Consciousness: Egnor on dualism: another example II (General)

by dhw, Monday, August 27, 2018, 10:01 (471 days ago) @ David Turell

Thank you for the quotes from the article I couldn’t get:
QUOTE: We’ve also been working with Buddhist monks because we know that meditation can trigger alterations in the brain...

This is thought changing the brain (as with the illiterate women, taxi drivers, musicians), and is evidence for dualism.

QUOTE: What processes in the brain create consciousness?

Pure materialsm.

Quote: Two different networks seem to play a role: the external, or sensory, network and the internal self-consciousness network. The former is important for the perception of all sensory stimuli. To hear, we need not only ears and the auditory cortex but also this external network, which probably exists in each hemisphere of the brain—in the outermost layer of the prefrontal cortex as well as farther back, in the parietal-temporal lobes. Our internal consciousness network, on the other hand, has to do with our imagination—that is, our internal voice. This network is located deep within the cingulate cortex and in the precuneus. For us to be conscious of our thoughts, this network must exchange information with the thalamus.

Once again pure materialism: the first network is the brain supplying information. The second network is what dualists attribute to the soul – our “internal voice”.

QUOTE: Using scalp electrodes, we can stimulate particular regions of the brain. By careful placement, we can select the region responsible for speech, which is connected with consciousness. (David’s bold)

Speech gives material expression to conscious thought, whether you’re a materialist or a dualist.

DAVID’s comment: Note he uses electricity to stimulate thought. And his scans and electrodes view thought/consciousness as electrical.

All of these quotes except the first give full support to materialism, i.e. that the brain is the source of thought and consciousness. There is no mention of a soul. In the other section that you quoted, however, he casts doubt on whether the brain tells the whole story of consciousness, and asks us to keep an open mind. This brings us back to the alternative I gave you in the first post: if the electric brain waves are thoughts, then the brain is the source of thought, and that is materialism. If the soul is the source of thought (= dualism), then the electric brain waves are the result of thought. That is the dichotomy I have tried to resolve with my theory, and I still await your logical objections.


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