Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Science Fallacy

"It is not actually your brain that does the thinking at all. In fact, the very idea that it does is virtually incoherent: not just wrong, but meaningless: the mereological fallacy. Only you as a whole entity can do anything like thinking or believing".
Bennett & Hacker

Bennett and Hacker, one a neuroscientist and the other a scholar of Wittgenstein's thought, attack on the conception of the mind based on contemporary neuroscience. They argue that "brain does not know things, has no beliefs, does not think or guess, hear and see, those are functions of human being".
Well, what they mean by "mereological fallacy" is to take a part for the whole; the brain can only process properly when it's in the body as a whole. In another place they mention, " The mind is not identical with the brain, nor is a split brain leading to two minds, one belonging to the left, one to the right hemisphere".
I agree that a psychological attributes (cognition, thought, memory, emotion,...) can be done in the first place or in a perfect way by the cooperative works of other organs but the mind and its colleration with the brain is so tight in my idea that gives the impression that mind is what brain is busy doing in a wide range and in the vast complexities that neuroscience can describe or interpret some and for others it requires a great deal of time to understand and what happens to the mind of a person with Alzheimer- which is a degenerative disorder of the brain- that the person suffering from this disease can no longer think in a way she/he used to think.


Hiva said...

The Mind is not identical with the brain !!!! interesting behi junam

Nava said...

Hi Behi,
I think for obvious reasons, neuroscience is somehow attached to philosophy. Their argument can be true, on the other hand yours makes very much sense to show that brain is to a very high extend responsible for the act of thinking and also for the entity of "mind". I am on the same boat as you, and my reasoning is those who are brain-dead. The other organs are still there and functioning (OK, with some machines help), but this person is considered dead, mainly because the brain is dead. So no thinking, no sensing, no life.

On the other hand, if there is a "brain" around, in physiological condition, is there some way to detect any activity? Maybe the brain is the main functional processor and we as "humans" are only the detectors, you know what I mean? There should be some way to detect if there is any pulses (even if very weak) going on in an isolated brain...
Nice post.