Consciousness: Egnor on dualism: another example (General)

by dhw, Sunday, August 05, 2018, 11:50 (48 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: If the soul directs the reorganization of the brain, you have dualism, and the reorganization is not “automatic”. If the brain reorganizes itself, you have materialism, but that is not automatic either, as is clear from this quote:
“They also note that in a recent review of similar cases, published by two of the authors, recoveries weren’t nearly so promising. They suggest the boy’s case may have been helped by the fact his pre-operative cognitive function was at a high level, and that his slow-growing tumour gave the brain enough time to re-home some of those visual tasks.”

You could hardly have a clearer pointer to the brain being the source of intelligence, and in this case the brain cells working out what needed to be done. In other cases, the brain cells were not intelligent enough to do it.

DAVID: I suspect in his developing brain, the pressure of the growing tumor stimulated some corrective plastic changes before the ablation surgery occurred. Somehow plasticity is related to level of cognition, which suggests the soul is involved in plasticity.

dhw: If plasticity of the brain is related to the level of cognition, and in this case the brain was given enough time to re-hone some of the visual tasks, it suggests to me that the brain is related to the level of cognition and also does the re-honing! I see no suggestion anywhere of a soul doing anything at all.

DAVID: Totally a materialism comment. I really don't think to expect anything different in our view. I've proposed, not proven, the soul plays a role with the brain functions. You have it separated off somewhere.

Sorry, but you’ve missed the point. This is not part of our discussion on the nature of dualism but on which of the two hypotheses is correct: dualism or materialism. The article does not mention a soul. If cognition depends on the plasticity of the brain, and if the brain rehones itself, that is evidence for materialism and not for dualism.

Same again under “chemical problems”:

DAVID: Another study which shows that a sick brain due to a missing chemical produces sick thoughts. The problem for dhw is if I or he uses the brain to think and the soul is I or he, why does dhw try to claim the soul thinks without the brain (as we in life don't) and thus the original thought is sick, not the expression of thought from a soul separated from the brain as dhw constantly tries to present. He doesn't seem to realize he is presenting his soul as separate from his actions with his own brain as if he is not his soul.

You are again conflating two separate issues. One is the definition of dualism, and the other is whether the soul exists (the dichotomy between materialism and dualism). The fact that drugs and diseases (including missing chemical products) change the way people think is evidence for materialism. Look at your own comment: “…a sick brain produces sick thoughts.” The belief that thought, consciousness, will etc. are produced by the body’s materials is the essence of materialism.


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