On 4/11/2013 7:32 AM, Terren Suydam wrote:
On Wed, Apr 10, 2013 at 6:08 PM, meekerdb <meeke...@verizon.net
On 4/10/2013 2:08 PM, Terren Suydam wrote:
Yes, those are good counter examples.
But I think to say "pain and pleasure are fine-tuned by evolution..." is a
of hand. Pain and pleasure are phenomenological primitives. If evolution
those primitives, how did it do that? By what mechanism?
Another way to think of this is to acknowledge that pain signals are
special nerves in the nervous system. But what makes those nerves any
from a nerve that carries information about gentle pressure? You may be
point to different neuroreceptors used, but then that shifts the question
different neuroreceptors should result in different characters of
You have to ground the interpretation in behavior and its relation to
advantage. People who put their hand in the fire withdraw it quickly and
warn others. People that don't suffer reproductive disadvantage.
Of course, but it still involves a sleight of hand. Let me offer this example by way of
trying to make this clear.
You have creature A which does not suffer pain. Then some mutation occurs and creature
B, descended from A, is born with the ability to feel pain when exposed to fire. We
agree that creature B is more likely to reproduce than creature A. My question is, what
is the nature of the mutation that suddenly ushered in the subjective experience of
pain? What is the mechanism?
It needn't be one specific "pain" mechanism. It could be a part of the brain that
interprets a complex of neural signals as pain, it could be release of some hormones, it
could be the development of specific pain sensors. All that is significant is that it
elicit the "pain response".
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