Saturday, April 30, 2005

Split brain and mind/body question

So I did my paper on the split brain topic. I noticed the whole topic is based loosly on the fact that the brain is the mind. This is because the idea behind the argument is if u seperate the brain hemisphere's the number of minds that person has is not clear. For you extreme dualists out there, should this arguement even be brought into question? If the brain and the mind are mainly seperated, would seperating the hemispheres affect the number of minds that someone has? Would it affect the mind at all from your point of view, or just the translator, ie the brain? What happens if you were to transplant the two halves of the brain into two different bodies; where would the mind go? Can the mind be split up? This plays off of the broken soul idea i guess. What happens in these special split brain cases from a dualist's point of view? I am a fan of Nagel's theory that there is no answer to the number of minds a split brain patient has. However, I was thinking that a dualist might think that if you split up the brain the mind still stays perfectly intact, or fairly intact. However, which half of the brain does the mind go with if both halves are transplanted? I know this is kind of a ramble, but I'm having trouble forming the dualist take on split brain patients, maybe someone can help me out.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Broken Souls

I was curious about the notion of souls and their growth. Presumably, things such as ants or bacteria do not have souls, but humans do. Thus, it would seem that at some basic stage in our growth as humans (zygote, embryo, fetus, etc.) we would develop a soul. This fits in nicely with the soul or mind as being motivating for our behavior. However, I was wondering about people who are perhaps hit in the head with a pipe by an angered materialist. If they become brain damaged, does their soul stop growing? Is there soul less complete than other people's? Is it broken? As I have ever heard the notion of souls, it seems that as humans we all recieve some sort of soul, but I would doubt that most people would say that Person X has a better functioning soul than Person Y.

So my questions are this:
1) Is the mind then different from the soul? (Sam's triple theory)
2) Does the soul grow? Can it be broken? Is it a container to be filled, but all souls have equal potential?


Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Soul theory

So what does everyone think about the soul? I think it is the most plausible thing we have discussed. I don't think it necessarily encodes an entire person or being, but merely the core so if you have a kind soul when you are alive, when you are reincarnated you will still be kind whether it is kind as a person or animal. (obviously i am assuming reincarnation here) but if you go with soul to heaven or hell theory then i think the soul takes on a different meaning. in that case i think the soul remains you as you the only difference would be that it doesn't have a material body. I dunno, what do you guys think?

Monday, April 25, 2005

The Last Day for Posts is May 4

I regret to report that I have to turn in final grades before finals week is up. So the last day that a post can be made to the blog that will count toward your grade is May 4th. Sorry for any inconvenience.

Friday, April 22, 2005

the brain and the mind

to start a discussion online, I suppose the best subject would be one we are a little more familiar with. We have been talking about the differences between the mind and the brain and the differences and similarities between them.
I feel that the mind and brain are the same out of confidence that one day we will find a more direct correlation between brain states and mind states, which would lead to more evidence against dualism. I say it is something like water flowing by a water wheel at a mill. The river is the workings of the brain, the neurons and the electro-chemical reactions. The mind states are results from translations of brain states, as river movement translates to something occuring in the mill.
I am saying that I don't think mind states cause brain states, but rather the other way around. I remember some saying that it was mind states cause brain states, more of a soul theory notion. I disagree also because of the science of our senses. When we sense something, like the taste 'sweet', physical things (molecules interacting with taste buds) translate to a mental sense ("sweet").
I also say that mental thoughts follow from one another and are results of brain functioning changes. They are not random immaterial contrivances that supposedly fall from the sky because the reason we can support thoughts in our brains is from specific neuro-chemical interactions and chains of processes.

Anyone who thinks differently, or has other ideas at all, should post and continue this discussion.