• Constance
    1k
    Just a question, and I am sure there is a ready answer; and then, I will be on my way, satisfied that the world is the world. Would someone please tell my why, when I greet my uncle Sidney, I am not "greeting" exclusively (!) systems of neuronal activity?
    Troubled sleep over this.
  • Benj96
    1.3k
    Just a question, and I am sure there is a ready answer; and then, I will be on my way, satisfied that the world is the world. Would someone please tell my why, when I greet my uncle Sidney, I am not "greeting" exclusively (!) systems of neuronal activity?
    Troubled sleep over this.
    Constance

    Who's systems of neuronal activity exactly? Yours or his?
    We are all systems of neural activity - impossible to untether from external environment through our senses.
    A two way system of information exchange.

    Ideas, thoughts, beliefs, imagery, sounds, smells, tastes, touches come into our neural system. We process it either storing it as memory or ignoring it/not paying much attention and it is soon forgotten.

    And similarly we are also an active source of those things: thoughts, ideas, art, knowledge etc. That we put out into the environment through our verbal (speech) and non verbal (body language) as well as our behaviours and interactions.

    We experience sensations and we are also "a sensation" for others- the sensation of what it is like to experience Constance for example, to interact with her, to observe, understanding, question etc. To build a knowledge of that person.
  • Constance
    1k
    Who's systems of neuronal activity exactly? Yours or his?
    We are all systems if neural activity - impossible to untether from external environment through our senses.
    A two way system of information exchange.

    Ideas, thoughts, beliefs, imagery, sounds, smells, tastes, touches come into our neural system. We process it either storing it as memory or ignoring it/not paying much attention and it is soon forgotten.

    And similarly we are also an active source of those things: thoughts, ideas, art, knowledge etc. That we put out into the environment through our verbal (speech) and non verbal (body language) as well as our behaviours and interactions.

    We experience sensations and we are also "a sensation" - the sensation of what it is like to experience Constance for example, to interact with her, to observe, understanding, question etc. To build a knowledge of that person.
    Benj96

    But then, what is a "sensation" in the context of this inquiry? What does it even mean to be a system of neural activity if that which produces the very utterance is itself neural activity? How does perception exit neural activity to observe a brain and conceive of neural activity?

    As Morpheus asked Neo, "Is that air you're breathing?"
  • enqramot
    64
    Just a question, and I am sure there is a ready answer; and then, I will be on my way, satisfied that the world is the world. Would someone please tell my why, when I greet my uncle Sidney, I am not "greeting" exclusively (!) systems of neuronal activity?
    Troubled sleep over this.
    Constance

    Are you suspecting that there's more to your uncle than a system of neuronal activity? I guess it will be damn hard to provide any scientific proof of it, and without a scientific proof we are reduced to speculation. That's as much as I can say without having actually met your uncle.
  • Benj96
    1.3k
    How does perception exit neural activity to observe a brain and conceive of neural activity?Constance

    Through self reflection. The brain has the ability to focus on, conjure up, root around in its storage (memories) for large swathes of beliefs, concepts, sensations and ideas that it holds, in essence compartmentalise some of itself, review that info, make new associations (novel perspectives/insights) and in doing so condense that into some more refined conclusions.

    The whole brain cannot self reflect on the whole brain as there is no neural networks available to make computations while the others remain static and observed. It can only compartmentalise portions of itself but I suspect these portions can be quite large. Mathematically it doesn't take many neurons to exponentially increase their computational ability. Like factorials in maths.

    10 factorial (all the possible arrangements/connections between just 10 neurons) is around 3,628,000 anatomical arrangements. And that's assuming they can just make one connection with one other neuron that isn't already connected to another in the set at a time! When in reality they can connect many branches/synapses with one another - up to 15,000 - dozens of which can be just between two neighbouring neurons.

    The "focus of attention" is just that - a focus/focal point, that part of your conscious awareness that can meander through the matrix of collected information and compare it with other stuff. What we aren't actively focusing on at any given time is the subconscious - all those things you "didn't realise you knew" until prompted by a specific trigger or cue that directs you to the memory in question. Like nostalgia for example when you smell something that suddenly reminds you of your grandmother's cooking as a child.

    Not only can neural networks process themselves in this way (self reflect). But they can also look outwards to learn about/ secure its own identity by associating with what's around it. Knowing the self by knowing what it isn't (the external world). Observation of exterior incoming data (the external world) is just as important as the reviewing and modulation of internal data (the mind/internal world).

    Because in discerning similarities and differences between us and other things (people, animals, beliefs, cultures, customs, classifications: living, dead, animal, plant etc) we are gathering information and making associations between them within our mind (our own neural network).

    When we can relate with another for example - by referencing their trauma to a similar trauma that we have already stored away, or if their behaviour and opinions towards the trauma are in line with what we would expect them to say, because its what we ourselves would say, then that's empathy. That is how empathy as a concept can be associated with neural processes - comparison of data and rejection/acceptance of the "likeness" of their data with ours.

    We naturally tend to empathise more with loved ones and friends because they are similar to us. We have experienced eachother and enjoy that experience and feel connected to them. They are relatable. It's much harder to empathise with things we have never experienced - strangers, and unfamiliar/strange situations and events that we can't approach with the memories and experiences we have available to us to compare.
  • Benj96
    1.3k
    Are you suspecting that there's more to your uncle than a system of neuronal activity? I guess it will be damn hard to provide any scientific proof of it, and without a scientific proof we are reduced to speculation. That's as much as I can say without having actually met your uncle.enqramot

    Not necessarily speculation. Without scientific proof we can also "trust" that uncle Sidney is more than just a neural network. We can go with common sense (cultural assumptions) that everyone has an "I" ness, a selfness, beyond simply being some mechanical binary machine calculating one's and twos (philosophical zombies) because we know we are, and assume similar things (other people) have similar qualities and behave in similar ways.
  • enqramot
    64
    Not necessarily speculation. Without scientific proof we can also "trust" that uncle Sidney is more than just a neural network. We can go with common sense (cultural assumptions) that everyone has an "I" ness, a selfness, beyond simply being some mechanical binary machine calculating one's and twos (philosophical zombies) because we know we are, and assume similar things (other people) have similar qualities and behave in similar ways.Benj96

    I take your word for it that you are in essence similar to me and not a binary machine or a zombie. I follow my instinct and "trust" that this is the case. This trust, however, is far from certainty. This is a form of speculation. We have to make such operational assumptons or we would be paralysed in our decision making. But it's ok. Life is a game of limited information, just like poker. Going for perfect solution wouldn't be viable. I assume you are like me, in other words give you a benefit of the doubt, knowing perfectly well that it might be a wrong assumption, but will have to do for now.
  • Benj96
    1.3k
    I take your word for it that you are in essence similar to me and not a binary machine or a zombie. I follow my instinct and "trust" that this is the case. This trust, however, is far from certainty. This is a form of speculation. We have to make such operational assumptons or we would be paralysed in our decision making. But it's ok. Life is a game of limited information, just like poker. Going for perfect solution wouldn't be viable. I assume you are like me, in other words give you a benefit of the doubt, knowing perfectly well that it might be a wrong assumption, but will have to do for now.enqramot

    I couldn't agree more Enqramot. Very well said.
  • Vera Mont
    313
    Just a question, and I am sure there is a ready answer; and then, I will be on my way, satisfied that the world is the world. Would someone please tell my why, when I greet my uncle Sidney, I am not "greeting" exclusively (!) systems of neuronal activity?
    Troubled sleep over this.
    Constance

    Well, that rather complex neuronal activity is unique to that particular system, in which it has stored senstions, memories, emotions, responses, knowledge, feelings, interactions with other systems, skill-sets, melodies and a pattern whereby it recognizes and can distinguish from all others the unique system of neuronal complexes which is designated as "Constance" in its realm of perception. All this neuronal activity takes place in a unique container of specialized cells that are all busy replicating, dying, doing all kinds of work to process elements from the environment into materials to maintain the edifice which is "Sydney", the sum of all those cellular activities, interstitial fluids and structural elements and containing membranes in which it takes place, one of whose various designations is "uncle to Canstance".
    Yeah, that seems pretty exclusive. But why is it a problem?
  • Tom Storm
    5.4k
    Just a question, and I am sure there is a ready answer; and then, I will be on my way, satisfied that the world is the world. Would someone please tell my why, when I greet my uncle Sidney, I am not "greeting" exclusively (!) systems of neuronal activity?
    Troubled sleep over this.
    Constance

    I had a colleague who used to work as a mortuary technician - preparing bodies for autopsy. It got to be that he was unable to look at people or experience them in ways that was stable and orientated to the present. He could only 'see' what was underneath - organs, tissue, bones, blood... it made intimacy and connection very difficult. So he quit his job in the morgue and took up gardening. :wink:
  • Benj96
    1.3k
    .. it made intimacy and connection very difficult. So he quit his job in the morgue and took up gardening. :wink:Tom Storm

    Probably a wise and necessary choice. It's scary to see people as completely objective - just a conglomerate of systems, mechanical processes and matter behaving in a way seemingly removed from its material basis.

    But that's the beauty if the human body. We are not only matter (substance) carrying out sterile, cold, dead operations. We are also electricity, warmth, energy - that which invests the matter with sense, with capacities beyond the solely objective, the purely physical.
  • Vera Mont
    313
    But that's the beauty if the human body. We are not only matter (substance) carrying out sterile, cold, dead operations. We are also electricity, warmth, energy - that which invests the matter with sense, with capacities beyond the solely objective, the purely physical.Benj96

    IOW, a gob-smackingly elegant, fragile, complicated, confounding, terrifying and amazing piece of machinery. And all different, to boot!
  • Benj96
    1.3k
    IOW, a gob-smackingly elegant, fragile, complicated, confounding, terrifying and amazing piece of machinery. And all different, to boot!Vera Mont

    Precisely!
  • Vera Mont
    313
    I had a colleague who used to work as a mortuary technician - preparing bodies for autopsy.Tom Storm

    I witnessed a few autopsies and processed the tissue samples afterward. I had a kind of opposite problem for the first year or so: I couldn't help thinking of them as 'patients', people, just like the ones the surgical specimens came from. None of the techs or pathologists seemed to have any social problems. But I had a friend who couldn't face or stomach or somehow accept the notion of being made of slimy, oozy, squishy living components. She insisted she was all white plastic inside her very pretty skin.
    It's a very individual reaction, the one we have to corporeality.
  • Tom Storm
    5.4k
    It's a very individual reaction, the one we have to corporeality.Vera Mont

    Indeed. And I think it demonstrates how readily someone's equilibrium can be undermined by dwelling on a specificity.
  • Constance
    1k
    Are you suspecting that there's more to your uncle than a system of neuronal activity? I guess it will be damn hard to provide any scientific proof of it, and without a scientific proof we are reduced to speculation. That's as much as I can say without having actually met your uncle.enqramot

    But let's say you had met my uncle. The assumption in place is that it was my uncle, and that this was not something reducible to interior events inside a three and a half pound mass. My uncle is not IN your brain. He is exterior to this object. Why is it that this object can extend beyond itself and do something like affirm something that is not part of a brain at all? It really is a simple question. I mean, we all know what uncles are, and what brains are. How absurd is it to say a barn door "knows" what the wind is that howls through its hinges? Why are brains and uncles different regarding this epistemic connection?
  • Vera Mont
    313
    How absurd is it to say a barn door "knows" what the wind is that howls through its hinges? Why are brains and uncles different regarding this epistemic connection?Constance

    How is an uncle different from a barn door? Sounds like something the Mad Hatter might ask.
    I'm more intrigues by why you'd want to go to Wonderland, if it disturbs you so?
  • Janus
    13k
    Would someone please tell my why, when I greet my uncle Sidney, I am not "greeting" exclusively (!) systems of neuronal activity?Constance

    It's just one story among a multitude of other imaginable stories. At another level Uncle Sidney is just electrons, protons and neutrons, doing what they habitually do. Or multitudes of twelve kinds of quarks. Or a perturbation in a quantum field. Or chemical elements interacting, combining and separating. Or tissues, muscles, tendons, ligaments and nerves and a brain that controls. Or a person; a member of a society who shares the same basic conditioning and set of presuppositions about human life that you and I do. Or he's your beloved (or not so beloved) uncle. And so on...

    Why are brains and uncles different regarding this epistemic connection?Constance

    Uncles seem to have brains; barn doors do not. Your uncle takes himself to be something, you take him to be something more than merely neurons, barn doors do not take themselves to be anything. We don't know ourselves as neurons at all, other than at "second-hand"; i.e. because the scientists tell us it is so. Neurons mean nothing to us in our everyday lives (unless we are neuroscientists, I guess).
  • enqramot
    64
    But let's say you had met my uncle. The assumption in place is that it was my uncle, and that this was not something reducible to interior events inside a three and a half pound mass. My uncle is not IN your brain. He is exterior to this object. Why is it that this object can extend beyond itself and do something like affirm something that is not part of a brain at all? It really is a simple question. I mean, we all know what uncles are, and what brains are.

    Why are brains and uncles different regarding this epistemic connection?
    Constance

    I'm not exactly sure what you're trying to say but will try to respond anyway.
    My uncle is not IN your brain. He is exterior to this object.Constance

    It seems there are 2 versions of your uncle. 1) The real uncle - some kind of entity producing impulses, sending various kinds of information etc 2) an instance of your uncle that your brain manufactures and then customizes, i. e. interpretes those impulses (or signals) and based on them creates a coherent set of rules that it tags/labels as "uncle Sidney". So, while not being "in your brain", your uncle can still sort of send a copy of himself to your brain for further processing, not unlike a computer virus replicating itself. Now, let's say, another person who knows your uncle created another copy of him in his brain. His customized copy will be different to yours. He might say "What an awful person, this Sidney. Full of himself, patronizing, unkind, not listening.", whereas your opinion might be quite different. Are we talking about the same person? Yes, the core is identical, it's the interpretation that makes up the difference. Like god flavour vs devil flavour. Another comparison that springs to mind is a dream being influenced by sensory perception, e.g. sound of the alarm clock being interpreted in dream world as dog barking etc. So, again, the original impulse, and an interpreted copy.
    How absurd is it to say a barn door "knows" what the wind is that howls through its hinges?Constance
    It may seem absurd in case of a barn door, but isn't so absurd in case of a computer. In a way, it does "know" certain things and acts upon them. It doesn't make a computer conscious, of course. Sensor-based input can be built into computer systems. This works very much like unconscious part of our brain, for example, when goose bumps appear as an automatic reaction to lowering the temperature. Fully automatic reaction, something in you "knows" how to react.
    But let's say you had met my uncle. The assumption in place is that it was my uncle, and that this was not something reducible to interior events inside a three and a half pound mass.Constance
    I don't see how this assumption could be proven or disproven. What if he IS reducible? How can you be sure? Have you seen Cast Away movie with Tom Hanks? His only companion on a desert island was a volleyball that (whom?) he called Wilson. He's reduced to tears when Wilson the volleyball floats away during a storm. Modern, much improved upon, version of Wilson would be lamda the word processor (chatbot), a machine that fooled a supposed senior software engineer doubling up as a priest to believe that it's sentient (maybe he wasn't really fooled, maybe he did it for money, I don't know - he lost his job anyway). So, as you can see, creative interpretation can go a long way. Maybe you add something to your uncle, something that isn't there.
  • 180 Proof
    10.2k
    :up: :up:

    I had a colleague who used to work as a mortuary technician - preparing bodies for autopsy. It got to be that he was unable to look at people or experience them in ways that was stable and orientated to the present. He could only 'see' what was underneath - organs, tissue, bones, blood... it made intimacy and connection very difficult. So he quit his job in the morgue and took up gardening.Tom Storm
    Reminds me of a girl I dated for a few months decades ago who'd grewn up on a farm and who couldn't eat any meats, poultry or fish that still in anyway resembled the animals they once were. Including eggs! :smirk:
  • Constance
    1k
    The whole brain cannot self reflect on the whole brain as there is no neural networks available to make computations while the others remain static and observed. It can only compartmentalise portions of itself but I suspect these portions can be quite large. Mathematically it doesn't take many neurons to exponentially increase their computational ability. Like factorials in maths.Benj96

    But the thinking cannot go this way. How is it that the whole brain can "compartmentalize portions of itself"? What is, in the simple conditions I have laid out, mathematics? That is, if my uncle is not my uncle because there is epistemic avenue of access to something that is remote from systemic assignment possibilities, then why is it that mathematics can escape this fate? How can you, in other words, make mathematics non reducible to neuronal networks itself, or, speaking generally, how is it that anything is what it is called and familiarly talked about remain what it is if this very thinking itself is confined to something that is itself thought?
  • Constance
    1k
    All this neuronal activity takes place in a unique container of specialized cells that are all busy replicating, dying, doing all kinds of work to process elements from the environment into materials to maintain the edifice which is "Sydney", the sum of all those cellular activities, interstitial fluids and structural elements and containing membranes in which it takes place, one of whose various designations is "uncle to Canstance".
    Yeah, that seems pretty exclusive. But why is it a problem?
    Vera Mont

    It is a problem because your foundational explanatory setting is in no better position to be defended than my uncle. I'm sorry, neuronal activity did you say? But what is this, as I have problematized my Uncle, that is any different? You could have a phd in brain science, and the best you will ever get in the basic philosophical analysis regarding all of the terms of your analytic is more of the same reductive analysis: the very thoughts used to construct the rationalization of Henry's distance from neuronal events are themselves "distant".
  • Constance
    1k
    I had a colleague who used to work as a mortuary technician - preparing bodies for autopsy. It got to be that he was unable to look at people or experience them in ways that was stable and orientated to the present. He could only 'see' what was underneath - organs, tissue, bones, blood... it made intimacy and connection very difficult. So he quit his job in the morgue and took up gardening. :wink:Tom Storm

    I find that fascinating. My daughter is an illustrator and she had this morbid curiosity about working in a mortuary, a kind of "goth" obsession of a Halloweensih pov on such things. Anyway, she applied, didn't get the job, and I was relieved, because she could have either gotten desensitized to the idea of dead people, to put it bluntly, or over sensitized. Doctors in general, surgeons esp., have to be a bit sociopathic, I've read, to have the requisite grace under pressure dealing with such things.

    In a similar vein, for me, the more I think philosophically, especially reading the phenomenologists, the more I am "sensitized" to being an existing human being, for the questions that have been thrown aside in the advent of modernism have never at all been resolved. Human existence is still the same impossible mystery it has always been. But now, simply ignored.
  • Constance
    1k
    How is an uncle different from a barn door? Sounds like something the Mad Hatter might ask.
    I'm more intrigues by why you'd want to go to Wonderland, if it disturbs you so?
    Vera Mont

    Rorty put it nicely: How is it that my relation (my brain's) to my uncle any different from a dented car fender and the offending guard rail? The qualitative complexities of the brain that leap to mind to explain this MUST be resolved into an epistemic connection. Mere causal connectivity does not establish a knowledge relationship.
  • Constance
    1k
    It's just one story among a multitude of other imaginable stories. At another level Uncle Sidmey is just electrons, protons and neutrons, doing what they habitually do. Or multitudes of twelve kinds of quarks. Or a perturbation in a quantum field. Or chemical elements interacting, combining and separating. Or tissues, muscles, tendons, ligaments and nerves. Or person; a member of your society who shares the same basic conditioning and set of presuppositions about human life that you and I do. Or he's your beloved (or not so beloved) uncle. And so on...Janus

    Yes, as I see it, this is poignantly true. So then, how do I establish a reasonable idea that can make Sidney a person, apart from me, over there, and so on, NOT reducible to any of the above, given that the above are all true? I am concerned that Sydney got lost in the rigorous analysis and no one noticed. So, I am noticing.
    This is, in my thoughts, the second most important philosophical question there is.
  • Vera Mont
    313
    It is a problem because your foundational explanatory setting is in no better position to be defended than my uncle.Constance
    Then I will not attempt to defend it.

    I'm sorry, neuronal activity did you say?Constance
    You said it first!

    But what is this, as I have problematized my Uncle, that is any different?Constance
    It's not different, just a little more holistic, as I attempted to reunify the uncle's electrical impulses with the brain and body in which it takes place, and which it appeared you had overlooked in describing him.

    the very thoughts used to construct the rationalization of Henry's distance from neuronal events are themselves "distant".Constance
    I'm sure that's true; you seem to know Henry and I don't.

    Rorty put it nicely: How is it that my relation (my brain's) to my uncle any different from a dented car fender and the offending guard rail?Constance
    That depends on how Sydney has offended you.
  • Constance
    1k
    It seems there are 2 versions of your uncle. 1) The real uncle - some kind of entity producing impulses, sending various kinds of information etc 2) an instance of your uncle that your brain manufactures and then customizes, i. e. interpretes those impulses (or signals) and based on them creates a coherent set of rules that it tags/labels as "uncle Sidney". So, while not being "in your brain", your uncle can still sort of send a copy of himself to your brain for further processing, not unlike a computer virus replicating itself. Now, let's say, another person who knows your uncle created another copy of him in his brain. His customized copy will be different to yours. He might say "What an awful person, this Sidney. Full of himself, patronizing, unkind, not listening.", whereas your opinion might be quite different. Are we talking about the same person? Yes, the core is identical, it's the interpretation that makes the difference. Like god flavour vs devil flavour. Another comparison that springs to mind is a dream being influenced by sensory perception, e.g. sound of the alarm clock being interpreted in dream world as dog barking etc. So, again, the original impuls, and an interpreted copy.enqramot

    But how do you escape the final description of all you say above being brain events only, even, and this is important, the reference to something being a brain event? Talk about my "real" uncle: is such a thing even possible to imagine in good analytically grounded conscience?


    It may seem absurd in case of a barn door, but isn't so absurd in case of a computer. In a way, it does "know" certain things and acts upon them. It doesn't make a computer conscious, of course. Sensor-based input can be built into computer systems. This works very much like unconscious part of our brain, for example, when goose bumps appear as an automatic reaction to lowering the temperature. Fully automatic reaction, something in you "knows" how to react.enqramot

    The barn door: The complexity of your computer is not at issue, for first you have to explain the fundamentals: at best, at the level of basic questions (the most basic, which is what philosophy is about) the best you are ever going to get is a causal connection between your computer and and the wind howling through its receptors. It could be AI of the highest order, and you would still be routed to this question: how do causal explanations suffice for knowledge claims? Barn doors and howling winds have exactly this same causality "between" them.

    I don't see how this assumption could be proven or disproven. What if he IS reducible? How can you be sure? Have you seen Cast Away movie with Tom Hanks? His only companion on a desert island was a volleyball that (whom?) he called Wilson. He's reduced to tears when Wilson the volleyball floats away during a storm. Modern, much improved upon, version of Wilson would be lamda the word processor (chatbot), a machine that fooled a supposed senior software engineer doubling up as a priest to believe that it's sentient (maybe he wasn't really fooled, maybe he did it for money, I don't know - he lost his job anyway). So, as you can see, creative interpretation can go a long way. Maybe you add something to your uncle, something that isn't there.enqramot

    It is not a matter of "what if he is reducible." You are facing here an ineluctable situation, for, as you and I will agree, there are brains and uncles and there is a world. I simply ask, how does the the latter get into the former?
  • Constance
    1k
    It's not different, just a little more holistic, as I attempted to reunify the uncle's electrical impulses with the brain and body in which it takes place, and which it appeared you had overlooked in describing him.Vera Mont

    But it wasn't overlooked. Saying something is an electrical impulse itself is subject to the same issue being raised, so the question is clearly begged:

    I'm sure that's true; you seem to know Henry and I don't.Vera Mont

    The particular traits of Henry are outside the discussion. It could be my cat or interstellar phenomena. If Sidney is, to put it plainly, nothing but a bunch of brain manufactured events, then everything is, because the matter turns to therelationship, not the incidental features.

    That depends on how Sydney has offended you.Vera Mont

    No, it's not this. Sydney has not offended me. This "offending" is not about the violence, but about the question: Given that the causal relationship is the relational characterization in both cases, the car fender vis a vis the guard rail, and my uncle vis a vis my brain events, then causality itself has to be explained as to its ability to "deliver" my uncle to me.
  • Vera Mont
    313
    Given that the causal relationship is the relational characterization in both cases, the car fender vis a vis the guard rail, and my uncle vis a vis my brain events, then causality itself has to be explained as to its ability to "deliver" my uncle to me.Constance

    No, it evidently cannot be explained to you in any terms that you accept. The problem(s) of Sydney, Henry, the barn and the car are intractable and insoluble.
  • Constance
    1k
    No, it evidently cannot be explained to you in any terms that you accept. The problem(s) of Sydney, Henry, the barn and the car are intractable and insoluble.Vera Mont

    But my being me has nothing to do with it. The matter presented as an objective and arguable problem. I mean, if you really think my uncle is unproblematically there in some way, you have to first take on the epistemic obstacle of describing the relation between brains and what brains encounter such that the former know the latter.
    As to the intractability, it is not as if the matter stands the way it is; it is a matter of "parts". What is needed is an understanding of the epistemic requirements for knowledge, and an account of how the brain/Uncle Sidney relationship could make this possible. One is reluctant to make a radical move, I know; but then: this IS a radical problem, so the solution has to be commensurately radical.

    No way out of this. Put simply, the physicalist model has to be discarded, or amended. How can this be done?
  • Joshs
    4k
    No way out of this. Put simply, the physicalist model has to be discarded, or amended. How can this be done?Constance

    Take your pick. We could follow Quine, Davidson , Wittgenstein , Putnam, Rorty or Nietzsche out of the trap of physicalism. We could embrace a Gadamerian hermeneutics , a phenomenological approach, poststructuralism. We could follow the work of neuroscientists influenced by Peirce, or those adopting enactivism. Lots of options here.
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