On Wednesday, October 16, 2013 9:03:19 PM UTC-4, Liz R wrote:
> > wrote:
>> On Wednesday, October 16, 2013 8:12:34 PM UTC-4, Liz R wrote:
>>> On 17 October 2013 12:41, Craig Weinberg <whats...@gmail.com> wrote:
>>>> On Wednesday, October 16, 2013 7:09:00 PM UTC-4, Liz R wrote:
>>>>> On 17 October 2013 11:57, Craig Weinberg <whats...@gmail.com> wrote:
>>>>>> On Wednesday, October 16, 2013 6:32:44 PM UTC-4, Liz R wrote:
>>>>>>> Interesting! One part of the brain controlling another (I guess it
>>>>>>> does this anyway but not in the same way).
>>>>>> The question is, what is controlling the first part of the brain?
>>>>> I'm not sure if it's controlled, exactly. Some would consider it
>>>>> autonomous, although it has a lot of input that "drives" it - both from
>>>>> rest of the brain and the environment (which I guess means the rest of
>>>>> body, including the senses).
>>>> There isn't really any room for an autonomous 'it' though when I'm
>>>> introspectively controlling parts of my own brain. If my will can control
>>>> what a neuron does then it is my will that controls the neuron, not the
>>>> brain being passively driven by its own input.
>>>> I'm not sure what "will" means here. It seems to be an emergent /
>>> high-level description which perhaps needs to be broken down into a
>>> neuronal level description, given what we're discussing...?
>> Juts the opposite. Neuronal level descriptions are to me clearly
>> divergent from high level description (will). It might help to think of
>> neuronal descriptions as microphysiological rather than conflating them
>> with microphenomenal descriptions. It's not so much high level
>> phenomenology emerging from low level physiology, bit personal level
>> descriptions and sub-personal level descriptions of phenomenology
>> correspond to physiological and microphysiological descriptions. We are not
>> made of what neurons do any more than a movie is made of what the pixels of
>> a video screen do.
> The pixels have an obvious cause outside themselves. That isn't obvious
> with neurons and consciousness (I'm not wearing my comp hat at the moment,
> unless you want to bring that in?)
The pixels don't have an obvious cause outside themselves unless you
smuggle your knowledge of electronics into it. Neurons are a character
within our conscious experience as much as our experience coincides with
some of the behaviors of neurons. We have no reason at all to imagine that
a brain has anything to do with 'consciousness' except because we are
taking our own word that we are conscious. On the level that we understand
the brain and neurons, there could be no such thing as awareness.
>>> Nor am I sure what "passive" means in the context of autonomy (the two
>>> are somewhat opposed, surely). I'm not sure what it means for the brain to
>>> be "passively driven by its own input" (where "input" includes memories,
>>> experiences, etc)
>> It's begging the question to assume that input includes memories and
>> experiences. As far as we can tell, all that the brain should need as input
>> would be electrical or neurochemical signals. There is no sign of any
>> 'experiences' there. That's what I thought that you meant by autonomous -
>> driven by purely bio-mechanical interactions, not aesthetically experienced
> My point was that "input" isn't necessarily just something received from
> outside. And yes, to a materialist, at least, the brain does appear to just
> need electrical and neurochemical signals.
I'm trying to show that actual memories and experiences are different from
changes in the brain. We can explain everything that the brain does without
ever guessing that there could be experiences outside of the brain tissue
being 'represented' in some way.
>> when it's constantly rewiring itself, making and breaking
>>> connections...? (Presumably it's ultimately "driven" by the laws of
>>> physics, but so is everything else, so that would make the entire universe
>>> "passively driven" which makes the concept meaningless, or at least
>> I think that we are driving physics as much as physics is driving us. If
>> that were not the case, then our experience would not make much sense in a
>> universe that is driven only by its own unconscious automaticity.
> How do we do that?
The same way that the subjects train themselves to control their neurons,
or that I move my fingers to push the keyboard to input the data that you
see through your brain/eyes/screen. We are physics. We are not reducible to
low level public physics, we are personal level private physics. I think
that it might work something like this:
>>> The brain is normally assumed to be essentially a large collection of
>>> interconnected neurons.
>> The brain, like the entire body, is a single living cells which has
>> divided into a multiplicity of self-reflections. I think that our
>> understanding of the brain is on par with our understanding of astronomy
>> before Galileo.
> Well that may be so, but it's hard to have a discussion based on as yet
> undiscovered future science!
It can be hard, yes, but no future science can be discovered without
discussing it first.
>>> There isn't anything else in there that I know of that is relevant to a
>>> discussion of how it functions (well, there are blood vessels and glial
>>> cells and whatever, but I don't know if they're relevant to a discussion of
>>> the brain functions we're interested in, though they are obviously needed
>>> in a supporting role). On that view, giving the brain the ability to
>>> control parts of itself more directly than it would normally be able to
>>> (through training and feedback, or with wires etc) is just introducing more
>>> connections, filling in some links that nature happens to have not
>>> provided, but not fundamentally different from what goes on in there
>> Still, the fact that every person finds their own way to manipulate their
>> own individual neuron suggests that consciousness is indeed sub-personal as
>> well as personal. We have to find our way around our own brain from the
>> inside - with no hands or eyes, and no sub-brain to 'process sense data' to
>> allow us to improve in our training.
> Split brain operations have long suggested that consciousness is
Exactly. Blindsight too.
> I'm not sure how we find our way around our brains *except *from the
Right, but the mechanistic model of the brain would not fit very well with
that capacity. It would be like each part of a program being able to
control other parts by feel.
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