[Neuroscience] Re: Philosophical Foundations of Neuroscience

Glen M. Sizemore via neur-sci%40net.bio.net (by gmsizemore2 At yahoo.com)
Thu Nov 30 13:02:06 EST 2006

KK: Glenn, hi:

I have a question while attempting to match the two statements below:

>The brain doesn't
>think, and mercury atoms are not silvery and slippery.

>What is inside the head is the neurophysiology that mediates behavioral
>function. There are no data that are counter to that notion.

Would it sit well with you, if one

a. takes the "neurophysiology that mediates behavioral function"
b. then calls it "thinking"

GS: No. It would not sit well with me.

KK: c. then interprets "thinking" as a label covering the two major 
agents which are */ cognitive and **/ emotional modes of the mediating

GS: No. It would not sit well with me. Indeed, it strikes me as mostly 

KK: d. then specifies that the conscious does not have to be equated with
"thinking" as there is */non-conscious, i.e. outside of perception and/or
awareness behaviour as well as **/ the  reflex/ automatic/ not-will based
subtypes of the same "mediating" function?

GS: No. It would not sit well with me. Indeed, it strikes me as mostly 

KK: e. while the brain regions need to be understood as */ parts of the 
containing internal labour distribution which are yet to be understood while
**/ the brain as a whole should not be equated with a system of networks
(per Bertalanfi's a system is not a sum of subsystems) but is, on one hand,
the environment for these networks (intrinsic brain activity), while, on the
other hand, has its own functions which are NOT the functions of any
particular part of the brain, nor of a network, nor a cluster of networks

GS: I can't make enough sense out of this to say much about it.

KK: f. and should be understood only within the context of */ the related
behavior and **/ the actual environment?

GS: Are you asking me whether or not I think that the physiology of behavior 
must be understood in the context of behavior and the environment?

KK: Would you agree that, when conversing about complex systems, we need to
attend not to some specific terms in use, or the sentences, of the
paragraphs, but to the non-verbal invariants of what a specific verbal
sequential context MUST outline?

GS: Sorry, I can't make head nor tail of this.

KK: Would you agree that there could be a reasonably "proper" requirement 
communicating thoughts on complex systems, for instance, in the form of
functional diagrams, so an at-a-glance perception and then comprehension of
someone's model can be OPTIMALLY perceived, so we are not in the graveyard
of the fragmented by the definition verbal constructs?

GS: Well, until we have some sort of handle on complex systems, we have 
little else to do but describe them in natural language. One hopes that such 
a narrative would be superseded by a mathematical description. But I think 
that while we are still stuck at the level of natural language description, 
we shouldn't muddy the water by saying nonsense like the brain thinks, or 
decides, or feels, or is conscious etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc.

KK: It seems to me that the majority of the arguments made only verbally, 
with no visual -spatial invariants, do nothing, but evok additional
arguments to patch up the incompleteness of the verbal mode of communication
while, in fact,...  the majority of the time we are talking about the same
thing, however, making emphasis on different parts of the same construct and
then evoking useless or erroneous verbal exchanges?

GS: I do not think that people are "talking about the same thing." I think 
there are two different issues here. Someone who thinks that the current 
nonsense that is said about the brain (i.e., it thinks, or feels, or 
perceives etc.) is meaningful is someone who doesn't understand that such 
crap is no explanation at all. It gives a false sense of progress.

KK: I think we need to start asking each other "to show your picture", i.e.
asking to produce the resulting "product" in the most complete and a
"user-friendly" modality: diagrams and pictures, if not "movies"
representing one's comprehensiveness of modelling a phenomenon in her/his
...  brain.

GS: I think we are far from the time when this will work. Cognitive 
 "science" has so corrupted neuroscience that any diagrams attempting to 
capture the nonsensical junk that is said is doomed to failure. How could it 
be otherwise? How could a term that describes phenomena at a macroscopic 
level apply to the functioning of some part?



"konstantin kouzovnikov" <myukhome At hotmail.com> wrote in message 
news:mailman.227.1164904303.19683.neur-sci At net.bio.net...
> Glenn, hi:

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