Ginkgo wrote: ↑Thu Oct 26, 2017 1:47 am
GreatandWiseTrixie wrote: ↑Thu Oct 26, 2017 12:56 am
Ginkgo wrote: ↑Thu Oct 26, 2017 12:28 am
I think this is what you were looking for:
Dennett is saying that the Cartesian Theatre is a fallacy, consciousness is spread throughout the brain. In other words, there is no single spot in the brain where consciousness occurs.
Did Dennett prove this with science though.
Dennett is a philosopher not a scientist. Nonetheless, Dennett is just saying what science has known for a long time.
I propose that evidence proves that Dennett is oblivious to real science which tends to invalidate his ignorant opinions. Not only has he failed to prove his assertions based upon science, he completely ignoresscientific information pertinent to the consciousness issue that science has clearly known for a long time (In the context of an active field of study, these days, 70 years is more like ancient history than merely a "long time.") Two examples I've come across with just a slight study of brain research:
1. In the late forties, a pioneering researcher and neurosurgeon, Wilder Penfield, did extensive experiments with patients on whom he was performing open-skull brain surgery, with the patient fully conscious throughout. He inserted electrodes that delivered a small voltage into their brains. He could thus stimulate sections of the brain, primarily with the purpose of locating the failed or damaged section he needed to excise. With some patients he got an okay to experiment by sticking his probe here and there to see what happened. Patients could communicate freely.
For example, he might locate a section of the brain which, if stimulated, would cause the patient's right arm to raise up.
Penfield could then tell the patient to lower the arm, which he could initially do easily using his own "will power," whatever that is.
Then, Penfield increased the voltage on his little electrode, which made it more difficult for the patient to lower his own arm. The experiment continued with small but higher voltages until the patient could not lower his arm, no matter how hard he tried.
You might ask why this is interesting? Ask yourself what is that "source of willpower" lurkiing within the brain that is powerful enough to override, however temporarily, electrical commands coming from within the brain itself?
In other experiments, Penfield probed the brain for the source of consciousness. He failed to find such a thing, but did locate a point which, if stimulated, would turn consciousness completely off. I do not recall exactly where-- it's been half a century since I read the book describing these experiments (Strong and Elwyn's Human Neuroanatomy, 1958).
Penfield's ability to extinguish consciousness entirely with a simple electrode has two implications:
A. Consciousness is physical.
B. Consciousness is not "distributed" throughout the brain.
2. The second experiment was performed by a team of researchers, I think 5 of them, one by the name of Charles Gray, brother of my ladyfriend at the time, from whom I learned about it. They proved that information developed within one part of the brain could be instantly transmitted to a different section of the brain, without neural connections
This suggests that information within the brain is encoded and transmitted via electromagnetic waves, like the images in an old analog-data TV.
If so, that information exists in "phase space" along with other electromagnetic signals. If such a thing as "soul" exists at the level of physical reality at which it must exist if real, it could obtain and interact with with information at the phase-space level, independently of a brain.
I propose that even this small amount of information is enough to discredit the claim that "Dennett is just saying what science has known for a long time." Like all other religionists, including those with science credentials, he is ignoring all evidence contrary to his opinions.
Shall we excuse him on the grounds that he is a philosopher rather than a scientist? I say not. A student philosopher working toward his Ph.D might and will be excused on the basis of ignorance. Likewise the postgrad philosopher struggling to make do on a $90K-114K salary. But by the time one of these goofballs reaches professorship status, he, she, or it will have been paid plenty enough to acquire a serious depth of scientific knowledge, particularly that knowledge within the purview of the philosopher's speciality.
In that respect Dennett must be regarded as woefully, perhaps even deliberately ignorant of science. Like any typical religionist, he echos only the snippets of science that seem to support his atheistic perspective. By way of a thoughtful philosopher to follow, you'd do so much better by listening to Rupert Sheldrake.