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Re: [existlist] Terminologies

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  • Herman
    Hi Louise and Mary, ... I firstly want to state my appreciation to both of you for your open-mindedness and willingness to consider various ideas, even when
    Message 1 of 2 , Aug 1, 2010
      Hi Louise and Mary,

      On 2 August 2010 09:45, shadowed_statue <hecubatoher@...> wrote:
      > Polly,
      > In your posts 52657 and 52667, you use the phrase, "the embodied brain", which I continue to find rather puzzling.  Maybe it is just my imagination.  At first my own brain wants to picture a "disembodied brain" by contrast, which does not look like a brain suspended in space or fluid, but like some aery spiritual entity, waiting to be made flesh and to enter the spacetime continuum where it will play its part in a human existence.  Now, obviously, you do not mean this.  So do you mean by "embodied brain" a brain considered in its usual situation, part of a living organism, and in dynamic interplay with the other parts of that organism?  Yet I suppose that a newly dead body also has an "embodied brain", without having the interplay.  To attach the adjective must have a meaning, I think, and I would appreciate knowing what it is, even if it sounds rather trite.  However amateurish this discussion might be by the highest philosophical standards, I am keen to understand exactly how precise it is possible to be.  Questioning what might seem obvious is one way to see if there is something new to be found.  I often feel doubt about whether my attempts to think philosophically are worthwhile, most especially after reading Bill's highly grounded posts, but on this occasion I feel not the slightest doubt that it does make abundant sense, to have the conversation.  What it is to be a body is infinitely complex, and inevitably beyond our human understanding.  But some things are within our understanding.  I want to know, in general, what ground I am standing on.

      I firstly want to state my appreciation to both of you for your
      open-mindedness and willingness to consider various ideas, even when
      they might go against the grain. This attitude, to me, is fundamental
      to the art of dialogue. The manner of your questioning leaves me in no
      doubt that your interest is in an ever-developing philosophical
      understanding, and not in maintaining an assumed a-priori rectitude.
      You have both written various posts to which I very much want to
      reply, and I hope to do so over the next few days, starting with this

      Louise, you ask what I mean by "embodied brain". The main function of
      the adjective is to highlight the fact that the brain is not a given,
      static structure, that carries out some a-priori functions, but that
      it is a living, plastic organ that depends on and is modified by
      sensory data. To be even more accurate in my meaning I guess I should
      have written "the embodied brain embedded in the world" because the
      sensory input, while always mediated by the body, does not necessarily
      originate in the body. The weight to be given to the role of the
      external world in how the brain develops cannot be overstated. Even
      the brains of identical twins are manifestly different, for the
      history of every body is absolutely unique.

      I hope that clarifies my meaning somewhat, and if not, feel free to
      ask some more :-)


      > Louise
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