Reconciling materialism and dualism (Endings)

by dhw, Monday, March 12, 2018, 11:09 (273 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: The brain is not dead in resuscitations! The cortex is stunned and inactive from loss of adequate blood supply. If that supply returns the cortex wakes up.

dhw: Agreed. I should not have used the word “dead”, and your correction makes the argument a great deal clearer. I should have said: how do we know that the brain is completely stunned and inactive? That was Tony’s point about defining death in relation to Near Death Experiences. Sceptics may argue that the brain is NOT inactive. In my post above I have also offered a counter to the sceptics.

DAVID: Some recent research has found a few slow very deep EEG waves, not representing thought areas. All areas stay alive, if not really functional, when resuscitation proceeds. The key is to get the heart pumping and everything can come back, hopefully completely.

dhw: Thank you for this. You have mentioned it before, and we discussed it. Who knows what research will uncover next, but I think we need to be very careful about pinning thought to a specific area. That is why I prefer to talk about the brain generally. You have also drawn our attention to brain damage which theoretically should have interfered with the patient’s cognitive abilities but did not. As always, I greatly appreciate your fairness in presenting such findings.

DAVID: Just remember the material side of the research. The fMRI's do designate cortical areas that are used in specific tasks for thought. It is the cortex which ceases function in 5-10 seconds if the heart stops, stunned but not dead. That can happen in adults after 5+ minutes.

Used for thought or used by thought? “Just remember” that according to you, the brain is the receiver not the generator. The crucial factor for dualists is that thought and emotion and memory and decision-making and judgement and everything else connected with the immaterial s/s/c continue after the stunning and/or death of the cortex. It is materialists who believe that the cortex produces thought, as opposed to receiving it.


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