Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

philosophical thoughting

Expand Messages
  • Mary
    I don t privilege philosophical thinking or challenge that it occurs at least partially in our brains. Here we are free to further determine what
    Message 1 of 8 , Jan 2, 2013
    • 0 Attachment
      I don't privilege philosophical thinking or challenge that it occurs at least partially in our brains. Here we are free to further determine what existentialism means as a body of thought and what its relevance is, but to privilege science over thought is oxymoronic. Philosophy directs science because it shapes and fosters a perspective as it promotes facts and theories. Science directs philosophy when it changes previously shaped perspectives.

      Mary
    • eduardathome
      Mary, I am not advocating that somehow science has some privilege or control over philosophy. My point is that philosophical thinking occurs entirely in the
      Message 2 of 8 , Jan 2, 2013
      • 0 Attachment
        Mary,

        I am not advocating that somehow science has some privilege or control over
        philosophy. My point is that philosophical thinking occurs entirely in the
        brain by means of neural scripts or whatever one might term mental
        programming. Philosophical thinking does not occur "partially" in the
        brain. It's entirely produced in the brain ... no exceptions.

        This is important, since we cannot move forward as long as we think that
        part of our thinking comes from somewhere else. There is no outside power
        or whatever that inputs thoughts into our brain so that we can simply repeat
        them in writing or speech. When Sartre wrote Being and Nothingness he was
        using his own brain. He may have borrowed some thoughts from others, but
        these thoughts themselves were brain [of others] derived, so it is
        essentially the same thing. Camus used his brain when writing The Plague.
        Kierkegaard used his brain.

        This is supposedly the century of the brain. Yet what is astonishing is
        that we still want to have our thinking occur somewhere else. There is a
        fundamental reluctance to accept that fact that we actually think using our
        brains. And by this I mean any thinking ... observation, measurement,
        philosophical, religious, spiritual, mystic, whatever.

        In fact, I would suggest that an understanding of Existentialism is
        dependent upon an awareness that we individually think with our brains.
        Some Existential elements such as Angst are more easily understood in terms
        of brain action. The role of the brain is to give us answers. That is what
        it does. It takes available inputs which are related to our questioning
        about life and outputs some conclusion. We have "angst" because the brain
        is not able to provide a viable answer. Or the possible answer is in
        contradiction to some other brain knowledge. In such an instance the brain
        may break down leading to such as suicide, or the brain invents an answer
        with which it is comfortable regardless of the contradictions. This is
        where gods and mystics come into play.

        eduardathome

        -----Original Message-----
        From: Mary
        Sent: Wednesday, January 02, 2013 12:52 PM
        To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: [existlist] philosophical thoughting

        I don't privilege philosophical thinking or challenge that it occurs at
        least partially in our brains. Here we are free to further determine what
        existentialism means as a body of thought and what its relevance is, but to
        privilege science over thought is oxymoronic. Philosophy directs science
        because it shapes and fosters a perspective as it promotes facts and
        theories. Science directs philosophy when it changes previously shaped
        perspectives.

        Mary



        ------------------------------------

        Please support the Existential Primer... dedicated to explaining nothing!

        Home Page: http://www.tameri.com/csw/existYahoo! Groups Links
      • Mary
        Our body s chemistry influences our brain chemistry; that is outside the brain. The thoughts of other brains influence our brains; a physical space is created
        Message 3 of 8 , Jan 2, 2013
        • 0 Attachment
          Our body's chemistry influences our brain chemistry; that is outside the brain. The thoughts of other brains influence our brains; a physical space is created by the interaction of other brains. So yes, an individual brain seems the primary organ or mechanical part producing thoughts, but this is an illusion. Our entire environment (body and other natural phenomena) is part of thinking, not just the brain. David Bohm's "Thought As A System" doesn't pose some outside force influencing thought, rather that a system of thought unfolds from an implicate physical order but tends to think it is in charge of the unfolding. His work in theoretical physics led him to a holistic perspective in which parts of the whole (in this case neuro-chemical processes) are also themselves part of the order and not solely order producing.

          Eduard, we are at an impasse in which we each choose (or feel good about) our own perspectives. A theory is constructed with complex interrelated ideas and categories not simply a fantasy based in the personal need to feel certain or happy. A personal philosophy demands less vigor, because we tend to inertia when satisfied.

          Mary

          --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, eduardathome <yeoman@...> wrote:
          >
          > Mary,
          >
          > I am not advocating that somehow science has some privilege or control over
          > philosophy. My point is that philosophical thinking occurs entirely in the
          > brain by means of neural scripts or whatever one might term mental
          > programming. Philosophical thinking does not occur "partially" in the
          > brain. It's entirely produced in the brain ... no exceptions.
          >
          > This is important, since we cannot move forward as long as we think that
          > part of our thinking comes from somewhere else. There is no outside power
          > or whatever that inputs thoughts into our brain so that we can simply repeat
          > them in writing or speech. When Sartre wrote Being and Nothingness he was
          > using his own brain. He may have borrowed some thoughts from others, but
          > these thoughts themselves were brain [of others] derived, so it is
          > essentially the same thing. Camus used his brain when writing The Plague.
          > Kierkegaard used his brain.
          >
          > This is supposedly the century of the brain. Yet what is astonishing is
          > that we still want to have our thinking occur somewhere else. There is a
          > fundamental reluctance to accept that fact that we actually think using our
          > brains. And by this I mean any thinking ... observation, measurement,
          > philosophical, religious, spiritual, mystic, whatever.
          >
          > In fact, I would suggest that an understanding of Existentialism is
          > dependent upon an awareness that we individually think with our brains.
          > Some Existential elements such as Angst are more easily understood in terms
          > of brain action. The role of the brain is to give us answers. That is what
          > it does. It takes available inputs which are related to our questioning
          > about life and outputs some conclusion. We have "angst" because the brain
          > is not able to provide a viable answer. Or the possible answer is in
          > contradiction to some other brain knowledge. In such an instance the brain
          > may break down leading to such as suicide, or the brain invents an answer
          > with which it is comfortable regardless of the contradictions. This is
          > where gods and mystics come into play.
          >
          > eduardathome
          >
          > -----Original Message-----
          > From: Mary
          > Sent: Wednesday, January 02, 2013 12:52 PM
          > To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
          > Subject: [existlist] philosophical thoughting
          >
          > I don't privilege philosophical thinking or challenge that it occurs at
          > least partially in our brains. Here we are free to further determine what
          > existentialism means as a body of thought and what its relevance is, but to
          > privilege science over thought is oxymoronic. Philosophy directs science
          > because it shapes and fosters a perspective as it promotes facts and
          > theories. Science directs philosophy when it changes previously shaped
          > perspectives.
          >
          > Mary
          >
          >
          >
          > ------------------------------------
          >
          > Please support the Existential Primer... dedicated to explaining nothing!
          >
          > Home Page: http://www.tameri.com/csw/existYahoo! Groups Links
          >
        • eduardathome
          The body s chemistry is only another input to the brain. If we change the chemistry of the body ... say by a burn ... then this condition is reported to the
          Message 4 of 8 , Jan 2, 2013
          • 0 Attachment
            The body's chemistry is only another input to the brain. If we change the
            chemistry of the body ... say by a burn ... then this condition is reported
            to the brain. It is the same as the sensation of touch or the sensation
            that our stomach is empty and you should search for food. In any case the
            chemistry does not of itself produce thought. This then is not an
            exception.

            The thoughts of other brains do indeed influence our brains. If Sartre
            thinks of something, then he writes a book: we read the book and our brain
            acquires the thought. Physical space has never been created by interaction
            of other brains. The only thing they can do is to conclude that the persons
            having these brains should stand further apart. This is not an exception to
            the principle that we think with our brains.

            Your statement ... "Our entire environment (body and other natural
            phenomena) is part of thinking, not just the brain" ... makes no sense.
            How does say a tree involve itself in my thinking?? I can think of a tree,
            and a tree my inspire my thinking, but a tree cannot think for me in place
            of my brain. Please give me an example of a thought that was produced by a
            tree that is separate from my [or your] brain.

            I have not read David Bohm, but I should think that he did not came right
            out and say that some of his thoughts were not produced by his brain.

            Yes, we are at an impasse. As I said at the beginning, there is a huge
            reluctance to accept that we actually think with our brains. Which, in a
            way, I find very surprising considering all the science that has gone into
            the subject in the past few years. The brain does our thinking. It's not a
            theory but a basic fact. And yes, the brain does for the most part seek out
            answers that are based on personal need to feel certain or happy. That is
            precisely what it does. A scientist uses his/her brain to conclude a
            solution for which there is an assumed certainty. Everyone ultimately tries
            to find answers that will result in happiness. But beyond this, the general
            public refuses to accept that they think with their brains.

            And yet the functioning of our brains gives explanation for all of our
            behaviour and philosophies and whatever else is the product of thinking. If
            you look up "Existentialism" on Wikipedia you get statements like ...

            "Authenticity, in the context of existentialism, is being true to one's own
            personality, spirit, or character." Personality, spirit and character are
            products of the brain. We all know that. It's a fact.

            Or ... "Søren Kierkegaard, generally considered to be the first
            existentialist philosopher, posited that it is the individual who is solely
            responsible for giving meaning to life and for living life passionately and
            sincerely. " An understanding of the meaning to life is a product of our
            thinking which is of the brain. It does not arise anywhere else.

            Or in regard to "Existence precedes essence" .... "Thus, human beings,
            through their own consciousness, create their own values and determine a
            meaning to their life." Again, this is the workings of the brain. The
            environment in which we live cannot produce a thought. It might be able to
            do so if it had a brain, but it doesn't.

            Anyway I guess I have talked myself out. I see this subject as highly
            important, but it has been my experience that very few people want to
            recognize that they think with their brains.

            eduardathome


            -----Original Message-----
            From: Mary
            Sent: Wednesday, January 02, 2013 2:39 PM
            To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
            Subject: [existlist] Re: philosophical thoughting

            Our body's chemistry influences our brain chemistry; that is outside the
            brain. The thoughts of other brains influence our brains; a physical space
            is created by the interaction of other brains. So yes, an individual brain
            seems the primary organ or mechanical part producing thoughts, but this is
            an illusion. Our entire environment (body and other natural phenomena) is
            part of thinking, not just the brain. David Bohm's "Thought As A System"
            doesn't pose some outside force influencing thought, rather that a system of
            thought unfolds from an implicate physical order but tends to think it is in
            charge of the unfolding. His work in theoretical physics led him to a
            holistic perspective in which parts of the whole (in this case
            neuro-chemical processes) are also themselves part of the order and not
            solely order producing.

            Eduard, we are at an impasse in which we each choose (or feel good about)
            our own perspectives. A theory is constructed with complex interrelated
            ideas and categories not simply a fantasy based in the personal need to feel
            certain or happy. A personal philosophy demands less vigor, because we tend
            to inertia when satisfied.

            Mary
          • Mary
            ... Ask any person who is subject to anxiety or panic triggers whether specific chemicals produce anxious and/or paranoid thoughts and feelings. ... What is
            Message 5 of 8 , Jan 2, 2013
            • 0 Attachment
              --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, eduardathome <yeoman@...> wrote:
              >
              > The body's chemistry is only another input to the brain. If we change the
              > chemistry of the body ... say by a burn ... then this condition is reported
              > to the brain. It is the same as the sensation of touch or the sensation
              > that our stomach is empty and you should search for food. In any case the
              > chemistry does not of itself produce thought. This then is not an
              > exception.

              Ask any person who is subject to anxiety or panic triggers whether specific chemicals produce anxious and/or paranoid thoughts and feelings.

              > The thoughts of other brains do indeed influence our brains. If Sartre
              > thinks of something, then he writes a book: we read the book and our brain
              > acquires the thought. Physical space has never been created by interaction
              > of other brains. The only thing they can do is to conclude that the persons
              > having these brains should stand further apart. This is not an exception to
              > the principle that we think with our brains.

              What is the acquisition of a thought but the building/connecting of neurons? A thought occupies a physical space in the brain? Why do intensely active brains become more wrinkled if nothing physical happens during thought. Don't parts of the brain contain memory, stored images and emotions which can be stimulated externally?

              > Your statement ... "Our entire environment (body and other natural
              > phenomena) is part of thinking, not just the brain" ... makes no sense.
              > How does say a tree involve itself in my thinking?? I can think of a tree,
              > and a tree my inspire my thinking, but a tree cannot think for me in place
              > of my brain. Please give me an example of a thought that was produced by a
              > tree that is separate from my [or your] brain.

              I'm not saying the tree is thinking; chemicals found in nature, and in our bodies can adversely affect the brain, and the beauty and terror found in nature (including other people) affects mood which affects thought.

              > I have not read David Bohm, but I should think that he did not came right
              > out and say that some of his thoughts were not produced by his brain.

              What he said was thought is contagious and that we don't necessarily think only our own thoughts. The system of thought, of which our own brains partake and influence, leads us to believe whatever we think is true because we are thinking it. Naturally, the machinery of the brain is doing the work, but what we perceive and what we are subjected to environmentally and pathologically are part of the system. This is a holistic approach.

              > Yes, we are at an impasse. As I said at the beginning, there is a huge
              > reluctance to accept that we actually think with our brains. Which, in a
              > way, I find very surprising considering all the science that has gone into
              > the subject in the past few years. The brain does our thinking. It's not a
              > theory but a basic fact. And yes, the brain does for the most part seek out
              > answers that are based on personal need to feel certain or happy. That is
              > precisely what it does. A scientist uses his/her brain to conclude a
              > solution for which there is an assumed certainty. Everyone ultimately tries
              > to find answers that will result in happiness. But beyond this, the general
              > public refuses to accept that they think with their brains.

              I disagree with you that people reject the brain as the source of thought. They simply realize that the content of their thought is more important than the machinery.

              > And yet the functioning of our brains gives explanation for all of our
              > behaviour and philosophies and whatever else is the product of thinking. If
              > you look up "Existentialism" on Wikipedia you get statements like ...
              >
              > "Authenticity, in the context of existentialism, is being true to one's own
              > personality, spirit, or character." Personality, spirit and character are
              > products of the brain. We all know that. It's a fact.
              >
              > Or ... "Søren Kierkegaard, generally considered to be the first
              > existentialist philosopher, posited that it is the individual who is solely
              > responsible for giving meaning to life and for living life passionately and
              > sincerely. " An understanding of the meaning to life is a product of our
              > thinking which is of the brain. It does not arise anywhere else.
              >
              > Or in regard to "Existence precedes essence" .... "Thus, human beings,
              > through their own consciousness, create their own values and determine a
              > meaning to their life." Again, this is the workings of the brain. The
              > environment in which we live cannot produce a thought. It might be able to
              > do so if it had a brain, but it doesn't.
              >
              > Anyway I guess I have talked myself out. I see this subject as highly
              > important, but it has been my experience that very few people want to
              > recognize that they think with their brains.

              I suppose part of authenticity is intentionally becoming more aware of and learning to change thinking habits which are destructive. Bohm was highly motivated in this regard, though he didn't overtly credit psychological techniques as you have. He advocated formal dialogues in order to observe how thought moves between participants, how it threatens and creates disagreement or makes thought makes us happy and creates consensus. He was a holistic thinker, in his physics as well, and suggested we suffer from too much cognitive dissonance. We hold too many conflicting, incoherent thoughts which only dialogue can tease out and make us face. I not interested in the mechanics of the brain, since I take them for granted; thoughts themselves are the problem.

              > eduardathome

              Mary

              >
              >
              > -----Original Message-----
              > From: Mary
              > Sent: Wednesday, January 02, 2013 2:39 PM
              > To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
              > Subject: [existlist] Re: philosophical thoughting
              >
              > Our body's chemistry influences our brain chemistry; that is outside the
              > brain. The thoughts of other brains influence our brains; a physical space
              > is created by the interaction of other brains. So yes, an individual brain
              > seems the primary organ or mechanical part producing thoughts, but this is
              > an illusion. Our entire environment (body and other natural phenomena) is
              > part of thinking, not just the brain. David Bohm's "Thought As A System"
              > doesn't pose some outside force influencing thought, rather that a system of
              > thought unfolds from an implicate physical order but tends to think it is in
              > charge of the unfolding. His work in theoretical physics led him to a
              > holistic perspective in which parts of the whole (in this case
              > neuro-chemical processes) are also themselves part of the order and not
              > solely order producing.
              >
              > Eduard, we are at an impasse in which we each choose (or feel good about)
              > our own perspectives. A theory is constructed with complex interrelated
              > ideas and categories not simply a fantasy based in the personal need to feel
              > certain or happy. A personal philosophy demands less vigor, because we tend
              > to inertia when satisfied.
              >
              > Mary
              >
            • eduardathome
              (1) Ask any person who is subject to anxiety or panic triggers whether specific chemicals produce anxious and/or paranoid thoughts and feelings. I don t
              Message 6 of 8 , Jan 3, 2013
              • 0 Attachment
                (1) "Ask any person who is subject to anxiety or panic triggers whether
                specific chemicals produce anxious and/or paranoid thoughts and feelings."

                I don't dispute this. However, what you are saying is that these chemicals
                produce "thoughts and feelings". Where are these thoughts?? They are
                obviously in your brain. They are not in the chemicals or anywhere else.
                This is not an exception to the point that we think with our brains, even
                though its thinking can be triggered by something outside of itself.

                (2) "What is the acquisition of a thought but the building/connecting of
                neurons? A thought occupies a physical space in the brain? Why do intensely
                active brains become more wrinkled if nothing physical happens during
                thought. Don't parts of the brain contain memory, stored images and emotions
                which can be stimulated externally?"

                Active brains do not become more wrinkled. The wrinkles are there from the
                start. You simply use the existing neurons and create new connections.
                Nothing physical happens during thought. Thought is the processing of
                neurons. If anything you could say that the ion exchange at synapses is
                physical, but I doubt that this is what you mean. I agree that that the
                brain can be stimulated externally. Wilder Penfield of McGill University
                showed that back in the early 1950s, by probing a live brain. Of course
                that isn't exactly the same as say reacting to an external noise but the
                point is made. But if the brain is stimulated externally to release memory,
                stored images [actually the elements of images ... the brain does store
                images] and emotions, then this simply says that the external stimulus
                causes thinking and this occurs in the brain. This is not an exception to
                the point that we think with our brains.

                (3) "I'm not saying the tree is thinking; chemicals found in nature, and in
                our bodies can adversely affect the brain, and the beauty and terror found
                in nature (including other people) affects mood which affects thought."

                It seemed you were saying that. But if nature affects thought, then it is
                thought which occurs in the brain. This is not an exception.

                (4) "What he said was thought is contagious and that we don't necessarily
                think only our own thoughts. The system of thought, of which our own brains
                partake and influence, leads us to believe whatever we think is true because
                we are thinking it. Naturally, the machinery of the brain is doing the work,
                but what we perceive and what we are subjected to environmentally and
                pathologically are part of the system. This is a holistic approach."

                The issue is whether the brain is doing any thinking. My sole point is that
                this thinking occurs in the brain. As you put it, I fully accept that
                thought is contagious, but we do not think someone else's thoughts. We
                think our own thoughts which may adopt what others are thinking. That's a
                huge difference. We may well be subject to environment or to pathology, but
                this does not mean that we do not think with our brains. What we perceive
                is our brain's interpretation of things out there.

                (5) "I disagree with you that people reject the brain as the source of
                thought. They simply realize that the content of their thought is more
                important than the machinery."

                And there in is the difficulty and the stumbling block. People want to
                separate out the content of their thought from the means by which this
                thought is produced. They advocate that the content is more important than
                the machinery, but what they are really saying is that the content is too
                important to be produced by machinery. How can a piece of machinery ever
                produce a book on philosophy such as that by Sartre. But the reality is
                that the machinery does exactly that. We are born with a brain which is
                full of neurons. Over time, those neurons learn mental scripts that are
                capable of producing thoughts with a wide range of content. Granted, to say
                that there is a neural script is very simplistic. A thought may require the
                use of millions of neurons and thousands if not tens of thousands of
                scripts. That is why the brain is wrinkled ... the neurons are on the
                surface and wrinkling increases the surface area and thus the number of
                available neurons.

                (6) "I suppose part of authenticity is intentionally becoming more aware of
                and learning to change thinking habits which are destructive. Bohm was
                highly motivated in this regard, though he didn't overtly credit
                psychological techniques as you have. He advocated formal dialogues in order
                to observe how thought moves between participants, how it threatens and
                creates disagreement or makes thought makes us happy and creates consensus.
                He was a holistic thinker, in his physics as well, and suggested we suffer
                from too much cognitive dissonance. We hold too many conflicting, incoherent
                thoughts which only dialogue can tease out and make us face. I not
                interested in the mechanics of the brain, since I take them for granted;
                thoughts themselves are the problem."

                As much as I have now read about David Bohm's ideas, it doesn't appear that
                he is saying that the brain can't think or produce thoughts. What he is
                saying that the human brain [my brain, your brain, everyone's brain] is part
                of a system. As much as a company may have different departments which must
                work in unison and exchange information. I completely agree.

                But when we started out on this subject, my point was that it is the brain
                which thinks and produces our thoughts. Your counterpoint was that the
                brain can only observe and measure. I object to that, as my position is
                that the brain is capable of producing all our thoughts, whether this be to
                express appreciation for a chocolate or to write a philosophical text or
                compose a symphony. I would suggest that the faults supposed by Bohm in the
                "system" cannot be found as long as we deny the fact that it is the brain
                that thinks. Similarly we can't know how the system itself works without
                being aware of how the brains of individuals function.

                eduardathome


                -----Original Message-----
                From: Mary
                Sent: Wednesday, January 02, 2013 10:10 PM
                To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
                Subject: [existlist] Re: philosophical thoughting

                --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, eduardathome <yeoman@...> wrote:
                >
                > The body's chemistry is only another input to the brain. If we change the
                > chemistry of the body ... say by a burn ... then this condition is
                > reported
                > to the brain. It is the same as the sensation of touch or the sensation
                > that our stomach is empty and you should search for food. In any case the
                > chemistry does not of itself produce thought. This then is not an
                > exception.

                Ask any person who is subject to anxiety or panic triggers whether specific
                chemicals produce anxious and/or paranoid thoughts and feelings.

                > The thoughts of other brains do indeed influence our brains. If Sartre
                > thinks of something, then he writes a book: we read the book and our brain
                > acquires the thought. Physical space has never been created by
                > interaction
                > of other brains. The only thing they can do is to conclude that the
                > persons
                > having these brains should stand further apart. This is not an exception
                > to
                > the principle that we think with our brains.

                What is the acquisition of a thought but the building/connecting of neurons?
                A thought occupies a physical space in the brain? Why do intensely active
                brains become more wrinkled if nothing physical happens during thought.
                Don't parts of the brain contain memory, stored images and emotions which
                can be stimulated externally?

                > Your statement ... "Our entire environment (body and other natural
                > phenomena) is part of thinking, not just the brain" ... makes no sense.
                > How does say a tree involve itself in my thinking?? I can think of a
                > tree,
                > and a tree my inspire my thinking, but a tree cannot think for me in place
                > of my brain. Please give me an example of a thought that was produced by
                > a
                > tree that is separate from my [or your] brain.

                I'm not saying the tree is thinking; chemicals found in nature, and in our
                bodies can adversely affect the brain, and the beauty and terror found in
                nature (including other people) affects mood which affects thought.

                > I have not read David Bohm, but I should think that he did not came right
                > out and say that some of his thoughts were not produced by his brain.

                What he said was thought is contagious and that we don't necessarily think
                only our own thoughts. The system of thought, of which our own brains
                partake and influence, leads us to believe whatever we think is true because
                we are thinking it. Naturally, the machinery of the brain is doing the work,
                but what we perceive and what we are subjected to environmentally and
                pathologically are part of the system. This is a holistic approach.

                > Yes, we are at an impasse. As I said at the beginning, there is a huge
                > reluctance to accept that we actually think with our brains. Which, in a
                > way, I find very surprising considering all the science that has gone into
                > the subject in the past few years. The brain does our thinking. It's not
                > a
                > theory but a basic fact. And yes, the brain does for the most part seek
                > out
                > answers that are based on personal need to feel certain or happy. That is
                > precisely what it does. A scientist uses his/her brain to conclude a
                > solution for which there is an assumed certainty. Everyone ultimately
                > tries
                > to find answers that will result in happiness. But beyond this, the
                > general
                > public refuses to accept that they think with their brains.

                I disagree with you that people reject the brain as the source of thought.
                They simply realize that the content of their thought is more important than
                the machinery.

                > And yet the functioning of our brains gives explanation for all of our
                > behaviour and philosophies and whatever else is the product of thinking.
                > If
                > you look up "Existentialism" on Wikipedia you get statements like ...
                >
                > "Authenticity, in the context of existentialism, is being true to one's
                > own
                > personality, spirit, or character." Personality, spirit and character are
                > products of the brain. We all know that. It's a fact.
                >
                > Or ... "Søren Kierkegaard, generally considered to be the first
                > existentialist philosopher, posited that it is the individual who is
                > solely
                > responsible for giving meaning to life and for living life passionately
                > and
                > sincerely. " An understanding of the meaning to life is a product of our
                > thinking which is of the brain. It does not arise anywhere else.
                >
                > Or in regard to "Existence precedes essence" .... "Thus, human beings,
                > through their own consciousness, create their own values and determine a
                > meaning to their life." Again, this is the workings of the brain. The
                > environment in which we live cannot produce a thought. It might be able
                > to
                > do so if it had a brain, but it doesn't.
                >
                > Anyway I guess I have talked myself out. I see this subject as highly
                > important, but it has been my experience that very few people want to
                > recognize that they think with their brains.

                I suppose part of authenticity is intentionally becoming more aware of and
                learning to change thinking habits which are destructive. Bohm was highly
                motivated in this regard, though he didn't overtly credit psychological
                techniques as you have. He advocated formal dialogues in order to observe
                how thought moves between participants, how it threatens and creates
                disagreement or makes thought makes us happy and creates consensus. He was a
                holistic thinker, in his physics as well, and suggested we suffer from too
                much cognitive dissonance. We hold too many conflicting, incoherent thoughts
                which only dialogue can tease out and make us face. I not interested in the
                mechanics of the brain, since I take them for granted; thoughts themselves
                are the problem.

                > eduardathome

                Mary

                >
                >
                > -----Original Message-----
                > From: Mary
                > Sent: Wednesday, January 02, 2013 2:39 PM
                > To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
                > Subject: [existlist] Re: philosophical thoughting
                >
                > Our body's chemistry influences our brain chemistry; that is outside the
                > brain. The thoughts of other brains influence our brains; a physical space
                > is created by the interaction of other brains. So yes, an individual brain
                > seems the primary organ or mechanical part producing thoughts, but this is
                > an illusion. Our entire environment (body and other natural phenomena) is
                > part of thinking, not just the brain. David Bohm's "Thought As A System"
                > doesn't pose some outside force influencing thought, rather that a system
                > of
                > thought unfolds from an implicate physical order but tends to think it is
                > in
                > charge of the unfolding. His work in theoretical physics led him to a
                > holistic perspective in which parts of the whole (in this case
                > neuro-chemical processes) are also themselves part of the order and not
                > solely order producing.
                >
                > Eduard, we are at an impasse in which we each choose (or feel good about)
                > our own perspectives. A theory is constructed with complex interrelated
                > ideas and categories not simply a fantasy based in the personal need to
                > feel
                > certain or happy. A personal philosophy demands less vigor, because we
                > tend
                > to inertia when satisfied.
                >
                > Mary
                >




                ------------------------------------

                Please support the Existential Primer... dedicated to explaining nothing!

                Home Page: http://www.tameri.com/csw/existYahoo! Groups Links
              • Mary
                eduard, Well argued and presented. You emphasize the brain (science) and I the larger system of thought (philosophy) or how to apply what we think we know
                Message 7 of 8 , Jan 3, 2013
                • 0 Attachment
                  eduard,

                  Well argued and presented. You emphasize the brain (science) and I the larger system of thought (philosophy) or how to apply what we think we know about the brain, which falls in the domain of ethics.

                  Mary

                  --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, eduardathome wrote:
                  >
                  > (1) "Ask any person who is subject to anxiety or panic triggers whether
                  > specific chemicals produce anxious and/or paranoid thoughts and feelings."
                  >
                  > I don't dispute this. However, what you are saying is that these chemicals
                  > produce "thoughts and feelings". Where are these thoughts?? They are
                  > obviously in your brain. They are not in the chemicals or anywhere else.
                  > This is not an exception to the point that we think with our brains, even
                  > though its thinking can be triggered by something outside of itself.
                  >
                  > (2) "What is the acquisition of a thought but the building/connecting of
                  > neurons? A thought occupies a physical space in the brain? Why do intensely
                  > active brains become more wrinkled if nothing physical happens during
                  > thought. Don't parts of the brain contain memory, stored images and emotions
                  > which can be stimulated externally?"
                  >
                  > Active brains do not become more wrinkled. The wrinkles are there from the
                  > start. You simply use the existing neurons and create new connections.
                  > Nothing physical happens during thought. Thought is the processing of
                  > neurons. If anything you could say that the ion exchange at synapses is
                  > physical, but I doubt that this is what you mean. I agree that that the
                  > brain can be stimulated externally. Wilder Penfield of McGill University
                  > showed that back in the early 1950s, by probing a live brain. Of course
                  > that isn't exactly the same as say reacting to an external noise but the
                  > point is made. But if the brain is stimulated externally to release memory,
                  > stored images [actually the elements of images ... the brain does store
                  > images] and emotions, then this simply says that the external stimulus
                  > causes thinking and this occurs in the brain. This is not an exception to
                  > the point that we think with our brains.
                  >
                  > (3) "I'm not saying the tree is thinking; chemicals found in nature, and in
                  > our bodies can adversely affect the brain, and the beauty and terror found
                  > in nature (including other people) affects mood which affects thought."
                  >
                  > It seemed you were saying that. But if nature affects thought, then it is
                  > thought which occurs in the brain. This is not an exception.
                  >
                  > (4) "What he said was thought is contagious and that we don't necessarily
                  > think only our own thoughts. The system of thought, of which our own brains
                  > partake and influence, leads us to believe whatever we think is true because
                  > we are thinking it. Naturally, the machinery of the brain is doing the work,
                  > but what we perceive and what we are subjected to environmentally and
                  > pathologically are part of the system. This is a holistic approach."
                  >
                  > The issue is whether the brain is doing any thinking. My sole point is that
                  > this thinking occurs in the brain. As you put it, I fully accept that
                  > thought is contagious, but we do not think someone else's thoughts. We
                  > think our own thoughts which may adopt what others are thinking. That's a
                  > huge difference. We may well be subject to environment or to pathology, but
                  > this does not mean that we do not think with our brains. What we perceive
                  > is our brain's interpretation of things out there.
                  >
                  > (5) "I disagree with you that people reject the brain as the source of
                  > thought. They simply realize that the content of their thought is more
                  > important than the machinery."
                  >
                  > And there in is the difficulty and the stumbling block. People want to
                  > separate out the content of their thought from the means by which this
                  > thought is produced. They advocate that the content is more important than
                  > the machinery, but what they are really saying is that the content is too
                  > important to be produced by machinery. How can a piece of machinery ever
                  > produce a book on philosophy such as that by Sartre. But the reality is
                  > that the machinery does exactly that. We are born with a brain which is
                  > full of neurons. Over time, those neurons learn mental scripts that are
                  > capable of producing thoughts with a wide range of content. Granted, to say
                  > that there is a neural script is very simplistic. A thought may require the
                  > use of millions of neurons and thousands if not tens of thousands of
                  > scripts. That is why the brain is wrinkled ... the neurons are on the
                  > surface and wrinkling increases the surface area and thus the number of
                  > available neurons.
                  >
                  > (6) "I suppose part of authenticity is intentionally becoming more aware of
                  > and learning to change thinking habits which are destructive. Bohm was
                  > highly motivated in this regard, though he didn't overtly credit
                  > psychological techniques as you have. He advocated formal dialogues in order
                  > to observe how thought moves between participants, how it threatens and
                  > creates disagreement or makes thought makes us happy and creates consensus.
                  > He was a holistic thinker, in his physics as well, and suggested we suffer
                  > from too much cognitive dissonance. We hold too many conflicting, incoherent
                  > thoughts which only dialogue can tease out and make us face. I not
                  > interested in the mechanics of the brain, since I take them for granted;
                  > thoughts themselves are the problem."
                  >
                  > As much as I have now read about David Bohm's ideas, it doesn't appear that
                  > he is saying that the brain can't think or produce thoughts. What he is
                  > saying that the human brain [my brain, your brain, everyone's brain] is part
                  > of a system. As much as a company may have different departments which must
                  > work in unison and exchange information. I completely agree.
                  >
                  > But when we started out on this subject, my point was that it is the brain
                  > which thinks and produces our thoughts. Your counterpoint was that the
                  > brain can only observe and measure. I object to that, as my position is
                  > that the brain is capable of producing all our thoughts, whether this be to
                  > express appreciation for a chocolate or to write a philosophical text or
                  > compose a symphony. I would suggest that the faults supposed by Bohm in the
                  > "system" cannot be found as long as we deny the fact that it is the brain
                  > that thinks. Similarly we can't know how the system itself works without
                  > being aware of how the brains of individuals function.
                  >
                  > eduardathome
                  >
                  >
                  > -----Original Message-----
                  > From: Mary
                  > Sent: Wednesday, January 02, 2013 10:10 PM
                  > To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
                  > Subject: [existlist] Re: philosophical thoughting
                  >
                  > --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, eduardathome wrote:
                  > >
                  > > The body's chemistry is only another input to the brain. If we change the
                  > > chemistry of the body ... say by a burn ... then this condition is
                  > > reported
                  > > to the brain. It is the same as the sensation of touch or the sensation
                  > > that our stomach is empty and you should search for food. In any case the
                  > > chemistry does not of itself produce thought. This then is not an
                  > > exception.
                  >
                  > Ask any person who is subject to anxiety or panic triggers whether specific
                  > chemicals produce anxious and/or paranoid thoughts and feelings.
                  >
                  > > The thoughts of other brains do indeed influence our brains. If Sartre
                  > > thinks of something, then he writes a book: we read the book and our brain
                  > > acquires the thought. Physical space has never been created by
                  > > interaction
                  > > of other brains. The only thing they can do is to conclude that the
                  > > persons
                  > > having these brains should stand further apart. This is not an exception
                  > > to
                  > > the principle that we think with our brains.
                  >
                  > What is the acquisition of a thought but the building/connecting of neurons?
                  > A thought occupies a physical space in the brain? Why do intensely active
                  > brains become more wrinkled if nothing physical happens during thought.
                  > Don't parts of the brain contain memory, stored images and emotions which
                  > can be stimulated externally?
                  >
                  > > Your statement ... "Our entire environment (body and other natural
                  > > phenomena) is part of thinking, not just the brain" ... makes no sense.
                  > > How does say a tree involve itself in my thinking?? I can think of a
                  > > tree,
                  > > and a tree my inspire my thinking, but a tree cannot think for me in place
                  > > of my brain. Please give me an example of a thought that was produced by
                  > > a
                  > > tree that is separate from my [or your] brain.
                  >
                  > I'm not saying the tree is thinking; chemicals found in nature, and in our
                  > bodies can adversely affect the brain, and the beauty and terror found in
                  > nature (including other people) affects mood which affects thought.
                  >
                  > > I have not read David Bohm, but I should think that he did not came right
                  > > out and say that some of his thoughts were not produced by his brain.
                  >
                  > What he said was thought is contagious and that we don't necessarily think
                  > only our own thoughts. The system of thought, of which our own brains
                  > partake and influence, leads us to believe whatever we think is true because
                  > we are thinking it. Naturally, the machinery of the brain is doing the work,
                  > but what we perceive and what we are subjected to environmentally and
                  > pathologically are part of the system. This is a holistic approach.
                  >
                  > > Yes, we are at an impasse. As I said at the beginning, there is a huge
                  > > reluctance to accept that we actually think with our brains. Which, in a
                  > > way, I find very surprising considering all the science that has gone into
                  > > the subject in the past few years. The brain does our thinking. It's not
                  > > a
                  > > theory but a basic fact. And yes, the brain does for the most part seek
                  > > out
                  > > answers that are based on personal need to feel certain or happy. That is
                  > > precisely what it does. A scientist uses his/her brain to conclude a
                  > > solution for which there is an assumed certainty. Everyone ultimately
                  > > tries
                  > > to find answers that will result in happiness. But beyond this, the
                  > > general
                  > > public refuses to accept that they think with their brains.
                  >
                  > I disagree with you that people reject the brain as the source of thought.
                  > They simply realize that the content of their thought is more important than
                  > the machinery.
                  >
                  > > And yet the functioning of our brains gives explanation for all of our
                  > > behaviour and philosophies and whatever else is the product of thinking.
                  > > If
                  > > you look up "Existentialism" on Wikipedia you get statements like ...
                  > >
                  > > "Authenticity, in the context of existentialism, is being true to one's
                  > > own
                  > > personality, spirit, or character." Personality, spirit and character are
                  > > products of the brain. We all know that. It's a fact.
                  > >
                  > > Or ... "Søren Kierkegaard, generally considered to be the first
                  > > existentialist philosopher, posited that it is the individual who is
                  > > solely
                  > > responsible for giving meaning to life and for living life passionately
                  > > and
                  > > sincerely. " An understanding of the meaning to life is a product of our
                  > > thinking which is of the brain. It does not arise anywhere else.
                  > >
                  > > Or in regard to "Existence precedes essence" .... "Thus, human beings,
                  > > through their own consciousness, create their own values and determine a
                  > > meaning to their life." Again, this is the workings of the brain. The
                  > > environment in which we live cannot produce a thought. It might be able
                  > > to
                  > > do so if it had a brain, but it doesn't.
                  > >
                  > > Anyway I guess I have talked myself out. I see this subject as highly
                  > > important, but it has been my experience that very few people want to
                  > > recognize that they think with their brains.
                  >
                  > I suppose part of authenticity is intentionally becoming more aware of and
                  > learning to change thinking habits which are destructive. Bohm was highly
                  > motivated in this regard, though he didn't overtly credit psychological
                  > techniques as you have. He advocated formal dialogues in order to observe
                  > how thought moves between participants, how it threatens and creates
                  > disagreement or makes thought makes us happy and creates consensus. He was a
                  > holistic thinker, in his physics as well, and suggested we suffer from too
                  > much cognitive dissonance. We hold too many conflicting, incoherent thoughts
                  > which only dialogue can tease out and make us face. I not interested in the
                  > mechanics of the brain, since I take them for granted; thoughts themselves
                  > are the problem.
                  >
                  > > eduardathome
                  >
                  > Mary
                  >
                  > >
                  > >
                  > > -----Original Message-----
                  > > From: Mary
                  > > Sent: Wednesday, January 02, 2013 2:39 PM
                  > > To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
                  > > Subject: [existlist] Re: philosophical thoughting
                  > >
                  > > Our body's chemistry influences our brain chemistry; that is outside the
                  > > brain. The thoughts of other brains influence our brains; a physical space
                  > > is created by the interaction of other brains. So yes, an individual brain
                  > > seems the primary organ or mechanical part producing thoughts, but this is
                  > > an illusion. Our entire environment (body and other natural phenomena) is
                  > > part of thinking, not just the brain. David Bohm's "Thought As A System"
                  > > doesn't pose some outside force influencing thought, rather that a system
                  > > of
                  > > thought unfolds from an implicate physical order but tends to think it is
                  > > in
                  > > charge of the unfolding. His work in theoretical physics led him to a
                  > > holistic perspective in which parts of the whole (in this case
                  > > neuro-chemical processes) are also themselves part of the order and not
                  > > solely order producing.
                  > >
                  > > Eduard, we are at an impasse in which we each choose (or feel good about)
                  > > our own perspectives. A theory is constructed with complex interrelated
                  > > ideas and categories not simply a fantasy based in the personal need to
                  > > feel
                  > > certain or happy. A personal philosophy demands less vigor, because we
                  > > tend
                  > > to inertia when satisfied.
                  > >
                  > > Mary
                  > >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > ------------------------------------
                  >
                  > Please support the Existential Primer... dedicated to explaining nothing!
                  >
                  > Home Page: http://www.tameri.com/csw/existYahoo! Groups Links
                  >
                • eduardathome
                  But I don t limit the domain of the brain. It s everything. I find myself asking of someone ... what script is he/she running? And in a way the corollary of
                  Message 8 of 8 , Jan 3, 2013
                  • 0 Attachment
                    But I don't limit the domain of the brain. It's everything. I find myself
                    asking of someone ... what script is he/she running? And in a way the
                    corollary of where or how did they get that script? For example, I ask the
                    question of politicians [of course not directly as they would not know what
                    I was talking about]. It is like some say when querying why people do
                    whatever ... "follow the money". That assumes a particular motive, but it
                    is similar. Or we might ask ... "what's in it for them".

                    The "what's in it for him" is really to ask what is the conclusion of the
                    script he/she is running.

                    Try it. It will give you a completely different perspective on people.

                    The one I am presently working on is to ask what script was Saint Paul
                    running when he choose to promote Christianity instead of persecuting the
                    Christians? What did he expect to get out of it?? Of course some might say
                    that one shouldn't ask such questions of a saint. The standard answer is
                    that Christ chose him on the way to Damascus. But my view is that people
                    are people and they do things in their own interest, even if it is running a
                    charity or a religion.

                    Although perhaps arguable otherwise, I don't think that the brain is
                    inclined to run a script that would have a negative impact upon the person.
                    Yes, there are scripts that are negative [for example, suicide] but there
                    has to be a side benefit that is more positive. "I kill myself [negative]
                    because this will end my suffering [positive].

                    I think that Jesus prior to being arrested by the Jewish priests and praying
                    in earnest, in the Gospel of Luke, is an example of someone who is trying
                    to maintain their mental script against second thoughts.

                    eduardathome

                    -----Original Message-----
                    From: Mary
                    Sent: Thursday, January 03, 2013 2:49 PM
                    To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
                    Subject: [existlist] Re: philosophical thoughting

                    eduard,

                    Well argued and presented. You emphasize the brain (science) and I the
                    larger system of thought (philosophy) or how to apply what we think we know
                    about the brain, which falls in the domain of ethics.

                    Mary
                  Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.