Dear Hogie,

            Please forgive me for not answering you directly. In a sense you go on
            to say what I wanted to add.

            If one holds, in fixity, to the point of view that the How is primary
            then what one has done is turn the How into a What. In this case the
            What has become a How. So what is the difference? Why should anyone have
            an inclination to prefer one to the other?

            The What is simply given so that the What turned into a How is a passive
            How - and the name for a passive How is condition. In all ultimate
            matters it is necessary to take a dialectical pont of view. Since the
            spirit is an ultimate then one must look "through both sides of the
            window". We must at once grasp the view from "inside the room" (the
            spiritual and 'soular') and also from outside the room (the
            materialistic). Your location defines your fixity. Thus materialism
            contains a certain truth but is one sided.

            The extreme form of materialism is today called Eliminative Materialism
            - sooner or later we will all realise that colours, for example, do not
            really exist. It is not popular but not that easy to refute, in spite
            of appearances.

            Since the origin of explanation, the supreme form of knowledge without
            which no other kind can be affirmed to exist, demands an undefined
            content and an undefinable activity (the willingness to understand -
            which is Goethe's eternal feminine, the Classical Helen) then it is not
            the content but the activity which must exist. The activity is the Light
            of the World. But the two cannot relate without another - the impulse to
            knowledge. The content lends its impulse,its mystery, to the activity.
            The activity is the willingness to grasp this impulse. (Impulse is the
            non-manifest Father, Willingness is His Son - Sophia! Sophia is receptive
            to all kinds of knowledge.)

            The two questions for realism/physicalism/materialism, other minds and
            self-consciousness, may be stated thus:

            Willingness can only become a subject by parcelling itself. And the
            matter for parcel is content. I only know my own mind. How can I
            therefore know that the stone under my shoe is not conscious?

            Self-consciousness results from the activity of willingness being
            reflected by the content to willingness itself. The active is always to
            be preferred to the passive. (Aristotle - i.e. Steiner in a former
            incarnation.) The active is that which makes the passive what it is.

            Think I've not been clear here, but got to go.
            Maurice.





            On Mon, Mar 01, 2004 at 09:23:21AM -0800 or thereabouts, Hogie McM wrote:
            > Re: The What and the How in relation to the Mind and Brain.
            > Is not the Number just an expression of the How, and not the How itself?
            > So it would seem to me we are dealing with a Triune model, and not a Dualism.
            >
            > and the What is perhaps, yes, an expression of an underlying reality,
            > so are we thus dealing with a Quaternity?
            >
            > The Number comes from the Ahrimanic realm, level 3, (inspired consciousness),
            > from the deep unconscious Will, and enters into the Level 1 conceptual consciousness,
            > the Mind (of the the Luciferic realm), which has entered human evolution as a result
            > of the War in Heaven with Michael (1839-1879), as he thre Lucifer out of the
            > Spiritual worlds in to the Earthly worlds of Human nature?
            >
            > The Brain is the physical structure then that manifests from the activities
            > of the Spirits of Form, and which is perceived by the Physical Senses only as a reflection,
            > within the Catch-22 of the brain activites itself, wherein my inquiry falls to pieces
            > a bit, or at least gets convoluted.
            >
            > Hogie
            >
          • Cheeseandsalsa@aol.com
            To the AP critics- A person who has a cat by the tail knows a whole lot more about cats than someone who has just read about them. -Mark Twain I didn t
            Message 5 of 13 , Mar 1, 2004
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              To the AP critics-  "A person who has a cat by the tail knows a whole lot more about cats than someone who has just read about them.  -Mark Twain
              I didn't think such a thing as certainty reguarding spiritual matters existed until finding AP.   The Light feels good,  The Light feels real, I think I'll stay here where the Light unfolds, for the sake of human kind, I'll stay where the Light feels good and true.   Chees
            • Maurice McCarthy
              Ned Block (philosopher NYU) defines functionalism as the theory that mental states are constituted by their causal relations to each other and to sensory
              Message 6 of 13 , Mar 2, 2004
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                Ned Block (philosopher NYU) defines functionalism as the theory that
                "mental states are constituted by their causal relations to each
                other and to sensory inputs and behavioural outputs". He calls the
                scientific concept of kidney a function - it filters the blood. This
                lends itself well to the computer analogy in that the function is
                'software'. The mental is no longer identified with the physical but has
                a level of its own so that psychology has a content of its own divorced
                from the physical. Reductionism is out.

                I reckon that because 'causal' remains a physical notion for the
                functionalist then this is why they are attacked for no theory of the
                quality of the senses. Functionalism is a sort of hybrid
                realist-dynamist theory. They are sure to reject any proposal that
                concepts and ideas have an objective validity but will see them as
                linguistic description only (They use Wittgenstein's theory of meaning.)
                This is the battle to win through for a proper epistemology, that
                concepts have a formative influence. They put language as the generator
                of the conceptual. In terms of time they have a point but not in terms
                of explanation. Explanation has a priority in being.

                Maurice
              • joksu57
                Hello Maurice! In the 70 s when I studied Steiner s Philosophy of Freedom, philosophy became very interesting subject to me. Inspired by Dr. Steiner s views I
                Message 7 of 13 , Mar 3, 2004
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                  Hello Maurice!

                  In the 70's when I studied Steiner's Philosophy of Freedom,
                  philosophy became very interesting subject to me. Inspired by Dr.
                  Steiner's views I started studying theoretical philosophy in a
                  university in late 70's. Of course academic philosophy was some sort
                  of a disappointment after PoF. But the history of philosophy was
                  worth the trouble and from "new philosophy" e.g. the paradigm-concept
                  of Thomas S. Kuhn was a helpful tool. After the "university years" I
                  have propably been too lazy in studying philosophy and scientific
                  subjects (there are just too many esoteric subjects to mess with!).

                  It is nice to hear that consciousness is nowadays not treated as a
                  mere attribute of matter. But still there are grave differences. We
                  can take again the example of a "human being". So some modern
                  thinkers can take the attitude, where the mind is almost accepted as
                  a reality. When we think what man is after Saturn-, Sun-, Moon- and
                  Earth-periods, the "accuracy-level" is remarkably different. Of
                  course a human being is extremely large and difficult concept to
                  study, because "we are the microcosm". What makes the subject even
                  more harder is the fact, that we are in a "halfway position" and
                  probably in Vulcan-period we can see, what it really means to be a
                  human being. So there remains a lot of work in "bridging" the
                  different paradigms.

                  It is fine that you have interest and capability in this "philosophy-
                  business". Please keep on reporting about your research!

                  Warm Regards
                  Joksu

                  --- In anthroposophy@yahoogroups.com, Maurice McCarthy
                  <maurice.mccarthy@n...> wrote:
                  > On Mon, Mar 01, 2004 at 01:46:27PM -0000 or thereabouts, joksu57
                  wrote:
                  > >
                  > > I also have my doubts about the outcome of those debates, when
                  the
                  > > paradigms are so different. E.g. a human being in "anthro-
                  paradigm"
                  > > means something totally different compared to "scientific-
                  > > materialistic" paradigm. When even the basic concepts used in a
                  > > discussion can mean different things, it is hard to come to some
                  > > reasonable conclusion. My respect, though, to everyone, who have
                  the
                  > > patience to explain the basics of spiritual science to critics
                  (who
                  > > obviously have some other agenda than understanding AP or Waldorf
                  > > education).
                  > >
                  >
                  > With respect to materialism and how it has changed since Steiner's
                  time
                  > I've recently read Colin McGuinn's philosophical biography and am
                  now
                  > reading Paul Churchland's "Matter and Consciousness". Both are
                  intended
                  > for the lay reader but the latter especially is challenging.
                  >
                  > The big change is that the mind is almost accepted as a reality,
                  > distinct from matter. Almost all cognitive scientists, neurologists
                  and
                  > Artificial Intelligence folk are funtionalists. In the terms of
                  Human
                  > and Cosmic Thought this is a form of dynamism and is adjacent to a
                  > Leibnitzian-type monadology - which definitely affirms the
                  existence of
                  > subjective entities.
                  >
                  > Chomsky is the man most responsible for this change - that the mind
                  is
                  > born with a pre-configured modularity. As I see it this is within
                  an ace
                  > of declaring the soul.
                  >
                  > Maurice
                • Maurice McCarthy
                  Dear Joksu Thanks for the encouragement. I battle on as best I can to understand and I ve always had an interest in the Big Issues. Years ago I played chess to
                  Message 8 of 13 , Mar 3, 2004
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                    Dear Joksu

                    Thanks for the encouragement. I battle on as best I can to understand
                    and I've always had an interest in the Big Issues. Years ago I played
                    chess to a minor international level and though I lost more than I won
                    there is perhaps only a single game in my recollection which I lost
                    through a lack of strategy oversight. It was in the details that I lost
                    my way - and 'the devil is in the details', as the saying goes.

                    Essentially what I am trying to say in these little words is that RS
                    died a whole human life-time ago teaching us the principle that reality
                    alters and alters continually, even though some things appear more
                    stable than others. It is a common human failing to stay with habit of
                    thought rather than re-think afresh and we anthroposophists have just
                    this failing as much as anyone else. This does not mean that RS is
                    irrelevant (words from the spirit are the most stable of all and when
                    Christ says 'verily, I say unto ye' then listen because what comes next
                    is true for every level of consciousness and all time. This is why it is
                    put 'verily'.) RS is not irrelevant but habit ossifies his words which
                    slowly lose contact with living reality. It is up to us to rework the
                    truth in our changed circumstances.`

                    McGinn is a "monkey-hanger" - a term of endearment for a chap from
                    Hartlepool in the North East of England. During the Napoleonic Wars they
                    famously hung a monkey there for being a French spy ... ?!? (True story)
                    In "The Making of a Philosopher" he writes to the effect that:
                    In the technical works such as Syntactical Structures Chomsky argued
                    that a child could not learn a language by the Behaviourist's stimilus
                    and response but had to come pre-prepared with an implicit grasp of
                    grammar. One of the key arguments was the limited resources a child
                    posseses to develop rich grammar.

                    Functionalism now easily arises from the observed necessity to
                    thrust the mind into stimulus and response. Jerry Fodor is McGinn's
                    colleague at Rutgers and McGinn says that he is generally acknowledged
                    to be the best philosopher of mind in the world. (Anglo-Saxon philosophy
                    is still a very male-ego oriented thing today.) Fodor's Language of
                    Thought 1975 is considered one of the first robust statements of
                    Functionalim which now puts the first, if still physicalised, emphasis
                    on the How as opposed to the what.

                    From our position we generally think that Computer Intelligence is just
                    baloney from first inspection. I still agree but this speaking from
                    habit. Be warned - there is a lot more credit to AI than we at first
                    give it.

                    Maurice




                    On Wed, Mar 03, 2004 at 08:11:00AM -0000 or thereabouts, joksu57 wrote:
                    > Hello Maurice!
                    >
                    > In the 70's when I studied Steiner's Philosophy of Freedom,
                    > philosophy became very interesting subject to me. Inspired by Dr.
                    > Steiner's views I started studying theoretical philosophy in a
                    > university in late 70's. Of course academic philosophy was some sort
                    > of a disappointment after PoF. But the history of philosophy was
                    > worth the trouble and from "new philosophy" e.g. the paradigm-concept
                    > of Thomas S. Kuhn was a helpful tool. After the "university years" I
                    > have propably been too lazy in studying philosophy and scientific
                    > subjects (there are just too many esoteric subjects to mess with!).
                    >
                    > It is nice to hear that consciousness is nowadays not treated as a
                    > mere attribute of matter. But still there are grave differences. We
                    > can take again the example of a "human being". So some modern
                    > thinkers can take the attitude, where the mind is almost accepted as
                    > a reality. When we think what man is after Saturn-, Sun-, Moon- and
                    > Earth-periods, the "accuracy-level" is remarkably different. Of
                    > course a human being is extremely large and difficult concept to
                    > study, because "we are the microcosm". What makes the subject even
                    > more harder is the fact, that we are in a "halfway position" and
                    > probably in Vulcan-period we can see, what it really means to be a
                    > human being. So there remains a lot of work in "bridging" the
                    > different paradigms.
                    >
                    > It is fine that you have interest and capability in this "philosophy-
                    > business". Please keep on reporting about your research!
                    >
                    > Warm Regards
                    > Joksu
                  • Maurice McCarthy
                    Bradford asked about modules Chomsky holds intelligence to be of separate compartments and not an infinitely plastic unity. There is one for language but to
                    Message 9 of 13 , Mar 3, 2004
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                      Bradford asked about modules

                      Chomsky holds intelligence to be of separate compartments and not an
                      infinitely plastic unity. There is one for language but to him it is
                      specifically human. Animal or alien tongues may easily be
                      unintelligible to a human. Intelligences are separate things - I think
                      he is saying species specific.

                      McGinn finds this relevant to what he calls Metaphilosophy, the
                      philosophy beyond philosophy or philosophy of philosophy. I ask what is
                      the love of knowledge for the love of knowledge? The pure willingness to
                      understand - Christ as Anthropo-sophia, human wisdom. He say
                      metaphilosophy is the most neglected and difficult aspect in all
                      philosophy.

                      Maurice.
                    • Maurice McCarthy
                      Children do not imitate speech, they create it: Lap me, Nanny! (My daughter at about 2 years old) Maurice
                      Message 10 of 13 , Mar 3, 2004
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                        Children do not imitate speech, they create it:

                        Lap me, Nanny! (My daughter at about 2 years old)

                        Maurice
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