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Author Topic:   Materialism
PaulK
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Message 6 of 114 (738135)
10-05-2014 8:48 AM
Reply to: Message 5 by Pressie
10-05-2014 3:48 AM


"Philosophical Monism" means the belief that there is one substance, usually as opposed to two "Dualism".

Really the name and common expressions are out of touch with modern science, since matter turns out to be rather different from intuitive. Really it's better to leave it at the idea that "Mind is not a substance". And the evidence currently favours that view.


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PaulK
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Posts: 17171
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Member Rating: 2.6


Message 12 of 114 (738155)
10-05-2014 11:45 AM
Reply to: Message 7 by Pressie
10-05-2014 8:56 AM


Oh, I think that it has a meaning. It's just that that meaning has to be extended from the original idea to include modern physics.

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PaulK
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Posts: 17171
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(1)
Message 16 of 114 (738176)
10-05-2014 5:24 PM
Reply to: Message 14 by nwr
10-05-2014 5:14 PM


"Materialism" etc. is really about what concrete objects are "made of". Mathematics is about abstracta, so it doesn't really pose a challenge in itself.

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PaulK
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Posts: 17171
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Message 28 of 114 (738198)
10-06-2014 1:02 AM
Reply to: Message 19 by nwr
10-05-2014 7:10 PM


quote:

Material objects are made of material?

That isn't what I said. I said that according to materialism, concrete objects are made of "matter".


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PaulK
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Posts: 17171
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 2.6


Message 49 of 114 (738260)
10-07-2014 4:12 PM
Reply to: Message 45 by 1.61803
10-07-2014 10:18 AM


Abstract and Concete
A symphony is an abstract entity.

A performance would be an instantiation of that abstraction - in concrete form.

Sheet music would be a representation of the abstraction, also in concrete form.

A CD would be the same, but playing a CD would produce another concrete instantiation of the abstraction.

I do think that it would be rather difficult to say that the abstraction exists even if there are neither instantiations or surviving representations (including memories).

Does this help ?


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PaulK
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Member Rating: 2.6


Message 58 of 114 (738279)
10-08-2014 1:40 AM
Reply to: Message 51 by Faith
10-07-2014 5:10 PM


Re: Mind-Body Problem
quote:

Yes, you'll find all that but in all that finding you're not going to find the mind itself. Ah the doggedness of the materialist is impressive. You'd find all those things happening in the apparatus that houses and conveys the thoughts of the mind, but the thoughts themselves, the contents of the mind itself, no, because the mind is its own thing, and it is not material. Granted it is intimately connected with the material apparatus and without it couldn't be communicated at all, at least in this material world, ahem, and the apparatus is useless without the mind to operate it too. Dead bodies are so sad, there is really manifestly "nobody there."

The idea that the mind is a thing apart, operating the brain is pretty much untenable and has been for some time. We know that memory is dependent on the physical brain That brain damage can cause profound changes of personality. And that even the unity of the mind is dependent on physical connections in the brain.

It is arguable that "the mind is software" (in a formal sense) and could be considered to be an abstraction. But that is the only way that the mind could be considered "indisputably non-material" (and even that is disputed) - but that leaves actual instantiations as material.

And of course there is no problem of music, as I explained. Music is only non-material as an abstraction.


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PaulK
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Posts: 17171
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 2.6


Message 62 of 114 (738283)
10-08-2014 2:46 AM
Reply to: Message 60 by Faith
10-08-2014 2:16 AM


Re: Mind-Body Problem
Assumptions don't need to be accounted for. The evidence does. And the evidence says that the assumption that the mind is independant of the brain is a false assumption.

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PaulK
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Posts: 17171
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 2.6


Message 63 of 114 (738284)
10-08-2014 2:50 AM
Reply to: Message 61 by Faith
10-08-2014 2:31 AM


Re: Mind-Body Problem
How does damage to the radio damage the user's memory? Or change their personality?
Let alone (almost) splitting them into two people (the "split brain" operation) ?

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PaulK
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Posts: 17171
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 2.6


Message 66 of 114 (738287)
10-08-2014 3:43 AM
Reply to: Message 64 by Faith
10-08-2014 3:24 AM


Re: Mind-Body Problem
But of course the opint that you were answering was that the person was changed in ways that cannot be attributed to simple communication failures. Telling a story which begs the question is not an answer to that.

The brain is more than an instrument for conveying thoughts, and is deeply involved in the mind. That cannot be rationally disputed without ignoring important evidence.


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PaulK
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Posts: 17171
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 2.6


Message 68 of 114 (738289)
10-08-2014 4:03 AM
Reply to: Message 65 by Faith
10-08-2014 3:41 AM


Re: Mind-Body Problem
At this point I'll note that the "communication" model doesn't explain this data either since the brain is needed to process sensory data and communicate it to the mind in that view.

Having read the paper I suspect that most of the details were produced more by confabulation and information the patient gained after the event rather than accurate memory of the event itself. It's not provable either way, but it's more consistent with what we know.


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PaulK
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Posts: 17171
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 2.6


Message 69 of 114 (738290)
10-08-2014 4:08 AM
Reply to: Message 67 by Faith
10-08-2014 3:46 AM


Re: Mind-Body Problem
I have addressed it by pointing out the evidence that the mind is not independant of the brain. Your point is an assumption, and one that needs support.

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 Message 67 by Faith, posted 10-08-2014 3:46 AM Faith has replied

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PaulK
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Posts: 17171
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 2.6


Message 71 of 114 (738293)
10-08-2014 5:55 AM
Reply to: Message 70 by Faith
10-08-2014 5:38 AM


Re: Mind-Body Problem
quote:

Your showing that brain damage interferes with mental function proves nothing about the point I made, that the mind initiates thoughts and ideas, for which the brain is the vehicle or tool. The connection may be pretty much simultaneous but clearly the mind and brain are entirely different things. You'll never discover the content of thoughts by studying the brain.

Actually it shows that they are not entirely different things, so long as we are talking about a concrete instance of a mind. However they relate the brain is involved in mental operations to the point where the mind cannot reasonably considered to be completely separate from the brain.

quote:

My point is an observation that any rational person ought to be able to recognize, not an assumption.

If all "rational people" ought to accept it there must be a rational argument for accepting it. Please present it.


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PaulK
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Posts: 17171
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 2.6


Message 73 of 114 (738295)
10-08-2014 6:30 AM
Reply to: Message 72 by Faith
10-08-2014 6:00 AM


Re: Mind-Body Problem
quote:

I do believe mind and brain are separate and separable, but my argument here is more in terms of their being entirely different things and that you cannot discover the qualities of either by knowing something about the other.

That isn't entirely true, though. We can know things about the mind by inspecting the brain and brain activity.

quote:

Mind is simply not material and that is absolutely obvious to any rational person, and mind is also the originator of thoughts, and that is also absolutely obvious to any rational person. See my car analogy in case you missed it.

An illustration of your opinion is hardly an argument for it, I didn't miss your "analogy", it simply didn't add anything to the discussion.

quote:

And you will never be able to grasp a person's thoughts by studying the person's brain and that too is obvious.

What is obvious is that that is only an opinion. We don't know the relationship between though and brain activity, but we know that there is one.

quote:

They are two entirely different things, separate in that sense at least, and different in the sense that one is the driver and the other the vehicle.

We know that that isn't true for reasons that I've already presented. You can't turn a driver into two people by slicing their car in half, to point out just one important one. OK I'll grant that we don't quite get two separate minds from severing the corpus callosum, but it's not so far off either.


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PaulK
Member
Posts: 17171
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 2.6


Message 75 of 114 (738298)
10-08-2014 7:57 AM
Reply to: Message 74 by Faith
10-08-2014 7:13 AM


Re: Mind-Body Problem
quote:

You cannot know a person's thoughts by studying the brain.

That may be no more than not knowing how to do it. Yet.

quote:

Whatever you are saying about slicing things into two drivers is totally incomprehensible.

If you were familiar with the evidence it would be quite understandable. Especially as it' not the first reference I've made in this discussion, and I gave enough information that dismissing it with your failure to understand is hardly an adequate response.

quote:

I'm not talking about physically separating mind and brain, I'm saying they are two different kinds of things and you can NOT know anything about the qualities of one from knowing about the other, and really, Paul, that is quite obvious. Calling an obvious observation an "opinion" is just a cheap way of trying to win the argument. It's an observation that any rational person should be able to make.

No, saying "it's obvious" when you can give no reason why is just a cheap way of winning an argument. Pointing out the fact that it's just your opinion is a fully adequate response when you offer nothing better.

quote:

Mind and brain operate simultaneously but mind produces thoughts and brain does not, it is merely the physical means by which thoughts exist and are conveyed and THAT IS OBVIOUS.

If thoughts cannot exist without the physical brain your view is in deep trouble. For a start we should be able to read thoughts out of the brain. But again you are trying to separate the brain and the mind in a way that begs the question.

quote:

And the analogy of the car does serve to make the point clearer.

Which only shows that I was correct. It is just an illustration of your opinion. Which is now seen to be a poorly informed opinion.


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PaulK
Member
Posts: 17171
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 2.6


Message 80 of 114 (738308)
10-08-2014 12:06 PM
Reply to: Message 77 by Faith
10-08-2014 11:19 AM


Re: Mind-Body Problem
quote:

The "assertions" are observations that any rational person ought to be able to confirm with half a minute's consideration.

Please explain how to confirm them if it's so easy.


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