Dualism versus materialism (Identity)

by David Turell @, Wednesday, July 26, 2017, 17:04 (26 days ago) @ dhw

Dhw: What makes you think the bigger brain was necessary for the IMAGINATION of an object, if IMAGINATION is the product of the “soul” and not the brain?

You have not answered this question, and so you continue to argue as if you believe the brain is the producer of ideas (materialism), which it may well be – but you regard yourself as a dualist!

I keep telling you my self/soul/consciousness uses my brain like you and I use our computers. I can only get to my consciousness through the functions of my brain.

DAVID: Once again you are projecting a silly idea. Habilis used hand stone tools but could not imagine a spear, because we know he did not produce one.

Once again you are missing the point: pre-ectus was able to imagine the spear but not to make it: his effort to implement the imagined spear required expansion of the brain, just as the women’s effort to read required rewiring. And that is how pre-erectus (habilis?) became erectus. (All very simplistic, but certainly less confusing than God gave pre-erectus a bigger brain and only then did he have new ideas although ideas are not the product of the brain.)

Yes extremely simplistic and not realistic from the evidence. Habilis imagines some ideas into a larger brain!? Ideas are the product of the self/soul/consciousness, which I think you fully understand.

dhw: Yet again you are talking as if the brain is responsible for (“better”) ideas, though you don’t believe it! The dualistic proposal I am offering is that habilis did not “wish a larger brain so he could KNOW more”, but by attempting to DO more (i.e. implement his new ideas), he expanded his brain, just as the body-builder expands his muscles by doing new exercises, or the illiterate woman rewires her brain by making herself read.

Muscles are a terrible analogy. Rewiring shrinks the brain!

dhw: You keep repeating the history, but if ideas are the product of the “soul” and not the brain, all it proves is that H. sapiens did not have any new ideas until 50,000 years ago. Since the brain had already reached its optimum size, the new ideas did not require expansion for their implementation, but required rewiring, and as this became more efficient, the brain became smaller.

Exactly the point. It takes time to learn to use a new-sized brain. Ours is so big and complex another increase in size is not needed. the end of evolution is here.

DAVID: It is not just size. The Neanderthals had a bigger brain by 100-200 cc, but obviously weren't at our level of mental function. Our human brain is also much more internally complex in its wiring which allows for our level of thinking.

dhw: “Allows” is one of your weasel words (“use” is another) which disguise the dichotomy in your own thinking. If you believe the “soul” is the source of our thoughts, ideas, imaginings, concepts, will etc., then initially the size and subsequently the rewiring of the brain "allows" for the gathering of information and the implementation of ideas. It is not the cause of our level of thinking. (Eventually, I hope to discuss materialism, and perhaps return to my attempt at finding a compromise between the two schools of thought .)

'Allows' and 'use' are not weasels. Our concepts about how we relate to our brain are in discussion. The complexity of our brain's wiring allows for advanced thinking by our self/soul/consciousness mechanism. We are talking about the immaterial in material terms.

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