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brain is mind
Posted: 11 September 2007 12:41 PM   [ Ignore ]
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Hi,

mckenzievmd wrote in another topic that “brain is mind” and “brain produces mind”. He suggested me to make a thread from an argument I personally sent him.


“brain is mind” and “brain produces mind” is not a good way to describe a view.

If brain is mind, can you substitute whenever one uses mind with “brain”? From a logical point of view, yes.

If so, “mind produces mind”, and “mind produces brain”.


But one wouldn’t agree with that… So, the formualation has to be different.


Also, If one says “A is B”, and one doesn’t mean a redundant tautology, then one has to give a different definition for both A and for B. What is the definition for “mind”?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dualism_(philosophy_of_mind)

Is a good article on dualism

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Posted: 11 September 2007 12:48 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Mind ... very hard to define. Some consider it the nonspatial locus of beliefs, desires, feelings, sensations, qualia, etc.

Some philosophers (like David Armstrong) consider the mind as literally identical with the brain. Some others (like Jaegwon Kim) consider that the mind (or, better, mental properties) is “supervenient upon” the brain, which is somewhat more complex. It means that while mental properties are not physical properties, they are ontologically dependent upon physical properties, and wouldn’t exist without them. That is, the mind exists somewhat the way a “house” exists supervenient upon the bricks and glass. You can change a window without changing the house. However, there is no sense to there being a house without some physical substrate or other.

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Posted: 11 September 2007 01:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Wandering,

I think you’re right that the terms aren’t interchangeable, so clearly there is some difference between them. The link has some interesting arguments I haven’t fully considered. I might fall under the category of predicate dualism in that I believe all we describe as mind ultimately stems from the physical materials of the brain, but I find the shorthand descriptions of mind, self, free will, etc very natural and useful and unlikely to be dispensed with regardless of their underlying truth.

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Posted: 11 September 2007 08:32 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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When I say mind, I do mean brain.  I’m not sure where this is going, except it would not be good writing to say “mind produces mind”.  I think a bit much is being made out of words again, but I’m doing the same thing in another thread too.  Come to think of it, brain cannot produce brain, so yeah, I see what you mean.  The sentence does have a writing issue about it.  It might be better to say something like, “The mind produces thoughts” or “The mind produces ideas”, but the same token you could say, “The brain produces thoughts”.  However, there would be redunancy if a writer kept using the same word over and over again in a paper.  I do not see the brain as being the self though.  It is what makes up the self though, just as the heart does, but not in a dualistic way because it is all one.  You cannot separate the mind from the body or the body from the mind.  Medically depression affects both the brain and the body, just as the flu affects us both mentally and physically, because we cannot separate our brains from our bodies.  The brain can produce chemicals that affect the body as a whole, but take the brain out of the body and there is nothing- they both die.  If there is no brain function, then the body ceases to function too.

I don’t know how in the medical field you can suffer from dualism, Brennon.  Even you, as a vet, should know what I’m trying to say.

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Posted: 11 September 2007 08:45 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Mriana,

I don’t “suffer” from dualism, as you mean it. The idea of “predicate dualism” in the link wandering posted is explained at wikipedia this way:
“If we characterize predicate monism as the view subscribed to by eliminative materialists, who maintain that such intentional predicates as believe, desire, think, feel, etc., will eventually be eliminated from both the language of science and from ordinary language because the entities to which they refer do not exist, then predicate dualism is most easily defined as the negation of this position.”

So I certainly agree with the notion that we aren’t going to, and don’t need to, eliminate words and concepts like self or choice even if science suggests, or someday proves, that they are illusions and don’t really exist. Wandering started this thread as a response to a remark of mine stating, essentially, that mind is brain, and he pointed out, rightly, that there are subtle differences between the meanings and implications of the words that suggest they represent slightly different things. The reason they are not interchangeable is not just one of style but the fact that we use mind to represent subjective stuff (thoughts, feelings, drives) and brain to refer to the mechanism that generates mind. So I understand and agree with your position. What being a vet has to do with this, I don’t see though.  question If by “even as a vet” you’re suggesting that I’m not really in the medical field, well them’s fightin’ words! wink

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Posted: 11 September 2007 08:56 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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You doctor animals don’t you?  A wonderful doctor to the four-legged family members, right? Therefore you are in the medical field.  Case closed.  :D BTW, if you are the only dr. around in an emergency like say, um…  Katrina, I do hope you come to my rescue or my family’s rescue and help save our lives.  What?  Just because he treats animals on a regular basis doesn’t mean he can’t help save a human life.  He just needs to know if its a four-legged or two-legged animal and he’s good to go and save a life in a dire emergency.  LOL  No need to ask if there is a dr on the board…  Brennon will do just fine in an emergency.  wink

As for the words thing… I agree.  We do not need to eliminate any words from our vocabulary.

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Posted: 11 September 2007 09:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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.

[ Edited: 20 October 2007 02:51 PM by zarcus ]
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Posted: 11 September 2007 11:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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dougsmith - 11 September 2007 12:48 PM

Some others (like Jaegwon Kim) consider that the mind (or, better, mental properties) is “supervenient upon” the brain, which is somewhat more complex. It means that while mental properties are not physical properties, they are ontologically dependent upon physical properties, and wouldn’t exist without them. That is, the mind exists somewhat the way a “house” exists supervenient upon the bricks and glass. You can change a window without changing the house. However, there is no sense to there being a house without some physical substrate or other.

Yes, this is how I would separate the terms in use as well.

The brain being the physical inter-workings, and the mind being the identity of the physical inter-workings end product.

We don’t say, “I made up my brain.” We say “I made up my mind.”

“Mind” being the overall identity of our thoughts in which the brain produces.

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Posted: 12 September 2007 12:12 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Brain, brain, what is brain?  (From TOS:  Spock’s Brain)  Exclusive use of the word brain would become awfully redundant in a paper.

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“Sometimes in order to see the light, you have to risk the dark.” ~ Iris Hineman (Lois Smith) The Minority Report

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Posted: 12 September 2007 10:34 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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zarcus - 11 September 2007 09:11 PM

I personally have no problem doing away with the word “mind”.

Its painfully obvious this isn’t going to happen.

So, I would suggest scientist stop using the word “mind”. Steven Pinker’s, How The Mind Works, would have been more suitable with the word “brain”. 

The word “mind” used in scientific context only leads to needless confusion, especially when used interchangeably with the word “brain”.

I’ve made up my mind, no mind, yes brain.

That is a good idea. If brain produces mind, and we can rid of it because mind is just what a brain does, than we can do away with velocity too, because that is just what a car does.

GdB

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Posted: 12 September 2007 11:48 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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I tend to think that it is impossible to explain anything with a material and physical basis, and mind is not an exception: mind has, as everything, a physical base. On the other hand, I am willing to admit that in a system certains properties ‘emerges’, properties that makes no sense in the system’s elements, but have a lot of meaning in the system as a whole. Of course, the way they emerge is not magical, and as I see, the ‘emergent materialism’ is more a way to explain things that a ontological characteristic (I am not sure about it, it is what I tend to think, I’d like to hear from others from here, much more versed in the topic than me)

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Posted: 12 September 2007 12:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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No mind, only brain, eh?

Then we’d have to say:

I don’t brain if you sit here.

Brain your manners!

I’ve got half a brain to show you what for!

That comedy was just a little brainless enjoyment.

You’re driving me out of my brain!

Brain over matter (how do you reconcile that one?).

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Posted: 12 September 2007 12:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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wattaquestion,

what about sunrises? we know the sun doesnt actually rise.

or RIP. we know that dead people arent really resting.

pointing to memes doesnt prove the point you are trying to prove.

I would say that the brain produces the mind. the brain is an organ and when it is functioing its productions are the attributes given to the “mind.” just like when a heart is functioning it pumps blood or lungs and air, etc. and i suspect that was what brennen meant

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Posted: 12 September 2007 12:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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I was being satirical.

My opionion about brain and mind is similar to what others are saying on this thread. I suspect that mind is what brains do. I’ve never said otherwise. I also suspect that free will is what minds do.

All animals have a collection of neurons from which their actions originate. At least we suspect so, because if we remove the brain the animals no longer act. Not all animal behavior shows what we consider to be a result of having a mind, in fact, very little of animal behavior looks like it is mindful, especially since the only way we can confirm mindfulness is when it is self-reported. Do Washoe and the other chimps in Ellensburg report mindful behavior? I think so, but there is lots of room for debate. An even smaller group of animal behaviors reflect “free will” even using the limited use of the term as shorthand for what people believe about what they decide. Again, since the only way to know if aniamls think they have free will is if they say so, the only group of animals in whom we can confirm some sort of free will is those with whom we can communicate. Does Washoe exhibit the same understanding of free will as humans? She does not exhibit it, or “talk” about it,s o there is no way to know what she believes.

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Posted: 12 September 2007 01:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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.

[ Edited: 20 October 2007 02:51 PM by zarcus ]
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Posted: 13 September 2007 07:43 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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==deleted by user==

[ Edited: 13 September 2007 07:46 AM by wandering ]
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