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59054Re: [existlist] Re: "Philosophy is the biography of the philosopher."

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  • Ramona Josephson
    Jan 20, 2013
      eduard,

      The brain is not isolated from the body; it depends on the body and its external environment. It may or may not think about them while performing countless autonomic tasks about which it doesn't have to think. Body and brain have evolved together as nature and mind have evolved together. They depend on one another; they form a system, a whole, from which the brain is not isolated. There are always objects for the brain to determine, even if this object is itself, the body, or a dream.  

      If we are unable to monitor neural processing, how are you certain the brain forms ideas, or dreams, without any input from external objects? 

      The differences between your brain and mine are not simply which scripts we keep or discard; the differences are attributable to variables in our environments, internal and external, and require observation and analyses regardless of neural processing, in order to determine which differences are genuinely problematic. Yes, speculative reason requires a brain. Yet as obvious as this is, it doesn't happen in isolation. If your brain merely needs itself, why this conversation? I'm thinking our differences are minor, that you think thinking is mechanical but that your politics and sensibilities may be similar, but I think computer analogies are dangerous. I think you think my representational thinking is somehow dangerous. Is the idea that ideas are immanent in objects really that threatening?

      And if, as you assert, the brain is mechanically processing in isolation from everything else, how are its determinations not subject to skepticism, when determinations which are arrived through input are? Or is that your point, that what this brain determines in isolation is not subject to outside scrutiny? That somehow what the brain does can't affect how we act in and with our environments?

      Mary



      ________________________________
      From: eduardathome <yeoman@...>
      To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Saturday, January 19, 2013 2:41 PM
      Subject: Re: [existlist] Re: "Philosophy is the biography of the philosopher."



      Mary,

      Your statement was that one might remove all objects including the thinking
      brain.  Regardless of what other functions there may be, if your remove the
      thinking brain then it no longer exists.  You are stating the obvious.

      But lets look at this aspect of isolation.  I would offer that the brain IS
      isolated from everything except itself ... in the role of thinking.  If you
      remove elements of the environment, at what point in the removal or for what
      object that is removed, does the brain cease to function??  Granted, if you
      remove the air or some other basic survival element the brain dies, but even
      here the brain will function until it is actually dead.

      If you remove the system of ideas, at what point will the brain cease to
      function??  This is a particularly important question since your proposal of
      removal of a system of ideas implies that the brain cannot think unless
      there is some idea that resides elsewhere.  The idea in the apple.  I would
      submit that that is not the case.  The brain can function in isolation
      because the thinking is essentially mechanical within itself.  In fact, it
      does so when we sleep by creating dreams [its own objects].  However, I
      would further suggest that the reverse is true.  If you remove the thinking
      brain then the system of ideas will cease to exist.  Your proposal would be
      similar as to say that if you remove the internet, computers would cease to
      exist.

      eduard

      -----Original Message-----
      From: Mary
      Sent: Saturday, January 19, 2013 2:12 PM
      To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [existlist] Re: "Philosophy is the biography of the philosopher."

      No, eduard, I said the thinking brain doesn't exist. This is different from
      all the other functions the brain performs. Evolutionary development of the
      brain, and the history of ideas are linear. You want to isolate the brain
      from everything except itself. If you do that it's no longer part of a
      system, neither a system of ideas nor an environmental system. If you want a
      simpler system, that's what you prefer, your own script if you will.

      Mary

      --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, eduardathome  wrote:
      >
      > Mary,
      >
      > "Without objects to perceive, including itself, the thinking brain doesn't
      > exist."
      >
      > You are well beyond me.  I tend to look at things in a concrete linear
      > fashion.  That is why I like Nooism.  It doesn't get into stuff at some
      > rarefied level.  We think by using our neurons [our brain] and that's it.
      > We don't have to speculate on this or that or some combination until
      > nothing
      > really makes any sense.
      >
      > Consider your statement above.  Basically you are saying that if there is
      > no
      > brain, then the brain doesn't exist.  Isn't that kinda obvious.
      >
      > It's very simple.  Objects exist.  They always exist regardless of humans.
      > The brain can "know" an object by means of its sensors.  But the "knowing"
      > is only an interpretation largely based on previous learning.  Our brain
      > can
      > store the electrochemical information which "represents" the object.
      > Later,
      > in our "thinking" this information may be used in a mental script to
      > produce
      > another thought, a behaviour or whatever.
      >
      > We can be aware of our thinking, as to say that we know when we have
      > thought
      > of something, but we cannot monitor the actual process of thinking.  So in
      > a
      > literal sense, one cannot say that the brain is aware of itself.  To do so
      > is to anthropomorphise the brain.
      >
      > eduard
      >
      >
      > -----Original Message-----
      > From: Mary
      > Sent: Saturday, January 19, 2013 11:55 AM
      > To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
      > Subject: [existlist] "Philosophy is the biography of the philosopher."
      >
      > eduard,
      >
      > Let's focus solely on the brain which is an object in and for itself. It
      > self-mediates. It evolved and developed a capacity to observe and
      > understand
      > itself and its environment. This potential was implicit in the brain and
      > made explicit through evolution. The brain evolved and became aware of
      > itself. Another way to say this is that after the brain discovered objects
      > outside itself, especially those things it needed to live, the brain
      > discovered itself. Evolution is an idea explicating itself. The brain is
      > an
      > idea of itself, is an object for itself, is its own cause and effect. What
      > does this imply about everything else that is other than our brain? Yes,
      > an
      > object is mediated through the brain, and the result is an idea, but the
      > mediator is also an idea, the brain idea. The mediator which mediates
      > between the object and the brain is the idea of the brain. Without an idea
      > of the brain as the thinker formulating an idea, an idea about the object
      > isn't possible. Without objects to
      > perceive, including itself, the thinking brain doesn't exist. The brain is
      > a
      > unity of idea and materia, and long before natural phenomena were objects
      > of
      > perception they co-evolved with our brains. Do we now say we have no use
      > for
      > our environment? Because the idea of the brain was implicit in phenomena,
      > I
      > agree with those who posit that 'idea' is both implicit in nature and
      > explicated through a natural brain, a whole.
      >
      > Mary
      >

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