Dualism versus materialism; amygdala evidence (Identity)

by David Turell @, Sunday, August 20, 2017, 15:55 (65 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: [...] Your concept of my theory that somehow the brain receives emotions is way off the mark.


dhw: If emotions start with immaterial thought from the soul which produces material results from the brain, and the self/soul instructs, how can you argue that the brain does not “receive” the emotions? That is precisely the process we have agreed is the essence of your dualism: immaterial thought first (soul/self), material manifestations (brain/body) second. The material brain is the receiver of the immaterial.

DAVID: I was simply adding the material effects the brain can induce with its control of hormones, Emotions are 'feelings' we have. Our self/soul is in charge, but thoughts or thoughtful reactions can have the brain create the feelings of emotions. Or more to the point, the adolescent male suddenly experiences an erection upon the visualization of a sexually arousing scene, as one obvious example.

dhw: What are “feelings of emotions”? Emotions are feelings. The visualization comes before the erection. In dualism, the source of thought is the soul not the brain, which you have agreed either provides information or materially implements thought. If your adolescent (don’t know why he has to be young, but still…) is simply daydreaming, it’s the daydreaming soul that sends its lustful instructions to the penis via the brain, which is the receiver of the emotion. If the visualization has a material cause (photograph of gorgeous female), the perception of it sends information via the brain to the soul, which thinks lustfully about the material image (dualism does not mean that thought is independent of the material perceptions it thinks about), and back goes the message to the penis via the brain. Both ways the brain is the receiver of the emotion (unless you are a materialist)

Emotions Are not just 'feelings'. They also involve bodily reactions as we agree. If the soul uses the brain to create the feelings of emotion, the brain is more than a receiver, but a participant in the whole process inducing bodily reactions. For example, a startle response is a unexpected sensory reaction, which the soul did not initiate but recognizes. I think there can be some back and forth between brain and soul at these physical levels. This is not at the immaterial level of thinking and concepts.

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