On you r notion of physics... how do you know that "electricity" in the nerves is not only needed to set up a geometry that quantum thinking has repudiated as to visualization? And that we confused rather the "image" with the "thought of the image" (Hume's "idea of idea"??). I spent some considerable time trying to think if Tesla's light bulb "filament" does not transipriationally if not think produce melatin distribution in living organisms. It is true that the "thought" of a snake is no hamster but to philosohize as a bat? well why not??? I dont think the computer analogy need hold up all the way to the notion of the minds that created quantum stuff. They just tried very quickly to use the older innersight of space and time IN THE PHYSICS but when thinking of genes this is still needed despite Wheeler, Bohr, Bohm etc. Fredkin etc etc.
John, I didn't know I had to prove that thoughts have no physical qualities. I thought it was obvious. So you think that thoughts are physical. Tell me about some of these physical qualities. How much does an average thought weigh? What color is it? How far does it extend in space?
quote:Originally posted by robinrohan: John, I didn't know I had to prove that thoughts have no physical qualities.
I don't think you've yet defined 'thoughts' and 'physical qualities'.
quote:I thought it was obvious.
Never trust the obvious.
quote:So you think that thoughts are physical.
Actually what I think is... well, what I propose propose for consideration is that thoughts are on par with perceptions. What physical qualities do they have? What quality does red have? Redness? Hardly says anthing. We don't actually see light particles. What we see, what we call perception has been translated by numerous physical processes and into electrical impulses in the brain. This can be tracked, albeit very poorly. Thoughts are those same types of electrical impulses.
quote:The problem with materialism is that there does seem to be a mental world that is quite different from the physical and we are all aware of it. It is in this world that we have a sense of self-identity. A computer, being purely physical, presumably has no self-awareness.
Why do you seemingly equate biological life with a machine?
[QUOTE]As far as there being a difference between the physical and the mental, I can't conceive of an electrical impulse in the brain being the same thing as a thought, even though without the electrical impulse there would be no thought. Light bulbs have no thoughts.[/B][/QUOTE]
...and the brain is not much like a light bulb, and thoughts are more than electrical impulses.
I replied to this idea back in message 3 of this thread, and I will repeat:
Well, if the mental wasn't based in the physical, neurological illness, psychoactive drugs, and brain damage, for example, wouldn't have mental effects, right?
John, if thought is a "type of electrical impulse," as you say, then it's physical and there is no mystery about the matter whatsover. In evolution, we've got the physical creating more physical things if you are right. This idea also means that there is nothing but the physical. The physical is the only reality we know of. "mind" is an illusion--it cannot be distinguished from "brain," except in the hardward/software sense. Both are physical.
Shrafanator, I'm not denying that the mind is "based in" the brain and that if you do something to the brain you affect the mind. The question I had was not whether a series of electrical impusles cause thoughts to occur (I agree they do), but whether or not we can equate a cause (electrical impulse) to the product (a thought). A cause is not the same thing as what it causes. The question is whether a thought is non-physical. If it's non-physical then it's hard to see how something physical can create something non-physical, just as it's hard to see how something non-physical (say, a God) can create something physical. If that happens it's a "miracle" in traditional terms, and so the opposite would be too.
the conditions you have listed are either variations on the 3 possibilities--really the same thing--or speculations about states for which there is no evidence whatsoever. Such as your #6. You can "suppose" all you want of course, but I was talking about rational ideas for which there is reasonable evidence.
It occurs to me now that I have been using the word "thought" vaguely.
How about this:
There is the Thought Itself--this is an electrical impulse of some sort,and therefore physical.
There is also What The Thought Is About--this is not an electrical impulse, being purely imaginary and so non-physical.
For example, I am imagining a beautiful woman. This woman does not exist in the physical world. She is purely imaginary, but that does not mean she is nothing. She is real in a mental sense--I am actually imagining her.
What this means is that a physical object--the electrial impulse--has produced a mental object--the imaginary woman.
Therefore, we have matter producing something mental, which is the puzzle I started to begin with. If it were the other way around, and the mental was producing the physical, that would be a "miracle." i.e., I imagine a rose and a physical rose appears. If the mental cannot produce the physical, how can the physical produce the mental?
[QUOTE]Originally posted by robinrohan: "feelings"--an emotion as opposed to an abstract idea. My dog whimpers because it feels sad. But I don't think the dog is thinking. It doesn't know why it feels sad. I think a dog's whole consciousness is one feeling after another--feelings of comfort, pain, lacks, cosiness, etc. Without language, we cannot think.[/B][/QUOTE]
How can you say that some beeing can actually feel something, but not know why it is sad ? If the dog only feels sad, and doesn't connect it with a "why" what good would that feeling possible do to the dog ? That would be a dog on LSD. How would such a creature function in a group ? I would really like to see a dog like that. It sounds really unrealistic. It can't learn anytning from the feeling!
Imho, if dogs couldn't connect pain with the action that caused it, dogs would be extinct, wouldn't they ?
I throw a stick, and when the dog brings it back, I give the dog a reward, and he feels happy. The dog connects the action of fetching the stick with the fact that he was rewarded directly from me, and/or with the good feeling.
Isn't that an act of thinking ??
I also disagree with "without a language, we cannot think". What do you mean by language ? Spoken language ? Sign language ? Image language ? The internal language in your brain ?
How do you suggest a 1-month old baby actually learn to speak in the first place if it has no language to do the reasoning with from the beginning ? By copy-paste ?
...another thing... the other day i watched something on TV about chimps. Some scientists were communicating with the chimps via 150 images, which the chimps could point at on a computer screen to form simple sentances. They understood concequeses in the future. One monkey were given a mirror, which she broke. She broke maybe 3 mirrors. Then they told her that if she didnt brake a mirror for 2 days she would get some blueberries. She really wanted to brake the mirror, but instead she protected it for 2 days, and got the blueberries. Then afterwards she broke the mirror. ( to her joy ) They also played numbergames with the chimps, in which she showed the chimp maybe 25 berries. Then she hid some of them in her hand, and left 7 of them on the ground. The chimp calculated how many were not hidden and deduced that she must have 18 in her hand.. and so on...
quote:Originally posted by robinrohan: John, if thought is a "type of electrical impulse," as you say, then it's physical and there is no mystery about the matter whatsover. In evolution, we've got the physical creating more physical things if you are right. This idea also means that there is nothing but the physical. The physical is the only reality we know of. "mind" is an illusion--it cannot be distinguished from "brain," except in the hardward/software sense. Both are physical.
Technocore, you make a good point about which came first, the language or the thought. I don't have the answer to that. My point is that you have to have some kind of medium to think in--and language is that medium.
We could visualize something without language. This visualizing would certainly be mental activity.
But the linguists say that humans come equipped with language knowledge. We already know about nouns and verbs. We even know about tense. A little kid will say "I fighted." He never heard that expression, but he already knows about past tense.