What Is The Mind?

Discussion in 'Philosophy' started by mechanix901, May 29, 2013.

  1. Pretty much all other bodily functions are explained but what part of the body is the mind and how do you explain a totally unique thing in the universe? Or is it even that all unique since so many ppl share similar minds.

  2. #2 Mikayote, May 29, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: May 29, 2013
    This is actually one of the most complicated questions in philosophy, biology, and psychology.
    Now, you asked two questions, so I'll throw my answer out there on both.
    As far as any individual mind being unique, there's a chance that it is. Ignore anyone who tells you any BS about infinit possibilities; the universe has existed for a finite period of time (the best measurement of the age of the universe, as of 22 March 2013, is 13.798 +/- 0.037 billion years), and there are a finite number of particles in it (around 10^82). This means that while the number of particle interactions is staggeringly high, it's still a real number.
    Now, as for the mind itself, there are two major schools of thought.
    One is that the brain/spine is just a squishy computer. You ask where the mind is, and advocates of this school of though gesture at the brain and say "there you go".
    The other major school of though is that the mind is a totally non-physical thing that arises from the interaction of distinct physical parts. You can think of the mind as being like society; no individual is society, but whenever two or more individuals interact, that's a society. The example we were given in psychology was to use water;
    Imagine you had the capability to feel a single molecule of water. A single molecule wouldn't feel "wet" because even though the physical properties of water allow it to be "wet", "wetness" is actually an interaction BETWEEN molecules of water. The individual molecule isnt wet, but two molecules that can slip and slide around each other are wet.
    There's currently a project starting up that will explore the link between the brain and mind, and how that link might start to break down or change during near death experiences. http://www.popsci.com/sam-barrett/article/2008-10/first-few-minutes-after-death?cmpid=obinsite
  3. Mikayote, I see the article was posted in 2008, since it's a 3 year study, were any results posted? If so can you link them for us? thanks for the link regardless
  4. The "I" who everyone refers to, or "the observer", is not something which can be described or expressed in physical terms; although, many do make the argument, fallaciously, that the mind is something physical. The "observer", or mind, that's observing all our experiences dwells in a dimension where energy is not restricted to this mundane structure of 3-d time space, i.e., not physical. The incumbent reflector, i.e., the mind or observer, cannot be loacted by modern science.
    The mind, or soul, can exist without the body it occupies right now -- If a thing can be described without the refrence to another thing does that make the two things different, not disparate, but different...?
  5. Is it the eyes that read and understand the words and posts of this thread, or, is it the observing mind that's consciously reflecting upon the data received from the vison of ur eyes which allows u to understand  and read? U don't see with ur eyes, but with ur non-physical mind...!
    WTF?!?  We understand quite well how the physical brain works when we read.  Non-physical mind.... :rolleyes:
  7. #7 Boats And Hoes, May 29, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: May 29, 2013
    So, ur telling me the neural processes which occur and in turn allow sight, when my eyes experienc, something, automatically set off activity in the frontal cortex, i.e., thought, really?
    My eyes see something, but does this raw sensory experience automatically activiate conscious thought about what the eyes are experiencing...? No, it does not. And it's foolish to think so...
    And I say the mind is "non-physical" in the sense that it's not extended or manifest within the construct of 3 dimensioal space; like "phyiscal objects" seem to be.
  8. If you want to understand how we read, google it.  It is well understood how the brain recognizes learned words and enables us to read text.
  9. #9 Boats And Hoes, May 29, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: May 29, 2013
    Google it... great answer; but that doesn't answer my question. :rolleyes:
    The brain doesn't read, the brain reacts mechanically and enables sensory experience - it does not precipitate reflective thought about the experience. The mind, or conscious reflector, reads and surveys over sensory experience by way of thought.
    I don't need to answer your question.  I'm not seeking debate on something that is already known.  You posted some inaccurate information about reading and the mind.  I'm telling you, do some research, or don't and keep spreading your nonsense. :D
  11. The mind is the brain, the brain is the computer that manages your sensory perception. Nothing too special about it.
    When you see something, your brain makes sense of that sensory imformation and allows you to understand it. It's not some magical experience that takes place in a non-physical dimension.
  12. #12 Boats And Hoes, May 29, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: May 29, 2013
    Inaccurate, really? U can never stop making claims without proof or evidence... U always judge and appraise peoples argument's without ever asserting how ur evaluating it -- u dismiss it and just say it's wrong with no warrant or validity. So, maybe u should do some more research about how u never say anything... u just spew hollow acusations.
    "Something that's already known" -- Yea, just like it was once "known" that the sun rotates around the earth. :rolleyes:
  13. #13 Boats And Hoes, May 29, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: May 29, 2013
    How does ur brain make sense of it...? By thinking about it?
  14. #14 RippedMonk, May 29, 2013
    Last edited: May 29, 2013
    The proof or evidence in this case is already well known and documented.  I shouldn't have to give links to support what is commonly known.  You just get frustrated because I'm always pointing out the mystical bullshit in your posts.  You state your ideas as if they are known facts without proof or evidence all the time and since they usually contradict knowledge we already have, burden of proof is on you each time.  I'll tell you what, I'll just ignore your posts from here on out since our arguing does nothing more than create pages of nonsensical posting.
  15. No, because it's an unconsious process. You aren't thinking 'ok now i'm gonna let this light go into my eyes and then decifer what's happening'.
    I'm not going to pretend to be an expert on it, but it's the same as any other sensory perception; your perceive things the way you do because your sensory organs are connceted to the brain and the information is automatically translated into a 'language' you can understand, in this case it's vision.
  16. #16 Boats And Hoes, May 29, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: May 29, 2013
    I get all this... but let us start from the beginning -- Here u are referring to the brain, a mechanical entity which produces sensation and sensory-experience by way of rigid internal processes; this is understood.
    Okay, now, do u not agree that one can deny or accept that he or she is seeing something? Not that he or she may be right in their evaluation, but, nonetheless, the evaluation of denying or accepting is something I can do, right?
  17. #17 Boats And Hoes, May 29, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: May 29, 2013
    Ur "pointing out" goes no further than just pointing... lol :smoke: .
  18. I'm not sure I entirely understand your point. Yes, you can close your eyes and cut off your vision. You can hypothetically deny that your are seeing something that you are seeing, but that would be irrelevant to what you are actually seeing so I'm not sure how that affects the sensory experience. Just so we're on the same page, are you talking about someone looking at the sky and claiming that it's green instead of blue? Please correct me if that's not what you meant lol.
  19. #19 Boats And Hoes, May 29, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: May 29, 2013
    This is extacly what I'm saying...!
    Now, if "I" can doubt and deny everything, like the sameway "I" can doubt and deny that I'm seeing something (even if my eye is acutally seeing something), must this "I" that's doubting and denying everything be something different than all the things it's denying? For how can an eye doubt and deny that it's seeing what it is seeing? Like u said, the eye's assertion is asserted on a unconscious and mechanical level...
    And the special thing is that this conscious "I", even in its all encompassing doubt and denial, can nevery doubt or deny that it's doubting and denying... even if it doubts and denies the reality of everything, it cannot doubt and deny the reality of its doubt and denial, i.e., the reality of thought. So, now, is this "I" that's doubting and denying, i.e., the "I" that's freely and autonomously thinking, something that can be considered physical (in the sense that it's extended within the construct of 3 dimensional space and time)? The mind, or the "I", dwells in a different dimension than the eye's and brain's rigid form of reciving data within the construct of 3 dimensional space and time.
    If that's all too much to get at once, please ask some questions, friend...
  20. #20 bonghits14, May 29, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: May 29, 2013
    Ok well I'm glad we're on the same page lol! The problem is, science can't fully explain consiousness. If I had to guess, I would say that the ability to deny reality lies in the frontal lobe, which deals with reasoning and judgement, among other things. Since we are aware of our surroundings, but more importantly we are aware of the fact that we are aware, we are able to not only react to our environment but also predict things before they happen, using logic and reasoning.
    For example, if I am hunting an animal, it would be beneficial to be able to predict where that animal would be, as that would obviously help me catch said animal without exerting unnecessary amounts of energy. I assume that this same process would be used in 'denying reality', because I can think about things that I am not currently perceiving, and I can make judgments and predictions without actually perceiving these things.
    If we use the 'sky is green' example, when I'm in my basement with no access to the sky, I can predict or imagine a green sky. Even though my eyes aren't part of this process, I can form a fully detailed image of a green sky(using imagination*), and I can choose to believe that this image is real. Again, I assume that this ability to imagine and believe in a 'green sky' lies in the frontal lobe.
    With that being said, our current understanding of science tells us that all conscious activity takes place in the brain. Because of this, it is more rational to hypothesize that the process of denying reality lies in the brain, rahter than a seperate dimension that we are currently unaware of.
    Hopefully that made some sense, because I thought about that really hard, and not having autocorrect on here is an absolute pain in the ass lol.
    * I googled 'how do we imagine', and this a response to a similar question on yahoo:
    When we imagine, according to recent discoveries, it appears that a reduced part of our sensory cortex is activated, i.e. when imagining how a tree looks, some of the same cells that would represent that tree if we saw it are activated in the visual cortex. It also works for actions: when we imagine kicking, some of the same cells in the motor cortex which activate when actually kicking activate when imagining it. The study of this is known as embodied cognition.

    We also know that we store information about objects in a manner than is not sensory-modality specific, i.e. abstract schemas. So if you imagine "a cat ran up a tree" you might not specifically imagine what type of tree it is: it's enough to know trees are tall, climbable, and has branches and leaves. This is an abstract schema, based on the properties of objects/things and how they can be interacted with, and is not stored in the sensory areas of the brain.

    When we imagine, these specific representations become active, as do areas of our frontal and pre-frontal cortex (involved both in planning and understanding narrative).

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