On Oct 28, 10:59 am, Quentin Anciaux <allco...@gmail.com> wrote:
> 2011/10/28 Craig Weinberg <whatsons...@gmail.com>
>
> > On Oct 28, 8:10 am, Stathis Papaioannou <stath...@gmail.com> wrote:
> > > On Fri, Oct 28, 2011 at 6:13 AM, Craig Weinberg <whatsons...@gmail.com>
> > wrote:
> > > > Let's say that I watch a football game on TV and describe what I see.
> > > > Is there now a direct connection between my larynx and a football
> > > > field somewhere? What is this connection made of? Is this the kind of
> > > > purely semantic-philosophical 'connection' you are talking about being
> > > > what connects the retina and larynx?
>
> > > There is a causal connection between your larynx and the football field,
> > since what happens on the football field affects your larynx.
>
> > Any such connection is one that is only inferred. What happens on the
> > football field only affects your larynx if you decide to talk about
> > it.
>
> >  If it did not, you could not describe what happened on the football
> > field. You cannot describe a football game if the light from it has
> > not reached you, for example, since information cannot get to you
> > faster than light.
>
> > You could listen to it on the radio or read about it in the newspaper.
> > You could invent an imaginary game and describe it in intricate
> > detail.
>
> > > >> How does "the necessity of neurons to respond to their environment" go
> > > >> against determinism?
>
> > > > Because living cells must confront unanticipated and novel
> > > > circumstances in their environment which cannot be determined, nor can
> > > > the responses be determined in advance. Inorganic molecules don't care
> > > > if they survive or not so their interactions are more deterministic
> > > > and passive.
>
> > > The environment can provide a rich variety of inputs to an entity but
> > that does not mean that the entity must be programmed to respond differently
> > to every input.
>
> > Then that means that it isn't deterministic.
>
> It is. Every part of it is determined exactly from input + rules,

You are assuming that input exists independently of the subject. I
don't. A black and white TV has no capacity to ever show color
broadcasts, so that the all of it's inputs can only be rendered in
monochrome. A living organism, unlike a TV, can learn and adapt by
itself. It can choose what to foster and what to avoid. It is not just
input + rules against a dumb lookup table, it is volition and
affinity. It is determined by the organism itself as well as the
environment.

> what isn't
> (from the point of view of the model) is the environment, that has been said
> *from the beginning of the discussion*. We don't model the environment, and
> we don't have to, since what we want is connect the model to the
> environment, we don't want to model the universe *but a brain* (in the
> though experiment)

One of the main purposes of the brain is to model the environment,
just as the purpose of a TV set is to provide TV programs. Without
factoring that in, any model of the brain is a waste of time. You
cannot separate the brain from the universe which is created through
that brain.

>
> > For example, a neuron may see see a concentration of dopamine
> > molecules that varies over a trillionfold range, but it has only two
> > responses: depolarise its membrane if the concentration is above a
> > certain threshold, don't if it isn't. The neuron does not know what
> > the dopamine concentration is going to be ahead of time, but it looks
> > at what it is and responds according to this algorithm.
>
> > It has to be able to tell the difference between dopamine and every
> > other molecule in the body first. It's outrageously simplistic to say
> > that the neuron can only respond to this binary algorithm It's like
> > saying that we can respond to our environment by living or dying.
>
> You are beating around the bush... You do straw man arguments all the times.
>
> "A straw man is a component of an argument and is an informal fallacy based
> *on misrepresentation of an opponent's position*"

I think that your position is actually that simplistic though. I'm
describing it in another case to expose that reductionism, but I'm not
trying to misrepresent it.

Craig

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