Dualism (Identity)

by dhw, Thursday, May 14, 2020, 12:55 (440 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: More confusion. The brain never thinks by itself without the soul/essence actually doing it by use of the brain's neuronal networks.

dhw: Why do you keep adding to the confusion with these nebulous constructions? “Never thinks without…suggests that it only thinks with…So it only thinks if the soul actually thinks. This is just as confusing as the “thinking networks” which don’t think! Let’s try once more: The dualist’s soul does the thinking and uses the brain – but this is what I keep trying to pin down: WHAT does the soul use the brain’s neuronal networks for (and why can’t you just say “brain”)?

DAVID: How can I be any clearer? The soul can only think by using the brain networks assigned to producing thought during life. The brain alone can never produce thoughts by itself. The soul is therefore the originating cause of the thought appearing.

What do you mean by “the brain networks assigned to producing thought”? You keep coming up with these nebulous terms instead of sticking to the concrete terms you have actually agreed to! The dualist’s brain networks do not “produce thought”. But yes, the soul produces thought. The dualist’s brain provides the information and gives material expression to the thought (or, if you like, gives the thought its material appearance).

dhw: You have now agreed that the dualist’s soul uses the brain in the ways described and bolded above. The dualist’s brain does not think. So just drop the highly ambiguous term “thinking networks”, and we shall be in complete agreement. The implications are best left to the “brain expansion” thread, and this one can be closed unless you actually disagree with my summary of the way the soul uses the brain.

DAVID: I agree and think the above discussion ends the debate. The brain actually has areas which have networks for conceptualizing which I labeled as above. Sorry to confuse you, but they exist.

You agree, and then once again you insist on muddying the waters! The dualist’s brain does not conceptualize, so how can it have networks for conceptualizing? It has networks which the soul uses to do its conceptualizing. We don’t need any of these ambiguous expressions when we have already agreed on a perfectly clear description of the different functions! The dualist’s brain has areas for providing information and for giving material expression to immaterial concepts. These are produced by the soul, which uses the different areas of the brain to create its immaterial concepts. If you think the brain has networks for conceptualizing – as it may well do – you are switching to materialism!

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