On 11/9/2011 8:00 PM, Craig Weinberg wrote:
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>
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?

Strawman: He didn't say *direct* connection.
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.

Strawman: No one suggested it was other than inferred. What else would it be? a mathematical theorem? Almost everything we know about the world is inferred.

What happens on the
football field only affects your larynx if you decide to talk about

Strawman: The hypothetical was that you watch and football game and describe it. That there are other possibilities, like not describing it, is a red herring.

  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
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

Strawman: He is not assuming that the possible inputs are not constrained by the subject. Only that the input can vary independently of the subject. It is not true that an organism can change from black and white to color vision. A computer or robot can also learn and adapt.

Strawman: No one suggested a "dumb lookup table".

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.

Strawman: No one has suggested modeling the brain in some universe other than this one. And it nonsense to talk of separating a brain from a universe 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*"

My advice is "Give it up, Quentin".

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.


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