Consciousness: Egnor on dualism: another example (General)

by David Turell @, Thursday, August 09, 2018, 19:15 (537 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: By the way Egnor believes in a soul, which is why I titled this thread as I did.

dhw: There is nothing in the article to promote the concept of a soul. If he meant it to do so, he has shot himself in the foot.

DAVID: You misunderstand. Egnor is not a part of this article but he bases his belief in a soul based on this kind of medical case:

https://www.newscientist.com/article/2175549-boys-brain-works-just-fine-after-a-large-p...

dhw: You are right. I didn’t realize he had nothing to do with the article. So why on earth did you call this thread “Egnor on dualism: another example”? Now we know it's an article by someone called Alison George, has nothing to do with Egnor, and nothing to do with dualism. Interesting article, though, which will be welcomed by non-Egnorians as an example of materialism.

Egnor, a religious neurosurgeon, believes the soul creates consciousness and even covers over loss of brain tissue in his ablative neurosurgery. He doesn't discuss the role of the electric networks and their contribution.

https://mindmatters.today/2018/08/the-brain-is-not-a-meat-computer/

"The materialist view that the brain as a computer made of meat and that the mind is the software run on this carnal machine is a profound misunderstanding of neurology and of the relationship between the mind and the brain.

***

"Every neuroanatomy and neurophysiology textbook I studied as a medical student described the function of the cerebellum in terms of circuits, neural networks, and computation. It appeared unlikely that anyone could sustain even a tiny injury in such a complex “computer” and retain normal coordination, let alone superb coordination, and play a sport at a high collegiate level.

"But I have learned in practice what every neurosurgeon knows, that much of the cerebellum is expendable. We remove major parts of it routinely in order to remove tumors or blood clots or to decompress the brainstem, which is immediately in front of the cerebellum, without any lasting neurological outcomes (sequelae).

***

"Many other parts of the brain can also be removed without discernable neurological injury. In fact, a vital aspect of neurosurgical practice is knowing which parts of the brain are ‘eloquent’—that is, they cannot be damaged without significant neurological injury—and which parts are ‘non-eloquent’ and can be removed without causing a significant neurological deficit.

***

"The materialist view that the brain as a computer made of meat and that the mind is the software run on this carnal machine is a profound misunderstanding of neurology and of the relationship between the mind and the brain. It is akin to the error of phrenology in the 19th century when materialist neuroscientists presumed that all regions of the brain were eloquent and that complex intellectual functions could be localized to specific gyri.

***

"Thinking is not computation. In fact, thinking is the anthesis of computation. Thought always has meaning, and computation inherently lacks meaning. That is what makes computation so versatile—it imparts no meaning of its own to the tasks to which we apply it.

***

"The brain looks like a computer only if we analyze it as if it were a computer. Our analysis does not mean that it is a computer, and it does not mean that computation explains the mind or even that computational approaches to neuroscience provide genuinely meaningful insight into neurophysiology."

Comment: I'd love to know what he thinks of the electricity. i had the same med school training he had.


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