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Brain workings and freedom

Discuss any topics related to metaphysics (the philosophical study of the principles of reality) or epistemology (the philosophical study of knowledge) in this forum.
Eduk
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Re: Brain workings and freedom

Post by Eduk » May 29th, 2018, 6:30 am

I would guess that the number one problem which most effects patient outcome is the patients. For example in the UK the government sought to cut down waiting lists for seeing a GP. The upshot of this is that you will not be put on a waiting list if the list is too long.
Unknown means unknown.

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chewybrian
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Re: Brain workings and freedom

Post by chewybrian » May 29th, 2018, 6:47 am

Eduk wrote:
May 28th, 2018, 6:46 am
Not sure it's fair to lump all attitude under placebo effect though?
I don't think so, but you might consider placebo effect a sub-set of the power of attitude. In this case, attitude is positive, information is bad, and outcome is good. You can see other permutations where aspects and outcomes are different. Negative attitude can surely lead to negative outcomes in many cases. But, I'm very fond of the stoic outlook where it goes the other way.

If you head out with the expectation of being cut off in traffic, then road rage is no longer a realistic response. In this case, attitude is negative, information is good, and the outcome is neutral. You already accepted the cutting off as part of the price you choose to pay for the benefit of travelling. So, a negative attitude can block off negative outcomes, which is a good thing, even if the end result might look like a zero. The full effect is hardly zero. Blocking off negative outcomes can free your mind to work out the good stuff in other ways, and it tilts the scales toward the positive.

There is no placebo effect in traffic. Say attitude is positive (expecting everyone else to follow the rules of the road), and information is bad (experience should tell you people often do not follow the rules). Then the outcome is bad this time. You are surprised, and sense injustice in being cut off, and road rage is back on the table.
"If determinism holds, then past events have conspired to cause me to hold this view--it is out of my control. Either I am right about free will, or it is not my fault that I am wrong."

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Re: Brain workings and freedom

Post by kordofany » May 31st, 2018, 4:38 am

This video may give us hypotheses to answer:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_cont ... qMJD3nozxI

GaryLouisSmith
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Re: Brain workings and freedom

Post by GaryLouisSmith » June 18th, 2019, 12:31 am

Belindi wrote:
May 6th, 2018, 3:58 am
Eduk, I see what you mean by your comment on 'personification'. There are basically two sorts of language, the poetic and the explicit. One would not use poetic language for instructions on how to assemble a flat pack wardrobe.
This is a piece that I sent to Belinda, who I had thought was you. Never mind, I'll send it to you also, Belindi. It's sooooo confusing.

I am interested in personification. You should know that I write philosophy and I am somewhat of a poet. And I think of the gods as Platonic Forms. Or rather I should say that the Platonic Forms are gods. I will explain the difference later.

I myself am a Platonic Realist. I believe the Forms exist and I am prepared to dialectically, that is to say, analytically argue the point. The upshot of all that is that I don’t believe in personification. Personification, like reification, is a psychological act and I certainly don’t believe in what Husserl called psychologism, the act of reducing philosophy to psychology.

You worry that idea-spirits would harbor (you spell it with a u. Are you British?) intentions and that that spirit might be mischievous. I think you should rather say demonic. Here in Hinduland, where there are so many gods – they are probably infinite in number - most have a demonic/trickster/mischievous side. Consider the goddess one prays to, to get rid of smallpox. She also causes smallpox. You might say she is the personification of smallpox. There is no doubt a god of motorcycle repair that also causes your bike to break. Just imagine the motorcycle god. Think of any act or occupation or process or whatever and there is a god for that. Be nice to that god or goddess or bad things will happen. I personally think there is a god that governs my attempt to cook. My food is consistently bad. I wish I knew the mantra or gestures to make to make it not so. Not to worry though, if you come to eat at my place, you will not be poisoned because I have a Nepali boy who is a marvelous cook. He is also the guy who cut off the head of the goat in sacrifice festivals in his village. These deities are not vegetarians.

In my writings I am concerned with the god of philosophy. He is a trickster for sure. Sexual and one who will take your money. A real looker. If you know Plato’s dialogues you have already been introduced to him. BTW, I consider Christianity to be Platonism hooked onto that old Jewish phallic cult on the High Places. I am a Christian. I pray to Jesus. I pray hard.

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Re: Brain workings and freedom

Post by GaryLouisSmith » June 18th, 2019, 1:12 am

Belindi wrote:
May 6th, 2018, 3:58 am
Eduk, I see what you mean by your comment on 'personification'. There are basically two sorts of language, the poetic and the explicit. One would not use poetic language for instructions on how to assemble a flat pack wardrobe.
This is a piece that I sent to Belinda, who I had thought was you. Never mind, I'll send it to you also, Belindi. It's sooooo confusing.

I am interested in personification. You should know that I write philosophy and I am somewhat of a poet. And I think of the gods as Platonic Forms. Or rather I should say that the Platonic Forms are gods. I will explain the difference later.

I myself am a Platonic Realist. I believe the Forms exist and I am prepared to dialectically, that is to say, analytically argue the point. The upshot of all that is that I don’t believe in personification. Personification, like reification, is a psychological act and I certainly don’t believe in what Husserl called psychologism, the act of reducing philosophy to psychology.

You worry that idea-spirits would harbor (you spell it with a u. Are you British?) intentions and that that spirit might be mischievous. I think you should rather say demonic. Here in Hinduland, where there are so many gods – they are probably infinite in number - most have a demonic/trickster/mischievous side. Consider the goddess one prays to, to get rid of smallpox. She also causes smallpox. You might say she is the personification of smallpox. There is no doubt a god of motorcycle repair that also causes your bike to break. Just imagine the motorcycle god. Think of any act or occupation or process or whatever and there is a god for that. Be nice to that god or goddess or bad things will happen. I personally think there is a god that governs my attempt to cook. My food is consistently bad. I wish I knew the mantra or gestures to make to make it not so. Not to worry though, if you come to eat at my place, you will not be poisoned because I have a Nepali boy who is a marvelous cook. He is also the guy who cut off the head of the goat in sacrifice festivals in his village. These deities are not vegetarians.

In my writings I am concerned with the god of philosophy. He is a trickster for sure. Sexual and one who will take your money. A real looker. If you know Plato’s dialogues you have already been introduced to him. BTW, I consider Christianity to be Platonism hooked onto that old Jewish phallic cult on the High Places. I am a Christian. I pray to Jesus. I pray hard.

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Sculptor1
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Re: Brain workings and freedom

Post by Sculptor1 » June 18th, 2019, 3:41 am

GaryLouisSmith wrote:
June 18th, 2019, 1:12 am
Belindi wrote:
May 6th, 2018, 3:58 am
Eduk, I see what you mean by your comment on 'personification'. There are basically two sorts of language, the poetic and the explicit. One would not use poetic language for instructions on how to assemble a flat pack wardrobe.
This is a piece that I sent to Belinda, who I had thought was you. Never mind, I'll send it to you also, Belindi. It's sooooo confusing.

I am interested in personification. You should know that I write philosophy and I am somewhat of a poet. And I think of the gods as Platonic Forms. Or rather I should say that the Platonic Forms are gods. I will explain the difference later.

I myself am a Platonic Realist. ... I am a Christian. I pray to Jesus. I pray hard.
A Platonic realist? A contradiction in terms.
Al this explains your odd posts, elsewhere.
What do you think you are doing when you pray?

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Re: Brain workings and freedom

Post by Belindi » June 18th, 2019, 3:55 am

Sculptor, I am what you would call an atheist and I pray. I can understand this is confusing if you don't go to the theatre.If the play is deeply serious about life, and some comedies are deeply serious in intent and interpretation, and if the play is well made, theatre can explain life .

GaryLouisSmith
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Re: Brain workings and freedom

Post by GaryLouisSmith » June 18th, 2019, 4:02 am

Sculptor1 wrote:
June 18th, 2019, 3:41 am

A Platonic realist? A contradiction in terms.
Al this explains your odd posts, elsewhere.
What do you think you are doing when you pray?
Jorge Luis Borges is one of my favorite writers. He was an anti-realist, but he very well describes the strangeness of the Real.

From From Allegories to Novels -

In the arduous schools of the Middle Ages, everyone invokes Aristotle, master of human reason; but the nominalists are Aristotle, the realists, Plato. George Henry Lewes has opined that the only medieval debate of some philosophical value is between nominalism and realism; the opinion is somewhat rash, but it underscores the importance of this tenacious controversy, provoked, at the beginning of the ninth century, by a sentence from Porphyry, translated and commented upon by Boethius; sustained, toward the end of the eleventh, by Anselm and Roscelin; and revived by William of Occam in the fourteenth.

As one would suppose, the intermediate positions and nuances multiplied ad infinitum over those many years; yet it can be stated that, for realism, universals (Plato would call them ideas, forms; we would call them abstract concepts) were the essential; for nominalism, individuals. The history of philosophy is not a useless museum of distractions and wordplay; the two hypotheses correspond, in all likelihood, to two ways of intuiting reality. Maurice de Wulf writes: "Ultra-realism garnered the first adherents. The chronicler Heriman (eleventh century) gives the name 'antiqui doctores' to those who teach dialectics in re; Abelard speaks of it as an 'antique doctrine' , and until the end of the twelfth century; the name moderni is applied to its adversaries." A hypothesis that is now inconceivable seemed obvious in the ninth century, and lasted in some form into the fourteenth. Nominalism, once the novelty of a few, today encompasses everyone; its victory is so vast and fundamental that its name is useless, no one declares himself a nominalist because no one is anything else. Let us try to understand, nevertheless, that for the men of the Middle Ages the fundamental thing was not men but humanity, not individuals but the species, not the species but the genus, not the genera but God. From such concepts (whose clearest manifestation is perhaps the quadruple system of Erigena) allegorical literature, as I understand it, derived. Allegory is a fable of abstractions, as the novel is a fable of individuals. The abstractions are personified; there is something of the novel in every allegory. The individuals that novelists present aspire to be generic; there is an element of allegory in novel.

The passage from allegory to novel, from species to individual, from realism to nominalism, required several centuries, but I shall have the temerity to suggest an ideal date: the day in 1382 when Geoffrey Chaucer, who may not have believed himself to be a nominalist, set out to translate into English a line by Boccaccio – "E con gli occulti ferri Tradimenti" (And Betrayal with hidden weapons) – and repeated it as "The smyler with the knyf under the cloke." The original is in the seventh book of the Teseide; the English version, in "The night's Tale."

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Re: Brain workings and freedom

Post by Belindi » June 18th, 2019, 4:26 am

Gary Louis Smith, regarding nominalism and Platonic realism would you not say that any nominalist art work is also Platonically real when it's a Work of Art?

Obviously the work's capability for Platonic realism is necessary but not sufficient. To be a Work of Art it must also be well crafted.

GaryLouisSmith
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Re: Brain workings and freedom

Post by GaryLouisSmith » June 18th, 2019, 5:23 am

Belindi wrote:
June 18th, 2019, 4:26 am
Gary Louis Smith, regarding nominalism and Platonic realism would you not say that any nominalist art work is also Platonically real when it's a Work of Art?

Obviously the work's capability for Platonic realism is necessary but not sufficient. To be a Work of Art it must also be well crafted.
That’s a very interesting question and it will take some thought to give a decent answer. First let me say that I love modern abstract art and I have thought quite a bit about its meaning – or its being. I think if you want to “see” a god or supernatural being, then you should look to that kind of art. For example I think De Kooning has captured the Platonic Form of Woman. And Franz Kline has drawn ghosts. Kandinsky and Malevich and even (dare I say it) Lovecraft. Modern art began in the late nineteenth century in that atmosphere of spiritualism and séances. Cubist, Fauvism, Suprematism and all those –isms were an attempt to capture the spirit. I do think they did a pretty good job of it. But I don’t think that’s what your question asks about.

Starting from the end of your question, would you say that a work by Jackson Pollock or Robert Rauschenberg is well crafted? Maybe. Here is how I describe the difference between talent and genius. Talent makes art look so easy, while genius makes it look impossible. Nijinsky was the greatest dancer, not because he could jump higher or farther, but because he came down slower. When you encounter a work of genius, you say, No. And it’s probably close to being immoral. Nijinsky scandalized his audience when we seemed to be masturbating with a scarf on stage. Genius art is always slightly pornographic.

I would say that a work of Platonic realism is possessed. Or the artist was possessed. Somehow a strange spirit of otherness is present. A nominalist work very accurately depicts the individual things of everyday life. One may wonder at the accuracy and the detail, but no one is scandalized by it. I think we usually only grudgingly acknowledge and praise good craftsmanship.

I can’t figure out what you mean when you say that “any nominalist art work is also Platonically real when it's a Work of Art”. Please explain a little more what you have in mind.

GaryLouisSmith
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Re: Brain workings and freedom

Post by GaryLouisSmith » June 18th, 2019, 5:34 am

Belindi wrote:
June 18th, 2019, 4:26 am
Gary Louis Smith, regarding nominalism and Platonic realism would you not say that any nominalist art work is also Platonically real when it's a Work of Art?

Obviously the work's capability for Platonic realism is necessary but not sufficient. To be a Work of Art it must also be well crafted.
I'm having trouble with my wifi. I think that is possessed. Be patient. I'm trying to communicate. The boy who cooks and cleans and other things went to Whoopeeland with his friends. Of course, I had to pay. Have a look https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c4IcxRNObF0

Karpel Tunnel
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Re: Brain workings and freedom

Post by Karpel Tunnel » June 18th, 2019, 7:08 am

Sculptor1 wrote:
June 18th, 2019, 3:41 am
A Platonic realist? A contradiction in terms.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Platonic_realism

Many mathematicians are Platonic realists and also a number of physicists.

Now, perhaps they are incorrect, but it is not an oxymoron.

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Sculptor1
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Re: Brain workings and freedom

Post by Sculptor1 » June 18th, 2019, 3:45 pm

GaryLouisSmith wrote:
June 18th, 2019, 4:02 am
Sculptor1 wrote:
June 18th, 2019, 3:41 am

A Platonic realist? A contradiction in terms.
Al this explains your odd posts, elsewhere.
What do you think you are doing when you pray?
Jorge Luis Borges is one of my favorite writers. He was an anti-realist, but he very well describes the strangeness of the Real.

From From Allegories to Novels -

In the arduous schools of the Middle Ages, everyone invokes Aristotle, master of human reason; but the nominalists are Aristotle, the realists, Plato. George Henry Lewes has opined that the only medieval debate of some philosophical value is between nominalism and realism; the opinion is somewhat rash, but it underscores the importance of this tenacious controversy, provoked, at the beginning of the ninth century, by a sentence from Porphyry, translated and commented upon by Boethius; sustained, toward the end of the eleventh, by Anselm and Roscelin; and revived by William of Occam in the fourteenth.

As one would suppose, the intermediate positions and nuances multiplied ad infinitum over those many years; yet it can be stated that, for realism, universals (Plato would call them ideas, forms; we would call them abstract concepts) were the essential; for nominalism, individuals. The history of philosophy is not a useless museum of distractions and wordplay; the two hypotheses correspond, in all likelihood, to two ways of intuiting reality. Maurice de Wulf writes: "Ultra-realism garnered the first adherents. The chronicler Heriman (eleventh century) gives the name 'antiqui doctores' to those who teach dialectics in re; Abelard speaks of it as an 'antique doctrine' , and until the end of the twelfth century; the name moderni is applied to its adversaries." A hypothesis that is now inconceivable seemed obvious in the ninth century, and lasted in some form into the fourteenth. Nominalism, once the novelty of a few, today encompasses everyone; its victory is so vast and fundamental that its name is useless, no one declares himself a nominalist because no one is anything else. Let us try to understand, nevertheless, that for the men of the Middle Ages the fundamental thing was not men but humanity, not individuals but the species, not the species but the genus, not the genera but God. From such concepts (whose clearest manifestation is perhaps the quadruple system of Erigena) allegorical literature, as I understand it, derived. Allegory is a fable of abstractions, as the novel is a fable of individuals. The abstractions are personified; there is something of the novel in every allegory. The individuals that novelists present aspire to be generic; there is an element of allegory in novel.

The passage from allegory to novel, from species to individual, from realism to nominalism, required several centuries, but I shall have the temerity to suggest an ideal date: the day in 1382 when Geoffrey Chaucer, who may not have believed himself to be a nominalist, set out to translate into English a line by Boccaccio – "E con gli occulti ferri Tradimenti" (And Betrayal with hidden weapons) – and repeated it as "The smyler with the knyf under the cloke." The original is in the seventh book of the Teseide; the English version, in "The night's Tale."
Can I take it then, since you did not answer the question, that you think that when you "pray hard to Jesus", what you are doing is in no way real?

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Sculptor1
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Re: Brain workings and freedom

Post by Sculptor1 » June 18th, 2019, 3:47 pm

Karpel Tunnel wrote:
June 18th, 2019, 7:08 am
Sculptor1 wrote:
June 18th, 2019, 3:41 am
A Platonic realist? A contradiction in terms.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Platonic_realism

Many mathematicians are Platonic realists and also a number of physicists.

Now, perhaps they are incorrect, but it is not an oxymoron.
Platonism is fundamentally a project about abstractions, not realism. Platonic solids, platonic forms simply are not real in any meaningful "sense".

GaryLouisSmith
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Re: Brain workings and freedom

Post by GaryLouisSmith » June 18th, 2019, 4:25 pm

Sculptor1 wrote:
June 18th, 2019, 3:45 pm

Can I take it then, since you did not answer the question, that you think that when you "pray hard to Jesus", what you are doing is in no way real?
Thanks for the very interesting question about prayer. First, let me say that the reason I didn’t reply was because I had a problem with my wifi. The gods are all tricksters messing with me. Especially Jesus. Here’s a poem by Rumi that, I think, captures that fugitive –

Jalal al-Din Rumi
translated by Arberry
18.
Go forth, my comrades, draw along our beloved, at last bring to me the fugitive idol; with sweet melodies and golden pretexts draw to the house that moon sweet of presence. And if he promises, "I will come in another moment," all his promises are but cunning to beguile you. He possesses a flaming breath, by enchantment and wizardry knotting the water and tying up the air. When in blessedness and joy my darling enters, sit you down and behold the marvels of God! When his beauty shines forth, what shall be the beauty of the comely ones? For his sun-bright face extinguishes all lamps. Go, fleet-paced heart, to Yemen, to my heart's beloved, convey my greetings and service to that ruby beyond price.

______________

I think you would agree that existence at its core is a bewilderment. The difference between your view of that and mine, as I see it, is that you probably see that as just a logical conundrum, while I “personify” it, as some might say, and make it a god. I'm sure you think my seeing it like that is all wrong-headed.

So now the question is whether or not that god I see is real. I take real to mean existing external to the mind, independent of and separate from thought. It is “out there”. The way I see the world and all of existence is that NOTHING is “in the mind”. Everything that presents itself to my consciousness exists. That of course would have to include objects of the imagination and illusions and hallucinations and religious visions and UFO encounters and art objects and anything and everything else. So if you want to say that the boy in that poem by Rumi is just a poetic vision, that changes nothing. It is still an existent present to my mind. An INTENSE vision. So it is also real in the sense of the intensity of its presence. By making it a god and not just a logical conundrum, I have increased the intensity, even the ache in my groin. Yes, it’s a sexual thing also or primarily. Everyday world sex could never be so intense. That is my supernaturalism.

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