[Neuroscience] Re: why did humans grow a bigger neocortex?

Glen M. Sizemore via neur-sci%40net.bio.net (by gmsizemore2 from yahoo.com)
Fri Jul 20 08:40:17 EST 2007

"J.A.Legris" <jalegris from sympatico.ca> wrote in message 
news:1184938056.436499.77090 from n60g2000hse.googlegroups.com...
> On Jul 19, 12:04 pm, "Glen M. Sizemore" <gmsizemo... from yahoo.com> wrote:
>> "John H." <bingb... from goaway.com.au> wrote in message
>> news:139utvstb3lfe4f from corp.supernews.com...
>> > "Glen M. Sizemore" <gmsizemo... from yahoo.com> wrote in message
>> >news:469cbd3c$0$14594$ed362ca5 from nr2.newsreader.com...
>> >> "Michael Olea" <ol... from sbcglobal.net> wrote in message
>> >>news:tN2ni.20912$Rw1.14360 from newssvr25.news.prodigy.net...
>> >> > Glen M. Sizemore wrote:
>> >> >> "John H." <bingb... from goaway.com.au> wrote in message
>> >> >>news:139opshgf84mj6c from corp.supernews.com...
>> >> >>> More Technical but he is a king in this area: Joseph Le doux: The
>> >> >>> Emotional
>> >> >>> Brain.
>> >> >> And what a clever start; a title that is a category error.
>> >> > What he actually studies, though, is the physiology of classical
>> >> > conditioning. At least that's what he describes in "The Synaptic 
>> >> > Self".
>> >> But a cursory look shows how he contributes to the conceptual muddle.
>> > Perhaps more correctly his publisher. Book titles are marketing 
>> > devices,
>> > applying literalism to the same is like expecting peace in the Middle
>> > East.
>> > The text is an excellent introduction on fear conditioning and it
>> > neurobiological underpinnings.
>> I was referring to a lot of the things he says in interviews etc. Like a 
>> lot
>> of what passes for neuroscience, the facts can be divorced from the
>> underlying conceptualizations, but I think it is true - as I have 
>> repeatedly
>> made clear - that neuroscience is contaminated by mainstream psychology 
>> and
>> this makes many of the questions it asks literal nonsense. The so-called
>> "binding problem" is a good example, but for a million more see Bennett 
>> and
>> Hacker (this also counters your claim that it is a matter of book
>> publishers - the mereological fallacy is rampant in neuroscience). One 
>> thing
>> that certainly got my dander up was Le doux's claim that he is looking 
>> for a
>> neurobiological treatment, not a psychological one. This is pure 
>> nonsense.
>> The facts to be explained "fear conditioning" ARE psychological facts.
>> Indeed, there is no neurobiological understanding of behavior even 
>> possible
>> without first having psychology lay out what is to be explained. No doubt 
>> he
>> thinks that "psychology" must involve touchy-feely mental crap, but this
>> can't be used as an excuse. Of course, one of the things I detest about 
>> him
>> is that what he says reflects total unfamiliarity with the science of
>> behavior as it has existed for at least 70 years. This is hardly unique 
>> to
>> him, but is, in fact, a general symptom of mainstream psychology and th
>> fileds it has corrupted. For example, his statement about feelings and
>> emotion in some ways reflect what Skinner asserted vociferously for more
>> than 50 years. Relatedly, his view that the "ability to feel" is largely 
>> due
>> to natural selection is also something I hate. Depending on how you look 
>> at
>> it, the notion is either trivial or wrong.* And since I see cognitive
>> "science" as one big crock of shit, his view that "emotions and 
>> cognition"
>> need to be integrated does not sit well with me. I know, of course, that 
>> my
>> position is the minority opinion - to say the least. I'm not saying that
>> some of what he talks about is a contribution but, rather, that he is one
>> more loud mouth dolt that contributes to the monumental conceptual 
>> nightmare
>> that is mainstream psychology and the fields it has corrupted.
>> *There is the view that responding to one's own behavior is a product of
>> contingencies of reinforcement. This view leads, in fact, to an animal 
>> model
>> of self-awareness and feelings. This can lead, in turn, to a physiology 
>> of
>> awareness and feelings.
> Baum suggests that some behaviour analysts do not see themselves as
> psychologists at all. Sounds like a quick fix for your own mental
> problems. Once you have achieved a measure of calm, consider the
> possibility that all science is more or less "contaminated",
> conceptually muddy, and frequently wrong. The quality that
> distinguishes science from dogma, doctrine, superstition or simple BS
> is not purity, it is falsifiability.

We've had this discussion before. Falsifiability is something that applies 
to hypotheses, not the underlying conceptualizations. The failure to 
recognize the difference between empirical and conceptual issues is the 
hallmark of non-science.

> --
> Joe

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