Useless hypotheses

From: Smigrodzki, Rafal (SmigrodzkiR@MSX.UPMC.EDU)
Date: Wed Dec 19 2001 - 12:40:35 MST

J.R. Molloy wrote:

2 a : the element or complex of elements in an individual that feels,
perceives, thinks, wills, and especially reasons
[should be replaced by <brain>]

### Somehow, "brain", as a physical object is in some contexts not the thing
we refer to when we talk about the mind. The brain is the carrier for the
mind, which is the totality of subjective experience.

b : the mental events and capabilities in an organism
[the term <cognitive behavior> covers this]

### Again, "cognitive behavior" refers merely to the objectively observable
correlates of subjective events, as any conscious human will tell you. I
hope you are not a Skinnerian.


 Where is the empirical evidence for this mystical entity
that you call "mind"?

### Please define your meaning of "empirical" here.


It sounds more like a religious meme or a belief system,
and is reminiscent of the ghost in the machine. It is equivalent to
and vitalism as a useless hypothesis.

### Phlogiston as a hypothesis was useless mainly because it failed to give
falsifiable predictions, AFAIK. Vitalism was abandoned once its predictions
were experimentally disproved (Wohler's synthesis of urea).

The mind is, broadly speaking, a name for the subjective experience of
thinking (at least this is how I use the word) and it is assumed as a given
in any discussion between sentient entities. If you were able to present
empirical evidence that you have no subjective states, merely behaviors, I
might be willing to reconsider my position - since you deny one of the
axioms, the burden of proof of its uselessnes is on you.


Thanks but no thanks. I have no use for such outdated and un-extropic conjecture.

### Un-extropic?


This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Sat May 11 2002 - 17:44:28 MDT