On Saturday, March 2, 2013 4:18:39 PM UTC-5, stathisp wrote:
> On Sun, Mar 3, 2013 at 7:45 AM, Craig Weinberg 
> <whats...@gmail.com<javascript:>> 
> wrote: 
> >> 
> >> 
> http://medicalxpress.com/news/2013-03-dartmouth-neuroscientist-free-neural-basis.html
> > 
> > 
> > "A new theory of brain function by Peter Ulric Tse, a professor of 
> cognitive 
> > neuroscience at Dartmouth College, suggests that free will is real and 
> has a 
> > biophysical basis in the microscopic workings of our brain cells. 
> > 
> > Tse's findings, which contradict recent claims by neuroscientists and 
> > philosophers that free will is an illusion, have theological, ethical, 
> > scientific and legal implications for human behavior, such as whether 
> people 
> > are accountable for their decisions and actions. His book shows how free 
> > will works in the brain by examining its information-processing 
> architecture 
> > at the level of neural connections. He offers a testable hypothesis of 
> how 
> > the mental causes the physical. 
> > 
> > In contrast with philosophers who use logic rather than data to argue 
> > whether mental causation or consciousness can exist, he explores these 
> > issues by starting with neuroscientific data. Recent neurophysiological 
> > breakthroughs reveal that neurons evaluate information they receive, 
> which 
> > can change the way that other neurons will evaluate information and 
> "fire" 
> > in the future. Tse's research shows that such informational causation 
> cannot 
> > change the physical basis of current information, but it can change the 
> > neuronal basis of future mental events. This gets around the standard 
> > argument against free will that is based on the impossibility of 
> > self-causation. Tse lays out his argument in his new book titled "The 
> Neural 
> > Basis of Free Will"—
> https://mitpress.mit.edu/books/neural-basis-free-will"; 
> > 
> > Another nail in the coffin of simplistic physical models of 
> consciousness. I 
> > noticed that his view seems to completely support my ideas about 
> > consciousness being longitudinal through private time rather than 
> publicly 
> > accessible during any given moment. His findings seem to suggest a 
> > panpsychic, sub-personal, and sense-based (informational causation) 
> > biophysiology in which "the mental causes the physical." 
> > 
> > So yeah. It's not random or determined by physics, rather it is 
> intention 
> > which drives physics on many different and conflicting scales. 
> From this page it appears that he *does* think it is random. 

He does talk about QM statistical randomness as far as synaptic activity 
goes,  but he states clearly here:

"How exactly such weights or probabilities of firing might work is not 
understood, but Tse argues that weights would constitute 
"informational" criteria as opposed to being simply physical. They 
could represent mental events that supervene on the physical brain 

This sounds a lot more like teleology than randomness or determinism.

It has to 
> be either random or determined.

Says who? The entity whose every uttering is a random or determined 
jittering of meaningless neural activity?

> If you say it's something else you're 
> making up something that is not only physically but also logically 
> impossible. 

A clearer statement of psuedoskeptical prejudice I could not hope for. But 
I can't blame you - all of your responses are generated randomly or 
automatically and so cannot possibly contain any intentional meaning.


> http://www.informationphilosopher.com/solutions/scientists/tse/ 
> "Peter U. Tse is a cognitive psychologist and neuroscientist at 
> Dartmouth who argues for a novel form of mental causation that he 
> calls "criterial causation." 
> The idea is that large numbers of neurons (a complex of cells or "cell 
> assembly") are likely to be involved in even the simplest thoughts and 
> actions. Tse argues that the brain may be able to modify dynamically 
> the probabilities that individual neurons are "firing." He calls this 
> "dynamical synaptic reweighting." 
> Since the process by which a pre-synaptic neuron releases chemical 
> neurotransmitters into the synaptic cleft is a statistical one (large 
> numbers of neurotransmitter molecules must diffuse across the cleft to 
> activate ion channel receptors on the post-synaptic neuron), Tse says 
> that there is some ontological randomness in the process. He argues 
> that this is real indeterministic chance, quantum mechanical in 
> origin. 
> How exactly such weights or probabilities of firing might work is not 
> understood, but Tse argues that weights would constitute 
> "informational" criteria as opposed to being simply physical. They 
> could represent mental events that supervene on the physical brain 
> events. 
> -- 
> Stathis Papaioannou 

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