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Posted by Aurino Souza on May 16, 2003 13:44:11 UTC

Hi Harv,

Thanks for replying to Kyle on my behalf. I want to offer some comments on your reply:

" I don't know what Aurino meant, sometimes he's automatically dismissive of many things that irks me. "

That's just an act, Harv. I'm not dismissive of anything, you know that, it's just the way I talk. For the most part I do it because it's just funny. All I expect as a reply when I make those outrageous claims is "yeah yeah yeah", but more often than not people go to great lengths to defend their points of view when I'm not even offering any real criticism. That strikes me as intellectual insecurity.

(by the way, you never do that, our arguments are of an entirely different nature. When I talk nonsense what I usually get from you is a "yeah yeah yeah" - which is why I respect you)

" I interpreted him differently than how you might have interpreted his post. The interpretation that I gathered is that because Dennett thinks he's on the right track, he is only deluding himself because we are all talking about things that we know not. Given the complexities of the human mind, and the little we know about it, are we in a position to say anything of anything with any degree of confidence? "

That was exactly my point, and I'm glad you understood it. But I don't think Dennett himself does, at least that's now how he comes across in his writings. And, contrary to Kyle's uninformed assessment, I am very familiar with Dennett's work, which is why I feel qualified to dismiss it.

" Such 'theories' probably sell more books than actual hard core knowledge. At the same time, you can't get from point A to point Z without going through B,C,D,... Dennett is not a fool in my book since he's making solid efforts to get to a point to where we do obtain a better understanding of these things. "

So is Alan! What I think you, Kyle, and some others fail to realize is that all 'theories' on consciousess are just Alan-isms dressed up for cocktail parties. "Oh, humans have no soul, consciousness is just an epiphenomenom of the brain". Give me a good reason why you think "epiphenomenom of the brain" is not the same thing as "soul" and I'll take you seriously, otherwise I think you're just playing with words, the way Alan is so fond of doing.

" This is what science and philosophy is all about. "

Now you raised the red flag. Philosophy doesn't go from A-Z the way science does. Today's philosophy is tomorrow's historical curiosity. There's far more room for disagreement in philosophy than there is in science.

" I don't know what Dennett has said that has caused Aurino to react as negatively as he has. "

Here's a sample:

At any given time, many modular cerebral networks are active in parallel and process information in an unconscious manner. An information becomes conscious, however, if the neural population that represents it is mobilized by top-down attentional amplification into a brain-scale state of coherent activity that involves many neurons distributed throughout the brain. The long distance connectivity of these "workplace neurons" can, when they are active for a minimal duration, make the information available to a variety of processes including perceptual categorization, long-term memorization, evaluation, and intentional action. We postulate that this global availability of information through the workplace is what we subjectively experience as a conscious state

I don't know what you call it, I call it rubbish. That someone entertains those views for their personal amusement is fine, but to claim that there is knowledge in that paragraph is outrageous. It's just empty fluff.

" I'm sure that Aurino would be just as unimpressed with someone who offers any dualistic theory. "

Which is why I have little interest in Kyle's criticism of my position. Thanks for pointing that out.

" It irks him and he tends to label them fools. I think that's rash. "

It's not just rash. We are not talking about Alan, Dick Stafford, or even myself here, we are talking about someone who has power over what people think, and who has abused that power in order to provide pseudo-rational arguments to provide artificial support for a materialist worldview. And Kyle thinks I'm the biased one!

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