To what extent is evidence important in philosophy?

Discussion in 'General Philosophy' started by DaveC426913, Jan 7, 2017.

  1. Syne Sine qua non Valued Senior Member

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    Now it's "universal abiogenesis"? That's an even stronger claim to add to those you have yet to provide any support for.
    Again, you're hypocritically putting words in my mouth.
    The EXISTENCE of a thing is NOT EVIDENCE for a specific cause for that thing. You must be scientifically illiterate.

    Nothing but arm waving. If you have evidence and refuse to support your own claims, you're only trolling.

    More arm waving.
     
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  3. Syne Sine qua non Valued Senior Member

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    Since his ONE citation doesn't seem to be available online, I have to assume this is only an appeal to authority. Referencing unknown science is not supporting your claim.
     
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  5. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

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    Obviously you are unaware that the Pansprmia was added to cover most all aspects of abiogenisis...whether life flourished on Earth due to local conditions, or whether the building blocks were transported to Earth via astronomical means.

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    So life exists because???

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    Perhaps you are looking into a mirror when you ask your illiteracy question?
    Again, despite your obfuscation, abiogenisis is the only scientific answer for the existence of life..be that by Panspermia or some local event.
    Or are you agreeing with the Catholic church and leaving the "god of the gaps" door open?

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    I'm the second person you have labeled a troll that dare disagree with your baggage laden position, correct?

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    [apologies, as I did come in late and there maybe others

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    ]
     
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  7. Syne Sine qua non Valued Senior Member

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    More arm waving, alas..
     
  8. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

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    https://www.psychologytoday.com/blo...ciousness/201101/mind-brain-and-consciousness

    Mind, Brain and Consciousness
    Do you believe the mind is identical to the brain

    Ask yourself, is the functioning brain identical to the mind? If your answer is no, you are a closet dualist. You believe that brain and mind are made of different kinds of stuff. Such a stance will make it hard for you to understand the nature of consciousness. It will make the mental aspects of our lives mysterious and unknowable.

    I am a working neurologist who sees brain disease causing mental dysfunction every day. Take the case of Representative Gabrielle Giffords. If she does not recover pretty much full brain function, her mental states will be altered, and she may not be able to function in Congress as she did before the bullet damaged her brain. If the bullet had done more damage than it apparently did, she might not now be fully conscious. Hopefully she will recover. There is the famous case of Phineas Gage, however, in which brain damage to the frontal lobes of the brain by a railfoad spike turned a sober, hard-working man into a lout. His mind was altered because his brain was altered. He was a different person after that spike went through his brain.

    The main reason many people remain dualists, however, is because they find it impossible to believe that brain function can entirely explain consciousness. They think that after all the neurotransmitters have hit their receptors and all the neurons have fired, there is still something that has been left out of any explanation of consciousness. The thing that has been left out, they say, is the conscious feeling of what is like to be in a certain state. Furthermore, all the whirling electrons cannot explain why a certain neuronal configuration results in our seeing blue rather than red. Another objection that I have heard is, "What about my soul"? So they conclude than consciousness cannot be fully explained by brain function. But if that is true, where is consciousness and what is it?

    As a neurologist, I contend that consciousness is nothing more than the ability of our brain to acquire information (which is the state of being awake) AND all the content that the information contains AND the ability to get all that information into and out of memory. The key word is "ALL". If you have all that, you are conscious of the blue sky and the red sun. Nothing more is needed to be conscious of that beautiful sky. My contention is that the brain can do all that, and, therefore, a functioning brain is identical to a conscious mind. That makes me a materialist and not a dualist. In the coming months, I want to explore these ideas. I want to hear what you think, your objections to my position and your arguments for and against these ideas.

    As a neurologist, I contend that consciousness is nothing more than the ability of our brain to acquire information (which is the state of being awake) AND all the content that the information contains AND the ability to get all that information into and out of memory. The key word is "ALL". If you have all that, you are conscious of the blue sky and the red sun. Nothing more is needed to be conscious of that beautiful sky. My contention is that the brain can do all that, and, therefore, a functioning brain is identical to a conscious mind. That makes me a materialist and not a dualist. In the coming months, I want to explore these ideas. I want to hear what you think, your objections to my position and your arguments for and against these ideas.

    Jacob Sage, M.D., is Professor of Neurology at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. His latest book is Mind, Brain, and Consciousness.
     
  9. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

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  10. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

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    http://selfconsciousmind.com/introduction.html

    Introduction to the Self-Conscious Mind
    Robert G. Mays, B.Sc., and Suzanne B. May

    Contents


    Objections to dualism

    The present theory is a form of “interactionist dualism”, which posits the mind and the body, and a mechanism for the interaction between them. The main objections to dualism, and responses relating to this theory, are:

    1. How can mind-brain interaction occur? There is no conceivable mechanism whereby a totally non-physical mind could affect the material body. If the mind and body are totally different types of things, how can they intermingle and interact with each other? Response: The mind is not totally non-physical. It is non-material, but has the character of a structured energy field that interacts with physical processes. The evidence supporting this view, presented earlier, includes phenomena from NDEs and from phantom limb interactions. In addition, see the following section on “Interaction of the non-material mind with physical processes”.
    2. How does brain injury also impair the non-physical mind? When the brain is damaged in some way, mental faculties are always compromised or impaired to some degree. If the mind is a completely separate substance from the brain, how does brain injury also impair the mind? (Churchland, 1988). Response: The mind is not a completely separate substance from the brain. It has the character of a structured energy field that interacts with physical processes, in particular with neurons. Impairment is due to interference with the interface between the neurons and the corresponding structures of the mind.
    3. How can the mechanism for interaction between the brain and mind explain phenomenal experience? Even if a mechanism for causal interaction could be found, the mechanism for interaction itself would not explain conscious experience any more than neurological mechanisms do (Chalmers, 1996). Response: The mind is itself the locus of phenomenal experience. All interactions with the mind entail phenomenal experience. The evidence supporting this view, presented earlier, includes phenomena from NDEs and from phantom limb interactions.
    4. How does this view avoid the Cartesian Theater in the brain? An interactionist dualist theory posits that the brain informs the mind of perceptions and the mind directs the brain in appropriate action. The mind is thus like a “homunculus” in the brain. There is no interior homunculus observing the results of neural activity and giving commands in a “Cartesian Theater in the brain”, as such theories imply (Dennett, 1991). Response: The mind’s structures unite directly with neural structures without an intermediate stage of “interpretation”. All neural activity interacts directly with the mind, resulting in phenomenal experience. Even stimuli of very short duration result in phenomenal experience, albeit subliminal.
    5. How is this view not a category-mistake? How is this not just a “ghost in the machine”? A theory that places “mind” and “body” together in relation to one another as terms of the same logical category makes a category-mistake, since they are not of the same logical category. There is no hidden entity, the “mind”, inside a mechanical “body” (Ryle, 1949). Response: Both the mind and the material body are objective, spatially extended entities, one a non-material field and the other a material object, which unite together to form a cohesive unity. There is no category-mistake of relating entities belonging to different logical categories: both mind and body are objective aspects of reality that relate to each other through physical interaction. There is no “ghost in the machine” because the mind is closely united with the body through a physical interaction relationship.
    6. Doesn’t this view violate causal closure of the physical? Causal interactions between a non-physical entity and a material body would violate the “causal closure of the physical world”. The interaction of a non-physical entity would introduce an influence on a physical system which would violate the principle that all physical effects can be ultimately reduced to physical causes. Response: The mind is a field (region of space) that interacts with physical processes, and thus has physical attributes, implying that at some level, the field of the mind acts as a physically causal entity. As a consequence, the domain of what constitutes “the physical” must necessarily be expanded to include minds. Causal closure of the physical world is maintained.
     
  11. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

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    Leibniz's principle of identity: A=B if and only if everything that can be said of A can also be said of B.

    Example: My cat and Max.

    Is this true for the brain and the mind?

    The brain is publically accessible.

    The mind is privately accessible.

    The brain is spatially extended.

    The mind is not spatially extended.

    The brain is made of atoms.

    The mind is made of thoughts, ideas, intentions, feelings, memories, etc.

    Therefore, the brain and the mind cannot be the same thing.
     
  12. Syne Sine qua non Valued Senior Member

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    Exaggeration and distortion of mental changes
    Macmillan's analysis of scientific and popular accounts of Gage found that they almost always distort and exaggerate his behavioral changes well beyond anything described by anyone who had direct contact with him, concluding that the known facts are "inconsistent with the common view of Gage as a boastful, brawling, foul-mouthed, dishonest useless drifter, unable to hold down a job, who died penniless in an institution."[56] In the words of Barker, "As years passed, the case took on a life of its own, accruing novel additions to Gage's story without any factual basis";:678 even today (writes Zbigniew Kotowicz) "Most commentators still rely on hearsay and accept what others have said about Gage, namely, that after the accident he became a psychopath",[K2]:125 Grafman has written that "the details of [Gage's] social cognitive impairment have occasionally been inferred or even embellished to suit the enthusiasm of the story teller ...",[G]:295 and Goldenberg calls Gage "a (nearly) blank sheet upon which authors can write stories which illustrate their theories and entertain the public."[57]

    For example, Harlow's statement that Gage "continued to work in various places; could not do much, changing often, and always finding something that did not suit him in every place he tried"[H]:15 refers only to Gage's final months, after convulsions had set in.[M]:107[M9]:6 But it has been misinterpreted[58] as meaning Gage could not (or would not) hold a regular job at any time after his accident,[59][60][61][62] "was prone to quit in a capricious fit or be let go because of poor discipline",[63]:8-9 "never returned to a fully independent existence",[45]:1102 "spent the rest of his life living miserably off the charity of others and traveling around the country as a sideshow freak",[62] and ("dependent on his family"[64] or "in the custody of his parents")[65] died "in careless dissipation".[66] In fact, after his initial post-recovery months spent traveling and exhibiting, Gage supported himself—at a total of two jobs—from early 1851 until just before his death in 1860.[M9]:14-15[D]:77

    Other behaviors ascribed to the post-accident Gage which are either unsupported by, or in contradiction to, the known facts include mistreatment of wife and children (of which Gage had neither);[67] inappropriate sexual behavior, promiscuity, or impaired sexuality;[68] lack of forethought, of concern for the future, or of capacity for embarrassment; parading his self-misery, and vainglory in showing his wounds;[69] "gambling" himself into "emotional and reputational... bankruptcy";[70] irresponsibility and untrustworthiness;[71] aggressiveness and violence;[72] vagrancy and begging;[73] plus drifting,[74] drinking,[75] lying,[76] brawling,[77] bullying,[78] psychopathy,[79][70] inability to make ethical decisions, loss of all respect for social conventions, acting like an "idiot"[80] or a "lout",[62] and dying "due to a debauch"[81] after a life as a "layabout"[82] and a "boorish mess"[83] during which he "alienated almost everyone who had ever cared about him."[84] None of these behaviors is mentioned by anyone who had met Gage or even his family, and as Kotowicz put it, "Harlow does not report a single act that Gage should have been ashamed of."[K2]:122-3 Gage is "a great story for illustrating the need to go back to original sources", writes Macmillan,[87] most authors having been "content to summarize or paraphrase accounts that are already seriously in error." - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phineas_Gage#Exaggeration_and_distortion_of_mental_changes
     
  13. Syne Sine qua non Valued Senior Member

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    Objections to dualism do not amount to evidence for the brain causing the mind.
     
  14. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

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    Just showing some professional opinion as opposed to your own "god of the gaps" preference. And of course far more than objections as you do know.......

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    Like I said, we have plenty of reason to support the mind, brain, consciousness concept, and no reason not to, just as there is no other scientific answer to life, other than abiogenisis.
     
  15. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

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    http://www.iflscience.com/brain/man-tiny-brain-lived-normal-life/

    "In a 2007 Lancet study, doctors described an incredible medical oddity – the 44-year-old civil servant who had lived a normal life despite having an incredibly tiny brain. The French man went into hospital after he experienced weakness in his left leg for two weeks. Doctors were quite surprised when they took scans of his brain and found a huge fluid-filled chamber.


    The scans showed that the man had a “massive enlargement of the lateral, third, and fourth ventricles, a very thin cortical mantle and a posterior fossa cyst,” researchers noted in the study. In short, while fluid normally circulates throughout the brain, it’s regularly drained. But instead of draining the fluid into the circulatory system, the fluid in this man’s brain built up. Eventually, the accumulation of fluid resulted in only a tiny amount of actual brain material.

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    The large black space is the fluid that built up in his brain. Feuillet et al./The Lancet.

    The man’s medical history showed that he had to get a shunt inserted into his head as an infant to get rid of the buildup of fluid on the brain, known as hydrocephalus. The shunt was eventually removed when at age 14, he complained of left leg weakness and some unsteadiness. The man went on to live a normal life and he got married and had two children. Tests showed that he had an IQ of 75 which, though below the average of 100, is not considered a mental disability.

    “What I find amazing to this day is how the brain can deal with something which you think should not be compatible with life,” Dr. Max Muenke, from the National Human Genome Research Institute, told Reuters."
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2017
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  16. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    There is a pretty good evidence that putting a bullet in the brain results in the cessation of the mind.
     
  17. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    I don't see where that truism establishes any hard limits to the scope of scientific inquiry. Clearly some aspects of the world are vastly more difficult to observe carefully and account for via rigorous models than others, but to claim a priori impossibility seems unlikely in principle as well as unsupported by evidence.
    The degree or significance of contribution may be very little, but prudence would add the words "so far". And even "very little" dismisses the claim of impossibility, which was the claim at hand.
    It took modern science to approach an answer to the question. Again - a recent development, in the early stages of investigation.
    The brain is substrate - in general substrate is not responsible for pattern, normally bringing general constraints (not particular content).
    I wouldn't think that would be its role - as the post you "liked" put it:
    Actual research and findings being discussed seem to earn a bit more consideration than mere "speculation" implies. From a scientific pov, anyway.
     
  18. Syne Sine qua non Valued Senior Member

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    External observation of consciousness does not necessarily speak to the subjective experience of the mind. You're simply assuming the objective observation equals the subjective experience, when we have countless examples of the two not being the same. Now this is falsifiable. If we can predict, through observations of the brain, what a person is experiencing subjectively, that would amount to evidence in favor of brain causation, but we don't have any evidence of that.
     
  19. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    I'm not sure why the brain would be regarded as causing the mind by anybody. It's not an obviously promising scientific approach, at any rate - on a par, logically, with assuming that water causes snowflakes.
    That has been done, crudely: observations of a particular neuron firing have been established as indicating that a particular person was imagining or visualizing the image of a particular person, observations of particular patterns of firing have been established as indicating that a person was thinking of moving their hand in a particular way, that kind of thing.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2017
  20. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

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  21. Syne Sine qua non Valued Senior Member

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    The answer was the same. No time equals no before.

    If the brain isn't responsible for particular content, how can we equate brain to mind?

    If you're a hammer, everything looks like a nail. If you're a scientist, everything looks accessible to science, even though "I wouldn't think that would be its role."
     
  22. Syne Sine qua non Valued Senior Member

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    Really? Have we distilled one down to the other?

    Are these truly predictive, or only ad hoc correlations? Show me the studies. Otherwise you're just talking out of your hat.
     
  23. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    We can't. Of course. So?
    And if you're an ignorant doofus, anything science has not nailed down already looks inaccessible to scientific investigation.
     

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