Introducing the brain: half a brain is just fine (Introduction)

by dhw, Saturday, March 21, 2020, 13:11 (187 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: It [the concept] didn’t exist before its appearance in thought! The soul has used the brain to gather the information on which it bases the concept. Enlargement is only required in order to develop the concept which, in the case of artefacts, means providing more and more details of design and translating design into material reality.

DAVID: Have you ever built anything? My experience, which is all I go by, the initial design requires deep thought and study. Once the concept is an actual prepared design, the production is easy. All blue-collar work. You are entirely backwards.

I have just said that development - as opposed to conception - of the concept means providing more and more details of design, and now you are telling me that design requires deep thought and study. Yes, that is why I am suggesting that the brain expanded! And maybe in the past it also expanded through having to cope with the material production of something that had never existed before. The modern brain complexifies (but expands in sections) AS A RESULT of thought and study.

DAVID: ...the soul just doesn't just use the brain to gather information. The soul actually thinks up new concepts from recognized need and the information taken in by the brain under the soul's instruction.

dhw: Yes, the soul thinks up new concepts from recognized, EXISTING needs, and it uses the EXISTING information taken in by the brain! It also goes on to use the brain in order to implement the concept. You are saying the same as me and pretending it’s different!

DAVID: Your problem is your concept of implementation. Construction is easy once you know what to do. American Indians had a bow and arrow, but no wheel. They could only produce what they could conceive of. They designed beautiful stone arrow heads as old Erectus did. I've seen many of them out West.

Your problem is your refusal to read what I write. Of course nobody can produce anything they cannot conceive of! But the concept arises from existing information, and it is the development or implementation that requires changes to the brain. I have illustrated this below, and can only assume that you refuse to answer my question because you cannot think of an answer:
dhw: For example, existing information: me hungry – need to kill bison – close up might mean bison kill me...hum...New concept: Maybe me throw something sharp. What new information has required the expansion of the brain, since in your theory it is the soul that does the thinking?

DAVID: The new brain supplies all sorts of new information under the soul's direction.

dhw: Why don’t you answer my question? I have given you the information on which the concept is based. What new information is needed, and requires brain expansion, before the concept of “throwing something sharp” is conceived?

DAVID: I've told you what I have designed. With my expanded brain. My view is you have a backward concept of new designs.

Yes, your modern brain finished expanding thousands of years ago. Now please answer my question: What new information do you think required the expansion of the pre-sapiens brain before the soul could come up with the concept of “maybe me throw something sharp”?

DAVID: You want the effort to make a conceived artifact as the way to enlarge the brain. That has never been my experience. Design first, difficult. Producing easy.

You have forgotten that the concept comes first. I say it is conceived by the existing brain (materialist) or soul (dualist) using existing information. You refuse to say why the brain has to expand before the brain/soul can conceive the concept. Design and production constitute the implementation of the concept.

Under "Earliest known civilization"

DAVID: Homo Sapiens appeared 315,000 years ago. A very slow mental development until the recent exponential growth. While the brain shrunk by 150 cc in the past 35,000 years as the brain/soul developed millions of new concepts. Concepts do not grow brains. Concepts are developed through the use of more complex brains.

Thank you for this fascinating article. What a pity you decided to use it for such a comment. Yet again: the controversy is what CAUSED EACH BRAIN EXPANSION. And yet again you refuse to distinguish between the conception and the development. My proposal is indeed that concepts do not grow brains. The concept arises in the existing brain. It is the implementation (design and manufacture of the artefact) that caused the pre-sapiens brain to expand. However, the sapiens brain marked the end of expansion, and so of course the brain/soul (materialist/dualist) conceived and developed all the new concepts, and it has shrunk because of the efficiency of complexification. There were long periods of stasis in between all the phases of brain expansion, and so the question is not why the mental development was slow, but why there was a sudden explosion of new concepts. Nothing to do with what caused all the expansions.


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