by dhw, Thursday, July 05, 2018, 09:06 (635 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: What this leaves out is my thought that 'expression of developing concept' achieves the necessary level of complexity because of the available complexity of the brains networks with which to refine the thought.

dhw: If the soul does the thinking, how does the brain refine the thought? The brain provides the information in an ongoing process as the soul instructs it to give material expression to the thought. See below.

DAVID: The brain does not refine thought. The soul does it using the complex networks of the brain.

100% agreed. But what does it use the brain FOR?

dhw: The soul does the thinking, and the brain provides ongoing information and material expression/implementation. Would you now please tell us at last what “much more” the brain contributes, especially bearing in mind your very own statement that the soul “drives the initiation of the thought and uses the brain networks to complete it. The brain does not initiate or contribute.

DAVID: To repeat: the brain supplies complex networks for the soul to use in refining and completing thought. The networks allow for collating all the various factors that will contribute to a final conclusion, refining the thought and expressing it. Complexity of network is required for increased complexity of concept.

Yes, the networks provide ongoing information for the soul to collate and refine the thought, and the networks enable the thought to be materially expressed and implemented. Your last sentence is at best ambiguous, so let’s clarify: increased complexity of network is required to express increased complexity of concept. Here’s the process: first we have the soul initiating the thought (you have agreed). This requires material expression. New information comes from the material expression, as a result of which the soul complexifies the thought, and this in turn demands increased complexification of the network for its implementation. The complexification of the concept must precede the complexification of the networks which are to express the concept. It makes no sense for the networks to complexify themselves in advance of the concept they have to express!

dhw: Your final example (concerning the human brain), however, is much more complex and relevant to our discussion:

QUOTE: [The team] has discovered how the brain dynamically handles cognitive tasks while it also is engaged in internal mental processes.

dhw: This seems to suggest a materialist view, very much along the lines of the materialist section of my own “theory”, with the different brain cell communities responsible for all the processes.

QUOTE: "'We now think that a whole set of internal, or hidden, brain states can influence how you process tasks. Here, we identify hidden brain states and demonstrate for the first time that they influence human cognition and decision making in profound ways."

DAVID's comment: Another example of how the soul uses brain networks.

dhw: In dualism, yes indeed, the soul uses the brain, but if there is such a thing as a soul, this article focuses on how the brain influences it – a totally different subject. It harks back to our observation that thought changes the brain (the illiterate women) and yet the brain changes thought (drugs, diseases etc.). This is part of the great dichotomy between dualism and materialism, mirrored by your own insistence that the dualist has a separate consciousness mechanism or immaterial thinking soul and yet cannot think new thoughts until it has been given a bigger brain. I have attempted to resolve this dichotomy, whereas you still don’t seem to recognize it.

DAVID: I don't see a dichotomy, if one accepts the theory that an immaterial soul must use a material brain to refine thought, at the animal and the human level. Clearly a dualistic view.

That is not in dispute as a description of the process! What is in dispute is your insistence that the expansion or complexification of the brain must precede the thoughts that require expansion or complexification. The moment you make the thinking process itself dependent on the brain (as opposed to its being dependent on information provided by the brain – otherwise it would have nothing to think about), you embrace materialism. The dualist’s soul is what you have described as a SEPARATE consciousness mechanism, which is interlocked with the brain. It does all the thinking, which is why dualists believe that it constitutes the thinking self which survives the death of the brain. In life, expansion/complexification are the consequence of its thinking, as illustrated by modern science. This supports your dualism. But modern science also shows that the brain affects the thinking (e.g. through drugs and diseases), which supports your materialistic theory that the brain changes before thoughts are initiated. I’m sorry you can’t see the dichotomy.

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