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Old 02-10-2020, 11:06 AM
john price is offline
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mind brain problem


My hypothesis is that our mind, both conscious and unconscious, in all its aspects, is the functioning of our brain,no more, no less. But there is some brain function that is not mind. Is this true, and how could it be tested? John Price
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Old 02-10-2020, 11:22 AM
Derleth is online now
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My hypothesis is that our mind, both conscious and unconscious, in all its aspects, is the functioning of our brain,no more, no less. But there is some brain function that is not mind. Is this true, and how could it be tested? John Price
Your idea is very much the mainstream, and well-supported by evidence. For example, brain lesions cause things like neurological problems and personality changes, which is very strong evidence that, since brain damage causes damage to the mind, the mind is an activity of the brain, so impairing the brain's ability to carry out its activities impairs the mind. Drugs further support this: Chemically altering the brain's function alters the mind's function.

Demonstrating that the mind is independent of the brain would require showing some mental activity which was not impaired regardless of how or where the brain was damaged, or what drugs it was on. The fact people die when their brain is destroyed, and all mental activity ceases, would have to be explained somehow, as would the fact we can reliably predict which kinds of drugs or brain damage lead to which kinds of impairment.
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Old 02-10-2020, 12:10 PM
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Originally Posted by john price View Post
My hypothesis is that our mind, both conscious and unconscious, in all its aspects, is the functioning of our brain,no more, no less. But there is some brain function that is not mind. Is this true, and how could it be tested?
Some valid ESP results would probably establish non-brain components of the mind, as would valid "past-life" results. But I'm not holding my breath.
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Old 02-10-2020, 12:14 PM
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Originally Posted by john price View Post
My hypothesis is that our mind, both conscious and unconscious, in all its aspects, is the functioning of our brain,no more, no less. But there is some brain function that is not mind. Is this true, and how could it be tested? John Price
Does mind control at least some part of brain? If yes, how is that done? What is the interface between mind and brain?

BTW, where does awareness, self-awareness in particular, come into all this?
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Old 02-10-2020, 12:25 PM
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Some valid ESP results would probably establish non-brain components of the mind, as would valid "past-life" results. But I'm not holding my breath.
Past life would do it, sure, but some ESP could "merely" be explained by the brain being able to transmit and receive information using something analogous to radio which we've never been able to measure or generate. I put "merely" in quotes above because this would be a huge revolution in particle physics, requiring a massive rethinking of the Standard Model, but it wouldn't challenge the notion that the mind can be understood on a material basis.

(I suppose you could put past life on a material basis, too, as long as we're inventing entirely new particles and forces, but it would be more difficult.)
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Old 02-11-2020, 01:11 AM
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Brains can exist without minds but minds can't exist without brains. Yet. "Brain" is thus hardware (or wetware) with "mind" as its software. If de-linked somehow, what other infrastructure could support cognition? Build a superduper compter net with YUGE! superduper AI-mind installed - the hardware is still a "brain", even if not organic.

Exploring "mind" without a fleshy "brain" turns to either cybernetics or theology. Many smartphones seem smarter than their human users. Mine constantly outwits me. How can we investigate supernatural brains? Logic; inspiration; prayer; hallucinogens.

Most of humanity (assuming we survive) will eventually sport neural implants and be linked as a hive-mind with thoughts delayed by satellite-bounce signal lag. That may be as close to calm deliberation as humans can go. BUT BEWARE! Virtual memory swaps data between slow storage and fast RAM. Virtual gardens see past-their-prime plants swapped-out and replaced with fresh ones. Failing human elements in the hive-mind will be swapped-out and replaced with newbies. You think corporate workers are cogs-in-the-machine now? Each of us is quite disposable, and ever more so.

I recall a hypothesis that this universe is a computer that computes itself; thus we are totally immersed in brain and mind. Don't sneeze or a discontinuity may develop. Now contemplate the megaverse built of many many virtual universes. When our local universe is swapped-out, where will it (and we) go?

Last edited by RioRico; 02-11-2020 at 01:13 AM.
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Old 02-11-2020, 03:09 AM
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I just watched a documentary not too long ago about the gut or stomach being dubbed "the second brain". It is believed to be where instinct is derived from among other things.
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Old 02-11-2020, 05:21 PM
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Originally Posted by KarlGauss View Post
Does mind control at least some part of brain? If yes, how is that done? What is the interface between mind and brain?

BTW, where does awareness, self-awareness in particular, come into all this?
The mind is a computer program running on the brain. It is not separate from the brain; it's encoded within the pattern of chemicals and electrical signals that exist in and around the brain. Self-awareness is in there too.

As for things like instinct being derived from the gut, I have extreme doubts, but it's not outside the realm of physical possibility I suppose - the gut is physically connected to the brain by various nerves and vessels and other tissue, and it's not outside the realm of possibility that it could produce some chemicals or signals that impacted the brain's physical function.
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