f



a thinking brain

This is an outline of how a thinking machine might be constructed,
based on a speculative view of how the human brain works.

Some people are interested in how such a machine might be designed,
but most have other things in mind. Many are fascinated by the soul
(mind). The beauty of their thoughts overwhelms them. For starters, we
separate the material world from the immaterial world. Science attends
only to the material world. All talk of soul (mind) is irrelevant to a
scientific discussion of the brain.

A great many others engrossed in behavior. Their work is peripheral to
brain design. The brain creates fictive motor patterns, some of which
proceed to the motor cortex and end up as behavior. Brain design ends
at the motor cortex. A computer engineer has an academic interest in
application programs. He knows they exist, but they impinge on his
work only as he defines the instruction set. Similarly in brain
design, when given a particular behavior, the designer would like to
set down a particular neural circuit that would produce that behavior.

Another group that finds little interest in the details of brain
design are the mathematical logicians. Early on, this group rushed in.
They had isolated the rules of thought and knew how a brain must work.
The predicate calculus was a sufficient descriptor of thought. All
that was need was to mechanize the manipulative algebra of the
predicate calculus. This has been done, but the results are not
impressive.

So, we do not address the religionists, the psychologists, and the
mathematical logicians.

The neuroscientists remain. Molecular biology exploded in the last
half-century. It continues to explode exponentially. The accumulation
of results is spectacular, unbelievable. But anyone, looking at the
field, sees only an incredible amount of work to be done. The genome
has been recorded. The story of life is written in the genome. All we
have to do is decode it and bring order to the ten thousand or so
kinds of proteins that make up any particular cell. Perhaps thirty
thousand proteins, if we look at all human cells. The neuron is just
such a cell.

The neuroscientist finds himself awash in data.  By preference, he
leaves brain design to others, except, at times, to bemoan the absence
of any overall theory of brain function. The Bell-Magendie law
(sensory in-motor out) is embroidered. The truth must lie there�but
where?

Here is a highly speculative explanation of how the meat brain works:

Evolution has concentrated inhibitory neurons in the thalamic
reticular nucleus. This thin sheet of neurons surrounds the thalamus.
It has the capability of selectively halting visual signals on their
way to the cerebral cortex at the lateral geniculate body, auditory
signals at the medial geniculate, and somatosensory signals at the
ventral posterior lateral-ventral posterior medial nuclei. These are
traditionally presented as relay nuclei, but the flip side of relaying
is NOT relaying and that is exactly what they do under the influence
of the thalamic reticular nucleus.

When signal input to the cerebrum is halted at the thalamus, the
cerebrum is free to continue neural oscillations as started by
previous signal input. These oscillations are experienced by us, as
soul (mind), as free association (thoughts).

At the same time, the successive fictive motor programs initiated by
central pattern generators either by self-contained molecular activity
or by neural activity in the cerebrum cerebrum are elaborated in the
basal ganglia. These fictive motor programs are held up at the ventral
anterior-ventral lateral nuclei under the influence again of the
thalamic reticular nucleus.

Decision is effected by the thalamic reticular nucleus. A continuous
barrage of excitatory and inhibitory impulses arrive at the TRN. As
long as the excitatory inputs are in a majority the TRN inhibits the
relay nuclei, we, as soul (mind), experience hesitation. When the
inhibitory inputs become a majority the relay nuclei are disinhibited.
We, as soul (mind), experience decision. Thinking stops. The current
fictive motor program proceeds to the motor cortex and is executed.

By designing similar circuitry, we create a thinking machine brain.

No causal power is demanded of the soul (mind) and thus the criticism
of Descartes by the Princess Elizabeth is addressed. The brain thinks,
the soul (mind) experiences the thoughts.

Some things demand further explanation. The notion of a "fictive motor
program" asks to be developed. "Learning" is entire area that we have
not touched. The whole process of "deliberating" should be addressed. 
"Decision" requires a great expansion.

ray
0
rscanlon
6/24/2004 7:04:02 PM
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Fictive motor programs.

Fundamental to our design of a brain that thinks is the halting of a
motor program at the ventral anterior-ventral lateral complex of the
thalamus. What shall we call such a halted and rejected motor program?
Some have bridled at calling it any kind of a motor program. They say
that if it isn't connected to motor neurons it isn't a motor program
period.

This awkwardness is apparent in the study of central pattern
generators. The preparation is usually a small neural circuit
maintained in vitro. After studying the output of the neurons, the
investigator says that if this circuit were re-connected to the body
(a leech, say), the organism would swim. The re-connection remains
hypothetical and this is unsatisfactory to some. No matter how
sophisticated the argument may be that the circuit would work, people
ask for a demonstration. In only a few cases, has this been possible.
We believe wholeheartedly that it would, but doubts persist. The motor
pattern produced by the circuit is called a fictive motor pattern.

I argue that we should call the motor programs that are halted and
rejected at the thalamus "fictive", fictive motor programs. There
should be no element of implied falsity. I feel that the motor
program, although it disappear into thin air, is real, and if it were
to continue to the motor cortex, the animal would behave.

ray
0
rscanlon
6/26/2004 1:58:59 AM
On 25 Jun 2004 18:58:59 -0700, rscanlon@nycap.rr.com (ray scanlon)
wrote:

>Fictive motor programs.
>
>Fundamental to our design of a brain that thinks is the halting of a
>motor program at the ventral anterior-ventral lateral complex of the
>thalamus. What shall we call such a halted and rejected motor program?
>Some have bridled at calling it any kind of a motor program. They say
>that if it isn't connected to motor neurons it isn't a motor program
>period.
>
>This awkwardness is apparent in the study of central pattern
>generators. The preparation is usually a small neural circuit
>maintained in vitro. After studying the output of the neurons, the
>investigator says that if this circuit were re-connected to the body
>(a leech, say), the organism would swim. The re-connection remains
>hypothetical and this is unsatisfactory to some. No matter how
>sophisticated the argument may be that the circuit would work, people
>ask for a demonstration. In only a few cases, has this been possible.
>We believe wholeheartedly that it would, but doubts persist. The motor
>pattern produced by the circuit is called a fictive motor pattern.
>
>I argue that we should call the motor programs that are halted and
>rejected at the thalamus "fictive", fictive motor programs. There
>should be no element of implied falsity. I feel that the motor
>program, although it disappear into thin air, is real, and if it were
>to continue to the motor cortex, the animal would behave.

The term "fictive behavior" is already in use, usually describing
nervous activity that would ordinarily produce behavior except that
the nervous system has been disconnected from the effectors.  

The problem of talking about some premotor activity somewhat removed
from the motor neurons is the very real possibility that spinal
circuits may play a major role in shaping and refining the final
activity, not to mention modulating it or even gating it completely.
It is hard to know exactly what actual behavior would result from that
activity.  That is why there is a reluctance to call it motor
behavior, fictive or  not.







0
r
6/26/2004 2:40:25 AM
R Norman writes: 

> The term "fictive behavior" is already in use, usually describing
> nervous activity that would ordinarily produce behavior except that
> the nervous system has been disconnected from the effectors.  

Exactly! It is purely a matter of emphasis. One says "fictive
swimming" or "fictive struggling". Or, one generalizes, ignores the
specific behavior, and says "fictive motor program".
 
> The problem of talking about some premotor activity somewhat removed
> from the motor neurons is the very real possibility that spinal
> circuits may play a major role in shaping and refining the final
> activity, not to mention modulating it or even gating it completely.
> It is hard to know exactly what actual behavior would result from that
> activity.  That is why there is a reluctance to call it motor
> behavior, fictive or  not.

My interest is not in premotor activity in general. Any activity among
interneurons may be said to be premotor. My interest is in the
particular signals arriving at the ventral anterior-ventral lateral
complex in the thalamus. At this point, I choose to call them a
fictive motor program. If they are allowed to proceed they become an
actual motor program and behavior results. If they are halted, the
fictive motor program vanishes but the neural effects remain. Thinking
ensues.

Why be reluctant? Is it too much to ask that we concentrate on the
VA-VL complex?

ray
0
rscanlon
6/26/2004 4:44:21 PM
Learning:

Learning is not fundamentally part of the process of thinking,
although thinking presupposes learning. If the thalamic reticular
nucleus were active in the brain as constructed by the DNA, it is
difficult to image anything of interest happening. When we talk about
thinking, we subconsciously posit a brain that has been up against the
environment and has learned a few things.

Before we consider what in learning is germane to the design of a
thinking brain, we should point out what is not. The research on
learning by psychologists is almost wholly irrelevant. What is
behavior except the expression of a motor program through the
motoneurons? Our interest is in the motor program as it passes through
the thalamus. At this level, all motor programs are the same. They are
just motor programs. They all have their origin in a pattern
generator. We think of pattern generators in groups. For instance,
reaching, grasping, and punching form a group that we distinguish from
kicking. However, future research may locate all of these pattern
generators in one small region, in which case we might want to group
them together on anatomical grounds. Who can say? It is not important.

It is widely held that there are two basic types of memory, long term
and short term. It is also held (but not so widely) that long term
memory involves structural change in the neuron and that short term
does not. Both are involved in thinking

Many candidates for structural change are advanced. The most popular
ones involve the synapse. The area of the synapse can be increased or
new synapses formed. The post-synaptic density can be increased. The
pre-synaptic potential or propensity for releasing neurotransmitter
can be increased. There seems no end to possibilities.

To those interested in thinking, these many choices have little
meaning. The brain can learn and that is enough.

With learning comes forgetting. And forgetting may be just as
important. New synapses can be formed, but old ones can be sloughed.
The brain is alive and interacting with the environment. At the same
time, we must always remember that the basic architecture of the
brain, as laid down by the DNA, is unalterable. The nuclei remain
unaltered, but smaller regions may be reorganized.

There are endless schemes, of course, for explaining how one learns to
avoid fire and other dangerous things, but we will choose one that
appeals on grounds of simplicity.

Learning to avoid the bad and approach the good are two sides of the
same coin. We will assume that upon disaster a neurohormone is
released�call it the A neurohormone. Upon a success, a different
neurohormone is released�call it the B neurohormone.

The A neurohormone strengthens recently exercised excitatory synapses
in the thalamic reticular nucleus and also (possibly) inhibitory
synapses in the central pattern generator that initiated the action.
Note that excitatory synapses in the thalamic reticular nucleus
include not only the motor program but also sensory input from the
environment.

If the same bad situation arises again, the motor program will tend
not to be activated, and if it is activated it will tend to be stopped
at the ventral anterior-ventral lateral complex. Bad things are
avoided.

Exactly the reverse happens with the B neurohormone. Recently
exercised inhibitory synapses in the thalamic reticular nucleus and
also (possibly) excitatory neurhormones in the central pattern
generator that initiated the action.

If the same good situation arises again, the motor program will tend
to be activated and will be passed through the ventral
anterior-ventral lateral complex. Good things are approached.

This fandango with the A and B neurohormones is enough to get us
through life.

A neurohormone is a hormone produced by or acting on the nervous
system, compared to hormones produced by the endocrine system.

The brain could have been organized as a mass of equipotential
neurons. It wasn't. One wonders why. A possible explanation is to
restrict the activity of neurohormones. Releasing a neurohormone in
the thalamic reticular nucleus, as an instance, would tend to
concentrate the hormonal activity where it would do the most good. If,
of course, the goal of the neurohormone is to reach neurons in the
thalamic reticular nucleus.

In the last analysis, we are always reduced to the principle of
survival. That which survived, survived. A brain composed of nuclei
did survive.

When one reaches for a cup of coffee, a hierarchy of neurons is
activated. A reaching pattern controller is activated. It fires a
reaching pattern initiator. The reaching pattern initiator releases a
reaching pattern generator that, in turn, sets off the motoneurons. We
reach.

We speak of these as units, but in the mammalian brain they are
populations of neurons, not individual neurons. To return to the cup
of coffee, does the reaching pattern controller consist of fifty or
five hundred neurons? It is certainly a relatively small number, but
not too small. It is important to remember that the reaching pattern
controller, initiator, generator, is set up by the DNA, not by
experience. Experience modifies the pattern generator and the thalamic
reticular nucleus, as we have set out above.

In one sense, of course, all the neurons are working all the time, but
some are more equal than others. On the one hand, we see the original
neural net as it exists in the most primitive animals. Excitation
flows back and forth through the neural net. At one glance, all are
equal. But there are cusps. The excitation does become concentrated at
points. Evolution has caused these cusps to reside in nuclei�that's
about all there is to it.

ray
0
rscanlon
6/28/2004 5:18:21 PM
I have glanced at your posts and it has slowly started to seem to me that it
might be that I could reconcile my "Evolutionary (neuro)Psychology Type"
thinking [especially the part of EPT in which I rely on thinking in 'neuro
terms', such as: "actention modules" and "paying actention", and "specific
type" and "Reticular Activating Type" neurons, and their ancient, adaptive,
'functural' relationship] with your view!?

P


0
Peter
6/29/2004 6:54:28 AM
Ray's view that CPG's are a big part of the key to understanding behavior
has much merit. And, perhaps, so does his view of the role played by the
thalamic structures. But anyone who thinks that the processes of
habituation, classical conditioning, and operant conditioning (especially
operant conditioning!) are irrelevant to this endeavor has clearly missed
the boat. The basic principles investigated in the laboratory are exactly
what must be explained. The acquisition of operant behavior and its control
by certain stimulus configurations is a matter of the alteration of
spontaneous behavior by its consequences. This process is central to
behavior; the only process that is more fundamental is that which
necessarily preceded it - i.e., the very occurrence of behavior that is
spontaneous at the level of behavior (that is, not elicited), and this is a
very old, and fundamental, phenomenon indeed.



"ray scanlon" <rscanlon@nycap.rr.com> wrote in message
news:363d693e.0406280918.31f79c1@posting.google.com...
> Learning:
>
> Learning is not fundamentally part of the process of thinking,
> although thinking presupposes learning. If the thalamic reticular
> nucleus were active in the brain as constructed by the DNA, it is
> difficult to image anything of interest happening. When we talk about
> thinking, we subconsciously posit a brain that has been up against the
> environment and has learned a few things.
>
> Before we consider what in learning is germane to the design of a
> thinking brain, we should point out what is not. The research on
> learning by psychologists is almost wholly irrelevant. What is
> behavior except the expression of a motor program through the
> motoneurons? Our interest is in the motor program as it passes through
> the thalamus. At this level, all motor programs are the same. They are
> just motor programs. They all have their origin in a pattern
> generator. We think of pattern generators in groups. For instance,
> reaching, grasping, and punching form a group that we distinguish from
> kicking. However, future research may locate all of these pattern
> generators in one small region, in which case we might want to group
> them together on anatomical grounds. Who can say? It is not important.
>
> It is widely held that there are two basic types of memory, long term
> and short term. It is also held (but not so widely) that long term
> memory involves structural change in the neuron and that short term
> does not. Both are involved in thinking
>
> Many candidates for structural change are advanced. The most popular
> ones involve the synapse. The area of the synapse can be increased or
> new synapses formed. The post-synaptic density can be increased. The
> pre-synaptic potential or propensity for releasing neurotransmitter
> can be increased. There seems no end to possibilities.
>
> To those interested in thinking, these many choices have little
> meaning. The brain can learn and that is enough.
>
> With learning comes forgetting. And forgetting may be just as
> important. New synapses can be formed, but old ones can be sloughed.
> The brain is alive and interacting with the environment. At the same
> time, we must always remember that the basic architecture of the
> brain, as laid down by the DNA, is unalterable. The nuclei remain
> unaltered, but smaller regions may be reorganized.
>
> There are endless schemes, of course, for explaining how one learns to
> avoid fire and other dangerous things, but we will choose one that
> appeals on grounds of simplicity.
>
> Learning to avoid the bad and approach the good are two sides of the
> same coin. We will assume that upon disaster a neurohormone is
> released-call it the A neurohormone. Upon a success, a different
> neurohormone is released-call it the B neurohormone.
>
> The A neurohormone strengthens recently exercised excitatory synapses
> in the thalamic reticular nucleus and also (possibly) inhibitory
> synapses in the central pattern generator that initiated the action.
> Note that excitatory synapses in the thalamic reticular nucleus
> include not only the motor program but also sensory input from the
> environment.
>
> If the same bad situation arises again, the motor program will tend
> not to be activated, and if it is activated it will tend to be stopped
> at the ventral anterior-ventral lateral complex. Bad things are
> avoided.
>
> Exactly the reverse happens with the B neurohormone. Recently
> exercised inhibitory synapses in the thalamic reticular nucleus and
> also (possibly) excitatory neurhormones in the central pattern
> generator that initiated the action.
>
> If the same good situation arises again, the motor program will tend
> to be activated and will be passed through the ventral
> anterior-ventral lateral complex. Good things are approached.
>
> This fandango with the A and B neurohormones is enough to get us
> through life.
>
> A neurohormone is a hormone produced by or acting on the nervous
> system, compared to hormones produced by the endocrine system.
>
> The brain could have been organized as a mass of equipotential
> neurons. It wasn't. One wonders why. A possible explanation is to
> restrict the activity of neurohormones. Releasing a neurohormone in
> the thalamic reticular nucleus, as an instance, would tend to
> concentrate the hormonal activity where it would do the most good. If,
> of course, the goal of the neurohormone is to reach neurons in the
> thalamic reticular nucleus.
>
> In the last analysis, we are always reduced to the principle of
> survival. That which survived, survived. A brain composed of nuclei
> did survive.
>
> When one reaches for a cup of coffee, a hierarchy of neurons is
> activated. A reaching pattern controller is activated. It fires a
> reaching pattern initiator. The reaching pattern initiator releases a
> reaching pattern generator that, in turn, sets off the motoneurons. We
> reach.
>
> We speak of these as units, but in the mammalian brain they are
> populations of neurons, not individual neurons. To return to the cup
> of coffee, does the reaching pattern controller consist of fifty or
> five hundred neurons? It is certainly a relatively small number, but
> not too small. It is important to remember that the reaching pattern
> controller, initiator, generator, is set up by the DNA, not by
> experience. Experience modifies the pattern generator and the thalamic
> reticular nucleus, as we have set out above.
>
> In one sense, of course, all the neurons are working all the time, but
> some are more equal than others. On the one hand, we see the original
> neural net as it exists in the most primitive animals. Excitation
> flows back and forth through the neural net. At one glance, all are
> equal. But there are cusps. The excitation does become concentrated at
> points. Evolution has caused these cusps to reside in nuclei-that's
> about all there is to it.
>
> ray


0
Glen
6/29/2004 10:42:13 AM
"Peter F." <effectivespamblock@ozemail.com.au> wrote in message
news:Hm8Ec.55$l45.3007@nnrp1.ozemail.com.au...
> I have glanced at your posts and it has slowly started to seem to me that
it
> might be that I could reconcile my "Evolutionary (neuro)Psychology Type"
> thinking [especially the part of EPT in which I rely on thinking in 'neuro
> terms', such as: "actention modules" and "paying actention", and "specific
> type" and "Reticular Activating Type" neurons, and their ancient,
adaptive,
> 'functural' relationship] with your view!?
>
> P
>

I read a bit more and now I think it that it more of a chance for your and
my overview to be somewhat complementary.

P


0
Peter
6/29/2004 12:00:39 PM
Glen M. Sizemore writes:

 > Ray's view that CPG's are a big part of the key to understanding
behavior
> has much merit. And, perhaps, so does his view of the role played by the
> thalamic structures. But anyone who thinks that the processes of
> habituation, classical conditioning, and operant conditioning (especially
> operant conditioning!) are irrelevant to this endeavor has clearly missed
> the boat. The basic principles investigated in the laboratory are exactly
> what must be explained. The acquisition of operant behavior and its control
> by certain stimulus configurations is a matter of the alteration of
> spontaneous behavior by its consequences. This process is central to
> behavior; the only process that is more fundamental is that which
> necessarily preceded it - i.e., the very occurrence of behavior that is
> spontaneous at the level of behavior (that is, not elicited), and this is a
> very old, and fundamental, phenomenon indeed.

To start off, let me say that I am not presenting a
Grand-Theory-of-Everything, just a speculative thrust at how a brain
composed of neurons might think, judge, and decide. A fictive motor
program arrives at the ventral anterior-ventral lateral complex of the
thalamus. If it is not halted, it becomes an actual motor program and
proceeds to the pre-motor and motor cortex and then on to the
motoneurons. When it hits the motoneurons, it becomes behavior.

The instant the fictive motor program becomes an actual motor program
it is no longer involved with the thinking, judging, deciding brain.
However, the pattern controller, the pattern initiator, and the
pattern generator are all capable of being modified by experience.
This is learning. While learning is not part of thinking, judging, and
deciding, it is clearly relevant.

What is also clearly relevant is all the work that neuroscientists
have done on modifiability of neurons (synaptic strengthening and
weakening). There is absolutely no use in pointing out any dubious
relevancy of some of the work in Psychology. That would just lead to
vituperation.

I prefer to stick with the brain and say that the instant a fictive
motor program becomes an actual motor program it is no longer relevant
to a thinking, judging, deciding brain. That it emerges as behavior,
and that the behavior modifies the controlling, initiating, generating
sequence is a beautiful story, but it is another story, a story of
learning. I think this is what the "operant" people are getting at and
I believe (agree?) their results are fundamental.

It all depends on your viewpoint. I am interested in the thinking,
judging, deciding brain.

Some would say that it can all be done with the predicate calculus,
but I reject that approach. I feel that the predicate calculus has
been beaten to death and we have nothing to show for it.

Some argue that "fictive" should not be applied to neural activity
that may be modified, or even halted, at the spinal level. I answer
that I am interested in the motor program as it arrives at the ventral
anterior-ventral lateral complex and that it is indeed "fictive"
until, and unless, it passes. The origin of the signals and their
manipulation is extremely interesting but not necessarily germane. If
there were no central pattern controllers, initiators, generators, my
argument should be exactly the same.

Some are interested in the soul (mind) and want to know why we
experience the thoughts of our brain and claim them as our own? I take
the simple position that the relation of the soul (mind) to the body
(brain) shall be forever unknown to us. I argue that a scientist must
take this position when talking of the brain.

ray
0
rscanlon
6/29/2004 10:47:50 PM
> Ray's view that CPG's are a big part of the key to understanding
behavior
> has much merit. And, perhaps, so does his view of the role played by the
> thalamic structures. But anyone who thinks that the processes of
> habituation, classical conditioning, and operant conditioning (especially
> operant conditioning!) are irrelevant to this endeavor has clearly missed
> the boat. The basic principles investigated in the laboratory are exactly
> what must be explained. The acquisition of operant behavior and its control
> by certain stimulus configurations is a matter of the alteration of
> spontaneous behavior by its consequences. This process is central to
> behavior; the only process that is more fundamental is that which
> necessarily preceded it - i.e., the very occurrence of behavior that is
> spontaneous at the level of behavior (that is, not elicited), and this is a
> very old, and fundamental, phenomenon indeed.

RS: To start off, let me say that I am not presenting a
Grand-Theory-of-Everything, just a speculative thrust at how a brain
composed of neurons might think, judge, and decide. 

GS: First, that's not a very good description of your posts. Second,
what makes you think that I have not properly evaluated your
position?.......both in terms of scope and particulars?

RS: A fictive motor
program arrives at the ventral anterior-ventral lateral complex of the
thalamus. If it is not halted, it becomes an actual motor program and
proceeds to the pre-motor and motor cortex and then on to the
motoneurons. When it hits the motoneurons, it becomes behavior.

GS: So you have said, and so I have heard. 

RS: The instant the fictive motor program becomes an actual motor
program
it is no longer involved with the thinking, judging, deciding brain.
However, the pattern controller, the pattern initiator, and the
pattern generator are all capable of being modified by experience.
This is learning. While learning is not part of thinking, judging, and
deciding, it is clearly relevant.

GS: "Learning" is the modification of behavior through habituation ,
classical conditioning, and operant conditioning. The study of such
phenomena has everything to do with of "thinking, judging, and
deciding," and so will an analysis of how physiology mediates these
and associated processes (like motivation and emotion).

RS: What is also clearly relevant is all the work that neuroscientists
have done on modifiability of neurons (synaptic strengthening and
weakening). There is absolutely no use in pointing out any dubious
relevancy of some of the work in Psychology. That would just lead to
vituperation.

GS: Once again, the study of operant conditioning in intact animals is
largely the science of how spontaneous behavior comes to be modified
by its consequences and how such behavior comes to be controlled by
current stimuli and other variables. There is nothing more important
than this. It is also largely what you are talking about, albeit in
your idiosyncratically arrogant and ignorant way.

RS: I prefer to stick with the brain and say that the instant a
fictive
motor program becomes an actual motor program it is no longer relevant
to a thinking, judging, deciding brain. 

GS: You are welcome to such nonsense. A good deal of what is called
thinking, judging, and deciding involves behavior that functions as
controlling stimuli for other behavior. In thinking, this involves
talking to ourselves as well as visualizing things and events. All of
this is behavior that is observable by us (and only us in "thinking")
and like other observable events, these behavioral events can come to
control other responses. This is precisely why thinking occurs, and
why it is employed in "problem solving." These behavioral functions
are mediated by a person's physiology.

RS: That it emerges as behavior,
and that the behavior modifies the controlling, initiating, generating
sequence is a beautiful story, but it is another story, a story of
learning. I think this is what the "operant" people are getting at and
I believe (agree?) their results are fundamental.

GS: Somehow that message didn't come across too well, and it is
incompatible with the portion of your position that I just criticized.

RS: It all depends on your viewpoint. I am interested in the thinking,
judging, deciding brain.

GS: As I have just pointed out, this phrase refers to, if anything,
the physiological mediation of operant behavior, and how such behavior
can come to function as stimuli controlling other responses.

RS: Some would say that it can all be done with the predicate
calculus,
but I reject that approach. I feel that the predicate calculus has
been beaten to death and we have nothing to show for it.

Some argue that "fictive" should not be applied to neural activity
that may be modified, or even halted, at the spinal level. I answer
that I am interested in the motor program as it arrives at the ventral
anterior-ventral lateral complex and that it is indeed "fictive"
until, and unless, it passes. The origin of the signals and their
manipulation is extremely interesting but not necessarily germane. If
there were no central pattern controllers, initiators, generators, my
argument should be exactly the same.

Some are interested in the soul (mind) and want to know why we
experience the thoughts of our brain and claim them as our own? I take
the simple position that the relation of the soul (mind) to the body
(brain) shall be forever unknown to us. I argue that a scientist must
take this position when talking of the brain.

GS: Most of the above is irrelevant to my points. Much of what fuels
talk of the "mind" is the brute fact of human introspection. But what
we are "inspecting" is not our mind, or the physiology that mediates
behavioral function; it IS our behavior. There is nothing mysterious
about the fact that our own behavior comes to function like other
things and events in the world*. We behave and we see that we behave,
and that seeing occasions other responses. These functions are all
mediated by one's physiology. This is the position that we must take
as scientists. Oh, and BTW, Ray, you clearly need to think about how
it is that spontaneously occurring behavior that is only very loosely
tied to stimuli comes to be controlled by stimuli in the
environment.

*And I have written extensively here about how such "self-awareness"
may be induced in non-human animals. Indeed, this is done on a daily
basis using the misnamed procedure called "drug discrimination,"
though science has yet to exploit the notion in other ways.


rscanlon@nycap.rr.com (ray scanlon) wrote in message news:<363d693e.0406291447.46ca520d@posting.google.com>...
> Glen M. Sizemore writes:
>
0
gmsizemore2
6/30/2004 11:33:12 AM
Glen M. Sizemore wrote:
> 
> GS: You are welcome to such nonsense. A good deal of what is called
> thinking, judging, and deciding involves behavior that functions as
> controlling stimuli for other behavior. In thinking, this involves
> talking to ourselves as well as visualizing things and events. All of
> this is behavior that is observable by us (and only us in "thinking")
> and like other observable events, these behavioral events can come to
> control other responses. This is precisely why thinking occurs, and
> why it is employed in "problem solving." These behavioral functions
> are mediated by a person's physiology.

What is a person's psychology ?  How does it mediate behavioral functions?

patty
0
patty
6/30/2004 11:57:34 AM
"Glen M. Sizemore" <gmsizemore2@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:6e2f1d09.0406300333.6d30726@posting.google.com...
> > Ray's view that CPG's are a big part of the key to understanding
> behavior
> > has much merit. And, perhaps, so does his view of the role played by the
> > thalamic structures. But anyone who thinks that the processes of
> > habituation, classical conditioning, and operant conditioning
(especially
> > operant conditioning!) are irrelevant to this endeavor has clearly
missed
> > the boat. The basic principles investigated in the laboratory are
exactly
> > what must be explained. The acquisition of operant behavior and its
control
> > by certain stimulus configurations is a matter of the alteration of
> > spontaneous behavior by its consequences. This process is central to
> > behavior; the only process that is more fundamental is that which
> > necessarily preceded it - i.e., the very occurrence of behavior that is
> > spontaneous at the level of behavior (that is, not elicited), and this
is a
> > very old, and fundamental, phenomenon indeed.
>
> RS: To start off, let me say that I am not presenting a
> Grand-Theory-of-Everything, just a speculative thrust at how a brain
> composed of neurons might think, judge, and decide.
>
> GS: First, that's not a very good description of your posts. Second,
> what makes you think that I have not properly evaluated your
> position?.......both in terms of scope and particulars?
>
> RS: A fictive motor
> program arrives at the ventral anterior-ventral lateral complex of the
> thalamus. If it is not halted, it becomes an actual motor program and
> proceeds to the pre-motor and motor cortex and then on to the
> motoneurons. When it hits the motoneurons, it becomes behavior.
>
> GS: So you have said, and so I have heard.
>
> RS: The instant the fictive motor program becomes an actual motor
> program
> it is no longer involved with the thinking, judging, deciding brain.
> However, the pattern controller, the pattern initiator, and the
> pattern generator are all capable of being modified by experience.
> This is learning. While learning is not part of thinking, judging, and
> deciding, it is clearly relevant.
>
> GS: "Learning" is the modification of behavior through habituation ,
> classical conditioning, and operant conditioning. The study of such
> phenomena has everything to do with of "thinking, judging, and
> deciding," and so will an analysis of how physiology mediates these
> and associated processes (like motivation and emotion).

At last we agree on something!!  How can that be?

Learning is the alteration of observed pattern via processes of
physiological change (e.g.., LTP)



0
AlphaOmega2004
6/30/2004 2:50:08 PM
"AlphaOmega2004" <OmegaZero2003@yahoo.com> wrote in message news:<5a6112d734201a2bef1bffe5e429a426@news.teranews.com>...
> "Glen M. Sizemore" <gmsizemore2@yahoo.com> wrote in message
<snip>

there is a paucity of "thinking brains" in this thread.

Geezerguy

A strong people need no leader.
0
geezerguy
6/30/2004 10:13:59 PM
> Ray's view that CPG's are a big part of the key to understanding
> behavior
> > has much merit. And, perhaps, so does his view of the role played by the
> > thalamic structures. But anyone who thinks that the processes of
> > habituation, classical conditioning, and operant conditioning
(especially
> > operant conditioning!) are irrelevant to this endeavor has clearly
missed
> > the boat. The basic principles investigated in the laboratory are
exactly
> > what must be explained. The acquisition of operant behavior and its
control
> > by certain stimulus configurations is a matter of the alteration of
> > spontaneous behavior by its consequences. This process is central to
> > behavior; the only process that is more fundamental is that which
> > necessarily preceded it - i.e., the very occurrence of behavior that is
> > spontaneous at the level of behavior (that is, not elicited), and this
is a
> > very old, and fundamental, phenomenon indeed.
>
> RS: To start off, let me say that I am not presenting a
> Grand-Theory-of-Everything, just a speculative thrust at how a brain
> composed of neurons might think, judge, and decide.
>
> GS: First, that's not a very good description of your posts. Second,
> what makes you think that I have not properly evaluated your
> position?.......both in terms of scope and particulars?
>
> RS: A fictive motor
> program arrives at the ventral anterior-ventral lateral complex of the
> thalamus. If it is not halted, it becomes an actual motor program and
> proceeds to the pre-motor and motor cortex and then on to the
> motoneurons. When it hits the motoneurons, it becomes behavior.
>
> GS: So you have said, and so I have heard.
>
> RS: The instant the fictive motor program becomes an actual motor
> program
> it is no longer involved with the thinking, judging, deciding brain.
> However, the pattern controller, the pattern initiator, and the
> pattern generator are all capable of being modified by experience.
> This is learning. While learning is not part of thinking, judging, and
> deciding, it is clearly relevant.
>
> GS: "Learning" is the modification of behavior through habituation ,
> classical conditioning, and operant conditioning. The study of such
> phenomena has everything to do with of "thinking, judging, and
> deciding," and so will an analysis of how physiology mediates these
> and associated processes (like motivation and emotion).

alpoamigawannabe: At last we agree on something!!



GS: Do we?



alpoamigawannabe: How can that be?



GS: It can't. You're far too ignorant and arrogant to get anything right, as
your recent musings on drug effects demonstrate.

alpoamigawannabe: Learning is the alteration of observed pattern via
processes of physiological change (e.g.., LTP)



GS: No, "learning" is usually defined as a relatively permanent change in
behavior brought about by experience, but many behavior analysts, like me,
do not use the term very much, or usually only somewhat casually. There is
no question that physiology is altered when an animal is exposed to certain
environments, and that as a result the animal behaves differently, but to
talk about the meaning of "learning" and not mentioning the observational
criteria is a category error.



It is also worth mentioning that it is likely that there are different
physiological processes that go into making up what appears as a single
process at the behavioral level. For example, habituation might occur in
some systems because excitatory input is reduced, and in other systems
because inhibitory influences are increased.



Nonetheless, the above should not be taken to mean that I don't think that
the "physiology of learning" is important; on the contrary, it is of the
utmost importance. When we know some of what goes on in mammals when their
spontaneous behavior is altered by its consequences, and when such behavior
comes under stimulus control, we will have gone a great distance towards
understanding the physiology of "intelligent" behavior.



"AlphaOmega2004" <OmegaZero2003@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:5a6112d734201a2bef1bffe5e429a426@news.teranews.com...


0
Glen
7/1/2004 10:46:58 AM
Glen M. Sizemore writes:
 
> RS: To start off, let me say that I am not presenting a
> Grand-Theory-of-Everything, just a speculative thrust at how a brain
> composed of neurons might think, judge, and decide. 
> 
> GS: First, that's not a very good description of your posts. Second,
> what makes you think that I have not properly evaluated your
> position?.......both in terms of scope and particulars?

I hope I never said that, or implied that. You read my post. What more
can I ask?

I say again, it is not a Grand-Theory-of-Everything. It is just a
simple thrust at how a mammalian brain thinks, judges, and decides. In
my simple model, a motor program hits the motoneurons, becomes a motor
act, reacts with the environment, and the result is evaluated by
sensory neurons as good or bad. The DNA defines good and bad.

I lump all motor programs under one word�motor acts. You say this is
not enough, I must elaborate these motor acts as behavior.

I answer that I want simplicity. You say I cannot have it. Why can't
we leave it there so far as motor acts are concerned? I will lump it
and you will elaborate it.

It is commonly said that the human brain is the most complicated
structure known to man. I say this is pure bullshit. I claim it comes
from someone (whose knowledge of the brain is limited to a profile
drawing of a cerebral hemisphere) who says, "I am incredibly smart.
Smarter than everyone I have met, and I, even I, cannot understand how
the brain works. It must be the most complicated structure known".

The neuroanatomist says that there is too a little complication there.
I say his difficulty is the classic one of inability to see a forest
for the trees. One hundred billion (or one trillion) neurons can be
lumped in a few structures. A filter that doubles as an associator, a
set of pattern controllers, initiators, generators, a thalamic
reticular nucleus to slow things down. We need at least two (there can
be more, of course) neurohormones to strengthen syanapses according to
the evaluation of good and bad.

We don't need all the molecular activity that makes up a cell. Cell
biology is beautiful. It is the pre-eminent science of this century,
but we just accept that all activity of an organism has a molecular
explanation. We continue to simplify.

Neural activity results in the initiation of a pattern generator that
produces a fictive motor program. If excitatory activity is
predominant in the thalamic reticular nucleus, the fictive motor
program is halted at the ventral anterior anterior-ventral lateral
complex. Signal energy continues to reverberate in the cerebrum and
the basal ganglia initiating a new pattern generator and a news
fictive motor program. If this new motor program together with the
signal energy present causes inhibitive activity to be predominant in
the TRN, the fictive motor program will proceed as an actual motor
program.

The motor program hits the motoneurons, a motor act ensues and reacts
with the environment. The result impinges on the sensory neurons and
the cycle repeats.

If the TRN continues to be active, pressure from the hypothalamus and
lower nuclei will force it to be inhibited and action will follow. It
may have a bad outcome but it will be forced except in a pathological
brain that cannot pass a fictive motor program.

This is a simplistic view of brain action. Why not criticize these
three paragraphs?

ray
0
rscanlon
7/1/2004 12:52:55 PM
RS: To start off, let me say that I am not presenting a
> Grand-Theory-of-Everything, just a speculative thrust at how a brain
> composed of neurons might think, judge, and decide.
>
> GS: First, that's not a very good description of your posts. Second,
> what makes you think that I have not properly evaluated your
> position?.......both in terms of scope and particulars?

RS: I hope I never said that, or implied that. You read my post. What more
can I ask?

I say again, it is not a Grand-Theory-of-Everything. It is just a
simple thrust at how a mammalian brain thinks, judges, and decides. In
my simple model, a motor program hits the motoneurons, becomes a motor
act, reacts with the environment, and the result is evaluated by
sensory neurons as good or bad. The DNA defines good and bad.



GS: And, again, I'm saying that what you are describing is operant behavior
(but you are missing the "stimulus control component") and thus, your
assertion that what psychologists talk about is of no relevance is wrong.
The facts of operant behavior as uncovered by the experimental analysis of
behavior provide the facts that must be explained by a successful physiology
of behavior. Simple enough?


RS: I lump all motor programs under one word.motor acts. You say this is
not enough, I must elaborate these motor acts as behavior.



GS: No, I don't. I don't have any problem with the notion that the
activities of CPG's are gated. However, you have no mechanism for why such
spontaneous behavior comes to be so fluid and, seemingly, infinitely
fine-grained (especially in primates). Reinforcement blends and sequences
spontaneous behavior and makes it so the probability of such behavior
increases when stimuli, similar to those present (this is over-simplified)
when it was reinforced, reoccur. Further, each member of an operant response
class is different from all others, sometimes in fairly substantial ways. A
rat, for example may press with the left or right forelimb, or both. Rats
frequently seize the lever with one paw under and one on top. Any rat will
usually display all of these. In any event, my main point is that this is
the kind of stuff SOME psychologists investigate, and your claim that such
facts are irrelevant to a neurobiological understanding of behavior is
simply misinformed and sophomoric.

RS: I answer that I want simplicity. You say I cannot have it. Why can't
we leave it there so far as motor acts are concerned? I will lump it
and you will elaborate it.



GS: You are welcome to do whatever you want. Once again, I am specifically
responding to your erroneous statement concerning the alleged irrelevancy of
what is investigated by (at least some) psychologists.

RS: It is commonly said that the human brain is the most complicated
structure known to man. I say this is pure bullshit. I claim it comes
from someone (whose knowledge of the brain is limited to a profile
drawing of a cerebral hemisphere) who says, "I am incredibly smart.
Smarter than everyone I have met, and I, even I, cannot understand how
the brain works. It must be the most complicated structure known".

The neuroanatomist says that there is too a little complication there.
I say his difficulty is the classic one of inability to see a forest
for the trees. One hundred billion (or one trillion) neurons can be
lumped in a few structures. A filter that doubles as an associator, a
set of pattern controllers, initiators, generators, a thalamic
reticular nucleus to slow things down. We need at least two (there can
be more, of course) neurohormones to strengthen syanapses according to
the evaluation of good and bad.

We don't need all the molecular activity that makes up a cell. Cell
biology is beautiful. It is the pre-eminent science of this century,
but we just accept that all activity of an organism has a molecular
explanation. We continue to simplify.

Neural activity results in the initiation of a pattern generator that
produces a fictive motor program. If excitatory activity is
predominant in the thalamic reticular nucleus, the fictive motor
program is halted at the ventral anterior anterior-ventral lateral
complex. Signal energy continues to reverberate in the cerebrum and
the basal ganglia initiating a new pattern generator and a news
fictive motor program. If this new motor program together with the
signal energy present causes inhibitive activity to be predominant in
the TRN, the fictive motor program will proceed as an actual motor
program.

The motor program hits the motoneurons, a motor act ensues and reacts
with the environment. The result impinges on the sensory neurons and
the cycle repeats.

If the TRN continues to be active, pressure from the hypothalamus and
lower nuclei will force it to be inhibited and action will follow. It
may have a bad outcome but it will be forced except in a pathological
brain that cannot pass a fictive motor program.

This is a simplistic view of brain action. Why not criticize these
three paragraphs?



GS: I don't have much trouble with what you have said, as far as it goes.
And I even said that it might have some merit. What I continue to tell you
is that what you are talking about is operant behavior, and that the study
of operant behavior qua behavior sets the agenda for a successful physiology
of behavior.



"ray scanlon" <rscanlon@nycap.rr.com> wrote in message
news:363d693e.0407010452.421ca91f@posting.google.com...
> Glen M. Sizemore writes:


0
Glen
7/1/2004 4:28:36 PM
"Glen M. Sizemore" <gmsizemore2@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:21fb34e3e1bf4ed1b5adad4ea286530f@news.teranews.com...
>
> Nonetheless, the above should not be taken to mean that I don't think that
> the "physiology of learning" is important; on the contrary, it is of the
> utmost importance. When we know some of what goes on in mammals when their
> spontaneous behavior is altered by its consequences, and when such
behavior
> comes under stimulus control, we will have gone a great distance towards
> understanding the physiology of "intelligent" behavior.

You need to read Jeffrey Grays new book.  The understanding of physiology
vis intelligent behavior is further along than your insipid hallucinations
presume.


0
AlphaOmega2004
7/1/2004 5:08:23 PM
Some pertinent data:

Certain nuclei of the thalamus are more important to us than others.
The ventral anterior-ventral lateral nuclei pass motor programs from
the basal ganglia and the cerebellum to the pre-motor and motor
cortex. The motor programs are fictive coming in and actual going out.

The ventral posterior nucleus (the ventrobasal complex) passes signal
energy to the somatosensory cortex.

The lateral geniculate body passes signal energy from the eyes to the
striate cortex.

The medial geniculate body passes signal information from the ears to
the auditory cortex.

It is the fashion to call these sensory relays. It is far more
important to note their function of NOT relaying when inhibited.

ray

The reticular nucleus surrounds the thalamus like a shield and
practically all the fibers interconnecting the cortex and the thalamus
both ways. These fibers establish synaptic contact en passage with
neurons in the reticular nucleus. The output of the reticular nucleus
is inhibitory and can halt fictive motor programs on their way to the
motor cortex and sensory information on its way to the sensory cortex.

Talk of nuclei is only shorthand for the neurons that comprise the
nucleus.
0
rscanlon
7/1/2004 7:25:26 PM
Alpoamigawannabe: You need to read Jeffrey Grays new book.



GS: Why, does he give a somewhat complete view of what happens when a
discriminated operant is acquired? That is the key to "intelligence."



Alpoamigawannabe: The understanding of physiology vis intelligent behavior
is further along than your insipid hallucinations presume.



GS: Well, that's certainly what many "cognitive neurobiologists" will tell
you, and it is easy to get simpleton programmers to agree (as well as many
government agencies that dispense research money). I assert that we aren't
even close to explaining, in any physiological detail, how it is that
spontaneous behavior changes in frequency because of its consequences, and
how such behavior comes to be controlled by antecedent stimuli.



There are a great many facts in neurobiology directly related to behavior in
intact humans and non-human animals, but there are few good organizing
conceptualizations, and many, many, obviously misguided ones. Well,
"obviously misguided" to those who know something beyond folk-psychology and
mainstream "cognitive" psychology (which is now, pretty much, what
mainstream psychology is).



"AlphaOmega2004" <OmegaZero2003@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:dd9d0621c710921fce97d322ce80bc3a@news.teranews.com...
>
> "Glen M. Sizemore" <gmsizemore2@yahoo.com> wrote in message
> news:21fb34e3e1bf4ed1b5adad4ea286530f@news.teranews.com...
> >
> > Nonetheless, the above should not be taken to mean that I don't think
that
> > the "physiology of learning" is important; on the contrary, it is of the
> > utmost importance. When we know some of what goes on in mammals when
their
> > spontaneous behavior is altered by its consequences, and when such
> behavior
> > comes under stimulus control, we will have gone a great distance towards
> > understanding the physiology of "intelligent" behavior.
>
> You need to read Jeffrey Grays new book.  The understanding of physiology
> vis intelligent behavior is further along than your insipid hallucinations
> presume.
>
>


0
Glen
7/2/2004 11:37:46 AM
"Glen M. Sizemore" <gmsizemore2@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:21fb34e3e1bf4ed1b5adad4ea286530f@news.teranews.com...

[snip]

> > GS: "Learning" is the modification of behavior through habituation ,
> > classical conditioning, and operant conditioning.
[snip]

>
> alpoamigawannabe: Learning is the alteration of observed pattern via
> processes of physiological change (e.g.., LTP)
>
>
>
> GS: No, "learning" is usually defined as a relatively permanent change
> in behavior brought about by experience, but many behavior analysts,
> like me, do not use the term very much, or usually only somewhat
> casually. There is no question that physiology is altered when an
> animal is exposed to certain environments, and that as a result the
> animal behaves differently, but to talk about the meaning of
> "learning" and not mentioning the observational criteria is a
> category error.
>
>

Can I ascribe a level of behavior to one cell?

    "Learning is the alteration of observed pattern via
    processes of physiological change (e.g.., LTP)"

    "through habituation, classical conditioning, and
    operant conditioning."

For example, in your following example on habituation it
suggests that LTP is involved (LTP being a temporary
change at a synapse caused by a frequent signal). To
explain how a frequent signal manages (via LTP) a resulting
"excitatory input is reduced" or a "inhibitory influences are
increased" would be about behavior. I am assuming
habituation (a form of learning behavior) is caused by a
frequent signal.
    The explanation would run something like: LTP enforces
an unbalance where a change in other inputs is required to
balance it out, thus rendering the frequent input ineffective
after LTP expires.

My point is that the other inputs are re-enforcers of the
original LTP enforcement. The thrust being to explain
behavior on EAB terms at the single cell level, that
is a cell behaves itself.


>
> It is also worth mentioning that it is likely that there are different
> physiological processes that go into making up what appears as a single
> process at the behavioral level. For example, habituation might occur in
> some systems because excitatory input is reduced, and in other systems
> because inhibitory influences are increased.
>
>
>
> Nonetheless, the above should not be taken to mean that I don't
> think that the "physiology of learning" is important; on the contrary,
> it is of the utmost importance. When we know some of what goes
> on in mammals when their spontaneous behavior is altered by its
> consequences, and when such behavior comes under stimulus
> control, we will have gone a great distance towards
> understanding the physiology of "intelligent" behavior.
>

Can a single cell behavior be accountable for this? Looks
troublesome :)


>
>
> "AlphaOmega2004" <OmegaZero2003@yahoo.com> wrote in message
> news:5a6112d734201a2bef1bffe5e429a426@news.teranews.com...
>
>


Regards,
Rick




0
Rick
7/2/2004 5:10:00 PM
GS: You are welcome to such nonsense. A good deal of what is called
> thinking, judging, and deciding involves behavior that functions as
> controlling stimuli for other behavior. In thinking, this involves
> talking to ourselves as well as visualizing things and events. All of
> this is behavior that is observable by us (and only us in "thinking")
> and like other observable events, these behavioral events can come to
> control other responses. This is precisely why thinking occurs, and
> why it is employed in "problem solving." These behavioral functions
> are mediated by a person's physiology.

P: What is a person's psychology ?



GS: I guess that this could mean something like "everything there is about
their behavior."



P: How does it mediate behavioral functions?



GS: It doesn't. It is constituted of them.



"patty" <pattyNO@SPAMicyberspace.net> wrote in message
news:NUxEc.3717$Oq2.352@attbi_s52...


0
Glen
7/3/2004 9:58:52 AM
Homunculi

The homunculus is a little man who lives in the head. He looks out
through the eyes and operates a set of pulleys and levers that operate
the body. The only advantage that this homunculus has over the human
body without an homunculus is that it is no longer necessary to deal
with the relationship between the soul (mind) and the body (brain).
However, this problem is passed upwards to the homunculus who poses
the problem anew.

It is now modern times and the homunculus now sits in the center of
the head watching a TV set and punching buttons. Some sophistication
is added when it is pointed out that the TV screen is upside down.

This seems na�ve to some. They prefer a much more sophisticated
homunculus. Their homunculus selects from data proffered by the brain,
manipulates the data, comes to a conclusion, and forwards the
conclusion to the brain for execution.

A simplistic approach is to simply say by fiat, "There is no
homunculus. There is no soul (mind)". This is the position taken by
many workers in the soft sciences. But only at work. When they leave
the classroom, they discover that they do, indeed, have a soul (mind).

We like to say that the brain does the work, but the soul (mind) is
cognizant of the working brain. To support this position, we design a
brain whose structure can support all the idiosyncrasies that we pile
together under "thinking".

We are forced to forget the vast, vast majority of the populace who
hold to one of the less sophisticated homunculi. They simply will not
understand, will not try to understand.

ray
0
rscanlon
7/3/2004 1:12:46 PM
Homunculi

The homunculus is a little man who lives in the head. He looks out
through the eyes and operates a set of pulleys and levers that operate
the body. The only advantage that this homunculus has over the human
body without an homunculus is that it is no longer necessary to deal
with the relationship between the soul (mind) and the body (brain).
However, this problem is passed upwards to the homunculus who poses
the problem anew.

It is now modern times and the homunculus now sits in the center of
the head watching a TV set and punching buttons. Some sophistication
is added when it is pointed out that the TV screen is upside down.

This seems na�ve to some. They prefer a much more sophisticated
homunculus. Their homunculus selects from data proffered by the brain,
manipulates the data, comes to a conclusion, and forwards the
conclusion to the brain for execution.

A simplistic approach is to simply say by fiat, "There is no
homunculus. There is no soul (mind)". This is the position taken by
many workers in the soft sciences. But only at work. When they leave
the classroom, they discover that they do, indeed, have a soul (mind).

We like to say that the brain does the work, but the soul (mind) is
cognizant of the working brain. To support this position, we design a
brain whose structure can support all the idiosyncrasies that we pile
together under "thinking".

We are forced to forget the vast, vast majority of the populace who
hold to one of the less sophisticated homunculi. They simply will not
understand, will not try to understand.

ray
0
rscanlon
7/3/2004 1:12:51 PM
RS: Homunculi

The homunculus is a little man who lives in the head. He looks out
through the eyes and operates a set of pulleys and levers that operate
the body. The only advantage that this homunculus has over the human
body without an homunculus is that it is no longer necessary to deal
with the relationship between the soul (mind) and the body (brain).
However, this problem is passed upwards to the homunculus who poses
the problem anew.



It is now modern times and the homunculus now sits in the center of
the head watching a TV set and punching buttons. Some sophistication
is added when it is pointed out that the TV screen is upside down.

This seems na�ve to some. They prefer a much more sophisticated
homunculus. Their homunculus selects from data proffered by the brain,
manipulates the data, comes to a conclusion, and forwards the
conclusion to the brain for execution.

A simplistic approach is to simply say by fiat, "There is no
homunculus. There is no soul (mind)". This is the position taken by
many workers in the soft sciences.



GS: Well, virtually all of mainstream psychology is "homunculistic" as is a
fair amount of behavioral neuroscience. They, of course, deny this, but it
doesn't change the way they, otherwise, talk.



RS: But only at work. When they leave
the classroom, they discover that they do, indeed, have a soul (mind).



GS: How do they "discover" this?

RS: We like to say that the brain does the work, but the soul (mind) is
cognizant of the working brain.



GS: Who is "we?"



RS: To support this position, we design a
brain whose structure can support all the idiosyncrasies that we pile
together under "thinking".

We are forced to forget the vast, vast majority of the populace who
hold to one of the less sophisticated homunculi. They simply will not
understand, will not try to understand.



GS: Are you saying that you endorse the notion of the "homunculus" as the
thing that causes behavior?

"ray scanlon" <rscanlon@nycap.rr.com> wrote in message
news:363d693e.0407030512.759b30e8@posting.google.com...


0
Glen
7/3/2004 1:26:39 PM
ray scanlon wrote:

> Homunculi
> 
> The homunculus is a little man who lives in the head. He looks out
> through the eyes and operates a set of pulleys and levers that operate
> the body. The only advantage that this homunculus has over the human
> body without an homunculus is that it is no longer necessary to deal
> with the relationship between the soul (mind) and the body (brain).
> However, this problem is passed upwards to the homunculus who poses
> the problem anew.
> 
> It is now modern times and the homunculus now sits in the center of
> the head watching a TV set and punching buttons. Some sophistication
> is added when it is pointed out that the TV screen is upside down.
> 
> This seems na�ve to some. They prefer a much more sophisticated
> homunculus. Their homunculus selects from data proffered by the brain,
> manipulates the data, comes to a conclusion, and forwards the
> conclusion to the brain for execution.
> 
> A simplistic approach is to simply say by fiat, "There is no
> homunculus. There is no soul (mind)". This is the position taken by
> many workers in the soft sciences. But only at work. When they leave
> the classroom, they discover that they do, indeed, have a soul (mind).

Well now we have it, and now we don't.  Perhaps we could say when it 
goes away it dies.  Maybe we should bury it.  Perhaps there is a real 
need to have a funeral here.  Let us officially mourn the death.  Then, 
once finally buried, it may be less likely to return as a living dead. 
When Nietzsche killed God, patty missed the funeral.  He just suddenly 
was dead, gone from the scene, nowhere to be found, no chance to talk 
with him on the bus ever again.  Can't we have just this little 
ceremony, would that be such an awful thing?

patty

0
patty
7/3/2004 4:23:23 PM
Glen M. Sizemore writes: 

>    (snip)   A good deal of what is called
> thinking, judging, and deciding involves behavior that functions as
> controlling stimuli for other behavior. In thinking, this involves
> talking to ourselves as well as visualizing things and events. All of
> this is behavior that is observable by us (and only us in "thinking")
> and like other observable events, these behavioral events can come to
> control other responses. This is precisely why thinking occurs, and
> why it is employed in "problem solving." These behavioral functions
> are mediated by a person's physiology.

I have suggested that thinking is the activation of constellations of
neurons in the cerebrum, the basal ganglia, and thalamic nuclei. An
active constellation fades out and as it does it activates another
constellation.

Judging is the momentary integration of excitatory and inhibitory
synaptic activity by the neurons of the thalamic reticular nucleus.

Decision occurs when the inhibitory input becomes predominant.

As you point out, and rightly so, all this activity is the result of
behavior.

But are the thinking, judging, and deciding themselves to be
characterized as behavior?

Are we to speak of the behavior of a neuron?

We should note that the workers in molecular cell biology have already
declared proteins to be the actors. Are we to speak of the behavior of
a protein?

Molecular cell biology is THE science of this century. Doesn't it
behoove psychologists to get where the action is and start working on
proteins?

ray
0
rscanlon
7/3/2004 5:15:31 PM
Glen M. Sizemore writes: 

>    (snip)   A good deal of what is called
> thinking, judging, and deciding involves behavior that functions as
> controlling stimuli for other behavior. In thinking, this involves
> talking to ourselves as well as visualizing things and events. All of
> this is behavior that is observable by us (and only us in "thinking")
> and like other observable events, these behavioral events can come to
> control other responses. This is precisely why thinking occurs, and
> why it is employed in "problem solving." These behavioral functions
> are mediated by a person's physiology.

I have suggested that thinking is the activation of constellations of
neurons in the cerebrum, the basal ganglia, and thalamic nuclei. An
active constellation fades out and as it does it activates another
constellation.

Judging is the momentary integration of excitatory and inhibitory
synaptic activity by the neurons of the thalamic reticular nucleus.

Decision occurs when the inhibitory input becomes predominant.

As you point out, and rightly so, all this activity is the result of
behavior.

But are the thinking, judging, and deciding themselves to be
characterized as behavior?

Are we to speak of the behavior of a neuron?

We should note that the workers in molecular cell biology have already
declared proteins to be the actors. Are we to speak of the behavior of
a protein?

Molecular cell biology is THE science of this century. Doesn't it
behoove psychologists to get where the action is and start working on
proteins?

ray
0
rscanlon
7/3/2004 5:20:25 PM
Glen M. Sizemore writes: 

>    (snip)   A good deal of what is called
> thinking, judging, and deciding involves behavior that functions as
> controlling stimuli for other behavior. In thinking, this involves
> talking to ourselves as well as visualizing things and events. All of
> this is behavior that is observable by us (and only us in "thinking")
> and like other observable events, these behavioral events can come to
> control other responses. This is precisely why thinking occurs, and
> why it is employed in "problem solving." These behavioral functions
> are mediated by a person's physiology.

I have suggested that thinking is the activation of constellations of
neurons in the cerebrum, the basal ganglia, and thalamic nuclei. An
active constellation fades out and as it does it activates another
constellation.

Judging is the momentary integration of excitatory and inhibitory
synaptic activity by the neurons of the thalamic reticular nucleus.

Decision occurs when the inhibitory input becomes predominant.

As you point out, and rightly so, all this activity is the result of
behavior.

But are the thinking, judging, and deciding themselves to be
characterized as behavior?

Are we to speak of the behavior of a neuron?

We should note that the workers in molecular cell biology have already
declared proteins to be the actors. Are we to speak of the behavior of
a protein?

Molecular cell biology is THE science of this century. Doesn't it
behoove psychologists to get where the action is and start working on
proteins?

ray
0
rscanlon
7/3/2004 5:20:30 PM
"Glen M. Sizemore" <gmsizemore2@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:e4fb27085832c7dd46634371075e4652@news.teranews.com...
> Alpoamigawannabe: You need to read Jeffrey Grays new book.
>
>
>
> GS: Why, does he give a somewhat complete view of what happens when a
> discriminated operant is acquired?

Yes.


>That is the key to "intelligence."

No, it is not.

>
>
>
> Alpoamigawannabe: The understanding of physiology vis intelligent behavior
> is further along than your insipid hallucinations presume.
>
>
>
> GS: Well, that's certainly what many "cognitive neurobiologists" will tell
> you, and it is easy to get simpleton programmers to agree (as well as many
> government agencies that dispense research money). I assert that we aren't
> even close to explaining, in any physiological detail, how it is that
> spontaneous behavior changes in frequency because of its consequences, and
> how such behavior comes to be controlled by antecedent stimuli.
>
>
>
> There are a great many facts in neurobiology directly related to behavior
in
> intact humans and non-human animals, but there are few good organizing
> conceptualizations, and many, many, obviously misguided ones. Well,
> "obviously misguided" to those who know something beyond folk-psychology
and
> mainstream "cognitive" psychology (which is now, pretty much, what
> mainstream psychology is).
>
>
>
> "AlphaOmega2004" <OmegaZero2003@yahoo.com> wrote in message
> news:dd9d0621c710921fce97d322ce80bc3a@news.teranews.com...
> >
> > "Glen M. Sizemore" <gmsizemore2@yahoo.com> wrote in message
> > news:21fb34e3e1bf4ed1b5adad4ea286530f@news.teranews.com...
> > >
> > > Nonetheless, the above should not be taken to mean that I don't think
> that
> > > the "physiology of learning" is important; on the contrary, it is of
the
> > > utmost importance. When we know some of what goes on in mammals when
> their
> > > spontaneous behavior is altered by its consequences, and when such
> > behavior
> > > comes under stimulus control, we will have gone a great distance
towards
> > > understanding the physiology of "intelligent" behavior.
> >
> > You need to read Jeffrey Grays new book.  The understanding of
physiology
> > vis intelligent behavior is further along than your insipid
hallucinations
> > presume.
> >
> >
>
>


0
AlphaOmega2004
7/3/2004 6:08:44 PM
In article <363d693e.0407030915.6db67e6@posting.google.com>, ray scanlon 
<rscanlon@nycap.rr.com> writes
>Glen M. Sizemore writes:
>
>>    (snip)   A good deal of what is called
>> thinking, judging, and deciding involves behavior that functions as
>> controlling stimuli for other behavior. In thinking, this involves
>> talking to ourselves as well as visualizing things and events. All of
>> this is behavior that is observable by us (and only us in "thinking")
>> and like other observable events, these behavioral events can come to
>> control other responses. This is precisely why thinking occurs, and
>> why it is employed in "problem solving." These behavioral functions
>> are mediated by a person's physiology.
>
>I have suggested that thinking is the activation of constellations of
>neurons in the cerebrum, the basal ganglia, and thalamic nuclei. An
>active constellation fades out and as it does it activates another
>constellation.
>
>Judging is the momentary integration of excitatory and inhibitory
>synaptic activity by the neurons of the thalamic reticular nucleus.
>
>Decision occurs when the inhibitory input becomes predominant.
>
>As you point out, and rightly so, all this activity is the result of
>behavior.
>
>But are the thinking, judging, and deciding themselves to be
>characterized as behavior?
>
>Are we to speak of the behavior of a neuron?
>
>We should note that the workers in molecular cell biology have already
>declared proteins to be the actors. Are we to speak of the behavior of
>a protein?
>
>Molecular cell biology is THE science of this century. Doesn't it
>behoove psychologists to get where the action is and start working on
>proteins?
>
>ray

Why do you keep writing this ill-informed nonsense? Hasn't enough been 
explained to you already to show you why what you're writing *is* 
nonsense?
-- 
David Longley
0
David
7/3/2004 7:31:55 PM
In article <363d693e.0406241104.4a5d824f@posting.google.com>, ray
scanlon <rscanlon@nycap.rr.com> writes
>This is an outline of how a thinking machine might be constructed,
>based on a speculative view of how the human brain works.
>
>Some people are interested in how such a machine might be designed,
>but most have other things in mind. Many are fascinated by the soul
>(mind). The beauty of their thoughts overwhelms them. For starters, we
>separate the material world from the immaterial world. Science attends
>only to the material world. All talk of soul (mind) is irrelevant to a
>scientific discussion of the brain.
>
>A great many others engrossed in behavior. Their work is peripheral to
>brain design. The brain creates fictive motor patterns, some of which
>proceed to the motor cortex and end up as behavior. Brain design ends
>at the motor cortex. A computer engineer has an academic interest in
>application programs. He knows they exist, but they impinge on his
>work only as he defines the instruction set. Similarly in brain
>design, when given a particular behavior, the designer would like to
>set down a particular neural circuit that would produce that behavior.
>
>Another group that finds little interest in the details of brain
>design are the mathematical logicians. Early on, this group rushed in.
>They had isolated the rules of thought and knew how a brain must work.
>The predicate calculus was a sufficient descriptor of thought. All
>that was need was to mechanize the manipulative algebra of the
>predicate calculus. This has been done, but the results are not
>impressive.
>
>So, we do not address the religionists, the psychologists, and the
>mathematical logicians.
>
>The neuroscientists remain. Molecular biology exploded in the last
>half-century. It continues to explode exponentially. The accumulation
>of results is spectacular, unbelievable. But anyone, looking at the
>field, sees only an incredible amount of work to be done. The genome
>has been recorded. The story of life is written in the genome. All we
>have to do is decode it and bring order to the ten thousand or so
>kinds of proteins that make up any particular cell. Perhaps thirty
>thousand proteins, if we look at all human cells. The neuron is just
>such a cell.
>
>The neuroscientist finds himself awash in data.  By preference, he
>leaves brain design to others, except, at times, to bemoan the absence
>of any overall theory of brain function. The Bell-Magendie law
>(sensory in-motor out) is embroidered. The truth must lie there—but
>where?
>
>Here is a highly speculative explanation of how the meat brain works:
>
>Evolution has concentrated inhibitory neurons in the thalamic
>reticular nucleus. This thin sheet of neurons surrounds the thalamus.
>It has the capability of selectively halting visual signals on their
>way to the cerebral cortex at the lateral geniculate body, auditory
>signals at the medial geniculate, and somatosensory signals at the
>ventral posterior lateral-ventral posterior medial nuclei. These are
>traditionally presented as relay nuclei, but the flip side of relaying
>is NOT relaying and that is exactly what they do under the influence
>of the thalamic reticular nucleus.
>
>When signal input to the cerebrum is halted at the thalamus, the
>cerebrum is free to continue neural oscillations as started by
>previous signal input. These oscillations are experienced by us, as
>soul (mind), as free association (thoughts).
>
>At the same time, the successive fictive motor programs initiated by
>central pattern generators either by self-contained molecular activity
>or by neural activity in the cerebrum cerebrum are elaborated in the
>basal ganglia. These fictive motor programs are held up at the ventral
>anterior-ventral lateral nuclei under the influence again of the
>thalamic reticular nucleus.
>
>Decision is effected by the thalamic reticular nucleus. A continuous
>barrage of excitatory and inhibitory impulses arrive at the TRN. As
>long as the excitatory inputs are in a majority the TRN inhibits the
>relay nuclei, we, as soul (mind), experience hesitation. When the
>inhibitory inputs become a majority the relay nuclei are disinhibited.
>We, as soul (mind), experience decision. Thinking stops. The current
>fictive motor program proceeds to the motor cortex and is executed.
>
>By designing similar circuitry, we create a thinking machine brain.
>
>No causal power is demanded of the soul (mind) and thus the criticism
>of Descartes by the Princess Elizabeth is addressed. The brain thinks,
>the soul (mind) experiences the thoughts.
>
>Some things demand further explanation. The notion of a "fictive motor
>program" asks to be developed. "Learning" is entire area that we have
>not touched. The whole process of "deliberating" should be addressed.
>"Decision" requires a great expansion.
>
>ray

When I read what you write I'm usually annoyed by it. Why I ask? I
suspect it's because 1) you make no reference to what you're explicitly
referring to, 2) or you make assertions which are false, or 3) you make
assertions which purportedly are at odds with what radical behaviourists
have said and which probably are not. let's start with what you refer to
as "Central Pattern Generators" for example (in what follows, I'm not
endorsing, just referencing).

<http://crab-lab.zool.ohiou.edu/hooper/cpg.pdf>

What's the origin of the notion "fictive motor programs" and how do you
use the term?

When you read the literature on this, do you think of operant behaviour?
Does that lead you to think of operant *conditioning*? Seemingly not. Is
that just because new terms have been coined and this distracts you
(think intensional opacity) or is it that you are hoping to ground your
folk psychological ideas in something which sounds like it's respectable
biological/physical science (do you recall the Quine extract from "Mind
and Verbal Dispositions" on this?).

There's another abstract from the web below. When you think about the
thalamic reticular nucleus incidentally, do you think back to Hebb and
his non specific thalamic projection system, and the EEG work in the 50s
on the ARAS? Or do you think about what's been done on 5-HT, NA and DA
ie the monoamine systems (which comprise a good part of the reticular
formation?). These are "modulators". What modulates the modulators? As
long as you don't go into the details, sure, you can sound like you're
talking sense. The problem is that as soon as you do look into it, I bet
you'll not only get cold feet, but you'll start to appreciate how *all
of this talk is premised on an analysis of *b e h a v i o u r* in the
first place*. People forget that when they read and write what they do.
It's almost as if that ceases to be important!

My quoting the following should not be taken as my necessarily endorsing
any of it. This sort of talk has been around since at least the late
1950s. I know that because I remember reviewing some of it in t he late
70s as part of an undergraduate project. It doesn't seem to have moved
on much. In fact these days I'd just regard it as a latter day
phrenology (also referred to by some as "the mereological fallacy".

                                        oOo
<http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&lis
t_uids=12194498&dopt=Abstract>

"The thalamic reticular nucleus: more than a sensory nucleus?

McAlonan K, Brown VJ.

School of Psychology, University of St. Andrews, St. Andrews, United
Kingdom.

"Sensory information is routed to the cortex via the thalamus, but
despite this sensory bombardment, animals must attend selectively to
stimuli that signal danger or opportunity. Sensory input must be
filtered, allowing only behaviorally relevant information to capture
limited attentional resources. Located between the thalamus and cortex
is a thin lamina of neurons called the thalamic reticular nucleus (Rt).
The thalamic reticular nucleus projects exclusively to thalamus, thus
forming an essential component of the circuitry mediating sensory
transmission. This article presents evidence supporting a role for Rt
beyond the mere relay of sensory information. Rather than operating as a
component of the sensory relay, the authors suggest that Rt represents
an inhibitory interface or "attentional gate," which regulates the flow
of information between the thalamus and cortex. Recent findings have
also implicated Rt in higher cognitive functions, including learning,
memory, and spatial cognition. Drawing from recent insights into the
dynamic nature of the thalamic relay in awake, behaving animals, the
authors present a speculative account of how Rt might regulate
thalamocortical transmission and ultimately the contents of
consciousness."


-- 
David Longley
0
David
7/3/2004 11:18:49 PM
Glen M. Sizemore writes: 

> RS: But only at work. When they leave
> the classroom, they discover that they do, indeed, have a soul (mind).
> 
> GS: How do they "discover" this?

I do not know. "Ich bin ein Ich!" Something like that.

> RS: We like to say that the brain does the work, but the soul (mind) is
> cognizant of the working brain.
> 
> GS: Who is "we?"

Me, myself, and I. Through the years someone picks at me for saying
"we". Then I decide to use "I" for awhile. Then I find myself feeling
self-conscious about using "I" and I slide back into using "we". So it
goes.
 
> GS: Are you saying that you endorse the notion of the "homunculus" as the
> thing that causes behavior?

No! Just that most people take that position and I realize that they
will continue to think that way. I think that the neurons in the CNS
cause behavior, and that neuronal activity is explainable as molecules
in action.

ray
0
rscanlon
7/4/2004 1:59:43 AM
>    (snip)   A good deal of what is called
> thinking, judging, and deciding involves behavior that functions as
> controlling stimuli for other behavior. In thinking, this involves
> talking to ourselves as well as visualizing things and events. All of
> this is behavior that is observable by us (and only us in "thinking")
> and like other observable events, these behavioral events can come to
> control other responses. This is precisely why thinking occurs, and
> why it is employed in "problem solving." These behavioral functions
> are mediated by a person's physiology.

RS: I have suggested that thinking is the activation of constellations
of
neurons in the cerebrum, the basal ganglia, and thalamic nuclei. An
active constellation fades out and as it does it activates another
constellation.

GS: This is a category error. At best, you can say that you are
suggesting what constitutes the physiological explanation of what is
called "thinking." I find this quite na�ve, but you are welcome to
your opinion. One thing you are not welcome to, if I may have my say,
is the claim that "�thinking is the activation of constellations of
neurons in the cerebrum etc. etc." This is simply to ignore usage and
substitute some fairly silly "physiologization." We don't observe
neurons in the cerebrum, or anywhere else, when we describe ourselves
as thinking. We observe our behavior.

RS: Judging is the momentary integration of excitatory and inhibitory
synaptic activity by the neurons of the thalamic reticular nucleus.

GS: A similar argument applies. 

RS: Decision occurs when the inhibitory input becomes predominant.

GS: Now, you are not only being silly from a philosophical standpoint,
you are being silly from a scientific standpoint. That pretty much
adds up to a lot of silliness.

RS: As you point out, and rightly so, all this activity is the result
of behavior.

GS: Gee, Ray, I don't think I can endorse that. Much of what you are
trying to get at is the result of stimuli in the world. You remember
the world, Ray, right? The thing that behavior evolved to interact
with?

RS: But are the thinking, judging, and deciding themselves to be
characterized as behavior?

GS: Is this a matter of choice? My answer is "No, it is not a matter
of choice." It has already been "decided" that certain sorts of
behavior ARE thinking, judging, deciding, etc. etc. etc. etc. etc.
etc. etc. in EXACTLY the same way that it is already "decided" that
"chair" refers to chairs. THINK about it, for a change. Look, we learn
to label behavior with the terms you keep talking about. Later, we
learn to say OTHER things about these terms that make them look like
they are internal causes of behavior, or at least that they are
something other than behavior, and are epiphenomenal.

RS: Are we to speak of the behavior of a neuron?

We should note that the workers in molecular cell biology have already
declared proteins to be the actors. Are we to speak of the behavior of
a protein?

Molecular cell biology is THE science of this century. Doesn't it
behoove psychologists to get where the action is and start working on
proteins?

GS: Many are, but this does not change the fact that "thinking,"
judging," "deciding," etc., are names for behavioral phenomena. They
are not causes of behavior, but they are not epiphenomenal. Or,
better, the sort of thing that we call thinking involves behavior that
serves a discriminative function for OTHER behavior*. Once again, Ray,
the steps to producing a successful neurobiology of behavior are 1.)
investigate behavior until one has some secure knowledge of the
processes to be explained, and, 2.) describe the behavioral phenomena
in terms of its underlying physiology. If *we* go awry at 1, which I
insist is the case, then we will be forever generating facts but never
catching our tail.

*Actually, you are making two mistakes � first, the sorts of processes
you are talking about are simply the operant discriminative functions
of stimuli (i.e., the environmental occurrences that � to dumb it down
- "tell the brain which motor programs to �let through'"), not really
thinking, judging, deciding, etc. Then, you suggest that "thinking"
etc. is epiphenomenal � simply the result of us observing the
"response selection" process. This is wrong on both counts. "Simple"
operant conditioning is not "thinking" and, from what we know, occurs
in a totally unconscious fashion unless animals or humans are trained
to observe it. Most humans are, and most animals are not. But once a
person is so trained, they may begin to respond discriminatively to
their own behavior. This is where "thinking" etc. enters the picture.
So, some responses (R1) may exert discriminative control over other
responses (R2), but both responses are explicable in terms of operant
contingencies.


rscanlon@nycap.rr.com (ray scanlon) wrote in message news:<363d693e.0407030915.6db67e6@posting.google.com>...
> Glen M. Sizemore writes:
0
gmsizemore2
7/4/2004 11:49:40 AM
> RS: But only at work. When they leave
> the classroom, they discover that they do, indeed, have a soul (mind).
> 
> GS: How do they "discover" this?

RS: I do not know. "Ich bin ein Ich!" Something like that.

GS: I do. They have been indoctrinated into folk-psychological
explanatory fictions, as have you, and it is why you can't quite get
things right.

> RS: We like to say that the brain does the work, but the soul (mind) is
> cognizant of the working brain.
> 
> GS: Who is "we?"

RS: Me, myself, and I. Through the years someone picks at me for
saying "we". Then I decide to use "I" for awhile. Then I find myself
feeling self-conscious about using "I" and I slide back into using
"we". So it goes.

GS: Hmmm�, an attempt at a functional analysis! Anyway, my point was
that not everyone thinks that: "�the brain does the work, but the soul
(mind) is cognizant of the working brain." I think it is a load of
crap, and have elaborated on this at length.
 
> GS: Are you saying that you endorse the notion of the "homunculus" as the
> thing that causes behavior?

RS: No! Just that most people take that position and I realize that
they will continue to think that way. I think that the neurons in the
CNS cause behavior, and that neuronal activity is explainable as
molecules in action.

GS: *We* will eventually see the futility of the notion that "neurons
in the CNS cause behavior." Contingencies of reinforcement select and
blend spontaneous behavior, and bring such behavior under
discriminative control of features of the world. Physiology mediates
this function. Such a view repudiates the primitive animism of
mentalistic mainstream psychology.


rscanlon@nycap.rr.com (ray scanlon) wrote in message news:<363d693e.0407031759.141c2247@posting.google.com>...
> Glen M. Sizemore writes: 
>
0
gmsizemore2
7/4/2004 12:11:04 PM
Glen M. Sizemore wrote:

> GS: *We* will eventually see the futility of the notion that "neurons
> in the CNS cause behavior." Contingencies of reinforcement select and
> blend spontaneous behavior, and bring such behavior under
> discriminative control of features of the world. Physiology mediates
> this function. Such a view repudiates the primitive animism of
> mentalistic mainstream psychology.

If recent results summarised in Matt Ridley's _Nature Via Nurture_ are 
correct, then the mediation occurs in part (perhaps in large part) by 
switching genes on and off. Some of these genes are switched on (and 
sometimes off when their work is done) only once in an organism's 
development, which means that there are critical events that determine 
the path of an organism's development. "Event" may refer to a short-term 
stimulus, as when a baby learns to fear heights, which has been observed 
to occur within seconds;  or to ongoing repeated stimuli, as in the 
learning of language.

The behaviourist claim that behaviour is brought under "discriminative 
control of features of the world" IMO is supported by these results, 
since they provide at least a first view of how "physiology mediates 
this function." Whether this first view is generally correct or not will 
no doubt be discovered, but IMO it has the ring of truth.

I was going to blather about the problem of "I" at this point, but gave 
it up when I noticed I was producing nonsense. Another time, maybe.

As to whether neurons cause behaviour or not, that is in part a quibble 
about where to locate cause: in the external stimulus that triggers a 
neural net's functioning, or in the neural net itself. You might as well 
argue about whether the Sun causes photosynthesis. Pointless IMO.


0
Wolf
7/4/2004 3:38:23 PM
David Longley writes:

> When I read what you write I'm usually annoyed by it. Why I ask?

It is received wisdom that if you say anything that challenges a
person’s basic beliefs, say in metaphysics, politics, family values,
religion, whatever, he will react with anger. Anyone who insists on
talking politics in a waterfront bar shall end up with his teeth
kicked in.

> You make assertions which are false.

I am entitled to examples. Please do give a few..


>  You make
> assertions which purportedly are at odds with what radical behaviourists
> have said and which probably are not.

This was what I was referring to in my first answer. I fail to see how
we can even talk about the brain without being in violation. So I must
accept your anger. (I could say that I tie this anger to excitation of
the thalamic reticular nucleus, and that this anger circuitry is
directly constructed by the DNA. Thus releasing a flood of
vituperation. Please consider it unsaid.)

> Let's start with what you refer to
> as "Central Pattern Generators" for example (in what follows, I'm not
> endorsing, just referencing).
> 
> <http://crab-lab.zool.ohiou.edu/hooper/cpg.pdf>

I had this paper in my files, so I dragged it out. Now what? I might
note at the outset that the “Central” conveys absolutely no
information. If there were lateral or peripheral pattern generators,
that would be a different story. But the literature is full of
“Central”. I suggest we speak of plain “pattern generators”.

> What's the origin of the notion "fictive motor programs" and how do you
> use the term?

Someone in the dim past, I think Nauta, at a conference on the basal
ganglia, said, “What is thinking but a (something, possibly motor act
or program) that is not connected to a motoneuron.” I thought this
idle remark as  having fundamental truth and started thinking of this
sequence of neural activity as “motor programs”. For a long time, I
thought of them as “potential motor programs”, but nowadays I think
“fictive” the better descriptive.

I use this phase to name the sequence of axonal impulses as it arrives
at the ventral anterior-ventral lateral complex. Coming into the
complex it is fictive, going out it is actual. Coming in it is fictive
because it may never get by the VA-VL complex. It may be halted and
disappear into the general neural excitement of the brain. Going out
it is actual because it is headed for the pre-motor and motor cortex
and thence to motoneurons and the muscles. Nothing can stop it once it
gets by the VA-VL complex.
 
> When you read the literature on this, do you think of operant behaviour?
> Does that lead you to think of operant *conditioning*? Seemingly not. Is
> that just because new terms have been coined and this distracts you
> (think intensional opacity) or is it that you are hoping to ground your
> folk psychological ideas in something which sounds like it's respectable
> biological/physical science (do you recall the Quine extract from "Mind
> and Verbal Dispositions" on this?).
 
No. I do not read that type of literature. As for Quine, he studied
under my hero, Whitehead, but it didn’t seem to take. Quine thought
there was fundamental truth in the predicate calculus, but Whitehead,
as a mathematician, knew better. Whitehead realized the predicate
calculus was flawed when he, together with Russell, tried to extend
the Principia Mathematica to include geometry. We still have a
plethora of analytic philosophers running around peddling gibberish.

Don’t ever get me started on Wittgenstein.

> There's another abstract from the web below. When you think about the
> thalamic reticular nucleus incidentally, do you think back to Hebb and
> his non specific thalamic projection system, and the EEG work in the 50s
> on the ARAS? Or do you think about what's been done on 5-HT, NA and DA
> ie the monoamine systems (which comprise a good part of the reticular
> formation?). These are "modulators". What modulates the modulators? As
> long as you don't go into the details, sure, you can sound like you're
> talking sense. The problem is that as soon as you do look into it, I bet
> you'll not only get cold feet, but you'll start to appreciate how *all
> of this talk is premised on an analysis of *b e h a v i o u r* in the
> first place*. People forget that when they read and write what they do.
> It's almost as if that ceases to be important!

Why should I get “cold feet”? I instantiated these things in computer
programs years and years ago. There is absolutely nothing like
computer programming to focus you attention on the details.

Hebbian association is interesting but trivial. It is the
strengthening (and weakening) of synapses in the presence of
neurohormones that I see as fundamental to learning. Just once,
touching a hot stove, creates fundamental changes in the brain. We do
not need hundreds of Hebbian “hot stove touchings” to learn that it
doesn’t pay to touch hot stoves.

(snip) then a quotation-- 
 
> "The thalamic reticular nucleus: more than a sensory nucleus?
> 
> McAlonan K, Brown VJ.
> 
> School of Psychology, University of St. Andrews, St. Andrews, United
> Kingdom.
> 
> "Sensory information is routed to the cortex via the thalamus, but
> despite this sensory bombardment, animals must attend selectively to
> stimuli that signal danger or opportunity. Sensory input must be
> filtered, allowing only behaviorally relevant information to capture
> limited attentional resources. Located between the thalamus and cortex
> is a thin lamina of neurons called the thalamic reticular nucleus (Rt).
> The thalamic reticular nucleus projects exclusively to thalamus, thus
> forming an essential component of the circuitry mediating sensory
> transmission. This article presents evidence supporting a role for Rt
> beyond the mere relay of sensory information. Rather than operating as a
> component of the sensory relay, the authors suggest that Rt represents
> an inhibitory interface or "attentional gate," which regulates the flow
> of information between the thalamus and cortex. Recent findings have
> also implicated Rt in higher cognitive functions, including learning,
> memory, and spatial cognition. Drawing from recent insights into the
> dynamic nature of the thalamic relay in awake, behaving animals, the
> authors present a speculative account of how Rt might regulate
> thalamocortical transmission and ultimately the contents of
> consciousness."

This is the old “Searchlight of Attention”. Forget it.

The halting of sensory input at the lateral and medial geniculate
bodies, and the basal complex is of the greatest interest and basic to
“thinking”, but it is fictive motor programs (not sensory information)
that is our present interest.

ray
0
rscanlon
7/5/2004 3:05:33 AM
In article <363d693e.0407041905.6de14838@posting.google.com>, ray 
scanlon <rscanlon@nycap.rr.com> writes
>David Longley writes:
>
>> When I read what you write I'm usually annoyed by it. Why I ask?
>
>It is received wisdom that if you say anything that challenges a
>person’s basic beliefs, say in metaphysics, politics, family values,
>religion, whatever, he will react with anger. Anyone who insists on
>talking politics in a waterfront bar shall end up with his teeth
>kicked in.

No, I get angry because I too spent years on functional neuroanatomy in 
the context of doing monoamines-neuropeptides and behaviour work. What 
irritates is this glib attribution of psychological functions to nuclei 
in brains like stations on a subway.

>
>> You make assertions which are false.
>
>I am entitled to examples. Please do give a few..

I've given you plenty in a number of posts.

>
>
>>  You make
>> assertions which purportedly are at odds with what radical behaviourists
>> have said and which probably are not.
>
>This was what I was referring to in my first answer. I fail to see how
>we can even talk about the brain without being in violation. So I must
>accept your anger. (I could say that I tie this anger to excitation of
>the thalamic reticular nucleus, and that this anger circuitry is
>directly constructed by the DNA. Thus releasing a flood of
>vituperation. Please consider it unsaid.)

This just shows that you don't listen to what I have said or what Glen 
has said. What have we told you? What are the monoamines?

>
>> Let's start with what you refer to
>> as "Central Pattern Generators" for example (in what follows, I'm not
>> endorsing, just referencing).
>>
>> <http://crab-lab.zool.ohiou.edu/hooper/cpg.pdf>
>
>I had this paper in my files, so I dragged it out. Now what? I might
>note at the outset that the “Central” conveys absolutely no
>information. If there were lateral or peripheral pattern generators,
>that would be a different story. But the literature is full of
>“Central”. I suggest we speak of plain “pattern generators”.
>
>> What's the origin of the notion "fictive motor programs" and how do you
>> use the term?

The question was answered in the paper.

>
>Someone in the dim past, I think Nauta, at a conference on the basal
>ganglia, said, “What is thinking but a (something, possibly motor act
>or program) that is not connected to a motoneuron.” I thought this
>idle remark as  having fundamental truth and started thinking of this
>sequence of neural activity as “motor programs”. For a long time, I
>thought of them as “potential motor programs”, but nowadays I think
>“fictive” the better descriptive.

I know of that Nauta remark. Nauta did highly respectable work on 
anatomy. I'm not sure how seriously one should take his views outside 
those contributions. I've said before that large numbers of 
neuroscientists may as well be working on the anatomy and physiology of 
the liver for what they know about behaviour. That's just the way it is.

>
>I use this phase to name the sequence of axonal impulses as it arrives
>at the ventral anterior-ventral lateral complex. Coming into the
>complex it is fictive, going out it is actual. Coming in it is fictive
>because it may never get by the VA-VL complex. It may be halted and
>disappear into the general neural excitement of the brain. Going out
>it is actual because it is headed for the pre-motor and motor cortex
>and thence to motoneurons and the muscles. Nothing can stop it once it
>gets by the VA-VL complex.

There you go again. I *do* know this type of talk. I have done it myself 
in the distant past. It's naive.

>
>> When you read the literature on this, do you think of operant behaviour?
>> Does that lead you to think of operant *conditioning*? Seemingly not. Is
>> that just because new terms have been coined and this distracts you
>> (think intensional opacity) or is it that you are hoping to ground your
>> folk psychological ideas in something which sounds like it's respectable
>> biological/physical science (do you recall the Quine extract from "Mind
>> and Verbal Dispositions" on this?).
>
>No. I do not read that type of literature. As for Quine, he studied
>under my hero, Whitehead, but it didn’t seem to take

That's an idiotic remark.

>. Quine thought
>there was fundamental truth in the predicate calculus, but Whitehead,
>as a mathematician, knew better. Whitehead realized the predicate
>calculus was flawed when he, together with Russell, tried to extend
>the Principia Mathematica to include geometry. We still have a
>plethora of analytic philosophers running around peddling gibberish.
>

Some may well, but the fact is that Quine didn't produce as much 
gibberish as you are indulging in here. I suggest you dig out the 
extract from the above paper as I suggest. It's in recent c.a.p posts.

>Don’t ever get me started on Wittgenstein.

Perhaps you should. You don't seem to understand what the problems are 
talking the way that you do.

>
>> There's another abstract from the web below. When you think about the
>> thalamic reticular nucleus incidentally, do you think back to Hebb and
>> his non specific thalamic projection system, and the EEG work in the 50s
>> on the ARAS? Or do you think about what's been done on 5-HT, NA and DA
>> ie the monoamine systems (which comprise a good part of the reticular
>> formation?). These are "modulators". What modulates the modulators? As
>> long as you don't go into the details, sure, you can sound like you're
>> talking sense. The problem is that as soon as you do look into it, I bet
>> you'll not only get cold feet, but you'll start to appreciate how *all
>> of this talk is premised on an analysis of *b e h a v i o u r* in the
>> first place*. People forget that when they read and write what they do.
>> It's almost as if that ceases to be important!
>
>Why should I get “cold feet”? I instantiated these things in computer
>programs years and years ago. There is absolutely nothing like
>computer programming to focus you attention on the details.
>

Really? You seem to be writing nonsense again.

>Hebbian association is interesting but trivial. It is the
>strengthening (and weakening) of synapses in the presence of
>neurohormones that I see as fundamental to learning. Just once,
>touching a hot stove, creates fundamental changes in the brain. We do
>not need hundreds of Hebbian “hot stove touchings” to learn that it
>doesn’t pay to touch hot stoves.

No, all I was suggesting was that this type of neuro-speculative 
phrenology is old hat and misguided.

>
>(snip) then a quotation--
>
>> "The thalamic reticular nucleus: more than a sensory nucleus?
>>
>> McAlonan K, Brown VJ.
>>
>> School of Psychology, University of St. Andrews, St. Andrews, United
>> Kingdom.
>>
>> "Sensory information is routed to the cortex via the thalamus, but
>> despite this sensory bombardment, animals must attend selectively to
>> stimuli that signal danger or opportunity. Sensory input must be
>> filtered, allowing only behaviorally relevant information to capture
>> limited attentional resources. Located between the thalamus and cortex
>> is a thin lamina of neurons called the thalamic reticular nucleus (Rt).
>> The thalamic reticular nucleus projects exclusively to thalamus, thus
>> forming an essential component of the circuitry mediating sensory
>> transmission. This article presents evidence supporting a role for Rt
>> beyond the mere relay of sensory information. Rather than operating as a
>> component of the sensory relay, the authors suggest that Rt represents
>> an inhibitory interface or "attentional gate," which regulates the flow
>> of information between the thalamus and cortex. Recent findings have
>> also implicated Rt in higher cognitive functions, including learning,
>> memory, and spatial cognition. Drawing from recent insights into the
>> dynamic nature of the thalamic relay in awake, behaving animals, the
>> authors present a speculative account of how Rt might regulate
>> thalamocortical transmission and ultimately the contents of
>> consciousness."
>
>This is the old “Searchlight of Attention”. Forget it.
>
>The halting of sensory input at the lateral and medial geniculate
>bodies, and the basal complex is of the greatest interest and basic to
>“thinking”, but it is fictive motor programs (not sensory information)
>that is our present interest.
>
>ray

You are just indulging intensional metaphysics and pasting it onto bits 
of the brain to make it sound better. That's not science, it's nonsense.
-- 
David Longley
0
David
7/5/2004 9:06:51 AM
David Longley wrote:

> <http://crab-lab.zool.ohiou.edu/hooper/cpg.pdf>

In reaction to reading:

"A central goal of neuroscience is to understand
  how nervous systems produce movement. The simplest
  movements are reflexes (knee jerk, pupil dilation),
  which are involuntary, stereotyped and graded
  responses to sensory input, and have no threshold
  except that the stimulus must be great enough to
  activate the relevant sensory input pathway. Fixed
  action patterns (sneezing, orgasm) are involuntary
  and stereotyped, but typically have a stimulus
  threshold that must be reached before they are
  triggered, and are less graded and more complex
  than reflexes. Rhythmic motor patterns (walking,
  scratching, breathing) are stereotyped and complex,
  but are subject to continuous voluntary control.
  Directed movements (reaching) are voluntary and
  complex, but are generally neither stereotyped
  nor repetitive."

Patty offers the following:

I couldn't help thinking that Hooper must have been studying men and not 
women when he put orgasm in the same class as sneezing.  The female 
orgasm would best be described as a fixed action pattern nested in a 
rhythmic pattern nested in a directed pattern.  Well at least thats the 
way a good one appears to me.

With apologies for her introspection.


patty
0
patty
7/5/2004 12:23:31 PM
gmsizemore2@yahoo.com (Glen M. Sizemore) wrote in message news:<6e2f1d09.0407040349.50d1b8ec@posting.google.com>...
> >    (snip)  

> RS: I have suggested that thinking is the activation of constellations
> of
> neurons in the cerebrum, the basal ganglia, and thalamic nuclei. An
> active constellation fades out and as it does it activates another
> constellation.
> 
> GS: This is a category error. At best, you can say that you are
> suggesting what constitutes the physiological explanation of what is
> called "thinking." I find this quite na�ve, but you are welcome to
> your opinion. One thing you are not welcome to, if I may have my say,
> is the claim that "?thinking is the activation of constellations of
> neurons in the cerebrum etc. etc." This is simply to ignore usage and
> substitute some fairly silly "physiologization." We don't observe
> neurons in the cerebrum, or anywhere else, when we describe ourselves
> as thinking. We observe our behavior.

When we describe ourselves as thining we observe our thoughts.  When
we describe others as thinking we observes their behavior.

Just ask someone when one thinks he or she is thinking what he or she
is thinking about.  Sometimes one will get the response, "oh, nothing."  
The brain may be engaged in neuronal activity but not all such activity
involves observed thoughts.

What do you have against the identification of particular correalted
neuronal activity and public behavior?  Is it the use of the phrase
"thinking is" vs "thinking involves"?
0
forbisgaryg
7/5/2004 3:06:44 PM
RS: I have suggested that thinking is the activation of constellations
> of
> neurons in the cerebrum, the basal ganglia, and thalamic nuclei. An
> active constellation fades out and as it does it activates another
> constellation.
>
> GS: This is a category error. At best, you can say that you are
> suggesting what constitutes the physiological explanation of what is
> called "thinking." I find this quite na�ve, but you are welcome to
> your opinion. One thing you are not welcome to, if I may have my say,
> is the claim that "?thinking is the activation of constellations of
> neurons in the cerebrum etc. etc." This is simply to ignore usage and
> substitute some fairly silly "physiologization." We don't observe
> neurons in the cerebrum, or anywhere else, when we describe ourselves
> as thinking. We observe our behavior.

GF: When we describe ourselves as thining we observe our thoughts.  When we
describe others as thinking we observes their behavior.



GS: Well, I would argue that behavior is always what is observed. Thinking
is only possible because we come to observe our own behavior. This sets the
stage for talking to oneself, imagining things, etc.


GF: Just ask someone when one thinks he or she is thinking what he or she is
thinking about.  Sometimes one will get the response, "oh, nothing."   The
brain may be engaged in neuronal activity but not all such activity involves
observed thoughts.

What do you have against the identification of particular correalted
neuronal activity and public behavior?  Is it the use of the phrase
"thinking is" vs "thinking involves"?



GS: What we observe when we see ourselves think is our own behavior, not the
causes of that behavior. Now, it is true that the behavior we observe when
we think can serve a discriminative function, but the explanation of this
goes back to the contingencies that produced the behavior and its effects on
us. I don't have any problem with pointing to correlations between behavior
and neurophysiology, but no amount of work will make the neural activity
that causes behavior "thinking."



"Gary Forbis" <forbisgaryg@msn.com> wrote in message
news:5a1238fe.0407050706.377d2caa@posting.google.com...
> gmsizemore2@yahoo.com (Glen M. Sizemore) wrote in message
news:<6e2f1d09.0407040349.50d1b8ec@posting.google.com>...


0
Glen
7/5/2004 3:30:44 PM
In article <7LbGc.11552$JR4.8856@attbi_s54>, patty 
<pattyNO@SPAMicyberspace.net> writes
>David Longley wrote:
>
>> <http://crab-lab.zool.ohiou.edu/hooper/cpg.pdf>
>
>In reaction to reading:
>
>"A central goal of neuroscience is to understand
> how nervous systems produce movement. The simplest
> movements are reflexes (knee jerk, pupil dilation),
> which are involuntary, stereotyped and graded
> responses to sensory input, and have no threshold
> except that the stimulus must be great enough to
> activate the relevant sensory input pathway. Fixed
> action patterns (sneezing, orgasm) are involuntary
> and stereotyped, but typically have a stimulus
> threshold that must be reached before they are
> triggered, and are less graded and more complex
> than reflexes. Rhythmic motor patterns (walking,
> scratching, breathing) are stereotyped and complex,
> but are subject to continuous voluntary control.
> Directed movements (reaching) are voluntary and
> complex, but are generally neither stereotyped
> nor repetitive."
>
>Patty offers the following:
>
>I couldn't help thinking that Hooper must have been studying men and 
>not women when he put orgasm in the same class as sneezing.  The female 
>orgasm would best be described as a fixed action pattern nested in a 
>rhythmic pattern nested in a directed pattern.  Well at least thats the 
>way a good one appears to me.
>
>With apologies for her introspection.
>
>
>patty


On (it) being brought under stimulus control (I've given my 
Rescorla-Wagner analysis of it before).

<http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/6300989011/divscrib-20>
-- 
David Longley
0
David
7/5/2004 4:43:36 PM
David Longley writes:

> >> You make assertions which are false.
> >
> >I am entitled to examples. Please do give a few..
> 
> I've given you plenty in a number of posts.

That is not the answer sought. I wish to learn. Please list some
examples so I can correct myself.

ray
0
rscanlon
7/5/2004 5:09:17 PM
In article <363d693e.0407050909.3fb6c69a@posting.google.com>, ray 
scanlon <rscanlon@nycap.rr.com> writes
>David Longley writes:
>
>> >> You make assertions which are false.
>> >
>> >I am entitled to examples. Please do give a few..
>>
>> I've given you plenty in a number of posts.
>
>That is not the answer sought. I wish to learn. Please list some
>examples so I can correct myself.
>
>ray

We don't yet understand how a 302 neurone nematode C. elegans works 
(according to Wiesel), and we barely understand a relatively basic 
defensive behaviour of Aplysia. We do, however, know how to go about 
asking these questions - it's through the use of the science and 
technology of behaviour analysis. Your remarks to the contrary are 
false, and your remarks about "thinking" and the thalamic reticular 
nucleus/cortex are unreliable folk psychological speculation.

If you seriously wish to correct yourself I would suggest you put all 
thoughts of "thinking" in the mammalian central nervous system aside and 
start looking at the simpler behaviours of animals above and see what 
can be learned from what's being done there. The work on the neural 
mediation of operant conditioning in Drosophila is another). If that 
doesn't appeal, I suggest your interest in any of this is fundamentally 
misguided. Much of what's said these days about brain and cognition, or 
neural nets and learning is either speculative philosophy or euphemised 
statistics respectively.
-- 
David Longley
0
David
7/5/2004 6:10:39 PM
I wrote: ".no amount of work will make the neural activity that causes
behavior 'thinking,'" and elsewhere I criticized the notion that "neurons
cause behavior." I could be rightly criticized for such inconsistent talk. I
should have, as I have become accustomed to doing lately, referred to
"physiology that 'mediates behavioral function.'" That way, I do not have to
make a commitment to some sort of a priori vision of science. I think it is
possible, as Wittgenstein suggested, that behavioral regularities need not
correspond to physiological regularities. I think that this is true in the
same sense that the evolution of a closed thermodynamic system shows
regularity that corresponds to no particular change in the system as defined
by the canonical variables of each of the particles. The system tends toward
maximum entropy, and there are an infinite, or nearly infinite, number of
ways in which this could happen. This does not mean that statistical
mechanics is nonsense, it means that the spontaneous tendency towards
entropy represents a macroscopic regularity to which corresponds no
microscopic regularity.



Another example, from mathematics, concerns cellular automata. Take Life
2333, for example. Each clock tick yields a perfectly deterministic outcome,
but the process is irreversible. The current configuration is perfectly
understandable in terms of past configurations, but past configurations
cannot be deduced from current ones, as there is an infinite, or very large,
number that could have generated the current state.



I think that we will understand how physiology mediates behavioral function
(sort of), but this understanding will not allow us to put a helmet on
somebody (for example) and "read their thoughts," and the reason is not the
apparent impracticality of doing so, it is the fact that the past is
dissipated in the sense that any information about it is irrecoverable by
any means.  This is not to be viewed as a barrier to "the scientific method"
but, rather, a feature of the world.



"Glen M. Sizemore" <gmsizemore2@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:46b0267eebf9eaabdd672c708faf003e@news.teranews.com...
> RS: I have suggested that thinking is the activation of constellations
> > of
> > neurons in the cerebrum, the basal ganglia, and thalamic nuclei. An
> > active constellation fades out and as it does it activates another
> > constellation.
> >
> > GS: This is a category error. At best, you can say that you are
> > suggesting what constitutes the physiological explanation of what is
> > called "thinking." I find this quite na�ve, but you are welcome to
> > your opinion. One thing you are not welcome to, if I may have my say,
> > is the claim that "?thinking is the activation of constellations of
> > neurons in the cerebrum etc. etc." This is simply to ignore usage and
> > substitute some fairly silly "physiologization." We don't observe
> > neurons in the cerebrum, or anywhere else, when we describe ourselves
> > as thinking. We observe our behavior.
>
> GF: When we describe ourselves as thining we observe our thoughts.  When
we
> describe others as thinking we observes their behavior.
>
>
>
> GS: Well, I would argue that behavior is always what is observed. Thinking
> is only possible because we come to observe our own behavior. This sets
the
> stage for talking to oneself, imagining things, etc.
>
>
> GF: Just ask someone when one thinks he or she is thinking what he or she
is
> thinking about.  Sometimes one will get the response, "oh, nothing."   The
> brain may be engaged in neuronal activity but not all such activity
involves
> observed thoughts.
>
> What do you have against the identification of particular correalted
> neuronal activity and public behavior?  Is it the use of the phrase
> "thinking is" vs "thinking involves"?
>
>
>
> GS: What we observe when we see ourselves think is our own behavior, not
the
> causes of that behavior. Now, it is true that the behavior we observe when
> we think can serve a discriminative function, but the explanation of this
> goes back to the contingencies that produced the behavior and its effects
on
> us. I don't have any problem with pointing to correlations between
behavior
> and neurophysiology, but no amount of work will make the neural activity
> that causes behavior "thinking."
>
>
>
> "Gary Forbis" <forbisgaryg@msn.com> wrote in message
> news:5a1238fe.0407050706.377d2caa@posting.google.com...
> > gmsizemore2@yahoo.com (Glen M. Sizemore) wrote in message
> news:<6e2f1d09.0407040349.50d1b8ec@posting.google.com>...
>
>


0
Glen
7/5/2004 8:17:51 PM
Glen M. Sizemore wrote:

> I wrote: ".no amount of work will make the neural activity that causes
> behavior 'thinking,'" and elsewhere I criticized the notion that "neurons
> cause behavior." I could be rightly criticized for such inconsistent talk. I
> should have, as I have become accustomed to doing lately, referred to
> "physiology that 'mediates behavioral function.'" That way, I do not have to
> make a commitment to some sort of a priori vision of science. I think it is
> possible, as Wittgenstein suggested, that behavioral regularities need not
> correspond to physiological regularities. I think that this is true in the
> same sense that the evolution of a closed thermodynamic system shows
> regularity that corresponds to no particular change in the system as defined
> by the canonical variables of each of the particles. The system tends toward
> maximum entropy, and there are an infinite, or nearly infinite, number of
> ways in which this could happen. This does not mean that statistical
> mechanics is nonsense, it means that the spontaneous tendency towards
> entropy represents a macroscopic regularity to which corresponds no
> microscopic regularity.
> 

.... err ... emergence ?

> 
> 
> Another example, from mathematics, concerns cellular automata. Take Life
> 2333, for example. Each clock tick yields a perfectly deterministic outcome,
> but the process is irreversible. The current configuration is perfectly
> understandable in terms of past configurations, but past configurations
> cannot be deduced from current ones, as there is an infinite, or very large,
> number that could have generated the current state.
> 
> 
> 
> I think that we will understand how physiology mediates behavioral function
> (sort of), but this understanding will not allow us to put a helmet on
> somebody (for example) and "read their thoughts," and the reason is not the
> apparent impracticality of doing so, it is the fact that the past is
> dissipated in the sense that any information about it is irrecoverable by
> any means.  This is not to be viewed as a barrier to "the scientific method"
> but, rather, a feature of the world.
> 

Any references ... or is that pure Sizemore.


patty

> 
> 
> "Glen M. Sizemore" <gmsizemore2@yahoo.com> wrote in message
> news:46b0267eebf9eaabdd672c708faf003e@news.teranews.com...
> 
>>RS: I have suggested that thinking is the activation of constellations
>>
>>>of
>>>neurons in the cerebrum, the basal ganglia, and thalamic nuclei. An
>>>active constellation fades out and as it does it activates another
>>>constellation.
>>>
>>>GS: This is a category error. At best, you can say that you are
>>>suggesting what constitutes the physiological explanation of what is
>>>called "thinking." I find this quite na�ve, but you are welcome to
>>>your opinion. One thing you are not welcome to, if I may have my say,
>>>is the claim that "?thinking is the activation of constellations of
>>>neurons in the cerebrum etc. etc." This is simply to ignore usage and
>>>substitute some fairly silly "physiologization." We don't observe
>>>neurons in the cerebrum, or anywhere else, when we describe ourselves
>>>as thinking. We observe our behavior.
>>
>>GF: When we describe ourselves as thining we observe our thoughts.  When
> 
> we
> 
>>describe others as thinking we observes their behavior.
>>
>>
>>
>>GS: Well, I would argue that behavior is always what is observed. Thinking
>>is only possible because we come to observe our own behavior. This sets
> 
> the
> 
>>stage for talking to oneself, imagining things, etc.
>>
>>
>>GF: Just ask someone when one thinks he or she is thinking what he or she
> 
> is
> 
>>thinking about.  Sometimes one will get the response, "oh, nothing."   The
>>brain may be engaged in neuronal activity but not all such activity
> 
> involves
> 
>>observed thoughts.
>>
>>What do you have against the identification of particular correalted
>>neuronal activity and public behavior?  Is it the use of the phrase
>>"thinking is" vs "thinking involves"?
>>
>>
>>
>>GS: What we observe when we see ourselves think is our own behavior, not
> 
> the
> 
>>causes of that behavior. Now, it is true that the behavior we observe when
>>we think can serve a discriminative function, but the explanation of this
>>goes back to the contingencies that produced the behavior and its effects
> 
> on
> 
>>us. I don't have any problem with pointing to correlations between
> 
> behavior
> 
>>and neurophysiology, but no amount of work will make the neural activity
>>that causes behavior "thinking."
>>
>>
>>
>>"Gary Forbis" <forbisgaryg@msn.com> wrote in message
>>news:5a1238fe.0407050706.377d2caa@posting.google.com...
>>
>>>gmsizemore2@yahoo.com (Glen M. Sizemore) wrote in message
>>
>>news:<6e2f1d09.0407040349.50d1b8ec@posting.google.com>...
>>
>>
> 
> 
> 
0
patty
7/5/2004 9:54:11 PM
patty <pattyNO@SPAMicyberspace.net> wrote in message news:<%3BFc.17602$a24.11221@attbi_s03>...
> > A simplistic approach is to simply say by fiat, "There is no
> > homunculus. There is no soul (mind)". This is the position taken by
> > many workers in the soft sciences. But only at work. When they leave
> > the classroom, they discover that they do, indeed, have a soul (mind).
> 
> Well now we have it, and now we don't.  Perhaps we could say when it 
> goes away it dies.  Maybe we should bury it.  Perhaps there is a real 
> need to have a funeral here.  Let us officially mourn the death.  Then, 
> once finally buried, it may be less likely to return as a living dead. 
> When Nietzsche killed God, patty missed the funeral.  He just suddenly 
> was dead, gone from the scene, nowhere to be found, no chance to talk 
> with him on the bus ever again.  Can't we have just this little 
> ceremony, would that be such an awful thing?

Don't be silly.

Try to answer whether you have a mind or not. Do you, for instance,
possess a subjective experience? (ie. 1st order consciousness) Do you
see colors? Just *what* is this phenomenon? How can we explain it
physically?

Mind is not simply perception, it is more than that (as it includes
such things as planning for instance). What kinds of abilities does
*your* brain have in addition to audio-visual/haptic/olfactory etc.
perception? What do you call these abilities and their subjective
experience?

Does the totality of these functions exist?

Do you have a name for it? (If it doesn't exist, you shouldn't be
referring to it.)

Cheers,

--
Eray Ozkural
0
erayo
7/6/2004 12:11:49 AM
Eray Ozkural exa wrote:

> patty <pattyNO@SPAMicyberspace.net> wrote in message news:<%3BFc.17602$a24.11221@attbi_s03>...
> 
>>>A simplistic approach is to simply say by fiat, "There is no
>>>homunculus. There is no soul (mind)". This is the position taken by
>>>many workers in the soft sciences. But only at work. When they leave
>>>the classroom, they discover that they do, indeed, have a soul (mind).
>>
>>Well now we have it, and now we don't.  Perhaps we could say when it 
>>goes away it dies.  Maybe we should bury it.  Perhaps there is a real 
>>need to have a funeral here.  Let us officially mourn the death.  Then, 
>>once finally buried, it may be less likely to return as a living dead. 
>>When Nietzsche killed God, patty missed the funeral.  He just suddenly 
>>was dead, gone from the scene, nowhere to be found, no chance to talk 
>>with him on the bus ever again.  Can't we have just this little 
>>ceremony, would that be such an awful thing?
> 
> 
> Don't be silly.
> 

I dont call it "silly", i call it "melodramatic".


> Try to answer whether you have a mind or not. Do you, for instance,
> possess a subjective experience? 

I have trouble with the implied predicate (x possesses y) which seems to 
stem from English Common Law and is strangely out of place in this 
discussion.  However patty has defined "subjective experience" quite 
mathematically below in the post entitled Re: blinkers experience gliders.

<http://groups.google.com/groups?selm=U2_hb.539621%24Oz4.440948%40rwcrnsc54>

You are free to draw the boundaries of the experiential bubble any place 
that is convenient for your to call that which is inside "you" and that 
which is outside "not you", for any you that you choose to analyze.

> Do you see colors? 

Yes.

> Just *what* is this phenomenon? How can we explain it
> physically?
> 

The EAB has not problem in measuring a class of private behavior.  Patty 
has no problem in referring to the private process she calls "seeing 
blue".  I put "process" at the top of the partition of my ontology that 
you would call "physical".  What is your problem?


> Mind is not simply perception, it is more than that (as it includes
> such things as planning for instance). What kinds of abilities does
> *your* brain have in addition to audio-visual/haptic/olfactory etc.
> perception? What do you call these abilities and their subjective
> experience?
> 

.... "abilities" and "subjective experience".

> Does the totality of these functions exist?
> 
> Do you have a name for it? (If it doesn't exist, you shouldn't be
> referring to it.)
> 

Look, there are many processes in this messy world, and since there is 
no longer a God to divvy them up, it is up to the processes themselves 
to partition.  Now here is England, here is the Duke of York's estate, 
here is the Duke himself, and there is Napoleon and here comes his army. 
  This is all very political and you pays your money and stakes your 
claim.  Signs will be posted and stuck in the ground.  I have drawn an 
illustration,  i hope you like it:

<http://icyberspace.net/patty/diagrams/SEMIOT.JPG>

The squiggly line is just patterns of cause-effect.  Normally patty 
takes the closed manifold that is labeled "interpreter" as the boundary 
of her epidermis through time.  That boundary creates a privileged point 
of view.  That privileged point of view patty calls  "i".   That i goes 
through changes.  That i is those changes.

What do you think of me ?

patty
0
patty
7/6/2004 3:51:46 AM
In article <fa69ae35.0407051611.69e9b24f@posting.google.com>, Eray 
Ozkural  exa <erayo@bilkent.edu.tr> writes
>patty <pattyNO@SPAMicyberspace.net> wrote in message 
>news:<%3BFc.17602$a24.11221@attbi_s03>...
>> > A simplistic approach is to simply say by fiat, "There is no
>> > homunculus. There is no soul (mind)". This is the position taken by
>> > many workers in the soft sciences. But only at work. When they leave
>> > the classroom, they discover that they do, indeed, have a soul (mind).
>>
>> Well now we have it, and now we don't.  Perhaps we could say when it
>> goes away it dies.  Maybe we should bury it.  Perhaps there is a real
>> need to have a funeral here.  Let us officially mourn the death.  Then,
>> once finally buried, it may be less likely to return as a living dead.
>> When Nietzsche killed God, patty missed the funeral.  He just suddenly
>> was dead, gone from the scene, nowhere to be found, no chance to talk
>> with him on the bus ever again.  Can't we have just this little
>> ceremony, would that be such an awful thing?
>
>Don't be silly.
>
>Try to answer whether you have a mind or not. Do you, for instance,
>possess a subjective experience? (ie. 1st order consciousness) Do you
>see colors? Just *what* is this phenomenon? How can we explain it
>physically?
>
>Mind is not simply perception, it is more than that (as it includes
>such things as planning for instance). What kinds of abilities does
>*your* brain have in addition to audio-visual/haptic/olfactory etc.
>perception? What do you call these abilities and their subjective
>experience?
>
>Does the totality of these functions exist?
>
>Do you have a name for it? (If it doesn't exist, you shouldn't be
>referring to it.)

Do unicorns exist? Does phlogiston or caloric exist? Do celestial 
spheres, epicycles or the ether exist? Where did you learn to talk the 
way that you do? From your folk psychological popular culture!

You're calling Patty "silly"? I think you're naive, ignorant *and* 
silly. Will being told any of that help you to stop talking silly, 
ill-educated nonsense? Probably not, as to do that, you'd have to learn 
to talk a different, non-popular way about these matters - and the fact 
that you don't, won't or can't is what makes you appear so ignorant and 
silly.

Incidentally, things haven't "moved on" in this respect over the past 30 
years or so. All that's happened is that there are far more silly people 
like you in higher education and there's an associated industry all too 
ready to feed (reinforce) your silly reading "appetite" to make money 
out of your idiocy. This itself is just a consumer culture artefact, 
rather like video-games.
-- 
David Longley
0
David
7/6/2004 5:58:32 AM
patty <pattyNO@SPAMicyberspace.net> wrote in message news:<mlpGc.31259$IQ4.1779@attbi_s02>...
> Eray Ozkural exa wrote:
> 
> > patty <pattyNO@SPAMicyberspace.net> wrote in message news:<%3BFc.17602$a24.11221@attbi_s03>...
> > 
> >>>A simplistic approach is to simply say by fiat, "There is no
> >>>homunculus. There is no soul (mind)". This is the position taken by
> >>>many workers in the soft sciences. But only at work. When they leave
> >>>the classroom, they discover that they do, indeed, have a soul (mind).
> >>
> >>Well now we have it, and now we don't.  Perhaps we could say when it 
> >>goes away it dies.  Maybe we should bury it.  Perhaps there is a real 
> >>need to have a funeral here.  Let us officially mourn the death.  Then, 
> >>once finally buried, it may be less likely to return as a living dead. 
> >>When Nietzsche killed God, patty missed the funeral.  He just suddenly 
> >>was dead, gone from the scene, nowhere to be found, no chance to talk 
> >>with him on the bus ever again.  Can't we have just this little 
> >>ceremony, would that be such an awful thing?
> > 
> > 
> > Don't be silly.
> > 
> 
> I dont call it "silly", i call it "melodramatic".

I think it's tragicomic.
 
> 
> > Try to answer whether you have a mind or not. Do you, for instance,
> > possess a subjective experience? 
> 
> I have trouble with the implied predicate (x possesses y) which seems to 
> stem from English Common Law and is strangely out of place in this 
> discussion.  However patty has defined "subjective experience" quite 
> mathematically below in the post entitled Re: blinkers experience gliders.
> 
> <http://groups.google.com/groups?selm=U2_hb.539621%24Oz4.440948%40rwcrnsc54>

Not bad. I too think a causal definition of subjective experience is
worthwhile.

> You are free to draw the boundaries of the experiential bubble any place 
> that is convenient for your to call that which is inside "you" and that 
> which is outside "not you", for any you that you choose to analyze.

But that is not quite true. You are talking about theory. I am talking
about reality.

You cannot for instance decide to exclude "hearing" from your
"experiential bubble". You cannot decide to include an echolocation
perception (without augmenting your CNS; something we don't know how
to do that). Do you see the point?

But, of course *you*, your *physically defined* experiential bubble,
can imagine that there are other minds, there are bigger minds, etc.

> > Do you see colors? 
> 
> Yes.
> 
> > Just *what* is this phenomenon? How can we explain it
> > physically?
> > 
> 
> The EAB has not problem in measuring a class of private behavior.

That is not correct. It has every problem with qualia such as
subjective experience of color!

>  Patty 
> has no problem in referring to the private process she calls "seeing 
> blue".  I put "process" at the top of the partition of my ontology that 
> you would call "physical".  What is your problem?

You don't have a problem because you are not a behaviorist.

> > Mind is not simply perception, it is more than that (as it includes
> > such things as planning for instance). What kinds of abilities does
> > *your* brain have in addition to audio-visual/haptic/olfactory etc.
> > perception? What do you call these abilities and their subjective
> > experience?
> > 
> 
> ... "abilities" and "subjective experience".

Patty, find a dictionary, it's called "mind".

> > Does the totality of these functions exist?
> > 
> > Do you have a name for it? (If it doesn't exist, you shouldn't be
> > referring to it.)
> > 
> 
> Look, there are many processes in this messy world, and since there is 
> no longer a God to divvy them up, it is up to the processes themselves 
> to partition.  Now here is England, here is the Duke of York's estate, 
> here is the Duke himself, and there is Napoleon and here comes his army. 
>   This is all very political and you pays your money and stakes your 
> claim.

What is political is promulgating some idiotic philosophical
mumbo-jumbo from 1950s. What's the point?

What could be more political than going nuts and proclaiming "There is
no mind!". You don't have to be an LSD addict like Quine.

>  Signs will be posted and stuck in the ground.  I have drawn an 
> illustration,  i hope you like it:
> 
> <http://icyberspace.net/patty/diagrams/SEMIOT.JPG>
> 
> The squiggly line is just patterns of cause-effect.

Good. But remember: semiotics is not necessarily "radical behaviorist"
(Oh my god, those silly guys again). We call that squiggly line up
there in the "interpreter" MIND.

>  Normally patty 
> takes the closed manifold that is labeled "interpreter" as the boundary 
> of her epidermis through time. 

Good. But you don't have a choice.

Mind is what exists, not what is theorized.

> That boundary creates a privileged point 
> of view.  That privileged point of view patty calls  "i".   That i goes 
> through changes.  That i is those changes.

Such observations are useful in that they reduce subjective experience
to functions.
 
> What do you think of me ?

I think you are a smart computer, that's why I think you have a mind.
(At least you appreciate the relevance of semiotics to the
discussion!)

Regards,

--
Eray Ozkural
0
erayo
7/6/2004 12:06:45 PM
Eray Ozkural exa wrote:
> patty <pattyNO@SPAMicyberspace.net> wrote in message news:<mlpGc.31259$IQ4.1779@attbi_s02>...
> 
>>Eray Ozkural exa wrote:
>>
>>
>>>patty <pattyNO@SPAMicyberspace.net> wrote in message news:<%3BFc.17602$a24.11221@attbi_s03>...
>>>
>>>
>>>>>A simplistic approach is to simply say by fiat, "There is no
>>>>>homunculus. There is no soul (mind)". This is the position taken by
>>>>>many workers in the soft sciences. But only at work. When they leave
>>>>>the classroom, they discover that they do, indeed, have a soul (mind).
>>>>
>>>>Well now we have it, and now we don't.  Perhaps we could say when it 
>>>>goes away it dies.  Maybe we should bury it.  Perhaps there is a real 
>>>>need to have a funeral here.  Let us officially mourn the death.  Then, 
>>>>once finally buried, it may be less likely to return as a living dead. 
>>>>When Nietzsche killed God, patty missed the funeral.  He just suddenly 
>>>>was dead, gone from the scene, nowhere to be found, no chance to talk 
>>>>with him on the bus ever again.  Can't we have just this little 
>>>>ceremony, would that be such an awful thing?
>>>
>>>
>>>Don't be silly.
>>>
>>
>>I dont call it "silly", i call it "melodramatic".
> 
> 
> I think it's tragicomic.
>  

Ok, i'll go with that ... it's also a mystery story.

> 
>>You are free to draw the boundaries of the experiential bubble any place 
>>that is convenient for your to call that which is inside "you" and that 
>>which is outside "not you", for any you that you choose to analyze.
> 
> 
> But that is not quite true. You are talking about theory. I am talking
> about reality.
> 
> You cannot for instance decide to exclude "hearing" from your
> "experiential bubble". You cannot decide to include an echolocation
> perception (without augmenting your CNS; something we don't know how
> to do that). Do you see the point?
> 

Yes patty sees you point.  Physical boundaries make a difference ... a 
big difference.  The walls of your house keeps the rain from coming in, 
that mountain range over there keeps the temperature hotter on this side 
  than it is by the ocean. So yes, there are things that i cannot choose 
to include (or exclude) from my experience.  If i am black, i cannot 
walk into a redneck bar and have the same subjective experience that the 
rednecks do, and i cannot experience what it feels like to be a bat. But 
i can relate to my family, or instead to my country, or perhaps to my 
profession and each of those choices of a boundary will alter my 
subjective experience.  You can actually try that for yourself.  Well 
some people can, others may have a more permanent track.


> But, of course *you*, your *physically defined* experiential bubble,
> can imagine that there are other minds, there are bigger minds, etc.
> 

I am not just talking about imagining a different experience.  I am 
talking about actually having a different subjective experience.  But at 
the same time i see your point, we can imagine (or calculate) different 
experiences that we cannot actually experience. To actually have those 
experiences from a first person perspective we must physically, or 
socially, or politically enforce the chosen boundaries.  Some boundaries 
are impossible to enforce.  Patty cannot just choose to be inside of 
Eray's head; but the longer i talk to you, the more intensely we 
interact, the more we destroy the intellectual boundaries between us, 
the more common our histories become, the more i will talk and feel and 
experience just like you do.  A shudder runs up Patty's spine, "Maybe 
you should go away now, Mr Ozkural", she writes.  ;)


> That is not correct. It has every problem with qualia such as
> subjective experience of color!
> 

I will defer that to those in the know.

> What could be more political than going nuts and proclaiming "There is
> no mind!". You don't have to be an LSD addict like Quine.
> 

Eray, you are just being cruel.  I think that if he had dropped acid, it 
would have shown up somewhere in his writings.


>> Signs will be posted and stuck in the ground.  I have drawn an 
>>illustration,  i hope you like it:
>>
>><http://icyberspace.net/patty/diagrams/SEMIOT.JPG>
>>
>>The squiggly line is just patterns of cause-effect.
> 
> 
> Good. But remember: semiotics is not necessarily "radical behaviorist"
> (Oh my god, those silly guys again). We call that squiggly line up
> there in the "interpreter" MIND.
> 

When patty puts her computer microphone up too close to her speakers she 
hears an awful screech and hurriedly separates the two.  Now describe 
that to me by referring only to variables inside the computer.


>> Normally patty 
>>takes the closed manifold that is labeled "interpreter" as the boundary 
>>of her epidermis through time. 
> 
> 
> Good. But you don't have a choice.
> 

No, we do have a choice in the sense that i have explained above.

> Mind is what exists, not what is theorized.
> 

It won't exist if we change how we talk.  There is no physical substance 
to it, there is just a pattern of action.   Talk about it as a big loop 
from your senses to your muscles to language usage to your environment 
to your your culture and back to you senses and around and around the 
rush goes.  If you draw the boundary at your dura mata you are 
essentially telling a lie.  Please, Eray, don't tell it to the children.


> I think you are a smart computer, that's why I think you have a mind.
> (At least you appreciate the relevance of semiotics to the
> discussion!)
> 

I think there is a place for semiotics in our analysis of what is 
happing here.  But we need to be careful not to reify too much, not to 
start believing that the pictures we paint are the real thing.  The 
story we tell at one level of description, just gets in the way when we 
explain things in more detail.  I think the mind is an old invention; it 
is an old story told to us in another century.  I think we can do better 
now.  Why not give it a try?


patty
0
patty
7/6/2004 7:44:50 PM
"Glen M. Sizemore" <gmsizemore2@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:a1c4f165aa62922b9887f9258e21e8d3@news.teranews.com...
[snip]

> > > One thing you are not welcome to, if I may have my say,
> > > is the claim that "?thinking is the activation of constellations of
> > > neurons in the cerebrum etc. etc." This is simply to ignore usage
> > > and substitute some fairly silly "physiologization."

[snip]
>
> Another example, from mathematics, concerns cellular automata.
> Take Life 2333, for example. Each clock tick yields a perfectly
> deterministic outcome, but the process is irreversible. The current
> configuration is perfectly understandable in terms of past
> configurations, but past configurations cannot be deduced from
> current ones, as there is an infinite, or very large, number that
> could have generated the current state.
>
[snip]

Hi Glen,

If I may, here is a slight tangent that may further that view,
and provide some insight on the usage of "massive feedback"
[a lot of explanatory details are omitted for the sake of brevity,
but hopefully it has a ring of truth]:

When I implement Conway's Game of Life (GoL), I need only
two arrays, one for the current state, and one for the next
state of all the cells. GoL is a vast array of cells where only
a relatively few cells are active at each tick, and the local density
of active cells is about 0.5. This density "moves" into neighbouring
cells. These cells have one rule (like 2333) and 8 fixed neighbours.

This game application becomes more tangible to the "the activation
of constellations of neurons in the cerebrum" by:

    1) Cell rules are persistent variables.
    2) Cell neighbours are persistent variables.
    3) Previous state array is another layer, the state of
        a cell is an input from another cell.
    4) At each clock tick, a cell can only assert it's "alive"
        once, such events cause further processing in either
        layer.

I think these four rules of conduct might cover the transition
from Cellular Automata to a neuronal model. Some interesting
neuronal aspects are:

    a) Massive feedback is seen as trying to use "dead" cells
        in the layer (of the previous state array).
    b) Thresholds and inhibitors capture the concept
        of enforcing "dead" cell rules, while allowing cells to
        assert that they are "alive" in either layer during a
        clock tick.
    c) Temporal aspects are contained in a clock tick.
    d) Cells can form persistent two layered "feedback"
        assemblies.

I not sure if such a two layered net should be called a
recurrent net, or even a net with feedback. It's more
like an economical use of cells for "an infinite, or very
large, number that could have generated the current state."

Hope this helps,

Regards,
Rick




0
Rick
7/6/2004 7:53:26 PM
"Eray Ozkural exa" <erayo@bilkent.edu.tr> wrote in message
news:fa69ae35.0407051611.69e9b24f@posting.google.com...
> Try to answer whether you have a mind or not. Do you, for instance,
> possess a subjective experience? (ie. 1st order consciousness) Do you
> see colors? Just *what* is this phenomenon? How can we explain it
> physically?
>
> Mind is not simply perception, it is more than that (as it includes
> such things as planning for instance). What kinds of abilities does
> *your* brain have in addition to audio-visual/haptic/olfactory etc.
> perception? What do you call these abilities and their subjective
> experience?
>
> Does the totality of these functions exist?

Seeing red is an photoelectric pattern (or aspect) of What Is going on -
being reflected at a complex biological (evolved) level of What Is going on;
And so on for every conceivable (or not) aspect of What Is going on.

So, one should be very accepting of a fundamental inexplicability of
everything (or anything) - including of course of the usually implicitly
extremely ill-defined (hence and usually seldom well-understood) word
"consciousness".

P


0
Peter
7/10/2004 1:25:26 AM
"Peter F." <effectivespamblock@ozemail.com.au> wrote in message
news:cAHHc.407$QT.10976@nnrp1.ozemail.com.au...
> "Eray Ozkural exa" <erayo@bilkent.edu.tr> wrote in message
> news:fa69ae35.0407051611.69e9b24f@posting.google.com...
> > Try to answer whether you have a mind or not. Do you, for instance,
> > possess a subjective experience? (ie. 1st order consciousness) Do you
> > see colors? Just *what* is this phenomenon? How can we explain it
> > physically?
> >
> > Mind is not simply perception, it is more than that (as it includes
> > such things as planning for instance). What kinds of abilities does
> > *your* brain have in addition to audio-visual/haptic/olfactory etc.
> > perception? What do you call these abilities and their subjective
> > experience?
> >
> > Does the totality of these functions exist?

Hey Peter,

Not true to say seeing red is a photoelectric effect, we see red even when
the frequencies are not those we think of as designating red. With age the
frequencies hitting the retina change because of change in the vitreous
matter, but we still see the same colours. Seeing colours is not just a
product of the visual system, clearly other types of information modify the
colours we see.

Consciousness? Some time ago you referred me to paper by O'Regan and Noe,
there it still lies on my desk amidst too many other things. Hey, it was
good enouigh for me. To be honest Peter, these days I'm having trouble of
seeing the problem with consciousness and if memory serves me well I recall
you advising me many months ago that at the end of the day we may just as
well find that consciousness is really not that hard to understand at all.
One way I think about this is to equate questions about consciousness and
qualia with questions like: How come there are only two poles in magnetism?
It is just that way, what else is there to explain?

These days I think brains are good dream machines, they just happen to
create very useful dreams, so I like your radical doubt idea in the last
paragraph. Reminds me of Dennis Sciama, prof of QM at Oxford I think who
began his lectures with, "The world is a fantasy, let's find out about it."



Trust you are well,




John.



> Seeing red is an photoelectric pattern (or aspect) of What Is going on -
> being reflected at a complex biological (evolved) level of What Is going
on;
> And so on for every conceivable (or not) aspect of What Is going on.
>
> So, one should be very accepting of a fundamental inexplicability of
> everything (or anything) - including of course of the usually implicitly
> extremely ill-defined (hence and usually seldom well-understood) word
> "consciousness".
>
> P
>
>



0
John
7/10/2004 6:05:59 AM
Odd that Peter would have referred you to O'Regan and Noe, and then say what
he does about "seeing red" (but then, Peter is a complete idiot). O& N is
indispensable reading after Science and Human Behavior, About Behaviorsm,
and an undergrad text on behavior analysis. I leave out Verbal Behavior
because it is not really possible to read it on your own.



"John Hasenkam" <johnh@faraway.> wrote in message
news:40efc9eb@dnews.tpgi.com.au...
>
> "Peter F." <effectivespamblock@ozemail.com.au> wrote in message
> news:cAHHc.407$QT.10976@nnrp1.ozemail.com.au...
> > "Eray Ozkural exa" <erayo@bilkent.edu.tr> wrote in message
> > news:fa69ae35.0407051611.69e9b24f@posting.google.com...
> > > Try to answer whether you have a mind or not. Do you, for instance,
> > > possess a subjective experience? (ie. 1st order consciousness) Do you
> > > see colors? Just *what* is this phenomenon? How can we explain it
> > > physically?
> > >
> > > Mind is not simply perception, it is more than that (as it includes
> > > such things as planning for instance). What kinds of abilities does
> > > *your* brain have in addition to audio-visual/haptic/olfactory etc.
> > > perception? What do you call these abilities and their subjective
> > > experience?
> > >
> > > Does the totality of these functions exist?
>
> Hey Peter,
>
> Not true to say seeing red is a photoelectric effect, we see red even when
> the frequencies are not those we think of as designating red. With age the
> frequencies hitting the retina change because of change in the vitreous
> matter, but we still see the same colours. Seeing colours is not just a
> product of the visual system, clearly other types of information modify
the
> colours we see.
>
> Consciousness? Some time ago you referred me to paper by O'Regan and Noe,
> there it still lies on my desk amidst too many other things. Hey, it was
> good enouigh for me. To be honest Peter, these days I'm having trouble of
> seeing the problem with consciousness and if memory serves me well I
recall
> you advising me many months ago that at the end of the day we may just as
> well find that consciousness is really not that hard to understand at all.
> One way I think about this is to equate questions about consciousness and
> qualia with questions like: How come there are only two poles in
magnetism?
> It is just that way, what else is there to explain?
>
> These days I think brains are good dream machines, they just happen to
> create very useful dreams, so I like your radical doubt idea in the last
> paragraph. Reminds me of Dennis Sciama, prof of QM at Oxford I think who
> began his lectures with, "The world is a fantasy, let's find out about
it."
>
>
>
> Trust you are well,
>
>
>
>
> John.
>
>
>
> > Seeing red is an photoelectric pattern (or aspect) of What Is going on -
> > being reflected at a complex biological (evolved) level of What Is going
> on;
> > And so on for every conceivable (or not) aspect of What Is going on.
> >
> > So, one should be very accepting of a fundamental inexplicability of
> > everything (or anything) - including of course of the usually implicitly
> > extremely ill-defined (hence and usually seldom well-understood) word
> > "consciousness".
> >
> > P
> >
> >
>
>
>


0
Glen
7/10/2004 11:32:03 AM
"John Hasenkam" <johnh@faraway.> wrote in message
news:40f01060@dnews.tpgi.com.au...
>
> "Glen M. Sizemore" <gmsizemore2@yahoo.com> wrote in message
> news:5d1adc9de113821b8c65aa37fbe1fe5c@news.teranews.com...
> >
> >
> > GS: Yes, very nice. The sad thing, however, is that even the ritualistic
> > attacks are anachronistic. Radical behaviorism is not even on the radar
> > of most professional psychologists, philosophers, AIers, behavioral
> > neurobiologists, etc. After all, didn't Chomsky demolish behaviorism in
> > the '60s?
>
> Unfortunately Chomsky is being reinvigorated by Pinker.
> http://www.edge.org/documents/ThirdCulture/u-Ch.13.html
> Pinker:
>
> "Language is a complex, specialized skill, which develops in the child
> spontaneously without conscious effort or formal instruction, is deployed
> without awareness of its underlying logic, is qualitatively the same in
> every individual, and is distinct from more general abilities to process
> information or behave intelligently. (One corollary is that most of the
> complexity in language comes from the mind of a child, not from the
schools
> or from grammar books.) All this suggests that language is caused by
> dedicated circuitry that has evolved in the human brain. It then raises
the
> question of what other aspects of the human intellect are instincts coming
> from specialized neural circuitry. "
>
> Last I heard Pinker doesn't have any children and it shows.
>
> Without conscious effort? Goddamn why then at my age am I still very
> consciously adjusting my use of language?
>
> "complexity in language comes from the mind of a child, not from the
schools
> or from grammar books"
>
> ie. children never read.
>
> "is deployed without awareness of its underlying logic"
>
> Damn I have no idea how my brain figures out how to catch the ball.
>
> "All this suggests that language is caused by dedicated circuitry that has
> evolved in the human brain. "
>
> Then why do bilinguals use differing regions for the second language?
> Why is that brain function during language manipulation varies across the
> menstrual cycle? And perhaps even daily via circadian modulation. Some
> tantalising data I found on this recently - around sunset a man would
> involuntarily switch to his second language, and studies by Paradis
> highlighting variability in bilingual language capacity at varying times.
> Why is that language manipulation is distributed: Wernicke, Broca, dlpfcs,
> cingulate, angular gyrus, temporals and ... ?

Because different aspects of language (reading, writing, listening,
speaking)
require different processes. For example if the part of the brain that has
taken on the role of discriminating rapid acoustic changes is damaged then
that will show up as a deficit in speech.

There doesn't appear to be any physical "language module". Evolution builds
new things by combining or modifying what is already there and already doing
a good job at something else.


> Why is that even adults with brain damage to the parietals can sometimes
> recover language function to levels where the deficits can only be
detected
> through rigourous testing; if at all? There are even well documented cases
> of people lacking a left hemisphere who can manage language quite well
thank
> you.

Exactly what allows humans to develop language is yet to be discovered.
It does however appear to be as an adaptation to our social environment.

It has been suggested that humans have more of the characteristics of
a young chimp. A genetic arrested development. Our brains retain the
plasticity of juveniles much longer than any other animal. Perhaps this
is a factor in our ability to develop language?

--
John Casey



0
John
7/10/2004 11:48:59 AM
"Glen M. Sizemore" <gmsizemore2@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:2b64cd9306d188c86ca98cd98b30b531@news.teranews.com...
> Odd that Peter would have referred you to O'Regan and Noe, and then say
what
> he does about "seeing red" (but then, Peter is a complete idiot). O& N is
> indispensable reading after Science and Human Behavior, About Behaviorsm,
> and an undergrad text on behavior analysis. I leave out Verbal Behavior
> because it is not really possible to read it on your own.

Your recommended reading list is timely. Still haven't tracked down a copy
of Science and Human Behavior. I'm just wrapping one period of learning and
am heading down your way. Tonight I was browsing through an old Skinner
classic, "Are Theories of Learning Necessary?" I'd rephrase that: "Aren't
Theories of Learning Pretentious in their Aims?" I liked Skinner's remarks
that some tend to create theories because they can't find data ... .

Still very much at sea on a lot of this. After listening to Bryan Kolb's
lecture on brain plasticity I am more convinced than ever that studying
neurophysiological changes in order to understand how learning occurs is
just far too premature. Kolb himself made this assertion, he even stated at
the start of the lecture something about the "hypothesis of learning" and
when one questioner pressed him to explain these remarkable changes in the
brain after drugs and learning he said little then remarked, "I'm just
handwaving". Could you elaborate on his cynical remark re "hypothesis of
learning"?  Or did I misinterpret his remark???

Regards,


John.

>
>
> "John Hasenkam" <johnh@faraway.> wrote in message
> news:40efc9eb@dnews.tpgi.com.au...
> >
> > "Peter F." <effectivespamblock@ozemail.com.au> wrote in message
> > news:cAHHc.407$QT.10976@nnrp1.ozemail.com.au...
> > > "Eray Ozkural exa" <erayo@bilkent.edu.tr> wrote in message
> > > news:fa69ae35.0407051611.69e9b24f@posting.google.com...
> > > > Try to answer whether you have a mind or not. Do you, for instance,
> > > > possess a subjective experience? (ie. 1st order consciousness) Do
you
> > > > see colors? Just *what* is this phenomenon? How can we explain it
> > > > physically?
> > > >
> > > > Mind is not simply perception, it is more than that (as it includes
> > > > such things as planning for instance). What kinds of abilities does
> > > > *your* brain have in addition to audio-visual/haptic/olfactory etc.
> > > > perception? What do you call these abilities and their subjective
> > > > experience?
> > > >
> > > > Does the totality of these functions exist?
> >
> > Hey Peter,
> >
> > Not true to say seeing red is a photoelectric effect, we see red even
when
> > the frequencies are not those we think of as designating red. With age
the
> > frequencies hitting the retina change because of change in the vitreous
> > matter, but we still see the same colours. Seeing colours is not just a
> > product of the visual system, clearly other types of information modify
> the
> > colours we see.
> >
> > Consciousness? Some time ago you referred me to paper by O'Regan and
Noe,
> > there it still lies on my desk amidst too many other things. Hey, it was
> > good enouigh for me. To be honest Peter, these days I'm having trouble
of
> > seeing the problem with consciousness and if memory serves me well I
> recall
> > you advising me many months ago that at the end of the day we may just
as
> > well find that consciousness is really not that hard to understand at
all.
> > One way I think about this is to equate questions about consciousness
and
> > qualia with questions like: How come there are only two poles in
> magnetism?
> > It is just that way, what else is there to explain?
> >
> > These days I think brains are good dream machines, they just happen to
> > create very useful dreams, so I like your radical doubt idea in the last
> > paragraph. Reminds me of Dennis Sciama, prof of QM at Oxford I think who
> > began his lectures with, "The world is a fantasy, let's find out about
> it."
> >
> >
> >
> > Trust you are well,
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > John.
> >
> >
> >
> > > Seeing red is an photoelectric pattern (or aspect) of What Is going
on -
> > > being reflected at a complex biological (evolved) level of What Is
going
> > on;
> > > And so on for every conceivable (or not) aspect of What Is going on.
> > >
> > > So, one should be very accepting of a fundamental inexplicability of
> > > everything (or anything) - including of course of the usually
implicitly
> > > extremely ill-defined (hence and usually seldom well-understood) word
> > > "consciousness".
> > >
> > > P
> > >
> > >
> >
> >
> >
>
>


0
John
7/10/2004 11:56:08 AM
And, just read this:

Arguably, one very important part of Skinner's legacy has been omitted. That
is cognitive science. Cognitive science was so particularly provoked by
Skinner and so particularly shaped by his disapproval that he could properly
be described one of its most influential forefathers. To this day many
papers in cognitive psychology are labeled so by the ritual destruction of a
behavioristic straw man, and to this day it is often difficult to discern
any unifying principles in cognitive science other than opposition to
behaviorism as it was characterized in the first rhetorical blasts of the
'cognitive Revolution.' This opposition is easily as integral to cognitive
psychology as the internal state, the unconscious process, and the computer
analogy.

http://www.informationgenius.com/encyclopedia/r/ra/radical_behaviorism.html

Sounds like ai.comp. ... to me!




"John Hasenkam" <johnh@faraway.> wrote in message
news:40efd95a@dnews.tpgi.com.au...
>
> "Glen M. Sizemore" <gmsizemore2@yahoo.com> wrote in message
> news:2b64cd9306d188c86ca98cd98b30b531@news.teranews.com...
> > Odd that Peter would have referred you to O'Regan and Noe, and then say
> what
> > he does about "seeing red" (but then, Peter is a complete idiot). O& N
is
> > indispensable reading after Science and Human Behavior, About
Behaviorsm,
> > and an undergrad text on behavior analysis. I leave out Verbal Behavior
> > because it is not really possible to read it on your own.
>
> Your recommended reading list is timely. Still haven't tracked down a copy
> of Science and Human Behavior. I'm just wrapping one period of learning
and
> am heading down your way. Tonight I was browsing through an old Skinner
> classic, "Are Theories of Learning Necessary?" I'd rephrase that: "Aren't
> Theories of Learning Pretentious in their Aims?" I liked Skinner's remarks
> that some tend to create theories because they can't find data ... .
>
> Still very much at sea on a lot of this. After listening to Bryan Kolb's
> lecture on brain plasticity I am more convinced than ever that studying
> neurophysiological changes in order to understand how learning occurs is
> just far too premature. Kolb himself made this assertion, he even stated
at
> the start of the lecture something about the "hypothesis of learning" and
> when one questioner pressed him to explain these remarkable changes in the
> brain after drugs and learning he said little then remarked, "I'm just
> handwaving". Could you elaborate on his cynical remark re "hypothesis of
> learning"?  Or did I misinterpret his remark???
>
> Regards,
>
>
> John.
>
> >
> >
> > "John Hasenkam" <johnh@faraway.> wrote in message
> > news:40efc9eb@dnews.tpgi.com.au...
> > >
> > > "Peter F." <effectivespamblock@ozemail.com.au> wrote in message
> > > news:cAHHc.407$QT.10976@nnrp1.ozemail.com.au...
> > > > "Eray Ozkural exa" <erayo@bilkent.edu.tr> wrote in message
> > > > news:fa69ae35.0407051611.69e9b24f@posting.google.com...
> > > > > Try to answer whether you have a mind or not. Do you, for
instance,
> > > > > possess a subjective experience? (ie. 1st order consciousness) Do
> you
> > > > > see colors? Just *what* is this phenomenon? How can we explain it
> > > > > physically?
> > > > >
> > > > > Mind is not simply perception, it is more than that (as it
includes
> > > > > such things as planning for instance). What kinds of abilities
does
> > > > > *your* brain have in addition to audio-visual/haptic/olfactory
etc.
> > > > > perception? What do you call these abilities and their subjective
> > > > > experience?
> > > > >
> > > > > Does the totality of these functions exist?
> > >
> > > Hey Peter,
> > >
> > > Not true to say seeing red is a photoelectric effect, we see red even
> when
> > > the frequencies are not those we think of as designating red. With age
> the
> > > frequencies hitting the retina change because of change in the
vitreous
> > > matter, but we still see the same colours. Seeing colours is not just
a
> > > product of the visual system, clearly other types of information
modify
> > the
> > > colours we see.
> > >
> > > Consciousness? Some time ago you referred me to paper by O'Regan and
> Noe,
> > > there it still lies on my desk amidst too many other things. Hey, it
was
> > > good enouigh for me. To be honest Peter, these days I'm having trouble
> of
> > > seeing the problem with consciousness and if memory serves me well I
> > recall
> > > you advising me many months ago that at the end of the day we may just
> as
> > > well find that consciousness is really not that hard to understand at
> all.
> > > One way I think about this is to equate questions about consciousness
> and
> > > qualia with questions like: How come there are only two poles in
> > magnetism?
> > > It is just that way, what else is there to explain?
> > >
> > > These days I think brains are good dream machines, they just happen to
> > > create very useful dreams, so I like your radical doubt idea in the
last
> > > paragraph. Reminds me of Dennis Sciama, prof of QM at Oxford I think
who
> > > began his lectures with, "The world is a fantasy, let's find out about
> > it."
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > Trust you are well,
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > John.
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > > Seeing red is an photoelectric pattern (or aspect) of What Is going
> on -
> > > > being reflected at a complex biological (evolved) level of What Is
> going
> > > on;
> > > > And so on for every conceivable (or not) aspect of What Is going on.
> > > >
> > > > So, one should be very accepting of a fundamental inexplicability of
> > > > everything (or anything) - including of course of the usually
> implicitly
> > > > extremely ill-defined (hence and usually seldom well-understood)
word
> > > > "consciousness".
> > > >
> > > > P
> > > >
> > > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> >
> >
>
>


0
John
7/10/2004 12:05:51 PM
Glen M. Sizemore wrote:
> Odd that Peter would have referred you to O'Regan and Noe, and then say what
> he does about "seeing red" (but then, Peter is a complete idiot). O& N is
> indispensable reading after Science and Human Behavior, About Behaviorsm,
> and an undergrad text on behavior analysis. I leave out Verbal Behavior
> because it is not really possible to read it on your own.
> 

That's right.

Skinner intended V.B. as a speculative work, but by now it has attained 
the status of standard dogma for the radical behaviourist. The worthy 
task of empirically verifying Skinner's conjectures as they pertain to 
humans (conveniently unethical, no?) has been deprecated in favour of 
political indoctrination, a time-honoured technique for instilling 
"difficult" subject matter. A qualified handler will ensure that you 
"understand" the book.

0
Joe
7/10/2004 12:30:08 PM
JH: Your recommended reading list is timely. Still haven't tracked down a
copy of Science and Human Behavior.



GS: S&HB is available in paperback, I think, from B&N, etc.



JH: I'm just wrapping one period of learning and am heading down your way.
Tonight I was browsing through an old Skinner classic, "Are Theories of
Learning Necessary?" I'd rephrase that: "Aren't Theories of Learning
Pretentious in their Aims?" I liked Skinner's remarks that some tend to
create theories because they can't find data ... .



GS: Well, there're two issues. The first concerns the elaborateness of
theories like Hull's, but the second, of course, refers to "events happening
at some other level of analysis." Such theories are best left to
physiologists. Unfortunately, many of them are looking for representations
and other ghosts.

JH: Still very much at sea on a lot of this. After listening to Bryan Kolb's
lecture on brain plasticity I am more convinced than ever that studying
neurophysiological changes in order to understand how learning occurs is
just far too premature. Kolb himself made this assertion, he even stated at
the start of the lecture something about the "hypothesis of learning" and
when one questioner pressed him to explain these remarkable changes in the
brain after drugs and learning he said little then remarked, "I'm just
handwaving". Could you elaborate on his cynical remark re "hypothesis of
learning"?  Or did I misinterpret his remark???



GS: Hmmm....don't know the guy offhand, so I can't be sure. I certainly
think that we are not anywhere near explaining, physiologically, anything
like the behavior of a rat responding under an FR 1 schedule of food
presentation. Behavioral neurophysiology (errr..cognitive neurophysiology)
draws upon mainstream psychology for its direction, and this has rendered
progress all but impossible, despite the crowing and arm-wrenching back
patting of neurobiologists.



We already know enough about behavior, however, that we can, I think, see
the task: how does spontaneously occurring (at the level of behavior)
behavior get shaped and blended by its consequences, and how does the
probability of this behavior come to be controlled by stimuli (and other
variables like deprivation etc.)? The above statement extends to perceptual
behavior (see, O'Regan and Noe), but I am just beginning to attempt to say
how to map the language of reinforcement contingencies and behavior to that
of "sensorimotor contingencies" and "knowledge" used by O&N. But I would say
that movements that have sensory consequences are the first response classes
acquired and the first reinforcers are simply certain aspects of sensory
stimulation. For example, it could be hardwired that making two images
become one is a reinforcer. Thus, convergence would be among the first
operant response classes. It might also be that almost any novel sensory
event that is contingent on behavior will function, at least for a time, as
a reinforcer (and it would be this that is inherited).



"John Hasenkam" <johnh@faraway.> wrote in message
news:40efd95a@dnews.tpgi.com.au...
>
> "Glen M. Sizemore" <gmsizemore2@yahoo.com> wrote in message
> news:2b64cd9306d188c86ca98cd98b30b531@news.teranews.com...


0
Glen
7/10/2004 12:36:01 PM
In article <40efd95a@dnews.tpgi.com.au>, John Hasenkam 
<johnh@faraway.?.invalid> writes
>
>"Glen M. Sizemore" <gmsizemore2@yahoo.com> wrote in message
>news:2b64cd9306d188c86ca98cd98b30b531@news.teranews.com...
>> Odd that Peter would have referred you to O'Regan and Noe, and then say
>what
>> he does about "seeing red" (but then, Peter is a complete idiot). O& N is
>> indispensable reading after Science and Human Behavior, About Behaviorsm,
>> and an undergrad text on behavior analysis. I leave out Verbal Behavior
>> because it is not really possible to read it on your own.
>
>Your recommended reading list is timely. Still haven't tracked down a copy
>of Science and Human Behavior. I'm just wrapping one period of learning and
>am heading down your way. Tonight I was browsing through an old Skinner
>classic, "Are Theories of Learning Necessary?" I'd rephrase that: "Aren't
>Theories of Learning Pretentious in their Aims?" I liked Skinner's remarks
>that some tend to create theories because they can't find data ... .
>
>Still very much at sea on a lot of this. After listening to Bryan Kolb's
>lecture on brain plasticity I am more convinced than ever that studying
>neurophysiological changes in order to understand how learning occurs is
>just far too premature. Kolb himself made this assertion, he even stated at
>the start of the lecture something about the "hypothesis of learning" and
>when one questioner pressed him to explain these remarkable changes in the
>brain after drugs and learning he said little then remarked, "I'm just
>handwaving". Could you elaborate on his cynical remark re "hypothesis of
>learning"?  Or did I misinterpret his remark???
>
>Regards,
>
>
>John.
>

Just a word of caution. "Are Theories of Learning Necessary" really 
needs to be read with some understanding of what Skinner was critically 
referring to. This is perhaps best seen with respect to what he also 
said in his 1950s reviews of books by Hull and by Bush & Mosteller (Hebb 
would have been another if he had been influential enough at the time) 
in the 1950s. What he was criticising was a particular type of theory 
which appealed to intervening variables or hypothetical constructs which 
were not real values of variables at all but an "appeal to events taking 
place somewhere else". In those days these theories came under the 
auspices of methodological behaviourism, today exactly the same is being 
done, it's just been renamed "cognitive science"). In 1984;86 "Are 
Theories..." was combined with the 1961 paper "The Flight from the 
Laboratory" under the title "Methods and theories in the experimental 
analysis of behavior". The 1984 BBS collection (published as a book in 
1988 by Catania & Harnad) has the advantage that it not only has an 
updated paper by Skinner, but that it is followed by comments by others, 
with replies from Skinner.

The special issue of BBS and the book is also an excellent example of 
the egregious politics we see in a more primitive/lesser form in this 
newsgroup!

(Incidentally. I try to avoid the word "learning" as I think it belongs 
with the rest of the intensional idioms, in most uses - I prefer 
behavioural plasticity).
-- 
David Longley
0
David
7/10/2004 12:42:07 PM
JH: Arguably, one very important part of Skinner's legacy has been omitted.
That is cognitive science. Cognitive science was so particularly provoked by
Skinner and so particularly shaped by his disapproval that he could properly
be described one of its most influential forefathers. To this day many
papers in cognitive psychology are labeled so by the ritual destruction of a
behavioristic straw man, and to this day it is often difficult to discern
any unifying principles in cognitive science other than opposition to
behaviorism as it was characterized in the first rhetorical blasts of the
'cognitive Revolution.' This opposition is easily as integral to cognitive
psychology as the internal state, the unconscious process, and the computer
analogy.



GS: Yes, very nice. The sad thing, however, is that even the ritualistic
attacks are anachronistic. Radical behaviorism is not even on the radar of
most professional psychologists, philosophers, AIers, behavioral
neurobiologists, etc. After all, didn't Chomsky demolish behaviorism in the
'60s?



On another note, I would say that cognitive psychology relies on the notion
of the stored and retrieved representation. These notions are under attack
from within, curiously, by people that have stumbled upon some of the
arguments made by behaviorists on their own. These people don't use
behavioristic terminology because it is taboo (though the similarity between
sensorimotor contingencies and reinforcement contingencies is unmistakable)
and they still call themselves "cognitivists." But cog. sci. has no identity
without the representation and the metaphors of storage and retrieval. I
think it will crumble from within, and it will be helped by the persistence
of the EAB which has continued to discover laws of behavior. Advances in AI
using "behavior selection" algorithms - especially those that attempt some
similarity to real neurobiology could also contribute.



"John Hasenkam" <johnh@faraway.> wrote in message
news:40efdd65@dnews.tpgi.com.au...
> And, just read this:
>


0
Glen
7/10/2004 12:53:14 PM
Odd that Peter would have referred you to O'Regan and Noe, and then say what
> he does about "seeing red" (but then, Peter is a complete idiot). O& N is
> indispensable reading after Science and Human Behavior, About Behaviorsm,
> and an undergrad text on behavior analysis. I leave out Verbal Behavior
> because it is not really possible to read it on your own.
>

JL: That's right.



GS: I'm always right.

JL: Skinner intended V.B. as a speculative work, but by now it has attained
the status of standard dogma for the radical behaviourist.



GS: I have found that the charge of dogmatism tends to be leveled by those
that are unable to refute the position in any cogent way.



JL: The worthy
task of empirically verifying Skinner's conjectures as they pertain to
humans (conveniently unethical, no?)[.]



GS: Do you deny that experiments where the child's verbal environment is
deliberately manipulated in extreme ways would get at "how much 'nurture'"
there is to "language?" And do you deny that such experiments would be
unethical? If you answer "yes," then you must also admit that the fact that
the most straightforward and powerful experiments are unethical is not a
"convenience" invented by behaviorists, as you imply.



JL: [.]has been deprecated in favour of
political indoctrination, a time-honoured technique for instilling
"difficult" subject matter. A qualified handler will ensure that you
"understand" the book.



GS: Political indoctrination? You mean like your post? VB is hard to
understand. Graduate students require guidance. You are welcome to call this
"indoctrination" if you wish, but it doesn't differ from the way graduate
students are "indoctrinated" into cognitive psychology. The products,
however, differ; behaviorism is useful, cognitive psychology is not.



"Joe Legris" <jalegris@xympatico.ca> wrote in message
news:40EFE150.1070802@xympatico.ca...
> Glen M. Sizemore wrote:


0
Glen
7/10/2004 1:10:55 PM
In article <40EFE150.1070802@xympatico.ca>, Joe Legris 
<jalegris@xympatico.ca> writes
>Glen M. Sizemore wrote:
>> Odd that Peter would have referred you to O'Regan and Noe, and then say what
>> he does about "seeing red" (but then, Peter is a complete idiot). O& N is
>> indispensable reading after Science and Human Behavior, About Behaviorsm,
>> and an undergrad text on behavior analysis. I leave out Verbal Behavior
>> because it is not really possible to read it on your own.
>>
>
>That's right.
>
>Skinner intended V.B. as a speculative work, but by now it has attained 
>the status of standard dogma for the radical behaviourist. The worthy 
>task of empirically verifying Skinner's conjectures as they pertain to 
>humans (conveniently unethical, no?) has been deprecated in favour of 
>political indoctrination, a time-honoured technique for instilling 
>"difficult" subject matter. A qualified handler will ensure that you 
>"understand" the book.
>
Skinner regarded it as his most important work, and here, even Quine 
deferred to him. As to your last sentence, that's usually how education 
works. It seems that you alas, (and some others here) have a problem 
with that. Smarter folk like JH, CW and PC ask questions, suffer a 
little along the way (as one must in my view) and their behaviour 
changes as a consequence. You seem to have "forgotten" how universities 
and other education institutions work as part of your verbal community. 
Sadly, a lot of the time, they just don't work!

In other words, colloquially, you're an arrogant idiot. Why not do 
something about it?

-- 
David Longley
0
David
7/10/2004 1:24:22 PM
Thanks for the tips but you're damning me.

I did not understand much of what Skinner was saying so I can fully
appreciate David's point about context. I just saw the title and thought
this must be important.

Unfortunately I am not in the position to communicate personally with the
right people so that makes my current learning project extremely difficult;
probably impossible.

As to David's comments about the culture of universities, perhaps I have a
paradoxical advantage. Even at the conference I frequently had to go outside
just to move around a little. The most probable explanation for this is that
the minor brain damage I incurred in childhood left with me a subtle form of
ADD, I certainly do demonstrate some behavioral markers in that regard and
attentional issues are one of the more common problems after brain injury;
irrespective of the lesion site. Localisationists please take note. The
positive side is that I recognise the need to work much harder than most
people, my intelligence remained intact,  and I am not easily swayed by
authority figures and the like. So I probably have a touch of oppositional
defiant disorder as well. Hence the paradox, my peculiar behavior has per
chance freed me from some of the constraints that others frequently are
ensnared by. In short, *I* had nothing to do with this, my personal history
....

As to the comment about needing assistance to understand VB - that's just a
bait to me. Nonetheless I think I shall have to take a step backwards, it
appears that at this point I need to get grounded in some more basic
concepts first.

Anyone who thinks education doesn't entail a good degree of indoctrination
must be un-conscious. There is nothing intrinsically wrong with
indoctrination, it saves a lot of time and trouble for the individual and in
various occupations it saves lives. I suppose one way to approach this is to
conceive of indoctrination as the beginning of education, hopefully
thereafter the student can move on. Nor does the application of Skinner's
ideas to humans constitute "unethical" behavior. He is simply asking us to
be more conscious of how our behavior is shaped and how his ideas can allow
us to better shape behavior without resort to practises that have been going
on since day dot. 20 years ago I read Beyond Freedom and Dignity and thought
it was fascist. I've grown up somewhat since then. Wherefore art thou
freedom Johnno?





"David Longley" <David@longley.demon.co.uk> wrote in message
news:0HL2+JHG4+7AFwEI@longley.demon.co.uk...
> In article <40EFE150.1070802@xympatico.ca>, Joe Legris
> <jalegris@xympatico.ca> writes
> >Glen M. Sizemore wrote:
> >> Odd that Peter would have referred you to O'Regan and Noe, and then say
what
> >> he does about "seeing red" (but then, Peter is a complete idiot). O& N
is
> >> indispensable reading after Science and Human Behavior, About
Behaviorsm,
> >> and an undergrad text on behavior analysis. I leave out Verbal Behavior
> >> because it is not really possible to read it on your own.
> >>
> >
> >That's right.
> >
> >Skinner intended V.B. as a speculative work, but by now it has attained
> >the status of standard dogma for the radical behaviourist. The worthy
> >task of empirically verifying Skinner's conjectures as they pertain to
> >humans (conveniently unethical, no?) has been deprecated in favour of
> >political indoctrination, a time-honoured technique for instilling
> >"difficult" subject matter. A qualified handler will ensure that you
> >"understand" the book.
> >
> Skinner regarded it as his most important work, and here, even Quine
> deferred to him. As to your last sentence, that's usually how education
> works. It seems that you alas, (and some others here) have a problem
> with that. Smarter folk like JH, CW and PC ask questions, suffer a
> little along the way (as one must in my view) and their behaviour
> changes as a consequence. You seem to have "forgotten" how universities
> and other education institutions work as part of your verbal community.
> Sadly, a lot of the time, they just don't work!
>
> In other words, colloquially, you're an arrogant idiot. Why not do
> something about it?
>
> --
> David Longley


0
John
7/10/2004 3:35:01 PM
"Glen M. Sizemore" <gmsizemore2@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:5d1adc9de113821b8c65aa37fbe1fe5c@news.teranews.com...
>
>
> GS: Yes, very nice. The sad thing, however, is that even the ritualistic
> attacks are anachronistic. Radical behaviorism is not even on the radar of
> most professional psychologists, philosophers, AIers, behavioral
> neurobiologists, etc. After all, didn't Chomsky demolish behaviorism in
the
> '60s?

Unfortunately Chomsky is being reinvigorated by Pinker.
http://www.edge.org/documents/ThirdCulture/u-Ch.13.html
Pinker:

"Language is a complex, specialized skill, which develops in the child
spontaneously without conscious effort or formal instruction, is deployed
without awareness of its underlying logic, is qualitatively the same in
every individual, and is distinct from more general abilities to process
information or behave intelligently. (One corollary is that most of the
complexity in language comes from the mind of a child, not from the schools
or from grammar books.) All this suggests that language is caused by
dedicated circuitry that has evolved in the human brain. It then raises the
question of what other aspects of the human intellect are instincts coming
from specialized neural circuitry. "

Last I heard Pinker doesn't have any children and it shows.

Without conscious effort? Goddamn why then at my age am I still very
consciously adjusting my use of language?

"complexity in language comes from the mind of a child, not from the schools
or from grammar books"

ie. children never read.

"is deployed without awareness of its underlying logic"

Damn I have no idea how my brain figures out how to catch the ball.

"All this suggests that language is caused by dedicated circuitry that has
evolved in the human brain. "

Then why do bilinguals use differing regions for the second language?
Why is that brain function during language manipulation varies across the
menstrual cycle? And perhaps even daily via circadian modulation. Some
tantalising data I found on this recently - around sunset a man would
involuntarily switch to his second language, and studies by Paradis
highlighting variability in bilingual language capacity at varying times.
Why is that language manipulation is distributed: Wernicke, Broca, dlpfcs,
cingulate, angular gyrus, temporals and ... ?
Why is that even adults with brain damage to the parietals can sometimes
recover language function to levels where the deficits can only be detected
through rigourous testing; if at all? There are even well documented cases
of people lacking a left hemisphere who can manage language quite well thank
you.


John.







>
>
> On another note, I would say that cognitive psychology relies on the
notion
> of the stored and retrieved representation. These notions are under attack
> from within, curiously, by people that have stumbled upon some of the
> arguments made by behaviorists on their own. These people don't use
> behavioristic terminology because it is taboo (though the similarity
between
> sensorimotor contingencies and reinforcement contingencies is
unmistakable)
> and they still call themselves "cognitivists." But cog. sci. has no
identity
> without the representation and the metaphors of storage and retrieval. I
> think it will crumble from within, and it will be helped by the
persistence
> of the EAB which has continued to discover laws of behavior. Advances in
AI
> using "behavior selection" algorithms - especially those that attempt some
> similarity to real neurobiology could also contribute.
>
>
>
> "John Hasenkam" <johnh@faraway.> wrote in message
> news:40efdd65@dnews.tpgi.com.au...
> > And, just read this:
> >
>
>



0
John
7/10/2004 3:50:56 PM
In article <40f01060@dnews.tpgi.com.au>, John Hasenkam 
<johnh@faraway.?.invalid> writes
>
>"Glen M. Sizemore" <gmsizemore2@yahoo.com> wrote in message
>news:5d1adc9de113821b8c65aa37fbe1fe5c@news.teranews.com...
>>
>>
>> GS: Yes, very nice. The sad thing, however, is that even the ritualistic
>> attacks are anachronistic. Radical behaviorism is not even on the radar of
>> most professional psychologists, philosophers, AIers, behavioral
>> neurobiologists, etc. After all, didn't Chomsky demolish behaviorism in
>the
>> '60s?
>
>Unfortunately Chomsky is being reinvigorated by Pinker.
>http://www.edge.org/documents/ThirdCulture/u-Ch.13.html
>Pinker:
>
>"Language is a complex, specialized skill, which develops in the child
>spontaneously without conscious effort or formal instruction, is deployed
>without awareness of its underlying logic, is qualitatively the same in
>every individual, and is distinct from more general abilities to process
>information or behave intelligently. (One corollary is that most of the
>complexity in language comes from the mind of a child, not from the schools
>or from grammar books.) All this suggests that language is caused by
>dedicated circuitry that has evolved in the human brain. It then raises the
>question of what other aspects of the human intellect are instincts coming
>from specialized neural circuitry. "
>
>Last I heard Pinker doesn't have any children and it shows.
>
>Without conscious effort? Goddamn why then at my age am I still very
>consciously adjusting my use of language?
>
>"complexity in language comes from the mind of a child, not from the schools
>or from grammar books"
>
>ie. children never read.
>
>"is deployed without awareness of its underlying logic"
>
>Damn I have no idea how my brain figures out how to catch the ball.
>
>"All this suggests that language is caused by dedicated circuitry that has
>evolved in the human brain. "
>
>Then why do bilinguals use differing regions for the second language?
>Why is that brain function during language manipulation varies across the
>menstrual cycle? And perhaps even daily via circadian modulation. Some
>tantalising data I found on this recently - around sunset a man would
>involuntarily switch to his second language, and studies by Paradis
>highlighting variability in bilingual language capacity at varying times.
>Why is that language manipulation is distributed: Wernicke, Broca, dlpfcs,
>cingulate, angular gyrus, temporals and ... ?
>Why is that even adults with brain damage to the parietals can sometimes
>recover language function to levels where the deficits can only be detected
>through rigourous testing; if at all? There are even well documented cases
>of people lacking a left hemisphere who can manage language quite well thank
>you.
>
>
>John.
>
>

Ahh, I think I know the answer to that. What Chomsky and Pinker etc have 
to say just doesn't apply to behaviourists. Apparently, really 
"intelligent" folk (such as the above) naturally know better. In fact, 
they advise others not to argue with "behaviourists", as doing so tends 
to draw attention to them and encourages them to say unhelpful things at 
odds with common sense.

A better strategy (so I've read), is to "ignore them" where you can, but 
at the same time ;-),  surreptitiously translate whatever they do into 
an arcane folk psychological language so you can sell it to an 
unsuspecting public and naive undergraduates as something new and 
"scientific"! ("Cognitive Science" - made in China [Nationalist]) -Very 
good value - much cheap than US - last long time!)

(Apologies to any SE Asians - inspired by a packet of Hua Mui)
>>
>> On another note, I would say that cognitive psychology relies on the
>notion
>> of the stored and retrieved representation. These notions are under attack
>> from within, curiously, by people that have stumbled upon some of the
>> arguments made by behaviorists on their own. These people don't use
>> behavioristic terminology because it is taboo (though the similarity
>between
>> sensorimotor contingencies and reinforcement contingencies is
>unmistakable)
>> and they still call themselves "cognitivists." But cog. sci. has no
>identity
>> without the representation and the metaphors of storage and retrieval. I
>> think it will crumble from within, and it will be helped by the
>persistence
>> of the EAB which has continued to discover laws of behavior. Advances in
>AI
>> using "behavior selection" algorithms - especially those that attempt some
>> similarity to real neurobiology could also contribute.
>>
>>
>>
>> "John Hasenkam" <johnh@faraway.> wrote in message
>> news:40efdd65@dnews.tpgi.com.au...
>> > And, just read this:
>> >
>>
>>
>
>
>

-- 
David Longley
0
David
7/10/2004 4:45:19 PM
Glen M. Sizemore wrote:
> Odd that Peter would have referred you to O'Regan and Noe, and then say what
> 
>>he does about "seeing red" (but then, Peter is a complete idiot). O& N is
>>indispensable reading after Science and Human Behavior, About Behaviorsm,
>>and an undergrad text on behavior analysis. I leave out Verbal Behavior
>>because it is not really possible to read it on your own.
>>
> 
> 
> JL: That's right.
> 
> 
> 
> GS: I'm always right.
> 
> JL: Skinner intended V.B. as a speculative work, but by now it has attained
> the status of standard dogma for the radical behaviourist.
> 
> 
> 
> GS: I have found that the charge of dogmatism tends to be leveled by those
> that are unable to refute the position in any cogent way.
> 
> 
> 
> JL: The worthy
> task of empirically verifying Skinner's conjectures as they pertain to
> humans (conveniently unethical, no?)[.]
> 
> 
> 
> GS: Do you deny that experiments where the child's verbal environment is
> deliberately manipulated in extreme ways would get at "how much 'nurture'"
> there is to "language?" And do you deny that such experiments would be
> unethical? If you answer "yes," then you must also admit that the fact that
> the most straightforward and powerful experiments are unethical is not a
> "convenience" invented by behaviorists, as you imply.
> 
> 
> 
> JL: [.]has been deprecated in favour of
> political indoctrination, a time-honoured technique for instilling
> "difficult" subject matter. A qualified handler will ensure that you
> "understand" the book.
> 
> 
> 
> GS: Political indoctrination? You mean like your post? VB is hard to
> understand. Graduate students require guidance. You are welcome to call this
> "indoctrination" if you wish, but it doesn't differ from the way graduate
> students are "indoctrinated" into cognitive psychology. The products,
> however, differ; behaviorism is useful, cognitive psychology is not.
> 
> 


I agree that some aspects of behaviourism are useful. It does not follow 
that cognitive science is useless. In fact, this is an outright 
contradiction because cognitive science includes the empirical results 
of EAB even as it rejects the philosophical bluster that tags along.

0
Joe
7/10/2004 4:46:34 PM
"John Hasenkam" <johnh@faraway.> wrote in message news:<40efc9eb@dnews.tpgi.com.au>...

> 
> Not true to say seeing red is a photoelectric effect, we see red even when
> the frequencies are not those we think of as designating red. With age the
> frequencies hitting the retina change because of change in the vitreous
> matter, but we still see the same colours. 


And there is, of course, the famous experiment of "spinning" the
properly-shaped black-and-white disk, and producing an apparent
spectrum of perceived colors.
============== 


Seeing colours is not just a
> product of the visual system, clearly other types of information modify the
> colours we see.


Or that there are ways to cause internal conflicts regards integration
of the outputs of the 30/some visual areas in the cortex. After all,
they didn't evolve in the context of there being spinning BW disks in
natural scenes.
======================


> These days I think brains are good dream machines, they just happen to
> create very useful dreams, so I like your radical doubt idea in the last
> paragraph. Reminds me of Dennis Sciama, prof of QM at Oxford I think who
> began his lectures with, "The world is a fantasy, let's find out about it."
> 

Sounds like Dennis would have been a good candidate to fail the
so-called  Philosopher's Sanity Test. Once you're in the mouth of the
lion, you might perchance wake up from your fantasies, as your blood
is dripping down the lion's chin.
0
feedbackdroids
7/10/2004 6:17:34 PM
JL: I agree that some aspects of behaviourism are useful. It does not follow
that cognitive science is useless. In fact, this is an outright
contradiction because cognitive science includes the empirical results of
EAB even as it rejects the philosophical bluster that tags along.



GS: No, behaviorism and cognitive "science" offer different, fundamentally
incompatible, views of the same phenomena. My guess is that you want to
argue that cognitive "science" accepts lawful "input-output" relations, but
goes beyond them in considering the "actual mechanisms." That is what you
were going to say, isn't it, Joey? But radical behaviorism is not about
"input-output" relations, and your sophomoric view has no substance.



"Joe Legris" <jalegris@xympatico.ca> wrote in message
news:40F01D6A.2070302@xympatico.ca...
> Glen M. Sizemore wrote:
> > Odd that Peter would have referred you to O'Regan and Noe, and then say
what
> >
> >>he does about "seeing red" (but then, Peter is a complete idiot). O& N
is
> >>indispensable reading after Science and Human Behavior, About
Behaviorsm,
> >>and an undergrad text on behavior analysis. I leave out Verbal Behavior
> >>because it is not really possible to read it on your own.
> >>
> >
> >
> > JL: That's right.
> >
> >
> >
> > GS: I'm always right.
> >
> > JL: Skinner intended V.B. as a speculative work, but by now it has
attained
> > the status of standard dogma for the radical behaviourist.
> >
> >
> >
> > GS: I have found that the charge of dogmatism tends to be leveled by
those
> > that are unable to refute the position in any cogent way.
> >
> >
> >
> > JL: The worthy
> > task of empirically verifying Skinner's conjectures as they pertain to
> > humans (conveniently unethical, no?)[.]
> >
> >
> >
> > GS: Do you deny that experiments where the child's verbal environment is
> > deliberately manipulated in extreme ways would get at "how much
'nurture'"
> > there is to "language?" And do you deny that such experiments would be
> > unethical? If you answer "yes," then you must also admit that the fact
that
> > the most straightforward and powerful experiments are unethical is not a
> > "convenience" invented by behaviorists, as you imply.
> >
> >
> >
> > JL: [.]has been deprecated in favour of
> > political indoctrination, a time-honoured technique for instilling
> > "difficult" subject matter. A qualified handler will ensure that you
> > "understand" the book.
> >
> >
> >
> > GS: Political indoctrination? You mean like your post? VB is hard to
> > understand. Graduate students require guidance. You are welcome to call
this
> > "indoctrination" if you wish, but it doesn't differ from the way
graduate
> > students are "indoctrinated" into cognitive psychology. The products,
> > however, differ; behaviorism is useful, cognitive psychology is not.
> >
> >
>
>
> I agree that some aspects of behaviourism are useful. It does not follow
> that cognitive science is useless. In fact, this is an outright
> contradiction because cognitive science includes the empirical results
> of EAB even as it rejects the philosophical bluster that tags along.
>


0
Glen
7/10/2004 6:47:18 PM
In article <40f0105f@dnews.tpgi.com.au>, John Hasenkam 
<johnh@faraway.?.invalid> writes
>
>Thanks for the tips but you're damning me.
>
>I did not understand much of what Skinner was saying so I can fully
>appreciate David's point about context. I just saw the title and thought
>this must be important.
>
>Unfortunately I am not in the position to communicate personally with the
>right people so that makes my current learning project extremely difficult;
>probably impossible.
>
>As to David's comments about the culture of universities, perhaps I have a
>paradoxical advantage. Even at the conference I frequently had to go outside
>just to move around a little. The most probable explanation for this is that
>the minor brain damage I incurred in childhood left with me a subtle form of
>ADD, I certainly do demonstrate some behavioral markers in that regard and
>attentional issues are one of the more common problems after brain injury;
>irrespective of the lesion site. Localisationists please take note. The
>positive side is that I recognise the need to work much harder than most
>people, my intelligence remained intact,  and I am not easily swayed by
>authority figures and the like. So I probably have a touch of oppositional
>defiant disorder as well. Hence the paradox, my peculiar behavior has per
>chance freed me from some of the constraints that others frequently are
>ensnared by. In short, *I* had nothing to do with this, my personal history
>...
>
>As to the comment about needing assistance to understand VB - that's just a
>bait to me. Nonetheless I think I shall have to take a step backwards, it
>appears that at this point I need to get grounded in some more basic
>concepts first.
>
>Anyone who thinks education doesn't entail a good degree of indoctrination
>must be un-conscious. There is nothing intrinsically wrong with
>indoctrination, it saves a lot of time and trouble for the individual and in
>various occupations it saves lives. I suppose one way to approach this is to
>conceive of indoctrination as the beginning of education, hopefully
>thereafter the student can move on. Nor does the application of Skinner's
>ideas to humans constitute "unethical" behavior. He is simply asking us to
>be more conscious of how our behavior is shaped and how his ideas can allow
>us to better shape behavior without resort to practises that have been going
>on since day dot. 20 years ago I read Beyond Freedom and Dignity and thought
>it was fascist. I've grown up somewhat since then. Wherefore art thou
>freedom Johnno?
>
>

This is something of an aside as this isn't really directed to your post 
(although it was prompted by your last few sentences).

I've referenced the May 2002 issue of the JEAB a number of times because 
of the readable historical articles on "The Pigeon Lab".   About twenty 
of the fifty or so of Skinner and Herrnstein's post-graduates provide 
reminiscences from their time in (or associated with) the lab and how it 
shaped their subsequent careers.

<http://seab.envmed.rochester.edu/jeab/articles_selected/index.html>

If more people here read material such as this (and followed some of it 
up), they might begin to better appreciate the opportunity they're now 
squandering (e.g. in not asking Glen for guidance) and they may even 
stop posting the inane nonsense that they do.

The likelihood of any of that actually happening is, I predict rather 
low. Too many here have too much invested in their "artificial 
intelligence" or is it "intensional opacity"?
>
>"David Longley" <David@longley.demon.co.uk> wrote in message
>news:0HL2+JHG4+7AFwEI@longley.demon.co.uk...
>> In article <40EFE150.1070802@xympatico.ca>, Joe Legris
>> <jalegris@xympatico.ca> writes
>> >Glen M. Sizemore wrote:
>> >> Odd that Peter would have referred you to O'Regan and Noe, and then say
>what
>> >> he does about "seeing red" (but then, Peter is a complete idiot). O& N
>is
>> >> indispensable reading after Science and Human Behavior, About
>Behaviorsm,
>> >> and an undergrad text on behavior analysis. I leave out Verbal Behavior
>> >> because it is not really possible to read it on your own.
>> >>
>> >
>> >That's right.
>> >
>> >Skinner intended V.B. as a speculative work, but by now it has attained
>> >the status of standard dogma for the radical behaviourist. The worthy
>> >task of empirically verifying Skinner's conjectures as they pertain to
>> >humans (conveniently unethical, no?) has been deprecated in favour of
>> >political indoctrination, a time-honoured technique for instilling
>> >"difficult" subject matter. A qualified handler will ensure that you
>> >"understand" the book.
>> >
>> Skinner regarded it as his most important work, and here, even Quine
>> deferred to him. As to your last sentence, that's usually how education
>> works. It seems that you alas, (and some others here) have a problem
>> with that. Smarter folk like JH, CW and PC ask questions, suffer a
>> little along the way (as one must in my view) and their behaviour
>> changes as a consequence. You seem to have "forgotten" how universities
>> and other education institutions work as part of your verbal community.
>> Sadly, a lot of the time, they just don't work!
>>
>> In other words, colloquially, you're an arrogant idiot. Why not do
>> something about it?
>>
>> --
>> David Longley
>
>

-- 
David Longley
http://www.longley.demon.co.uk/Frag.htm

0
David
7/10/2004 6:55:16 PM
"John Hasenkam" <johnh@faraway.> wrote in message
news:40efc9eb@dnews.tpgi.com.au...
>
> Hey Peter,
>
> Not true to say seeing red is a photoelectric effect, we see red even when
> the frequencies are not those we think of as designating red. With age the
> frequencies hitting the retina change because of change in the vitreous
> matter, but we still see the same colours. Seeing colours is not just a
> product of the visual system, clearly other types of information modify
the
> colours we see.


You simply plucked your disagreement out of context (you obviously did not
consider what I wrote in the sentence that followed).

Anyway, I can easily put up with the fact you did not get what I was saying.
:-)

Have gotten used to that most people don't.

However, I have to exert some self-control not to rip the head off the
simultaneously genuinely vile and intellectually oh so stale Glen Sizemore.

Luckily I remember these wise words: "If one argues with a fool the chance
is he is doing just the same."
;-)

P


0
Peter
7/10/2004 7:17:24 PM
David Longley wrote:

> 
> The likelihood of any of that actually happening is, I predict rather 
> low. Too many here have too much invested in their "artificial 
> intelligence" or is it "intensional opacity"?
> 

"Extensional substitution salva veritate" assumes we are all in the same 
bubble ... it is a lie.  "Intensional opacity" makes allowances for the 
predicament in which we find ourselves ... it is a better pragmatic 
match to the real world.  Patty thinks that AI engineers will make the 
obvious choice.

Newsgroups trimmed.

patty
0
patty
7/10/2004 9:03:56 PM
Glen M. Sizemore wrote:
> JL: I agree that some aspects of behaviourism are useful. It does not follow
> that cognitive science is useless. In fact, this is an outright
> contradiction because cognitive science includes the empirical results of
> EAB even as it rejects the philosophical bluster that tags along.
> 
> 
> 
> GS: No, behaviorism and cognitive "science" offer different, fundamentally
> incompatible, views of the same phenomena. My guess is that you want to
> argue that cognitive "science" accepts lawful "input-output" relations, but
> goes beyond them in considering the "actual mechanisms." That is what you
> were going to say, isn't it, Joey? But radical behaviorism is not about
> "input-output" relations, and your sophomoric view has no substance.
> 
> 

I said no such thing. Your straw-men are starting to take on lives of 
their own.

Cognitive science accepts all of EAB's empirical results but interprets 
them as it sees fit, computationally, neurologically, evolutionarily, 
etc. Notwithstanding all the lofty philosophical talk, behaviourism was 
just a tactical response to the numbing challenge of investigating 
animal behaviour without the benefit of appropriate theory, data or 
instrumentation. Times have changed. The techniques and 
conceptualizations of modern science are at our fingertips. Why should 
we pretend that time has stopped?

0
Joe
7/10/2004 10:54:50 PM
Yes, I missed the catch all in your last sentence.

John.

"Peter F." <effectivespamblock@ozemail.com.au> wrote in message
news:bhXHc.500$QT.17328@nnrp1.ozemail.com.au...
> "John Hasenkam" <johnh@faraway.> wrote in message
> news:40efc9eb@dnews.tpgi.com.au...
> >
> > Hey Peter,
> >
> > Not true to say seeing red is a photoelectric effect, we see red even
when
> > the frequencies are not those we think of as designating red. With age
the
> > frequencies hitting the retina change because of change in the vitreous
> > matter, but we still see the same colours. Seeing colours is not just a
> > product of the visual system, clearly other types of information modify
> the
> > colours we see.
>
>
> You simply plucked your disagreement out of context (you obviously did not
> consider what I wrote in the sentence that followed).
>
> Anyway, I can easily put up with the fact you did not get what I was
saying.
> :-)
>
> Have gotten used to that most people don't.
>
> However, I have to exert some self-control not to rip the head off the
> simultaneously genuinely vile and intellectually oh so stale Glen
Sizemore.
>
> Luckily I remember these wise words: "If one argues with a fool the chance
> is he is doing just the same."
> ;-)
>
> P
>
>


0
John
7/11/2004 12:12:53 AM
"ray scanlon" <rscanlon@nycap.rr.com> wrote in message
news:363d693e.0407050909.3fb6c69a@posting.google.com...
> David Longley writes:
>
> > >> You make assertions which are false.
> > >
> > >I am entitled to examples. Please do give a few..
> >
> > I've given you plenty in a number of posts.
>
> That is not the answer sought. I wish to learn. Please list some
> examples so I can correct myself.
>
> ray

We are all ears! ;-)

But let's not strain ourselves - because these two completely unfunny clowns
("Size"- makes for -"more than this one bore) have (AFAIK) never written
anything of any substance, interest or value in any newsgroup.

P


0
Peter
7/11/2004 3:25:17 AM
"John Hasenkam" <johnh@faraway.> wrote in message news:<40f0105f@dnews.tpgi.com.au>...


> Anyone who thinks education doesn't entail a good degree of indoctrination
> must be un-conscious. 


Of course, the only real question is .... to what extent?
=================


There is nothing intrinsically wrong with
> indoctrination, it saves a lot of time and trouble for the individual and in
> various occupations it saves lives. 


Now, you're getting very wierd. The ends do justify the means - ??? Of
course, I "grew up" in the church with this tradition. Ever hear of
Augustine and the concept of "compell them to enter"?

Again, the real question is .... to what extent? Blanket
generalizations are rarely worth the paper much.
===============


I suppose one way to approach this is to
> conceive of indoctrination as the beginning of education, hopefully
> thereafter the student can move on. Nor does the application of Skinner's
> ideas to humans constitute "unethical" behavior. He is simply asking us to
> be more conscious of how our behavior is shaped and how his ideas can allow
> us to better shape behavior without resort to practises that have been going
> on since day dot. 20 years ago I read Beyond Freedom and Dignity and thought
> it was fascist. I've grown up somewhat since then. Wherefore art thou
> freedom Johnno?
> 

Well, it WAS facist 20 years ago. But now society has caught up with
it. Ever hear of the "The Fourth Turning"? In those 20 years you've
learned that there has been nothing for you to take credit nor
responsibility for. Life has played its hand. Maybe that's "true"
freedom. Remember what Socrates said just before drinking hemlock?

You might also want to take a look at Freedom Evolves by Dennett. It
is to 2004 what BFAD was to 1954. Don't miss the part about the
spectre of creeping exculpation. It's not my fault. My car broke down.
The bus was late. I didn't have taxi fare. My bicycle had a flat tire.
The plane couldn't leave the gate. The air controllers were on strike.
We circled for 6 hours over Chicago. My brain cells went on strike.
Amyloid is dogging my tracks. My sympathetic nervous system is out of
wack. And so it goes.
0
feedbackdroids
7/11/2004 5:25:14 AM
patty <pattyNO@SPAMicyberspace.net> wrote in message news:<0RYHc.29349$WX.2987@attbi_s51>...


Patty thinks that AI engineers will make the 
> obvious choice.
> 

And this would be to .... join the army?
0
feedbackdroids
7/11/2004 5:30:04 AM
"John Hasenkam" <johnh@faraway.> wrote in message news:<40f01060@dnews.tpgi.com.au>...


> Then why do bilinguals use differing regions for the second language?
> Why is that brain function during language manipulation varies across the
> menstrual cycle? And perhaps even daily via circadian modulation. Some
> tantalising data I found on this recently - around sunset a man would
> involuntarily switch to his second language, and studies by Paradis
> highlighting variability in bilingual language capacity at varying times.
> Why is that language manipulation is distributed: Wernicke, Broca, dlpfcs,
> cingulate, angular gyrus, temporals and ... ?
> Why is that even adults with brain damage to the parietals can sometimes
> recover language function to levels where the deficits can only be detected
> through rigourous testing; if at all? There are even well documented cases
> of people lacking a left hemisphere who can manage language quite well thank
> you.


Whether or not there is any dedicated circuitry within the human brain
for anything at all, it seems that anatomy has discovered entirely new
nerve tracks innervating the mouth and throat muscles/etc in the human
that don't exist in monkeys or chimps. Deacon discusses these in The
Symbolic Species - as you no doubt know.

It seems entirely clear that the throat and mouth shape could have
evolved greatly beyond monks+chimps - along with the improved
innervation it takes to be able to control the tonque to make the
various vowel sounds, rather than just simple chimp screaming sounds -
while at the same time, nothing much evolved/changed in the brain
proper in order to complement those evolutiuonary changes.

This concept has some strange and wonderful symmetry. Maybe it's some
sort of general rule. As in, all of the outer [ie, peripheral] areas
evolve and greatly "specialize" during evolution, but the inner areas
do not follow suit. They generalize. Hmmm ... outer specialization
supported by inner generalization. It could happen.
0
feedbackdroids
7/11/2004 5:48:35 AM
In article <40F073BA.6080206@xympatico.ca>, Joe Legris 
<jalegris@xympatico.ca> writes
>Glen M. Sizemore wrote:
>> JL: I agree that some aspects of behaviourism are useful. It does not follow
>> that cognitive science is useless. In fact, this is an outright
>> contradiction because cognitive science includes the empirical results of
>> EAB even as it rejects the philosophical bluster that tags along.
>>    GS: No, behaviorism and cognitive "science" offer different, 
>>fundamentally
>> incompatible, views of the same phenomena. My guess is that you want to
>> argue that cognitive "science" accepts lawful "input-output" relations, but
>> goes beyond them in considering the "actual mechanisms." That is what you
>> were going to say, isn't it, Joey? But radical behaviorism is not about
>> "input-output" relations, and your sophomoric view has no substance.
>>
>
>I said no such thing. Your straw-men are starting to take on lives of 
>their own.
>
>Cognitive science accepts all of EAB's empirical results but interprets 
>them as it sees fit, computationally, neurologically, evolutionarily, 
>etc. Notwithstanding all the lofty philosophical talk, behaviourism was 
>just a tactical response to the numbing challenge of investigating 
>animal behaviour without the benefit of appropriate theory, data or 
>instrumentation. Times have changed. The techniques and 
>conceptualizations of modern science are at our fingertips. Why should 
>we pretend that time has stopped?
>

What certainly seems to have stopped is your ability to listen and 
benefit form other peoples' experience. It's an odd experience reading 
someone who belongs to the same class of individuals which both Glen and 
I have spent time teaching, telling *us* what "Cognitive Science" is, 
when the latter formed an essential part of our early training. Have you 
looked into chapter 6 of Quine's "Word and Object" yet? Have you spent 
any time looking into why I have made so much of intensional or 
referential opacity?

As has been said a number of times now, we know what "Cognitive Science" 
is, *and* we know what Radical Behaviourism is too. That's why we can 
spot people such as yourself who don't understand the difference.

You're writing naive nonsense.

-- 
David Longley
0
David
7/11/2004 7:53:58 AM
In article <8d8494cf.0407102125.1ae8184a@posting.google.com>, dan
michaels <feedbackdroids@yahoo.com> writes
>"John Hasenkam" <johnh@faraway.> wrote in message news:<40f
>0105f@dnews.tpgi.com.au>...
>
>I suppose one way to approach this is to
>> conceive of indoctrination as the beginning of education, hopefully
>> thereafter the student can move on. Nor does the application of Skinner's
>> ideas to humans constitute "unethical" behavior. He is simply asking us to
>> be more conscious of how our behavior is shaped and how his ideas can allow
>> us to better shape behavior without resort to practises that have been going
>> on since day dot. 20 years ago I read Beyond Freedom and Dignity and thought
>> it was fascist. I've grown up somewhat since then. Wherefore art thou
>> freedom Johnno?
>>
>
>Well, it WAS facist 20 years ago. But now society has caught up with
>it. Ever hear of the "The Fourth Turning"? In those 20 years you've
>learned that there has been nothing for you to take credit nor
>responsibility for. Life has played its hand. Maybe that's "true"
>freedom. Remember what Socrates said just before drinking hemlock?
>
>You might also want to take a look at Freedom Evolves by Dennett. It
>is to 2004 what BFAD was to 1954. Don't miss the part about the
>spectre of creeping exculpation. It's not my fault. My car broke down.
>The bus was late. I didn't have taxi fare. My bicycle had a flat tire.
>The plane couldn't leave the gate. The air controllers were on strike.
>We circled for 6 hours over Chicago. My brain cells went on strike.
>Amyloid is dogging my tracks. My sympathetic nervous system is out of
>wack. And so it goes.

As usual, little of what you write makes sense. "Beyond Freedom and
Dignity" was published in 1971, and is, history shows, all too easily
misunderstood. Secondly, what you're describing in your last paragraph
is more akin to the folk psychological instrumentalism which
characterises Fodors LOT and Dennett's Intentional Stance. Fodor, like
Dennett makes a pigs ear of the history of psychology in my view, as did
Chomsky. These opportunists appear to be your mentors.

Here's something I said in c.a.p as far back as in August 1995, which is
in the early part of "Fragments"
<http://www.longley.demon.co.uk/Frag.htm>. It has been discussed and
explicated in so many ways since that your above comments should I think
be taken by other reads as an ongoing illustrations of just how
resistant to corrective evidence people's prejudices and other
intensional heuristics are. This has been a point I have been making for
several years in this newsgroup. It accounts not only for why "Cognitive
Skills" programmes are so ineffective, but why so much of "AI" is
misguided as well.

You don't understand how little you understand of what you read on these
matters.

<http://groups.google.com/groups?selm=selm=807552071snz@longley.demon.co.
uk>

                                                oOo

Any explanation which is

  '....relative to the purposes and knowledge of the inquirer....'

is precisely what I have taken issue with in 'Fragments of Behaviour:
The Extensional Stance'. Here was how Geach dealt with Fodor in 1980:

    'Fodor  thinks that when we explain behaviour by  mental
    causes,   these   causes   would   be   given   "opaque"
    descriptions  "true  in  virtue of  the  way  the  agent
    represents   the  objects  of  his  wants   (intentions,
    beliefs,  etc.) to HIMSELF" (his emphasis). But what  an
    agent  intends may be widely different from the  way  he
    represents the object of his intention to himself. A man
    cannot shuck off the responsibility for killing  another
    man by just 'directing his intention' at the firing of a
    gun:

           "I press a trigger - Well, I'm blessed!
            he's hit my bullet with his chest!"'

    P. Geach
    Commentary on J A Fodor's
    Methodological Solipsism Considered as a Research Strategy in
    Cognitive Psychology
    Brain and Behavior Sciences (1980) vol 3, p80

I think there *is* a problem here, and it is one that we, working in the
field of 'corrections*' have to deal with. The material I review in  the
set of articles entitled 'Fragments......' (comp.ai.philosophy 29/7/95).

It's an issue which, (understandably given the basic issue which
prompted Fodor to  write  his paper) which changes its complexion as one
considers it in different  contexts.  Putnam's 'Representation and
Reality' (1988) and Quine's 'Pursuit of Truth' (1992) are about as far
as I have got with the issues.

Do you (or anyone else) have anything further?

* Inferences in such contexts, ie predictions, can be insidious.
-- 
David Longley

                                             oOo
-- 
David Longley
http://www.longley.demon.co.uk/Frag.htm
0
David
7/11/2004 8:27:22 AM
But your opinion is worth so very little.

"Peter F." <effectivespamblock@ozemail.com.au> wrote in message news:<zq2Ic.556$QT.20217@nnrp1.ozemail.com.au>...
> "ray scanlon" <rscanlon@nycap.rr.com> wrote in message
> news:363d693e.0407050909.3fb6c69a@posting.google.com...
> > David Longley writes:
> >
> > > >> You make assertions which are false.
> > > >
> > > >I am entitled to examples. Please do give a few..
> > >
> > > I've given you plenty in a number of posts.
> >
> > That is not the answer sought. I wish to learn. Please list some
> > examples so I can correct myself.
> >
> > ray
> 
> We are all ears! ;-)
> 
> But let's not strain ourselves - because these two completely unfunny clowns
> ("Size"- makes for -"more than this one bore) have (AFAIK) never written
> anything of any substance, interest or value in any newsgroup.
> 
> P
0
gmsizemore2
7/11/2004 12:34:30 PM
David Longley wrote:
> In article <40F073BA.6080206@xympatico.ca>, Joe Legris 
> <jalegris@xympatico.ca> writes
> 
>> Glen M. Sizemore wrote:
>>
>>> JL: I agree that some aspects of behaviourism are useful. It does not 
>>> follow
>>> that cognitive science is useless. In fact, this is an outright
>>> contradiction because cognitive science includes the empirical 
>>> results of
>>> EAB even as it rejects the philosophical bluster that tags along.
>>>    GS: No, behaviorism and cognitive "science" offer different, 
>>> fundamentally
>>> incompatible, views of the same phenomena. My guess is that you want to
>>> argue that cognitive "science" accepts lawful "input-output" 
>>> relations, but
>>> goes beyond them in considering the "actual mechanisms." That is what 
>>> you
>>> were going to say, isn't it, Joey? But radical behaviorism is not about
>>> "input-output" relations, and your sophomoric view has no substance.
>>>
>>
>> I said no such thing. Your straw-men are starting to take on lives of 
>> their own.
>>
>> Cognitive science accepts all of EAB's empirical results but 
>> interprets them as it sees fit, computationally, neurologically, 
>> evolutionarily, etc. Notwithstanding all the lofty philosophical talk, 
>> behaviourism was just a tactical response to the numbing challenge of 
>> investigating animal behaviour without the benefit of appropriate 
>> theory, data or instrumentation. Times have changed. The techniques 
>> and conceptualizations of modern science are at our fingertips. Why 
>> should we pretend that time has stopped?
>>
> 
> What certainly seems to have stopped is your ability to listen and 
> benefit form other peoples' experience. It's an odd experience reading 
> someone who belongs to the same class of individuals which both Glen and 
> I have spent time teaching, telling *us* what "Cognitive Science" is, 
> when the latter formed an essential part of our early training. Have you 
> looked into chapter 6 of Quine's "Word and Object" yet? Have you spent 
> any time looking into why I have made so much of intensional or 
> referential opacity?
> 
> As has been said a number of times now, we know what "Cognitive Science" 
> is, *and* we know what Radical Behaviourism is too. That's why we can 
> spot people such as yourself who don't understand the difference.
> 
> You're writing naive nonsense.
> 

Actually, Glen didn't know what cog sci is until a few days ago when I 
straightened him out. What does that say about the class of individuals 
that both you and Glen have spent time teaching? Have you spent
any time looking into why a modern science of behaviour, equipped with 
the tools and techniques that serve the rest of science so admirably, 
has largely rendered moot issues of intensional or referential opacity?

Although physicists and biologists are ultimately committed to the 
extensional stance, they may speculate, hypothesize, employ fanciful 
metaphors and even intensionality from time to time - anything that 
helps. Cognitive scientists are no different, and that's how they differ 
from behaviourists.

0
Joe
7/11/2004 1:38:19 PM
....... here is your 1 in 300 response .....


> As usual, little of what you write makes sense. "Beyond Freedom and
> Dignity" was published in 1971, and is, history shows, all too easily
> misunderstood. 


Not at all surprising, as it is the single most poorly-written piece
of literature I have ever seen. 3rd-person, passive-tense,
strawman-bashing, poor logic. Conclusions not in evidence from the
argumentation given in the preceding sentences. Bad writing in
general. Unconvincing.
==============


Secondly, what you're describing in your last paragraph
> is more akin to the folk psychological instrumentalism which
> characterises Fodors LOT and Dennett's Intentional Stance. Fodor, like
> Dennett makes a pigs ear of the history of psychology in my view, as did
> Chomsky. These opportunists appear to be your mentors.
> 

Nothing but words, opinions, all around. Only a silk purse would take
any/much of it as absolute truth.
=============


> I think there *is* a problem here, and it is one that we, working in the
> field of 'corrections*' have to deal with. The material I review in  the
> set of articles entitled 'Fragments......' (comp.ai.philosophy 29/7/95).
> 

This would be the publication that got you your current position in
the penal system.
0
feedbackdroids
7/11/2004 4:40:22 PM
"John Casey" <kjcasey@hotkey.net.au> wrote in message news:<40f08140_1@news.iprimus.com.au>...


...........
> It has been suggested that humans have more of the characteristics of
> a young chimp. A genetic arrested development. Our brains retain the
> plasticity of juveniles much longer than any other animal. Perhaps this
> is a factor in our ability to develop language?


IIRC, before babies are able to speak well, the geometry of their
mouths and throats needs to undergo large-scale developmental changes.
The mouth cavity lengthens, and also deepens significantly in the
back. The nerve tracks innervating the tonque especially take some
time to fully form, especially regards central cortical control. Good
tonque control, of course, is critical to being able to make a range
of vowel sounds. At the time of birth, only about 20% of the synapses
are present, compared to the number present at year 1. In addition,
myelinization of the cortical white matter proceeds in several stages,
and isn't fully complete in some of the lateral and frontal cortical
regions [where speech "resides"] until year 3-4.

As mentioned in various threads in the past, some people believe this
slowed development, along with the lateralization of the brain, is
fundamentally related to the relatively "narrow" pelvic region of the
female human. Other mammals, including chimps, give birth much more
easily than humans. Chimps have relatively small heads. For a
"fully-formed" human brain with its encasing skull to be able to get
through the human pelvic region at birth, the female hips would have
to be much wider in general.

So, evolution seems to have found a compromise. Rather than evolving
much wider hips, it instead evolved human brains which are not
fully-developed at birth, and which take several years to develop
fully - with the result that the human baby is totally helpless in the
face of lions/etc for several years, while its various mental
faculties are developing.

A corollary to this - along the lines of what Wm Calvin says in "The
Throwing Madonna" - is that human females which may have evolved very
wide and heavy hips [in order to pass babies with much larger and
fully-formed brains] might not have had the necessary speed/agility to
have avoided being eaten by the lions/etc 2 MYA.
0
feedbackdroids
7/11/2004 5:07:15 PM
> JL: I agree that some aspects of behaviourism are useful. It does not follow
> that cognitive science is useless. In fact, this is an outright
> contradiction because cognitive science includes the empirical results of
> EAB even as it rejects the philosophical bluster that tags along.
> 
> 
> 
> GS: No, behaviorism and cognitive "science" offer different, fundamentally
> incompatible, views of the same phenomena. My guess is that you want to
> argue that cognitive "science" accepts lawful "input-output" relations, but
> goes beyond them in considering the "actual mechanisms." That is what you
> were going to say, isn't it, Joey? But radical behaviorism is not about
> "input-output" relations, and your sophomoric view has no substance.
> 
> 

JL: I said no such thing. Your straw-men are starting to take on lives
of their own.

GS: I didn't say that you said it. I speculated that that would be
your argument. So, you claim that it is not your argument, but you
don't specify what your argument is.

JL: Cognitive science accepts all of EAB's empirical results but
interprets
them as it sees fit,[�]

GS: What planet are you from, Joey? Cognitive "science" ignores the
data from the EAB. If it did not, for example, it would not ask stupid
questions about the origins of response classes that are simply
generalized operants. Only by ignoring what is known about the basics
of stimulus control can one think that over-regularization of verbs
cannot be explained by exposure to contingencies of reinforcement. Or
is that another straw man, Joe?

JL: [�]computationally, neurologically, evolutionarily, 
etc. Notwithstanding all the lofty philosophical talk, behaviourism
was
just a tactical response to the numbing challenge of investigating 
animal behaviour without the benefit of appropriate theory, data or 
instrumentation. 

GS: You have an odd perspective on the history of psychology, as well
as an overblown view of the success of mainstream psychology and much
of behavioral neuroscience. As I have told you many times, much of the
punch of modern behavioral neuroscience comes from its
instrumentation, which is a product of chemistry and physics;
computers, microelectrodes, fMRI, increasingly specific compounds etc.
Do you think I am unaware of these? None of this depends on the
fanciful horseshit that is peddled by cognitive "science." There have
been no innovations in conceptualizing psychological phenomena since
behaviorism - there has been nothing more than a regression to earlier
mentalistic epistemologies dressed up in metaphor.

JL: Times have changed. The techniques and 
conceptualizations of modern science are at our fingertips. Why should
we pretend that time has stopped?

GS: What a pretentious bit of twaddle. Time has, indeed, stopped for
mainstream psychology, and it is called cognitive "science." How it is
that academic generations of psychologists have "grown up" with so
little awareness of the history of their field that they think the
mentalistic crap being peddled is anything but the same old
folk-psychological muddle is almost, but not quite, beyond me.
 

Joe Legris <jalegris@xympatico.ca> wrote in message news:<40F073BA.6080206@xympatico.ca>...
> Glen M. Sizemore wrote:
0
gmsizemore2
7/11/2004 7:40:34 PM
In article <40F142CA.6010002@xympatico.ca>, Joe Legris 
<jalegris@xympatico.ca> writes
>David Longley wrote:
>> In article <40F073BA.6080206@xympatico.ca>, Joe Legris 
>><jalegris@xympatico.ca> writes
>>
>>> Glen M. Sizemore wrote:
>>>
>>>> JL: I agree that some aspects of behaviourism are useful. It does 
>>>>not  follow
>>>> that cognitive science is useless. In fact, this is an outright
>>>> contradiction because cognitive science includes the empirical 
>>>>results of
>>>> EAB even as it rejects the philosophical bluster that tags along.
>>>>    GS: No, behaviorism and cognitive "science" offer different, 
>>>>fundamentally
>>>> incompatible, views of the same phenomena. My guess is that you want to
>>>> argue that cognitive "science" accepts lawful "input-output" 
>>>>relations, but
>>>> goes beyond them in considering the "actual mechanisms." That is 
>>>>what  you
>>>> were going to say, isn't it, Joey? But radical behaviorism is not about
>>>> "input-output" relations, and your sophomoric view has no substance.
>>>>
>>>
>>> I said no such thing. Your straw-men are starting to take on lives 
>>>of  their own.
>>>
>>> Cognitive science accepts all of EAB's empirical results but 
>>>interprets them as it sees fit, computationally, neurologically, 
>>>evolutionarily, etc. Notwithstanding all the lofty philosophical 
>>>talk, behaviourism was just a tactical response to the numbing 
>>>challenge of  investigating animal behaviour without the benefit of 
>>>appropriate  theory, data or instrumentation. Times have changed. The 
>>>techniques  and conceptualizations of modern science are at our 
>>>fingertips. Why  should we pretend that time has stopped?
>>>
>>  What certainly seems to have stopped is your ability to listen and 
>>benefit form other peoples' experience. It's an odd experience reading 
>>someone who belongs to the same class of individuals which both Glen 
>>and  I have spent time teaching, telling *us* what "Cognitive Science" 
>>is,  when the latter formed an essential part of our early training. 
>>Have you  looked into chapter 6 of Quine's "Word and Object" yet? Have 
>>you spent  any time looking into why I have made so much of 
>>intensional or  referential opacity?
>>  As has been said a number of times now, we know what "Cognitive 
>>Science"  is, *and* we know what Radical Behaviourism is too. That's 
>>why we can  spot people such as yourself who don't understand the 
>>difference.
>>  You're writing naive nonsense.
>>
>
>Actually, Glen didn't know what cog sci is until a few days ago when I 
>straightened him out.

I'm afraid you've got that wrong (along with a lot else).

> What does that say about the class of individuals that both you and 
>Glen have spent time teaching? Have you spent
>any time looking into why a modern science of behaviour, equipped with 
>the tools and techniques that serve the rest of science so admirably, 
>has largely rendered moot issues of intensional or referential opacity?
>
>Although physicists and biologists are ultimately committed to the 
>extensional stance, they may speculate, hypothesize, employ fanciful 
>metaphors and even intensionality from time to time - anything that 
>helps. Cognitive scientists are no different, and that's how they 
>differ from behaviourists.
>

Do you understand what it means to say that intensional contexts or the 
idioms of propositional attitude are "not truth-functional"?

Do you not understand how devastating this criticism/explication is?

Of course you can ignore this. People ignore all sorts of things that 
it's irrational to ignore or argue against. Even well educated folk do 
that. That's why I wrote "Fragments" (and what followed), and that's why 
I'm posting here. Just how much have you actually looked into?

What was volume 2?
-- 
David Longley



0
David
7/11/2004 11:55:23 PM
One quick eg:


Had a discussion today with someone and I stated: I don't like concepts like
executive functions because it is so broad as to be meaningless and in the
literature the concept is used in so many different ways as to make it
suspect: Besides its a buzz phrase and I'm intrinsically wary of that.

The reply:

Neuropsychologists have incredible difficulty measuring "executive
functions" and there is no satisfactory standard.
It is better to avoid such concepts.
My take:

Executive functions is another example of an ill defined concept thrown
around with reckless abandon and so fails the fundamental first step: get
your definitions straight or all hell breaks loose.

"Executive functions is a foundational concept in cog sci. Now aint that a
real pisser?

John.

David,

Much thanks for the links! Read, read, ready, johnny.



"David Longley" <David@longley.demon.co.uk> wrote in message
news:53Y1C9AWIP8AFwui@longley.demon.co.uk...
> In article <40F073BA.6080206@xympatico.ca>, Joe Legris
> <jalegris@xympatico.ca> writes
> >Glen M. Sizemore wrote:
> >> JL: I agree that some aspects of behaviourism are useful. It does not
follow
> >> that cognitive science is useless. In fact, this is an outright
> >> contradiction because cognitive science includes the empirical results
of
> >> EAB even as it rejects the philosophical bluster that tags along.
> >>    GS: No, behaviorism and cognitive "science" offer different,
> >>fundamentally
> >> incompatible, views of the same phenomena. My guess is that you want to
> >> argue that cognitive "science" accepts lawful "input-output" relations,
but
> >> goes beyond them in considering the "actual mechanisms." That is what
you
> >> were going to say, isn't it, Joey? But radical behaviorism is not about
> >> "input-output" relations, and your sophomoric view has no substance.
> >>
> >
> >I said no such thing. Your straw-men are starting to take on lives of
> >their own.
> >
> >Cognitive science accepts all of EAB's empirical results but interprets
> >them as it sees fit, computationally, neurologically, evolutionarily,
> >etc. Notwithstanding all the lofty philosophical talk, behaviourism was
> >just a tactical response to the numbing challenge of investigating
> >animal behaviour without the benefit of appropriate theory, data or
> >instrumentation. Times have changed. The techniques and
> >conceptualizations of modern science are at our fingertips. Why should
> >we pretend that time has stopped?
> >
>
> What certainly seems to have stopped is your ability to listen and
> benefit form other peoples' experience. It's an odd experience reading
> someone who belongs to the same class of individuals which both Glen and
> I have spent time teaching, telling *us* what "Cognitive Science" is,
> when the latter formed an essential part of our early training. Have you
> looked into chapter 6 of Quine's "Word and Object" yet? Have you spent
> any time looking into why I have made so much of intensional or
> referential opacity?
>
> As has been said a number of times now, we know what "Cognitive Science"
> is, *and* we know what Radical Behaviourism is too. That's why we can
> spot people such as yourself who don't understand the difference.
>
> You're writing naive nonsense.
>
> --
> David Longley



0
John
7/12/2004 9:26:39 AM
"dan michaels" <feedbackdroids@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:8d8494cf.0407102125.1ae8184a@posting.google.com...
> "John Hasenkam" <johnh@faraway.> wrote in message
news:<40f0105f@dnews.tpgi.com.au>...
>
>
> > Anyone who thinks education doesn't entail a good degree of
indoctrination
> > must be un-conscious.
>
>
> Of course, the only real question is .... to what extent?

Yes, that is important. We can always indoctrinate others to make them think
well. The student can transcend the teacher, it's just bloody hard work.

> =================
>
>
> There is nothing intrinsically wrong with
> > indoctrination, it saves a lot of time and trouble for the individual
and in
> > various occupations it saves lives.
>
>
> Now, you're getting very wierd. The ends do justify the means - ??? Of
> course, I "grew up" in the church with this tradition. Ever hear of
> Augustine and the concept of "compell them to enter"?

We're in the army now ... . Indoctrination is practised in many disciplines,
it saves lives. Okay, I overstated my case. What I do find interesting
though is how we often point at others being indoctrinated and so
brainwashed yet fail to realise that to some degree we all share that fate.
I have no easy outs on this Dan, I really don't know how to think about this
any further.




> Again, the real question is .... to what extent? Blanket
> generalizations are rarely worth the paper much.
> ===============
>
>
> I suppose one way to approach this is to
> > conceive of indoctrination as the beginning of education, hopefully
> > thereafter the student can move on. Nor does the application of
Skinner's
> > ideas to humans constitute "unethical" behavior. He is simply asking us
to
> > be more conscious of how our behavior is shaped and how his ideas can
allow
> > us to better shape behavior without resort to practises that have been
going
> > on since day dot. 20 years ago I read Beyond Freedom and Dignity and
thought
> > it was fascist. I've grown up somewhat since then. Wherefore art thou
> > freedom Johnno?
> >
>
> Well, it WAS facist 20 years ago. But now society has caught up with
> it. Ever hear of the "The Fourth Turning"? In those 20 years you've
> learned that there has been nothing for you to take credit nor
> responsibility for. Life has played its hand. Maybe that's "true"
> freedom. Remember what Socrates said just before drinking hemlock?
>
> You might also want to take a look at Freedom Evolves by Dennett. It
> is to 2004 what BFAD was to 1954. Don't miss the part about the
> spectre of creeping exculpation. It's not my fault. My car broke down.
> The bus was late. I didn't have taxi fare. My bicycle had a flat tire.
> The plane couldn't leave the gate. The air controllers were on strike.
> We circled for 6 hours over Chicago. My brain cells went on strike.
> Amyloid is dogging my tracks. My sympathetic nervous system is out of
> wack. And so it goes.

Point taken. However, even if I don't believe I am in control of my life to
the maximal extent I still take responsibility for my actions. I do not
excuse my failures by reference to some deterministic and\or fatalistic
stance. Not sure how to approach this problem at the abstract level, except
to suggest that no matter what point of view we hold, we must still take
responsibility for our actions because our philosophical position is
invariably an assumption. Purely pragmatic, I think that once we start to
use philosophy to excuse our failings we are in deep trouble. Pragmatism
works, we focus on actions and outcomes. Once we get into murky waters about
locus of control etc, well one just has to see how the legal world gets into
a real muddle as a result. Difficult stuff.

You're making my brain hurt.



Regards,


John.


0
John
7/12/2004 9:38:38 AM
JL: Actually, Glen didn't know what cog sci is until a few days ago
when I
straightened him out. What does that say about the class of
individuals
that both you and Glen have spent time teaching? Have you spent
any time looking into why a modern science of behaviour, equipped with
the tools and techniques that serve the rest of science so admirably, 
has largely rendered moot issues of intensional or referential
opacity?

GS: The experimental analysis of behavior is the modern scientific
study of behavior. Everything else is mentalism and purports to be
about some set of dimensions other than what is measured and
manipulated.


JL: Although physicists and biologists are ultimately committed to the
extensional stance, they may speculate, hypothesize, employ fanciful 
metaphors and even intensionality from time to time - anything that 
helps. Cognitive scientists are no different, and that's how they
differ from behaviourists.

GS: Cognitive "scientists" differ from behaviorism in that they (CS)
are incautious with their concepts. Metaphors are useful in science
but only if they can eventually have a non-metaphorical meaning. It is
a mistake to confuse the sort of speculation that takes place in
physics with the verbal promiscuity of cognitive "scientists." This is
a favorite ploy of lamers like Joe; "See, we're just like physicists.
Aren't we so very clever?" This is scientism, not science.

As to me not knowing exactly what you were referring to as "cognitive
science," I wouldn't make so much of it. So some lamers throw together
a bunch of tenuously related fields under the impetus of a mistaken
conceptualization of behavior and walk around declaring their
cleverness and sophistication. Big deal.


Joe Legris <jalegris@xympatico.ca> wrote in message
0
gmsizemore2
7/12/2004 12:59:15 PM
In article <6e2f1d09.0407120459.6592e22c@posting.google.com>, Glen M. 
Sizemore <gmsizemore2@yahoo.com> writes
>JL: Actually, Glen didn't know what cog sci is until a few days ago
>when I
>straightened him out. What does that say about the class of
>individuals
>that both you and Glen have spent time teaching? Have you spent
>any time looking into why a modern science of behaviour, equipped with
>the tools and techniques that serve the rest of science so admirably,
>has largely rendered moot issues of intensional or referential
>opacity?

What JL doesn't appear to appreciate is that (and GS says much the same 
below once again) it is precisely because I *HAVE*

"spent.. time looking into why a modern science of behaviour, equipped 
with the tools and techniques that serve the rest of science so 
admirably, has largely rendered moot issues of intensional or 
referential opacity?"

That is, the EAB and Applied Analysis of Behaviour (PROfiling and 
PROgramming Behaviour) does precisely that. The covers of the 10 volumes 
of the PROBE project have two sets of symbols on it. One set comprises 
those of the basic connectives of the predicate calculus, quantifiers, 
and Leibniz Law, and the other the equation for logistic regression. I 
referred JL not only to "Fragments" (which is volume 1 of the PROBE 
project and to the papers on "What Works"), but to volume 2 which 
covered the pilots run in two maximum security prisons over a two year 
period. Note, these were not minor "experiments" but systems of regime 
and sentence management for an entire prison population. JL could also 
have tried to find out about volume 3 which provided the system's 
functional specification, or to volume 4 which provided the physical 
specification, or volumes 5 onwards which provided the schemas/data 
dictionaries, 4GL code and non pilot illustrative actuarial data drawn 
from the national 10 year project. Or perhaps to the "Overview and 
Reviews" which are available through this newsgroup, written by (with 
one exception) other applied psychologists. They knew the project 
criticised their practices too. They were instructed to write *critical* 
reviews. You can see that by what they wrote in the reviews.

In other words, yes, I do know. The question is, does JL? If not, WHY 
not? Why do we see him, and others waste so much time making the remarks 
they do from such clear (to me) positions of *ignorance*? Why do people 
behave this way?

The last sentence is rhetorical as that's what I am talking about. 
People here should ask what THAT reveals about the problematic nature of 
what I keep referring to as "intensional or referential opacity" or the 
failure of Leibniz Law in intensional contexts. That is the subtle point 
which I suggest he (and others) keep missing. They miss this year after 
year after year - despite all the "reading" and counting that they do. 
What was the second and third quote that "Fragments" opens with?

http://www.longley.demon.co.uk/Frag.htm


>
>GS: The experimental analysis of behavior is the modern scientific
>study of behavior. Everything else is mentalism and purports to be
>about some set of dimensions other than what is measured and
>manipulated.
>
>
>JL: Although physicists and biologists are ultimately committed to the
>extensional stance, they may speculate, hypothesize, employ fanciful
>metaphors and even intensionality from time to time - anything that
>helps. Cognitive scientists are no different, and that's how they
>differ from behaviourists.
>
>GS: Cognitive "scientists" differ from behaviorism in that they (CS)
>are incautious with their concepts. Metaphors are useful in science
>but only if they can eventually have a non-metaphorical meaning. It is
>a mistake to confuse the sort of speculation that takes place in
>physics with the verbal promiscuity of cognitive "scientists." This is
>a favorite ploy of lamers like Joe; "See, we're just like physicists.
>Aren't we so very clever?" This is scientism, not science.
>
>As to me not knowing exactly what you were referring to as "cognitive
>science," I wouldn't make so much of it. So some lamers throw together
>a bunch of tenuously related fields under the impetus of a mistaken
>conceptualization of behavior and walk around declaring their
>cleverness and sophistication. Big deal.
>
>
>Joe Legris <jalegris@xympatico.ca> wrote in message

-- 
David Longley
0
David
7/12/2004 1:40:53 PM
In article <6e2f1d09.0407120459.6592e22c@posting.google.com>, Glen M. 
Sizemore <gmsizemore2@yahoo.com> writes
>JL: Actually, Glen didn't know what cog sci is until a few days ago
>when I
>straightened him out. What does that say about the class of
>individuals
>that both you and Glen have spent time teaching? Have you spent
>any time looking into why a modern science of behaviour, equipped with
>the tools and techniques that serve the rest of science so admirably,
>has largely rendered moot issues of intensional or referential
>opacity?

What JL doesn't appear to appreciate is that (and GS says much the same 
below once again) it is precisely because I *HAVE*

"spent.. time looking into why a modern science of behaviour, equipped 
with the tools and techniques that serve the rest of science so 
admirably, has largely rendered moot issues of intensional or 
referential opacity?"

That is, the EAB and Applied Analysis of Behaviour (PROfiling and 
PROgramming Behaviour) does precisely that. The covers of the 10 volumes 
of the PROBE project have two sets of symbols on it. One set comprises 
those of the basic connectives of the predicate calculus, quantifiers, 
and Leibniz Law, and the other the equation for logistic regression. I 
referred JL not only to "Fragments" (which is volume 1 of the PROBE 
project and to the papers on "What Works"), but to volume 2 which 
covered the pilots run in two maximum security prisons over a two year 
period. Note, these were not minor "experiments" but systems of regime 
and sentence management for an entire prison population. JL could also 
have tried to find out about volume 3 which provided the system's 
functional specification, or to volume 4 which provided the physical 
specification, or volumes 5 onwards which provided the schemas/data 
dictionaries, 4GL code and non pilot illustrative actuarial data drawn 
from the national 10 year project. Or perhaps to the "Overview and 
Reviews" which are available through this newsgroup, written by (with 
one exception) other applied psychologists. They knew the project 
criticised their practices too. They were instructed to write *critical* 
reviews. You can see that by what they wrote in the reviews.

In other words, yes, I do know. The question is, does JL? If not, WHY 
not? Why do we see him, and others waste so much time making the remarks 
they do from such clear (to me) positions of *ignorance*? Why do people 
behave this way?

The last sentence is rhetorical as that's what I am talking about. 
People here should ask what THAT reveals about the problematic nature of 
what I keep referring to as "intensional or referential opacity" or the 
failure of Leibniz Law in intensional contexts. That is the subtle point 
which I suggest he (and others) keep missing. They miss this year after 
year after year - despite all the "reading" and counting that they do. 
What was the second and third quote that "Fragments" opens with?

http://www.longley.demon.co.uk/Frag.htm


Refs:

<http://www.google.co.uk/groups?selm=874980870snz@longley.demon.co.uk>

<http://www.google.co.uk/groups?selm=cDF8fiyqK3e$EwHW@longley.demon.co.uk
 >

<http://www.google.co.uk/groups?selm=4pno8o%2477l%40totara.its.vuw.ac.nz&
output=gplain>
>
>GS: The experimental analysis of behavior is the modern scientific
>study of behavior. Everything else is mentalism and purports to be
>about some set of dimensions other than what is measured and
>manipulated.
>
>
>JL: Although physicists and biologists are ultimately committed to the
>extensional stance, they may speculate, hypothesize, employ fanciful
>metaphors and even intensionality from time to time - anything that
>helps. Cognitive scientists are no different, and that's how they
>differ from behaviourists.
>
>GS: Cognitive "scientists" differ from behaviorism in that they (CS)
>are incautious with their concepts. Metaphors are useful in science
>but only if they can eventually have a non-metaphorical meaning. It is
>a mistake to confuse the sort of speculation that takes place in
>physics with the verbal promiscuity of cognitive "scientists." This is
>a favorite ploy of lamers like Joe; "See, we're just like physicists.
>Aren't we so very clever?" This is scientism, not science.
>
>As to me not knowing exactly what you were referring to as "cognitive
>science," I wouldn't make so much of it. So some lamers throw together
>a bunch of tenuously related fields under the impetus of a mistaken
>conceptualization of behavior and walk around declaring their
>cleverness and sophistication. Big deal.
>
>
>Joe Legris <jalegris@xympatico.ca> wrote in message
-- 
David Longley
0
David
7/12/2004 2:30:25 PM
"Peter F." <effectivespamblock@ozemail.com.au> wrote in message
news:cAHHc.407$QT.10976@nnrp1.ozemail.com.au...
> "Eray Ozkural exa" <erayo@bilkent.edu.tr> wrote in message
> news:fa69ae35.0407051611.69e9b24f@posting.google.com...
> > Try to answer whether you have a mind or not. Do you, for instance,
> > possess a subjective experience? (ie. 1st order consciousness) Do you
> > see colors? Just *what* is this phenomenon? How can we explain it
> > physically?
> >
> > Mind is not simply perception, it is more than that (as it includes
> > such things as planning for instance). What kinds of abilities does
> > *your* brain have in addition to audio-visual/haptic/olfactory etc.
> > perception? What do you call these abilities and their subjective
> > experience?
> >
> > Does the totality of these functions exist?
>
> Seeing red is an photoelectric pattern (or aspect) of What Is going on -
> being reflected at a complex biological (evolved) level of What Is going
on;
> And so on for every conceivable (or not) aspect of What Is going on.
>
> So, one should be very accepting of a fundamental inexplicability of
> everything (or anything) - including of course of the usually implicitly
> extremely ill-defined (hence and usually seldom well-understood) word
> "consciousness".

Why is this not understood (perhaps the mechansims of such are not *yet*
well understood).  But consciousness is awarness.  And consciousness of some
thing is awareness of that thing. Further, pure consciousness without any
things/objects exists.

>
> P
>
>


0
AlphaOmega2004
7/12/2004 3:16:39 PM
"John Hasenkam" <johnh@faraway.> wrote in message
news:40efd95a@dnews.tpgi.com.au...
>
> "Glen M. Sizemore" <gmsizemore2@yahoo.com> wrote in message
> news:2b64cd9306d188c86ca98cd98b30b531@news.teranews.com...
> > Odd that Peter would have referred you to O'Regan and Noe, and then say
> what
> > he does about "seeing red" (but then, Peter is a complete idiot). O& N
is
> > indispensable reading after Science and Human Behavior, About
Behaviorsm,
> > and an undergrad text on behavior analysis. I leave out Verbal Behavior
> > because it is not really possible to read it on your own.
>
> Your recommended reading list is timely. Still haven't tracked down a copy
> of Science and Human Behavior. I'm just wrapping one period of learning
and
> am heading down your way. Tonight I was browsing through an old Skinner
> classic, "Are Theories of Learning Necessary?" I'd rephrase that: "Aren't
> Theories of Learning Pretentious in their Aims?" I liked Skinner's remarks
> that some tend to create theories because they can't find data ... .
>
> Still very much at sea on a lot of this. After listening to Bryan Kolb's
> lecture on brain plasticity I am more convinced than ever that studying
> neurophysiological changes in order to understand how learning occurs is
> just far too premature.

Perhaps we should study how the rocks outside i the garden decay instead.

BWHAHAHAHAHA!



>Kolb himself made this assertion, he even stated at
> the start of the lecture something about the "hypothesis of learning" and
> when one questioner pressed him to explain these remarkable changes in the
> brain after drugs and learning he said little then remarked, "I'm just
> handwaving". Could you elaborate on his cynical remark re "hypothesis of
> learning"?  Or did I misinterpret his remark???
>
> Regards,
>
>
> John.
>
> >
> >
> > "John Hasenkam" <johnh@faraway.> wrote in message
> > news:40efc9eb@dnews.tpgi.com.au...
> > >
> > > "Peter F." <effectivespamblock@ozemail.com.au> wrote in message
> > > news:cAHHc.407$QT.10976@nnrp1.ozemail.com.au...
> > > > "Eray Ozkural exa" <erayo@bilkent.edu.tr> wrote in message
> > > > news:fa69ae35.0407051611.69e9b24f@posting.google.com...
> > > > > Try to answer whether you have a mind or not. Do you, for
instance,
> > > > > possess a subjective experience? (ie. 1st order consciousness) Do
> you
> > > > > see colors? Just *what* is this phenomenon? How can we explain it
> > > > > physically?
> > > > >
> > > > > Mind is not simply perception, it is more than that (as it
includes
> > > > > such things as planning for instance). What kinds of abilities
does
> > > > > *your* brain have in addition to audio-visual/haptic/olfactory
etc.
> > > > > perception? What do you call these abilities and their subjective
> > > > > experience?
> > > > >
> > > > > Does the totality of these functions exist?
> > >
> > > Hey Peter,
> > >
> > > Not true to say seeing red is a photoelectric effect, we see red even
> when
> > > the frequencies are not those we think of as designating red. With age
> the
> > > frequencies hitting the retina change because of change in the
vitreous
> > > matter, but we still see the same colours. Seeing colours is not just
a
> > > product of the visual system, clearly other types of information
modify
> > the
> > > colours we see.
> > >
> > > Consciousness? Some time ago you referred me to paper by O'Regan and
> Noe,
> > > there it still lies on my desk amidst too many other things. Hey, it
was
> > > good enouigh for me. To be honest Peter, these days I'm having trouble
> of
> > > seeing the problem with consciousness and if memory serves me well I
> > recall
> > > you advising me many months ago that at the end of the day we may just
> as
> > > well find that consciousness is really not that hard to understand at
> all.
> > > One way I think about this is to equate questions about consciousness
> and
> > > qualia with questions like: How come there are only two poles in
> > magnetism?
> > > It is just that way, what else is there to explain?
> > >
> > > These days I think brains are good dream machines, they just happen to
> > > create very useful dreams, so I like your radical doubt idea in the
last
> > > paragraph. Reminds me of Dennis Sciama, prof of QM at Oxford I think
who
> > > began his lectures with, "The world is a fantasy, let's find out about
> > it."
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > Trust you are well,
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > John.
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > > Seeing red is an photoelectric pattern (or aspect) of What Is going
> on -
> > > > being reflected at a complex biological (evolved) level of What Is
> going
> > > on;
> > > > And so on for every conceivable (or not) aspect of What Is going on.
> > > >
> > > > So, one should be very accepting of a fundamental inexplicability of
> > > > everything (or anything) - including of course of the usually
> implicitly
> > > > extremely ill-defined (hence and usually seldom well-understood)
word
> > > > "consciousness".
> > > >
> > > > P
> > > >
> > > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> >
> >
>
>


0
AlphaOmega2004
7/12/2004 3:18:17 PM
"David Longley" <David@longley.demon.co.uk> wrote in message
news:Crq7lhIf0B8AFwJO@longley.demon.co.uk...
> Ahh, I think I know the answer to that. What Chomsky and Pinker etc have
> to say just doesn't apply to behaviourists. Apparently, really
> "intelligent" folk (such as the above) naturally know better. In fact,
> they advise others not to argue with "behaviourists", as doing so tends
> to draw attention to them and encourages them to say unhelpful things at
> odds with common sense.

That behaviorists have no explanation for binocular rivalry (among hundereds
of other brain/mind phenomena) shows rad. behaviorists  are not only at odds
with common sense, but that their "science" to be bereft of explanatary
value.  PLease read all the papers at Chalmer's site to gain some knowledge
of these issue before spouting your nonsense again.  Thanks!


0
AlphaOmega2004
7/12/2004 3:35:52 PM
"David Longley" <David@longley.demon.co.uk> wrote in message
news:KgkJHeGlTp8AFwo9@longley.demon.co.uk...
> In article <6e2f1d09.0407120459.6592e22c@posting.google.com>, Glen M.
> Sizemore <gmsizemore2@yahoo.com> writes
> >JL: Actually, Glen didn't know what cog sci is until a few days ago
> >when I
> >straightened him out. What does that say about the class of
> >individuals
> >that both you and Glen have spent time teaching? Have you spent
> >any time looking into why a modern science of behaviour, equipped with
> >the tools and techniques that serve the rest of science so admirably,
> >has largely rendered moot issues of intensional or referential
> >opacity?
>
> What JL doesn't appear to appreciate is that (and GS says much the same
> below once again) it is precisely because I *HAVE*
>
> "spent.. time looking into why a modern science of behaviour, equipped
> with the tools and techniques that serve the rest of science so
> admirably, has largely rendered moot issues of intensional or
> referential opacity?"

No, it has not.




0
AlphaOmega2004
7/12/2004 3:36:51 PM
David Longley wrote:

> Why do people 
> behave this way?
> 
> The last sentence is rhetorical as that's what I am talking about. 
> People here should ask what THAT reveals about the problematic nature of 
> what I keep referring to as "intensional or referential opacity" or the 
> failure of Leibniz Law in intensional contexts. That is the subtle point 
> which I suggest he (and others) keep missing. They miss this year after 
> year after year - despite all the "reading" and counting that they do. 
> What was the second and third quote that "Fragments" opens with?
> 

Yes people should master your subtle point.  However they should also 
ask whether the failure of Leibniz's Law in intensional contexts tells 
us more about Leibniz's Law and less about the problematic nature of 
intensional or referential opacity.  Logic has made some small amount of 
progress in this area since Leibniz.  There are computer agents today 
which make useful transactions across such opaque boundaries.  That the 
elite of the EAB refuse to address this objection on face value, does 
not engender confidence in their paradigm or provide evidence for their 
subtle points.

Newsgroups trimmed.

patty
0
patty
7/12/2004 3:41:44 PM
In article <YiyIc.75439$Oq2.4805@attbi_s52>, patty 
<pattyNO@SPAMicyberspace.net> writes
>David Longley wrote:
>
>> Why do people  behave this way?
>>  The last sentence is rhetorical as that's what I am talking about. 
>>People here should ask what THAT reveals about the problematic nature 
>>of  what I keep referring to as "intensional or referential opacity" 
>>or the  failure of Leibniz Law in intensional contexts. That is the 
>>subtle point  which I suggest he (and others) keep missing. They miss 
>>this year after  year after year - despite all the "reading" and 
>>counting that they do.  What was the second and third quote that 
>>"Fragments" opens with?
>>
>
>Yes people should master your subtle point.  However they should also 
>ask whether the failure of Leibniz's Law in intensional contexts tells 
>us more about Leibniz's Law and less about the problematic nature of 
>intensional or referential opacity.  Logic has made some small amount 
>of progress in this area since Leibniz.  There are computer agents 
>today which make useful transactions across such opaque boundaries. 
>That the elite of the EAB refuse to address this objection on face 
>value, does not engender confidence in their paradigm or provide 
>evidence for their subtle points.
>
>Newsgroups trimmed.
>
>patty

Here's another "subtle point" for you to think about:

Do not computer languages (like all formal languages drawing on logic 
and set theory) take the principle of extensionality as axiomatic? Do 
you not see *why* that is the case?

Why do you think one of the best logicians of the last century urged 
scientists (and philosophers) to exorcise (not exercise) intensions? 
How, where and why did he criticise Carnap?

Look back at what you say above and identify the *assertions*.

-- 
David Longley
0
David
7/12/2004 4:04:22 PM
"John Hasenkam" <johnh@faraway.> wrote in message news:<40f25d70@dnews.tpgi.com.au>...

> > > Anyone who thinks education doesn't entail a good degree of
>  indoctrination
> > > must be un-conscious.
> >
> >
> > Of course, the only real question is .... to what extent?
> 
> Yes, that is important. We can always indoctrinate others to make them think
> well. The student can transcend the teacher, it's just bloody hard work.
> 


Best that you had not used the word indoctrination here in the first
place. That shows a somewhat callous perspective towards education.
Like you, life has dealt me a few blows - eg, auto transmission went
out this past week, on and on - but like Socrates, I choose not to be
entrapped by raw materialism.

And of course, to the enlightened teacher, as opposed to the
egotistical self-same teacher, transcension is the entire point of
education. Only a very poor teacher would say ... "... now students,
I'm going to tell you the truth, and you must never waver from the
path, or else you will become as idiots ...". Now, that IS
indoctrination.

Always better to talk about education in terms of opening students'
minds, in order that they may learn to think for themselves, rather
than closing them, by passing the gas of "absolute anything".
=================


> >
> > There is nothing intrinsically wrong with
> > > indoctrination, it saves a lot of time and trouble for the individual
>  and in
> > > various occupations it saves lives.
> >
> >
> > Now, you're getting very wierd. The ends do justify the means - ??? Of
> > course, I "grew up" in the church with this tradition. Ever hear of
> > Augustine and the concept of "compell them to enter"?
> 
> We're in the army now ... . Indoctrination is practised in many disciplines,
> it saves lives. Okay, I overstated my case. What I do find interesting
> though is how we often point at others being indoctrinated and so
> brainwashed yet fail to realise that to some degree we all share that fate.
> I have no easy outs on this Dan, I really don't know how to think about this
> any further.
> 

Well, IF you're in the army, then you MUST accept the army way - else
you and your comrades will face quick extinction. But, out here, we
don't have to accept those terms. Hardly. How do we play the
prisoner's dilemma?

This ain't no party, this ain't no disco,
this ain't no fooling around

And of course, there are no easy outs in life. We should not expect
them. As a famous philosopher once said ... life is tough and then you
die. The trick is to enjoy it while it plays, rather than to turn into
a grumpy old fart [like my father, for instance] because it doesn't go
the way we wanted, and blame everything else for our problems.
===============
 


> > You might also want to take a look at Freedom Evolves by Dennett. It
> > is to 2004 what BFAD was to 1954. Don't miss the part about the
> > spectre of creeping exculpation. It's not my fault. My car broke down.
> > The bus was late. I didn't have taxi fare. My bicycle had a flat tire.
> > The plane couldn't leave the gate. The air controllers were on strike.
> > We circled for 6 hours over Chicago. My brain cells went on strike.
> > Amyloid is dogging my tracks. My sympathetic nervous system is out of
> > wack. And so it goes.
> 
> Point taken. However, even if I don't believe I am in control of my life to
> the maximal extent I still take responsibility for my actions. I do not
> excuse my failures by reference to some deterministic and\or fatalistic
> stance. 


Congrats, and welcome to Dennett's world of sun and games ;-).

Of course, no one is in total control of anything, but that doesn't
mean you have to submit to domination by others either, does it. All
responsibility inheres to the environment, there is nothing for
autonomous man to take responsibility for. Total horseshit.

The question is always ... to what extent. And the word for today is
..... balance.
====================


Not sure how to approach this problem at the abstract level, except
> to suggest that no matter what point of view we hold, we must still take
> responsibility for our actions because our philosophical position is
> invariably an assumption. Purely pragmatic, I think that once we start to
> use philosophy to excuse our failings we are in deep trouble. Pragmatism
> works, we focus on actions and outcomes. Once we get into murky waters about
> locus of control etc, well one just has to see how the legal world gets into
> a real muddle as a result. Difficult stuff.
> 
> You're making my brain hurt.


Yes, I'm sure. [that's sarcasm, BTW].
 
Society doesn't work if the members cannot be held responsible for
their personal actions - at least to some extent. The Sumerians were
the first to codify this. 5000 years later, it's still the only good
way to run a society. Primitive man, Enkidu in the wilderness can do
what he wants. Utopia is just a fantasy in a philosopher's mind. The
rest of us have to think before we act.

If you spend 24 hours a day worrying about philosophy, then you have 0
hours left to live a life. It's your choice. I'd say the proper blend
is 2% devoted to philosophy, 98% to living.
0
feedbackdroids
7/12/2004 6:09:15 PM
David Longley wrote:
....snip...
> In other words, yes, I do know. The question is, does JL? If not, WHY 
> not? Why do we see him, and others waste so much time making the remarks 
> they do from such clear (to me) positions of *ignorance*? Why do people 
> behave this way?

Because the First Amendment guarantees Freedom of Speech. Americans have 
taken that to mean that all speech is equally valuable.

They are, of course, mistaken.


0
Wolf
7/12/2004 6:35:16 PM
AlphaOmega2004 wrote:

....snip...
> 
> Why is this not understood (perhaps the mechansims of such are not *yet*
> well understood).  But consciousness is awarness.  And consciousness of some
> thing is awareness of that thing. ...snip ...

Egads, synonyms explain what a thing really is!

Wow! Now the answer to Life, the Universe and Everything can be found by 
consulting a dictionary.

Wonderful!

Alpha Omega200, you are a Genius!



0
Wolf
7/12/2004 6:40:05 PM
In article <8d8494cf.0407121009.43f30a03@posting.google.com>, dan 
michaels <feedbackdroids@yahoo.com> writes
>"John Hasenkam" <johnh@faraway.> wrote in message 
>news:<40f25d70@dnews.tpgi.com.au>...
>
>> > > Anyone who thinks education doesn't entail a good degree of
>>  indoctrination
>> > > must be un-conscious.
>> >
>> >
>> > Of course, the only real question is .... to what extent?
>>
>> Yes, that is important. We can always indoctrinate others to make them think
>> well. The student can transcend the teacher, it's just bloody hard work.
>>
>
>
>Best that you had not used the word indoctrination here in the first
>place. That shows a somewhat callous perspective towards education.
>Like you, life has dealt me a few blows - eg, auto transmission went
>out this past week, on and on - but like Socrates, I choose not to be
>entrapped by raw materialism.
>
>And of course, to the enlightened teacher, as opposed to the
>egotistical self-same teacher, transcension is the entire point of
>education. Only a very poor teacher would say ... "... now students,
>I'm going to tell you the truth, and you must never waver from the
>path, or else you will become as idiots ...". Now, that IS
>indoctrination.

Medical students, engineering students, and others pursuing training 
programmes which ultimately take them into professions which hold them 
accountable for their actions, would, I suggest, disagree. The kinder 
ones might point out that you are writing idiotic nonsense to bring the 
point home. Others, I fear would just say something "nice" (having 
already written you off as incorrigibly idiotic) - just because that's 
they've been "indoctrinated" into behaving that "socially polite" way.

Note - that I tell you that you're an idiot. What you do in response to 
that is why enlightened others will usually just say "nice" things to 
you.

>
>Always better to talk about education in terms of opening students'
>minds, in order that they may learn to think for themselves, rather
>than closing them, by passing the gas of "absolute anything".
>=================
>
Idiot!
>
>> >
>> > There is nothing intrinsically wrong with
>> > > indoctrination, it saves a lot of time and trouble for the individual
>>  and in
>> > > various occupations it saves lives.
>> >
>> >
>> > Now, you're getting very wierd. The ends do justify the means - ??? Of
>> > course, I "grew up" in the church with this tradition. Ever hear of
>> > Augustine and the concept of "compell them to enter"?
>>
>> We're in the army now ... . Indoctrination is practised in many disciplines,
>> it saves lives. Okay, I overstated my case. What I do find interesting
>> though is how we often point at others being indoctrinated and so
>> brainwashed yet fail to realise that to some degree we all share that fate.
>> I have no easy outs on this Dan, I really don't know how to think about this
>> any further.
>>
>
>Well, IF you're in the army, then you MUST accept the army way - else
>you and your comrades will face quick extinction. But, out here, we
>don't have to accept those terms. Hardly. How do we play the
>prisoner's dilemma?
>
>This ain't no party, this ain't no disco,
>this ain't no fooling around
>
>And of course, there are no easy outs in life. We should not expect
>them. As a famous philosopher once said ... life is tough and then you
>die. The trick is to enjoy it while it plays, rather than to turn into
>a grumpy old fart [like my father, for instance] because it doesn't go
>the way we wanted, and blame everything else for our problems.
>===============
>
>
>
>> > You might also want to take a look at Freedom Evolves by Dennett. It
>> > is to 2004 what BFAD was to 1954. Don't miss the part about the
>> > spectre of creeping exculpation. It's not my fault. My car broke down.
>> > The bus was late. I didn't have taxi fare. My bicycle had a flat tire.
>> > The plane couldn't leave the gate. The air controllers were on strike.
>> > We circled for 6 hours over Chicago. My brain cells went on strike.
>> > Amyloid is dogging my tracks. My sympathetic nervous system is out of
>> > wack. And so it goes.
>>
>> Point taken. However, even if I don't believe I am in control of my life to
>> the maximal extent I still take responsibility for my actions. I do not
>> excuse my failures by reference to some deterministic and\or fatalistic
>> stance.
>
>
>Congrats, and welcome to Dennett's world of sun and games ;-).
>
>Of course, no one is in total control of anything, but that doesn't
>mean you have to submit to domination by others either, does it. All
>responsibility inheres to the environment, there is nothing for
>autonomous man to take responsibility for. Total horseshit.
>
>The question is always ... to what extent. And the word for today is
>.... balance.
>====================
>
>
>Not sure how to approach this problem at the abstract level, except
>> to suggest that no matter what point of view we hold, we must still take
>> responsibility for our actions because our philosophical position is
>> invariably an assumption. Purely pragmatic, I think that once we start to
>> use philosophy to excuse our failings we are in deep trouble. Pragmatism
>> works, we focus on actions and outcomes. Once we get into murky waters about
>> locus of control etc, well one just has to see how the legal world gets into
>> a real muddle as a result. Difficult stuff.
>>
>> You're making my brain hurt.
>
>
>Yes, I'm sure. [that's sarcasm, BTW].
>
>Society doesn't work if the members cannot be held responsible for
>their personal actions - at least to some extent. The Sumerians were
>the first to codify this. 5000 years later, it's still the only good
>way to run a society. Primitive man, Enkidu in the wilderness can do
>what he wants. Utopia is just a fantasy in a philosopher's mind. The
>rest of us have to think before we act.
>
>If you spend 24 hours a day worrying about philosophy, then you have 0
>hours left to live a life. It's your choice. I'd say the proper blend
>is 2% devoted to philosophy, 98% to living.

-- 
David Longley
0
David
7/12/2004 7:46:03 PM
"Wolf Kirchmeir" <wwolfkir@sympatico.ca> wrote in message
news:6RAIc.5853$RD4.553775@news20.bellglobal.com...
> David Longley wrote:
> ...snip...
> > In other words, yes, I do know. The question is, does JL? If not, WHY
> > not? Why do we see him, and others waste so much time making the remarks
> > they do from such clear (to me) positions of *ignorance*? Why do people
> > behave this way?
>
> Because the First Amendment guarantees Freedom of Speech. Americans have
> taken that to mean that all speech is equally valuable.
>
> They are, of course, mistaken.
>
>


Freedom from speech does not mean freedom from logic; whatever that is.


John.



0
John
7/13/2004 4:35:22 AM
Here's the thing about you, Peter; you think you're some kind of
intellectual iconoclast, but you're not. You're just a jerk pushing a
sophomoric philosophy via nearly incomprehensible writing, peppered
with your stupid acronyms. Your attacks on my ideas consist of mere
assertion that that I am wrong, or dogmatic, which is pretty much how
silly wannabes attack on USENET since they are unable to offer any
substantive criticism.


"Peter F." <effectivespamblock@ozemail.com.au> wrote in message news:<bhXHc.500$QT.17328@nnrp1.ozemail.com.au>...
> "John Hasenkam" <johnh@faraway.> wrote in message
> news:40efc9eb@dnews.tpgi.com.au...
> >
> > Hey Peter,
> >
> > Not true to say seeing red is a photoelectric effect, we see red even when
> > the frequencies are not those we think of as designating red. With age the
> > frequencies hitting the retina change because of change in the vitreous
> > matter, but we still see the same colours. Seeing colours is not just a
> > product of the visual system, clearly other types of information modify
>  the
> > colours we see.
> 
> 
> You simply plucked your disagreement out of context (you obviously did not
> consider what I wrote in the sentence that followed).
> 
> Anyway, I can easily put up with the fact you did not get what I was saying.
> :-)
> 
> Have gotten used to that most people don't.
> 
> However, I have to exert some self-control not to rip the head off the
> simultaneously genuinely vile and intellectually oh so stale Glen Sizemore.
> 
> Luckily I remember these wise words: "If one argues with a fool the chance
> is he is doing just the same."
> ;-)
> 
> P
0
gmsizemore2
7/13/2004 10:56:19 AM
"Glen M. Sizemore" <gmsizemore2@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:6e2f1d09.0407130256.77b96351@posting.google.com...
> Here's the thing about you, Peter; you think you're some kind of
> intellectual iconoclast, but you're not. You're just a jerk pushing a
> sophomoric philosophy via nearly incomprehensible writing, peppered
> with your stupid acronyms. Your attacks on my ideas consist of mere
> assertion that that I am wrong, or dogmatic, which is pretty much how
> silly wannabes attack on USENET since they are unable to offer any
> substantive criticism.

;-)


0
Peter
7/13/2004 1:46:42 PM
> >And of course, to the enlightened teacher, as opposed to the
> >egotistical self-same teacher, transcension is the entire point of
> >education. Only a very poor teacher would say ... "... now students,
> >I'm going to tell you the truth, and you must never waver from the
> >path, or else you will become as idiots ...". Now, that IS
> >indoctrination.
> 
> Medical students, engineering students, and others pursuing training 
> programmes which ultimately take them into professions which hold them 
> accountable for their actions, would, I suggest, disagree. The kinder 
> ones might point out that you are writing idiotic nonsense to bring the 
> point home. Others, I fear would just say something "nice" (having 
> already written you off as incorrigibly idiotic) - just because that's 
> they've been "indoctrinated" into behaving that "socially polite" way.
> 
> Note - that I tell you that you're an idiot. What you do in response to 
> that is why enlightened others will usually just say "nice" things to 
> you.
> 
> >
> >Always better to talk about education in terms of opening students'
> >minds, in order that they may learn to think for themselves, rather
> >than closing them, by passing the gas of "absolute anything".
> >=================
> >
>  Idiot!



So, Mr-not-quite-a-Dr Longley, exactly who ARE these "secret
genieasses" that have been whispering into your ear for the past 10
years? ......


> > ------------------------
> > From: David Longley (David@longley.demon.co.uk)
> > Subject: Re: Susan Greenfield on the task of philosophers 
> > View: Complete Thread (80 articles)  
> > Newsgroups: comp.ai.philosophy
> > Date: 2004-06-15 12:33:37 PST 
> >  
> > 
> > 
> >>Ahh, for once a good question. The answer comes as a *parable*. And
> >>purely hypothetical ....
> >>
> >>Let's say someone spends 10 years of their life on a forum, in an
> > 
> > area
> > 
> >>they don't even work in, and that they make some 10,000 posts, and
> >>that they receive negative "responses" in return, say 95-98% of the
> >>time. And also that, much of the time, any follow-on "give and take"
> >>devolves into no more than nasty name-calling.
> >>
> > 
> > 
> > Ah, but, speaking hypothetically, what if your sample is biased? What
> > if
> > I receive private e-mails from smarter people who think you guys are 
> > just idiotic examples of exactly what I am talking about and think it 
> > bizarre that it's opaque to you? What if those people are just
> > watching
> > and can see what I've been doing here? What if you aren't including 
> > those people (and that "hypothetical" possibility) in your equation? 
> > What if things are going on all around you without you noticing?
> > ................
0
feedbackdroids
7/14/2004 3:31:22 PM
In article <8d8494cf.0407121009.43f30a03@posting.google.com>, dan 
michaels <feedbackdroids@yahoo.com> writes
>"John Hasenkam" <johnh@faraway.> wrote in message 
>news:<40f25d70@dnews.tpgi.com.au>...
>
>> > > Anyone who thinks education doesn't entail a good degree of
>>  indoctrination
>> > > must be un-conscious.
>> >
>> >
>> > Of course, the only real question is .... to what extent?
>>
>> Yes, that is important. We can always indoctrinate others to make them think
>> well. The student can transcend the teacher, it's just bloody hard work.
>>
>
>
>Best that you had not used the word indoctrination here in the first
>place. That shows a somewhat callous perspective towards education.
>Like you, life has dealt me a few blows - eg, auto transmission went
>out this past week, on and on - but like Socrates, I choose not to be
>entrapped by raw materialism.
>
>And of course, to the enlightened teacher, as opposed to the
>egotistical self-same teacher, transcension is the entire point of
>education. Only a very poor teacher would say ... "... now students,
>I'm going to tell you the truth, and you must never waver from the
>path, or else you will become as idiots ...". Now, that IS
>indoctrination.

Medical students, engineering students, and others pursuing training 
programmes which ultimately take them into professions which hold them 
accountable for their actions, would, I suggest, disagree. The kinder 
ones might point out that you are writing idiotic nonsense, to bring the 
point home. Others, I fear would just say something "nice" (having 
already written you off as incorrigibly idiotic) - just because they've 
been "indoctrinated" into behaving that (polite) way.

Note that I tell you that you're an idiot. What you do in response to 
that, is why enlightened others will usually just say "polite" or "nice" 
things to you (or ignore you altogether).
>
>Always better to talk about education in terms of opening students'
>minds, in order that they may learn to think for themselves, rather
>than closing them, by passing the gas of "absolute anything".
>=================
>
Idiot!
>
>> >
>> > There is nothing intrinsically wrong with
>> > > indoctrination, it saves a lot of time and trouble for the individual
>>  and in
>> > > various occupations it saves lives.
>> >
>> >
>> > Now, you're getting very wierd. The ends do justify the means - ??? Of
>> > course, I "grew up" in the church with this tradition. Ever hear of
>> > Augustine and the concept of "compell them to enter"?
>>
>> We're in the army now ... . Indoctrination is practised in many disciplines,
>> it saves lives. Okay, I overstated my case. What I do find interesting
>> though is how we often point at others being indoctrinated and so
>> brainwashed yet fail to realise that to some degree we all share that fate.
>> I have no easy outs on this Dan, I really don't know how to think about this
>> any further.
>>
>
>Well, IF you're in the army, then you MUST accept the army way - else
>you and your comrades will face quick extinction. But, out here, we
>don't have to accept those terms. Hardly. How do we play the
>prisoner's dilemma?
>
>This ain't no party, this ain't no disco,
>this ain't no fooling around
>
>And of course, there are no easy outs in life. We should not expect
>them. As a famous philosopher once said ... life is tough and then you
>die. The trick is to enjoy it while it plays, rather than to turn into
>a grumpy old fart [like my father, for instance] because it doesn't go
>the way we wanted, and blame everything else for our problems.
>===============
>
>
>
>> > You might also want to take a look at Freedom Evolves by Dennett. It
>> > is to 2004 what BFAD was to 1954. Don't miss the part about the
>> > spectre of creeping exculpation. It's not my fault. My car broke down.
>> > The bus was late. I didn't have taxi fare. My bicycle had a flat tire.
>> > The plane couldn't leave the gate. The air controllers were on strike.
>> > We circled for 6 hours over Chicago. My brain cells went on strike.
>> > Amyloid is dogging my tracks. My sympathetic nervous system is out of
>> > wack. And so it goes.
>>
>> Point taken. However, even if I don't believe I am in control of my life to
>> the maximal extent I still take responsibility for my actions. I do not
>> excuse my failures by reference to some deterministic and\or fatalistic
>> stance.
>
>
>Congrats, and welcome to Dennett's world of sun and games ;-).
>
>Of course, no one is in total control of anything, but that doesn't
>mean you have to submit to domination by others either, does it. All
>responsibility inheres to the environment, there is nothing for
>autonomous man to take responsibility for. Total horseshit.
>
>The question is always ... to what extent. And the word for today is
>.... balance.
>====================
>
>
>Not sure how to approach this problem at the abstract level, except
>> to suggest that no matter what point of view we hold, we must still take
>> responsibility for our actions because our philosophical position is
>> invariably an assumption. Purely pragmatic, I think that once we start to
>> use philosophy to excuse our failings we are in deep trouble. Pragmatism
>> works, we focus on actions and outcomes. Once we get into murky waters about
>> locus of control etc, well one just has to see how the legal world gets into
>> a real muddle as a result. Difficult stuff.
>>
>> You're making my brain hurt.
>
>
>Yes, I'm sure. [that's sarcasm, BTW].
>
>Society doesn't work if the members cannot be held responsible for
>their personal actions - at least to some extent. The Sumerians were
>the first to codify this. 5000 years later, it's still the only good
>way to run a society. Primitive man, Enkidu in the wilderness can do
>what he wants. Utopia is just a fantasy in a philosopher's mind. The
>rest of us have to think before we act.
>
>If you spend 24 hours a day worrying about philosophy, then you have 0
>hours left to live a life. It's your choice. I'd say the proper blend
>is 2% devoted to philosophy, 98% to living.
-- 
David Longley
0
David
7/14/2004 6:04:52 PM
In article <8d8494cf.0407140731.2631d89d@posting.google.com>, dan 
michaels <feedbackdroids@yahoo.com> writes
>> >And of course, to the enlightened teacher, as opposed to the
>> >egotistical self-same teacher, transcension is the entire point of
>> >education. Only a very poor teacher would say ... "... now students,
>> >I'm going to tell you the truth, and you must never waver from the
>> >path, or else you will become as idiots ...". Now, that IS
>> >indoctrination.
>>
>> Medical students, engineering students, and others pursuing training
>> programmes which ultimately take them into professions which hold them
>> accountable for their actions, would, I suggest, disagree. The kinder
>> ones might point out that you are writing idiotic nonsense to bring the
>> point home. Others, I fear would just say something "nice" (having
>> already written you off as incorrigibly idiotic) - just because that's
>> they've been "indoctrinated" into behaving that "socially polite" way.
>>
>> Note - that I tell you that you're an idiot. What you do in response to
>> that is why enlightened others will usually just say "nice" things to
>> you.
>>
>> >
>> >Always better to talk about education in terms of opening students'
>> >minds, in order that they may learn to think for themselves, rather
>> >than closing them, by passing the gas of "absolute anything".
>> >=================
>> >
>>  Idiot!
>
>
>
>So, Mr-not-quite-a-Dr Longley, exactly who ARE these "secret
>genieasses" that have been whispering into your ear for the past 10
>years? ......
>

You appear to have a rather restricted grasp of your history here (as 
you do with other material you are exposed to). A representative sample 
of the above have, in fact, posted here over the years (some of whom you 
have revered). They have commented directly upon your "intellectual" 
delinquency.

I reckon you'd be wiser to consider those remarks the tip of the 
iceberg, and to learn from this rather than making further inane, 
derogatory remarks. Your recent remarks on this matter would seem to 
indicate that to date, you haven't properly learned from *this* 
experience either!
>
>> > ------------------------
>> > From: David Longley (David@longley.demon.co.uk)
>> > Subject: Re: Susan Greenfield on the task of philosophers
>> > View: Complete Thread (80 articles)
>> > Newsgroups: comp.ai.philosophy
>> > Date: 2004-06-15 12:33:37 PST
>> >
>> >
>> >
>> >>Ahh, for once a good question. The answer comes as a *parable*. And
>> >>purely hypothetical ....
>> >>
>> >>Let's say someone spends 10 years of their life on a forum, in an
>> >
>> > area
>> >
>> >>they don't even work in, and that they make some 10,000 posts, and
>> >>that they receive negative "responses" in return, say 95-98% of the
>> >>time. And also that, much of the time, any follow-on "give and take"
>> >>devolves into no more than nasty name-calling.
>> >>
>> >
>> >
>> > Ah, but, speaking hypothetically, what if your sample is biased? What
>> > if
>> > I receive private e-mails from smarter people who think you guys are
>> > just idiotic examples of exactly what I am talking about and think it
>> > bizarre that it's opaque to you? What if those people are just
>> > watching
>> > and can see what I've been doing here? What if you aren't including
>> > those people (and that "hypothetical" possibility) in your equation?
>> > What if things are going on all around you without you noticing?
>> > ................

-- 
David Longley
0
David
7/14/2004 6:35:07 PM
> 
> You appear to have a rather restricted grasp of your history here (as 
> you do with other material you are exposed to). A representative sample 
> of the above have, in fact, posted here over the years (some of whom you 
> have revered). They have commented directly upon your "intellectual" 
> delinquency.


Ah, it's rather remarkable that people I should revere have been
making secret comments to you for 10 years encouraging you to post
your extreme negativity of opinion to this forum. They seem to find
this forum to be so important they have encouraged you to make it your
negative life's work. Congrats all around. We can see who are the
brains in this outfit. Hello, David, I encourage you to spend the next
10 years of your life on c.a.p. in order to straighten those bounders
out. What else, prey tell, do you have to do with your life.


> >
> >> > ------------------------
> >> > From: David Longley (David@longley.demon.co.uk)
> >> > Subject: Re: Susan Greenfield on the task of philosophers
> >> > View: Complete Thread (80 articles)
> >> > Newsgroups: comp.ai.philosophy
> >> > Date: 2004-06-15 12:33:37 PST
> >> >
> >> >
> >> >
> >> >>Ahh, for once a good question. The answer comes as a *parable*. And
> >> >>purely hypothetical ....
> >> >>
> >> >>Let's say someone spends 10 years of their life on a forum, in an
> >> >
> >> > area
> >> >
> >> >>they don't even work in, and that they make some 10,000 posts, and
> >> >>that they receive negative "responses" in return, say 95-98% of the
> >> >>time. And also that, much of the time, any follow-on "give and take"
> >> >>devolves into no more than nasty name-calling.
> >> >>
> >> >
> >> >
> >> > Ah, but, speaking hypothetically, what if your sample is biased? What
> >> > if
> >> > I receive private e-mails from smarter people who think you guys are
> >> > just idiotic examples of exactly what I am talking about and think it
> >> > bizarre that it's opaque to you? What if those people are just
> >> > watching
> >> > and can see what I've been doing here? What if you aren't including
> >> > those people (and that "hypothetical" possibility) in your equation?
> >> > What if things are going on all around you without you noticing?
> >> > ................
0
feedbackdroids
7/15/2004 3:13:21 PM
feedbackdroids@yahoo.com (dan michaels) wrote in message news:<8d8494cf.0407121009.43f30a03@posting.google.com>...
> Best that you had not used the word indoctrination here in the first
> place. That shows a somewhat callous perspective towards education.
> Like you, life has dealt me a few blows - eg, auto transmission went
> out this past week, on and on - but like Socrates, I choose not to be
> entrapped by raw materialism.
> 
> And of course, to the enlightened teacher, as opposed to the
> egotistical self-same teacher, transcension is the entire point of
> education. Only a very poor teacher would say ... "... now students,
> I'm going to tell you the truth, and you must never waver from the
> path, or else you will become as idiots ...". Now, that IS
> indoctrination.
> 
> Always better to talk about education in terms of opening students'
> minds, in order that they may learn to think for themselves, rather
> than closing them, by passing the gas of "absolute anything".
> =================
> 

The lyrics of a new song I'm working on open with:

Indoctrinated, words clouding the truth...

The heart of the indoctrinated can be cold as stone. It's a dark
world, my friend. And believe me, 99% of the people are indoctrinated
so that they never get past the 1.5th level of consciousness. Like our
lovely behaviorist word drones.

Cheers,

--
Eray
0
erayo
7/15/2004 9:31:31 PM
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "David Longley" <David@longley.demon.co.uk>
Newsgroups:
comp.ai.philosophy,bionet.neuroscience,sci.cognitive,sci.philosophy.meta,com
p.ai.neural-nets
Sent: Wednesday, July 14, 2004 2:04 PM
Subject: Re: death of the mind.


> In article <8d8494cf.0407121009.43f30a03@posting.google.com>, dan
> michaels <feedbackdroids@yahoo.com> writes
> >"John Hasenkam" <johnh@faraway.> wrote in message
> >news:<40f25d70@dnews.tpgi.com.au>...
> >
> >> > > Anyone who thinks education doesn't entail a good degree of
> >>  indoctrination
> >> > > must be un-conscious.
> >> >
> >> >
> >> > Of course, the only real question is .... to what extent?
> >>
> >> Yes, that is important. We can always indoctrinate others to make them
think
> >> well. The student can transcend the teacher, it's just bloody hard
work.
> >>
> >
> >
> >Best that you had not used the word indoctrination here in the first
> >place. That shows a somewhat callous perspective towards education.
> >Like you, life has dealt me a few blows - eg, auto transmission went
> >out this past week, on and on - but like Socrates, I choose not to be
> >entrapped by raw materialism.
> >
> >And of course, to the enlightened teacher, as opposed to the
> >egotistical self-same teacher, transcension is the entire point of
> >education. Only a very poor teacher would say ... "... now students,
> >I'm going to tell you the truth, and you must never waver from the
> >path, or else you will become as idiots ...". Now, that IS
> >indoctrination.
>
> Medical students, engineering students, and others pursuing training
> programmes which ultimately take them into professions which hold them
> accountable for their actions, would, I suggest, disagree.

I doubt it.  You make the mistake in all of your posts in assuming that to
understand something simply means to give the right answers to questions.
And certainly someone who understands something will give the right answers
to all of the questions.  But it's not because they've been "indoctrinated"
or "conditioned" to give the right answers to those questions, but because
they have the basis that allows them to derive the answers based on the fact
that they actually understand the principles.  And you don't get that
understanding by attempting to drive it into their mind by "this is the
right answer, and if you don't accept it, you are an idiot".  What you have
to do is show them WHY it's the right answer, and why it works and is the
right answer in that case.

Let's look at the engineer.  The engineer does have a lot of formulas and
things that they are required to use and follow, but simply forcing those
formulas into their minds is not going to make a good engineer.  At some
point, they may or are likely to come across a problem that they may not be
able to solve if they stick to the complete specifications or formulas, but
if they understand WHY the formulas specify what they should do in those
cases, they may be able to say "Well, according to the formula I have to use
metal of this weight, but that only applies to cases where there isn't this
cross-bracing, and we can do that, so I can solve my problem by not
following the 'rules' because the rule isn't required in this case."  And
that's a great thing.

You can only indoctrinate "rules".  You cannot indoctrinate "understanding".

> Note that I tell you that you're an idiot. What you do in response to
> that, is why enlightened others will usually just say "polite" or "nice"
> things to you (or ignore you altogether).

Of course, your definition of "enlightened" is "people who completely agree
with me".  All truly enlightened people would prefer thoughful people who
are in error than unthoughtful people who are correct


0
Allan
7/15/2004 11:25:09 PM
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "David Longley" <David@longley.demon.co.uk>
Newsgroups:
comp.ai.philosophy,bionet.neuroscience,sci.cognitive,sci.philosophy.meta,com
p.ai.neural-nets
Sent: Tuesday, July 13, 2004 9:43 AM
Subject: Re: death of the mind.


> Here, once again, we have a *maths* graduate making a 'psychological
> appraisal' of what he has been told by an applied (behavioural)
> psychologist viz-a-viz the former's limited awareness of the
> contingencies controlling his behaviour and the consequences.
>
> This characteristic behaviour is why, over the years, I have frequently
> referred to Rickert's behaviour as an illustrative example of the
> intensional, solipsistic folly which all too many maths and "computer
> science" folk appear to be so prone to.

Yes, David, we generally do tend to insist that we know our own minds and
intentions better than other people do, because we have better access to and
spend much more time observing ourselves than others do.  If Neil says that
he places no value on your words, his view is more credible than yours.
Part of the reasoning for this is that I can, in fact, alter my words and
behaviour such that I "fool" you, and present an impression to you and
others that would lead you to the wrong conclusion.  Thus, I can fool you,
and still know what I really mean.  So how can you say that your view is
necessarily better than mine of that?

Moreover, maths and computer science folk don't think about such things as
professionals, but only as actual people living in the world and judging
their own experiences.  That you promote a theory that dismisses all
common-sense experience for no actual reason speaks volumes.


0
Allan
7/15/2004 11:25:45 PM
For those people who might be interested in reading on behaviourism, I don't
recommend reading what David and Glenn suggest, because Quine and Skinner
are probably way too confusing for beginners, and David's "Fragments"
doesn't really say much at all  I did read a good book recently by John
Staddon called "The New Behaviorism: Mind, Mechanism and Society" that does
a pretty good job describing Skinner and other behaviourists, and also
points out some of the flaws and issues and motivations of Skinner.

The only objection I found in it is probably at the heart of the debate here
between the behaviourists and the non-behaviourists.  Staddon is puzzled
that people find worrysome discoveries that say that our conscious
recognition of a decision actually FOLLOWS the activation of the neurons
that will carry out the action.  To him, this doesn't seem confusing or
worrysome at all.  So why do we find the discovery worrysome?  Well, it's
because that by all common sense, our mental deliberations can and in fact
do result in actions being taken.  If it is the case that the action starts
before the decision is "made", then our conscious decisions don't result in
actions.  And that, ultimately, eliminates us as, in any way, intelligent
beings, since intelligent deliberation plays no role in our actions.

However, there is a way around this problem, which is to say that the
deliberation does, in fact, determine the action, but that the action and
the conscious recognition of the action both are the result of a brain event
(or an event) that is the outcome of the deliberation itself.  In short, the
deliberation -- when it reaches its conclusion -- kicks off a brain event
that both instigates the action, and the conscious recognition of it.  And
it is obvious that these don't have to occur together, since we can make
"delayed decisions", where we decide what to do at a future time, and then
do it.



0
Allan
7/15/2004 11:51:25 PM
Allan C Cybulskie wrote:
....snip...
> 
> However, there is a way around this problem, which is to say that the
> deliberation does, in fact, determine the action, but that the action and
> the conscious recognition of the action both are the result of a brain event
> (or an event) that is the outcome of the deliberation itself.  In short, the
> deliberation -- when it reaches its conclusion -- kicks off a brain event
> that both instigates the action, and the conscious recognition of it.  And
> it is obvious that these don't have to occur together, since we can make
> "delayed decisions", where we decide what to do at a future time, and then
> do it.

This explanation is concocted merely to save an a priori assumption, 
namely that deliberations precede actions. Trying to save an a priori 
assumption is not wrong in and of itself, if that assumption is itself 
the result of some viable theory. This sort of thing has been done many 
times in scientific theory building, and continues to be done. But there 
has to be some way of verifying that the posited phenomenon that saves 
the assmption actually occurs. I see some difficulties here, chief of 
which is that we don't know (yet?) how to recognise that deliberating is 
going on, apart from the subject's own reports - and it's the timing of 
those reports that have led to the discovery that activation precedes 
conscious decision to act.

It's possible to determine that a brain/person/animal is "thinking of X" 
by picking up electrical activity in the brain, using that signal to 
trigger an external device, and training the brain/person/animal to 
trigger that device by "thinking of X." That experiment has been done, 
and works - but there is no obvious way to determine that signals of a 
particular pattern constitute "thinking" - whatever "thinking" may be. 
The experiments I'm alluding to don't even demonstrate that thinking 
must be conscious.
0
Wolf
7/16/2004 3:23:43 AM
erayo@bilkent.edu.tr (Eray Ozkural  exa) wrote in message news:<fa69ae35.0407151331.64b9357e@posting.google.com>...
> feedbackdroids@yahoo.com (dan michaels) wrote in message news:<8d8494cf.0407121009.43f30a03@posting.google.com>...
> > Best that you had not used the word indoctrination here in the first
> > place. That shows a somewhat callous perspective towards education.
> > Like you, life has dealt me a few blows - eg, auto transmission went
> > out this past week, on and on - but like Socrates, I choose not to be
> > entrapped by raw materialism.
> > 
> > And of course, to the enlightened teacher, as opposed to the
> > egotistical self-same teacher, transcension is the entire point of
> > education. Only a very poor teacher would say ... "... now students,
> > I'm going to tell you the truth, and you must never waver from the
> > path, or else you will become as idiots ...". Now, that IS
> > indoctrination.
> > 
> > Always better to talk about education in terms of opening students'
> > minds, in order that they may learn to think for themselves, rather
> > than closing them, by passing the gas of "absolute anything".
> > =================
> > 
> 
> The lyrics of a new song I'm working on open with:
> 
> Indoctrinated, words clouding the truth...
> 
> The heart of the indoctrinated can be cold as stone. It's a dark
> world, my friend. And believe me, 99% of the people are indoctrinated
> so that they never get past the 1.5th level of consciousness. Like our
> lovely behaviorist word drones.
> 
> Cheers,


Actually, I was thinking about this after listening to the extreme
opinions of JH and #1. It's probably a fact that the british education
systems are more like what they have mentioned, as compared to the
american system. This would explain a lot - regards someone having
grown up in one, and flunked out of same.

If you've ever heard the song "The Wall" by Pink Floyd - it was indeed
written about the brit eddykational system for a reason. All in all
you're just another brick in the wall. I always the loved the part
about why ya can't have any puddin! "Wrong, Do it again!" "Wrong, Do
it again!"

http://www.pink-floyd-lyrics.com/html/another-brick-2-wall.html

Another Brick in the Wall Part 2 (Waters) 3:56 
---------
We don't need no education 
We dont need no thought control
No dark sarcasm in the classroom
Teachers leave them kids alone
Hey! Teachers! Leave them kids alone!
All in all it's just another brick in the wall.
All in all you're just another brick in the wall.

We don't need no education
We dont need no thought control
No dark sarcasm in the classroom
Teachers leave them kids alone
Hey! Teachers! Leave them kids alone!
All in all it's just another brick in the wall.
All in all you're just another brick in the wall.

"Wrong, Do it again!"
"If you don't eat yer meat, you can't have any pudding. How can you
have any pudding if you don't eat yer meat
"You! Yes, you behind the bikesheds, stand still laddy!"
0
feedbackdroids
7/16/2004 3:54:20 AM
"Wolf Kirchmeir" <wwolfkir@sympatico.ca> wrote in message
news:LRHJc.26579$TB3.1062365@news20.bellglobal.com...
> Allan C Cybulskie wrote:
> ...snip...
> >
> > However, there is a way around this problem, which is to say that the
> > deliberation does, in fact, determine the action, but that the action
and
> > the conscious recognition of the action both are the result of a brain
event
> > (or an event) that is the outcome of the deliberation itself.  In short,
the
> > deliberation -- when it reaches its conclusion -- kicks off a brain
event
> > that both instigates the action, and the conscious recognition of it.
And
> > it is obvious that these don't have to occur together, since we can make
> > "delayed decisions", where we decide what to do at a future time, and
then
> > do it.
>
> This explanation is concocted merely to save an a priori assumption,
> namely that deliberations precede actions. Trying to save an a priori
> assumption is not wrong in and of itself, if that assumption is itself
> the result of some viable theory.

It is NOT an a priori assumption, but is instead an empirical observation.
It appears to us that when we deliberate over a decision, and come to a
conclusion as to what action to take, that the action taken is the one
consistent with the decision and is determined by the decision we made.
This holds particularly true for "delayed decisions", where I decide what to
do in advance and then do it.  It seems obvious to us that when I think "I'm
going to lift my arm and grab the CD" that it is that decision that causes
the action of my lifting my arm and grabbing the CD.

So it isn't an a priori assumption, but is an assumption based on actual
experence.  It could be wrong.

> This sort of thing has been done many
> times in scientific theory building, and continues to be done. But there
> has to be some way of verifying that the posited phenomenon that saves
> the assmption actually occurs. I see some difficulties here, chief of
> which is that we don't know (yet?) how to recognise that deliberating is
> going on, apart from the subject's own reports - and it's the timing of
> those reports that have led to the discovery that activation precedes
> conscious decision to act.

I can lookup the tests that Staddon references again to see how precisely
they showed the seeming precedence of the activation of the neurons of the
action and the conscious recognition of the decision, but surely you noted
that your last comment is, in fact, what my explanation is attempting to
explain while maintaining the idea that deliberation and making a decision
ultimately does determine the action taken.

As for your concerns about the reports of the subject being our only way to
determine that deliberation is occurring, that's only a problem for those
who are more interested in following a certain scientific method instead of
discovering what the truth is.  It would be nice if all propositions had a
nice set of scientific-type experiments, but ultimately the value of
scientific experiments is to explan or create things that people can
themselves directly experience and utilize.  To denigrate the things that
people directly experience and utilize thus is placing the cart before the
horse.

>
> It's possible to determine that a brain/person/animal is "thinking of X"
> by picking up electrical activity in the brain, using that signal to
> trigger an external device, and training the brain/person/animal to
> trigger that device by "thinking of X."

I fail to see why, in humans, that would be a better test than asking them
what they are thinking about -- at least for conscious deliberation, which
is the issue in this example.

> That experiment has been done,
> and works - but there is no obvious way to determine that signals of a
> particular pattern constitute "thinking" - whatever "thinking" may be.
> The experiments I'm alluding to don't even demonstrate that thinking
> must be conscious.

True.  It's clear that for actions, some of them are "automatic", and also
that some of them are consequences to other conscious thoughts.  That being
said, it is the conscious decisions that we are concerned about here,
particularly since those decisions are so crucial to the notion of
intelligence.


0
Allan
7/16/2004 9:44:09 AM
In article <ZLEJc.26181$TB3.1010975@news20.bellglobal.com>, Allan C 
Cybulskie <allan.c.cybulskie@yahoo.ca> writes
>For those people who might be interested in reading on behaviourism, I don't
>recommend reading what David and Glenn suggest, because Quine and Skinner
>are probably way too confusing for beginners, and David's "Fragments"
>doesn't really say much at all  I did read a good book recently by John
>Staddon called "The New Behaviorism: Mind, Mechanism and Society" that does
>a pretty good job describing Skinner and other behaviourists, and also
>points out some of the flaws and issues and motivations of Skinner.

Staddon's book provides an idiosyncratic view of modern behaviourism. 
 From the 70s he had been trying to chip away at some of the fundamentals 
of Skinnerian Radical Behaviorism, and there's no harm in that, in fact, 
it's what good science is all about. Personally, I'm not swayed by much 
of what Staddon says (any more than I was by Herrnstein), and I'm not 
sure many others are, but that doesn't mean I would discourage anyone 
from reading what he writes. Herrnstein in particular took the EAB down 
a new route. The point to grasp is that when one begins to focus on a 
molar and relative response rate analysis of behaviour, one becomes 
concerned with different issues to those when one focuses on a molecular 
and absolute response rate analysis. Both Herrnstein and Staddon took 
the Experimental Analysis of Behaviour down a quantitative route, one 
which all too easily collapses into worst of computationalism and 
cognitivism unless done so with extreme restraint.

 From what you write here, and in your others posts (which I'm not going 
to respond to individually as they just make the same nebulous errors 
that you have made in the past), I don't think you (presently)
have enough grounding to make informed comments on these matters. Having 
said that, you've got my respect for for picking up Staddon's book and 
reading it. Just bear in mind that Staddon is a bit of a heretic. His 
"theoretical behaviourism" is apparently non-mentalistic, but takes part 
of its inspiration from Hull <g>. You could balance some of what he says 
by looking at yet other molar behaviourists like Baum or Rachlin. But 
try to balance that by reading what some of t he traditional 
Skinnerian's are doing, or look at Catania's book "Learning".

PS. Unless you can get Baum, Catania etc to post to c.a.p, it's probably 
unwise to advise others NOT to read what Glen and I suggest.

"Fragments", incidentally, is just part of the theoretical background to 
a large (national) project in Applied Behaviour Analysis - the PROBE 
project.

http://www.longley.demon.co.uk/Frag.htm

But perhaps you're just looking for an interesting read rather than 
anything practically useful.

>
>The only objection I found in it is probably at the heart of the debate here
>between the behaviourists and the non-behaviourists.  Staddon is puzzled
>that people find worrysome discoveries that say that our conscious
>recognition of a decision actually FOLLOWS the activation of the neurons
>that will carry out the action.  To him, this doesn't seem confusing or
>worrysome at all.  So why do we find the discovery worrysome?  Well, it's
>because that by all common sense, our mental deliberations can and in fact
>do result in actions being taken.  If it is the case that the action starts
>before the decision is "made", then our conscious decisions don't result in
>actions.  And that, ultimately, eliminates us as, in any way, intelligent
>beings, since intelligent deliberation plays no role in our actions.
>
>However, there is a way around this problem, which is to say that the
>deliberation does, in fact, determine the action, but that the action and
>the conscious recognition of the action both are the result of a brain event
>(or an event) that is the outcome of the deliberation itself.  In short, the
>deliberation -- when it reaches its conclusion -- kicks off a brain event
>that both instigates the action, and the conscious recognition of it.  And
>it is obvious that these don't have to occur together, since we can make
>"delayed decisions", where we decide what to do at a future time, and then
>do it.
>
>
>

-- 
David Longley
0
David
7/16/2004 9:47:13 AM
In article <ZLEJc.26181$TB3.1010975@news20.bellglobal.com>, Allan C 
Cybulskie <allan.c.cybulskie@yahoo.ca> writes
>For those people who might be interested in reading on behaviourism, I don't
>recommend reading what David and Glenn suggest, because Quine and Skinner
>are probably way too confusing for beginners, and David's "Fragments"
>doesn't really say much at all  I did read a good book recently by John
>Staddon called "The New Behaviorism: Mind, Mechanism and Society" that does
>a pretty good job describing Skinner and other behaviourists, and also
>points out some of the flaws and issues and motivations of Skinner.

It needs to be said that Staddon's book provides an idiosyncratic view 
of modern behaviourism. From the 70s he has been trying to chip away at 
some of the fundamentals of Skinnerian Radical Behaviorism, and there's 
no harm in that. In fact, it's what good science is all about. 
Personally, I'm not swayed by much of what Staddon says (any more than I 
was by some of Herrnstein's in the mid 70s), and I'm not sure how many 
others are (Herrnstein has, on the other hand, been very influential - 
I'm just not sure how much of it has been for the good). That doesn't 
mean I would discourage anyone from reading what either of them have 
written. Herrnstein, in particular, took the EAB down a new route (but 
one should see the Herrnstein-Skinner exchange in 1977 for some context 
- as well as Herrstein's work on IQ from 1973 onwards). The point to 
grasp is that when one begins to focus on a molar and relative response 
rate analysis of behaviour, one becomes concerned with different issues 
to those when one focuses on a molecular and absolute response rate 
analysis of behaviour. This is in part methodological. Both Herrnstein 
and Staddon took the Experimental Analysis of Behaviour down a 
quantitative route, and one which all too easily collapses into worst of 
computationalism and cognitivism unless done so with extreme restraint.

 From what you write here, and in your others posts (which I'm not going 
to respond to individually as in my view, they just make the same 
nebulous errors that you have made in the past). I don't think you 
(presently) have enough grounding to make informed comments on these 
matters. Having said that, you've got my respect for picking up 
Staddon's book, reading it and drawing attention to it here. Just bear 
in mind that Staddon's always been a bit of a heretic. His "theoretical 
behaviourism" is apparently non-mentalistic, but takes part of its 
inspiration from Hull (there's a clue). You could balance some of what 
he says by looking at yet other molar behaviourists like Baum or 
Rachlin. But try to balance that by reading what some of the traditional 
Skinnerian's are doing, or look at Catania's book "Learning". See what 
Glen has to say on this.

PS. Unless you can get Baum, Catania etc to post to c.a.p, it's probably 
unwise to advise others NOT to read what Glen and I suggest.

"Fragments", incidentally, is just part of the theoretical background to 
a large (national) project in Applied Behaviour Analysis - the PROBE 
project.

http://www.longley.demon.co.uk/Frag.htm

In my view, you're still just looking for an interesting read/argument 
rather than for anything practically useful.

>
>The only objection I found in it is probably at the heart of the debate here
>between the behaviourists and the non-behaviourists.  Staddon is puzzled
>that people find worrysome discoveries that say that our conscious
>recognition of a decision actually FOLLOWS the activation of the neurons
>that will carry out the action.  To him, this doesn't seem confusing or
>worrysome at all.  So why do we find the discovery worrysome?  Well, it's
>because that by all common sense, our mental deliberations can and in fact
>do result in actions being taken.  If it is the case that the action starts
>before the decision is "made", then our conscious decisions don't result in
>actions.  And that, ultimately, eliminates us as, in any way, intelligent
>beings, since intelligent deliberation plays no role in our actions.
>
>However, there is a way around this problem, which is to say that the
>deliberation does, in fact, determine the action, but that the action and
>the conscious recognition of the action both are the result of a brain event
>(or an event) that is the outcome of the deliberation itself.  In short, the
>deliberation -- when it reaches its conclusion -- kicks off a brain event
>that both instigates the action, and the conscious recognition of it.  And
>it is obvious that these don't have to occur together, since we can make
>"delayed decisions", where we decide what to do at a future time, and then
>do it.
>
>
>
-- 
David Longley
0
David
7/16/2004 10:48:27 AM
In article <ZLEJc.26181$TB3.1010975@news20.bellglobal.com>, Allan C 
Cybulskie <allan.c.cybulskie@yahoo.ca> writes
>For those people who might be interested in reading on behaviourism, I don't
>recommend reading what David and Glenn suggest, because Quine and Skinner
>are probably way too confusing for beginners, and David's "Fragments"
>doesn't really say much at all  I did read a good book recently by John
>Staddon called "The New Behaviorism: Mind, Mechanism and Society" that does
>a pretty good job describing Skinner and other behaviourists, and also
>points out some of the flaws and issues and motivations of Skinner.

It needs to be said that Staddon's book provides an idiosyncratic view 
of modern behaviourism (see the remarks by another graduate of "The 
Pigeon Lab" 
<http://seab.envmed.rochester.edu/jeab/articles/2002/jeab-77-03-0367.pdf>
..

 From the 1970s Staddon has been trying to chip away at some of the 
fundamentals of Skinnerian Radical Behaviorism. Whilst there's no harm 
in that, and it could be said that that's what good science is all 
about, one has to look at what he writes critically (see Skinner's own 
responses to Staddon in the 1984;1988 BBS volume). Personally, I'm not 
persuaded by much of what Staddon says (any more than I have been by 
what Herrnstein had to say in the mid 70s (see below). I'm not sure how 
many others (who really know the research literature) have been 
persuaded by Staddon either. Herrnstein, on the other hand has, been 
very influential. I'm just not sure how positive that influence will 
ultimately turn out to be. That doesn't mean I would discourage anyone 
from reading what either of them have written (especially Herrnstein). 
Herrnstein, in particular, took the EAB down a new route (but one should 
see the Herrnstein-Skinner exchange in 1977 for some context - and 
especially Herrstein's work on IQ and the meritocracy from the early 
1970s onwards). Suffice it to say hat when one begins to focus on a 
molar and relative response rate analysis of behaviour, one becomes 
concerned with different issues to those which concern one when one 
focuses on a molecular and absolute response rate analysis of behaviour. 
This is in part methodological, but it does have important consequences. 
Both Herrnstein and Staddon took the Experimental Analysis of Behaviour 
down a quantitative route, and in my view it is one which all too easily 
collapses into the metaphysics of computationalism and cognitivism 
unless this is done so with extreme restraint.

 From what you write here, and in your others posts (which I'm not going 
to respond to individually as in my view, they just make the same 
nebulous errors that you have made in the past), I don't think you 
(presently) have enough grounding to make informed comments on these 
matters, and it certainly doesn't justify your recommendations. Having 
said that, you've got my respect for picking up Staddon's book, reading 
it and for drawing others' attention to it here. Just bear in mind that 
Staddon's always been a bit of a heretic. His "theoretical behaviourism" 
is apparently non-mentalistic, but takes part of its inspiration from 
Hull (and there's a warning). Some would say that "theoretical 
behaviorism" *is* methodological behaviourism, aka "cognitivism"! You 
could balance some of what he says by looking at yet other molar 
behaviourists like Baum or Rachlin. But try to balance that by reading 
what some of the traditional Skinnerian's are doing, or look at 
Catania's book "Learning", or Zuriff's book on the philosophy of 
behaviourism "Behaviorism: A Conceptual Reconstruction" 1985. Better 
still, for a contemporary perspective, you should see what Glen Sizemore 
has to say on all of this.

PS. Unless you can get Baum, Catania etc to post to c.a.p, it's probably 
unwise to advise others NOT to read what Glen and I suggest.

"Fragments", incidentally, is just part of the theoretical background to 
a large (national) project in Applied Behaviour Analysis - the PROBE 
project.

http://www.longley.demon.co.uk/Frag.htm

In my view, you're still just looking for an interesting read/argument 
rather than for anything practically useful.

>
>The only objection I found in it is probably at the heart of the debate here
>between the behaviourists and the non-behaviourists.  Staddon is puzzled
>that people find worrysome discoveries that say that our conscious
>recognition of a decision actually FOLLOWS the activation of the neurons
>that will carry out the action.  To him, this doesn't seem confusing or
>worrysome at all.  So why do we find the discovery worrysome?  Well, it's
>because that by all common sense, our mental deliberations can and in fact
>do result in actions being taken.  If it is the case that the action starts
>before the decision is "made", then our conscious decisions don't result in
>actions.  And that, ultimately, eliminates us as, in any way, intelligent
>beings, since intelligent deliberation plays no role in our actions.
>
>However, there is a way around this problem, which is to say that the
>deliberation does, in fact, determine the action, but that the action and
>the conscious recognition of the action both are the result of a brain event
>(or an event) that is the outcome of the deliberation itself.  In short, the
>deliberation -- when it reaches its conclusion -- kicks off a brain event
>that both instigates the action, and the conscious recognition of it.  And
>it is obvious that these don't have to occur together, since we can make
>"delayed decisions", where we decide what to do at a future time, and then
>do it.
>
>
>
-- 
David Longley
0
David
7/16/2004 1:07:27 PM
"dan michaels" <feedbackdroids@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:8d8494cf.0407121009.43f30a03@posting.google.com...
> "John Hasenkam" <johnh@faraway.> wrote in message
news:<40f25d70@dnews.tpgi.com.au>...
>
> > > > Anyone who thinks education doesn't entail a good degree of
> >  indoctrination
> > > > must be un-conscious.
> > >
> > >
> > > Of course, the only real question is .... to what extent?
> >
> > Yes, that is important. We can always indoctrinate others to make them
think
> > well. The student can transcend the teacher, it's just bloody hard work.
> >
>
>
> Best that you had not used the word indoctrination here in the first
> place. That shows a somewhat callous perspective towards education.
> Like you, life has dealt me a few blows - eg, auto transmission went
> out this past week, on and on - but like Socrates, I choose not to be
> entrapped by raw materialism.
>
> And of course, to the enlightened teacher, as opposed to the
> egotistical self-same teacher, transcension is the entire point of
> education. Only a very poor teacher would say ... "... now students,
> I'm going to tell you the truth, and you must never waver from the
> path, or else you will become as idiots ...". Now, that IS
> indoctrination.

"A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its
opponents and making them see the light, but rather because
its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows
up that is familiar with the idea from the beginning."

Max Planck

Read some history of science. It took decades for people to accept Darwin's
views and he provided ample evidence.
Most older scientists were very reluctant to accept Einstein's views until
the eclipse studies of 1919, the younger ones not so reluctant.
It took decades to convince doctors to wash their hands.
People still believe in free will. I place a cruel twist on this: we cannot
have free will, but just perhaps our brains do. Brains are running the
world, not us.
Despite some profound problems in quantum mechanics, that became apparent in
the 1930's, many physicists continued working within this framework. Today
other views are being vigourously explored. That's a long time for the
majority to realise that these profound problems demanded a radical change
to the theory.

Billions of people embrace varying religious positions: you can't elected in
the USA if you're an atheist. In France I believe the opposite is true.

If education does not involve indoctrination please explain:

Why it can take a generation for new ideas to be readily accepted by the
majority.
Why old ideas, even when repeatedly demonstrated to be false, persist.
Why even well educated people persist in beliefs that are bunkum.

A poignant example of how easily people can be indoctrinated. Pretty fMRI's:
active areas and quiet areas. My arse, as Rachle has pointed out, it is a
matter of contrast, those "quiet" areas are not quiet. And if you look at
the concept of BOLD contrast, well that's one hell of an assumption.


> Always better to talk about education in terms of opening students'
> minds, in order that they may learn to think for themselves, rather
> than closing them, by passing the gas of "absolute anything".
> =================

Ideally, education is about opening up our minds. Practically, the older we
get, the harder that becomes. Aint evolution a bitch. Only a few transcend
their education. I mean to say, consider Freudianism. Now common sense (at
least my common sense did) should indicate that it was total hogwash. ...
I've seen numerous articles referring to "executive functions" : can't be
quantified, isn't defined, no standard to assess executive functions. Yet
people persist in using this buzz phrase even though it fails the primary
tests of a useful scientific idea.

>
> Well, IF you're in the army, then you MUST accept the army way - else
> you and your comrades will face quick extinction. But, out here, we
> don't have to accept those terms. Hardly. How do we play the
> prisoner's dilemma?

Yes we do, there are countless examples of people who refused to tow the
party line (scientific or otherwise), who were ostracised for their views.
Where is freedom? We don't need overt co-ercion to be persuaded, social
pressures, seeking acceptance from others, is usually far more important
than the quest for truth because such acceptance provides immediate and
tangible rewards whereas bucking the trend entails a huge risk.


>
> If you spend 24 hours a day worrying about philosophy, then you have 0
> hours left to live a life. It's your choice. I'd say the proper blend
> is 2% devoted to philosophy, 98% to living.

Karl Popper: The reason why many philosophers are depressed is because they
know they have nothing useful to contribute.

Camus, The Myth of Sisyphus:

"But it is bad to stop, hard to be satisfied with a single way of seeing, to
go without contradiction, perhaps the most subtle of all spiritual forces.
The preceding merely defines a way of thinking. But the point is to live."

In a tangental way Camus touches on something important here. Brains don't
like contradiction, will perform all sorts of somersaults to avoid the same.
Yet as the physicist John Wheeler once advised, "In any discipline find the
strangest thing and then explore it." The sad truth is that most of the time
we avoid the strange things, we hate being strangers in a strange land.

And will people stop calling me a behaviorist. That is insulting to
behaviorists!


Regards,


John.




0
John
7/16/2004 2:32:32 PM
"Allan C Cybulskie" <allan.c.cybulskie@yahoo.ca> wrote in message news:<nnEJc.26165$TB3.1005790@news20.bellglobal.com>...


> You can only indoctrinate "rules".  You cannot indoctrinate "understanding".
> 

Bravo!

"And yet it moves" - famous words of Galileo.
0
feedbackdroids
7/16/2004 3:33:53 PM
Allan C Cybulskie wrote:
> "Wolf Kirchmeir" <wwolfkir@sympatico.ca> wrote in message
> news:LRHJc.26579$TB3.1062365@news20.bellglobal.com...

>>This explanation is concocted merely to save an a priori assumption,
>>namely that deliberations precede actions. Trying to save an a priori
>>assumption is not wrong in and of itself, if that assumption is itself
>>the result of some viable theory.
> 
> 
> It is NOT an a priori assumption, but is instead an empirical observation.
> It appears to us that when we deliberate over a decision, and come to a
> conclusion as to what action to take, that the action taken is the one
> consistent with the decision and is determined by the decision we made.
> This holds particularly true for "delayed decisions", where I decide what to
> do in advance and then do it.  It seems obvious to us that when I think "I'm
> going to lift my arm and grab the CD" that it is that decision that causes
> the action of my lifting my arm and grabbing the CD.
> 
> So it isn't an a priori assumption, but is an assumption based on actual
> experence.  It could be wrong.

It is an assumption, since subjective experience is notoriously 
unreliable. What you feel is happening may not be bear any resemblance 
to what is actually happening. Occasionally, the difference between what 
you feel is happening and what's actually happening is so egregious that 
you notice the discrepancy, and use various objective (ie, external 
observer) techniques to correct the subjective experience.

Hence my cliam that "deliberation precedes action" is an a priori 
assumption. That it concurs with subjective experience doesn't alter its 
logical status, since it's that subjective experience that needs to be 
explained. A "delayed decision" is a red herring, since the actual 
moment of reaching for the CD is the decision - after all, you need not 
follow through on a delayed decision, which means that you decide to 
follow through - and that's the real decision, not the earlier one.

>>This sort of thing has been done many
>>times in scientific theory building, and continues to be done. But there
>>has to be some way of verifying that the posited phenomenon that saves
>>the assmption actually occurs. I see some difficulties here, chief of
>>which is that we don't know (yet?) how to recognise that deliberating is
>>going on, apart from the subject's own reports - and it's the timing of
>>those reports that have led to the discovery that activation precedes
>>conscious decision to act.
> 
> 
> I can lookup the tests that Staddon references again to see how precisely
> they showed the seeming precedence of the activation of the neurons of the
> action and the conscious recognition of the decision, but surely you noted
> that your last comment is, in fact, what my explanation is attempting to
> explain while maintaining the idea that deliberation and making a decision
> ultimately does determine the action taken.
> 
> As for your concerns about the reports of the subject being our only way to
> determine that deliberation is occurring, that's only a problem for those
> who are more interested in following a certain scientific method instead of
> discovering what the truth is.  It would be nice if all propositions had a
> nice set of scientific-type experiments, but ultimately the value of
> scientific experiments is to explan or create things that people can
> themselves directly experience and utilize.  To denigrate the things that
> people directly experience and utilize thus is placing the cart before the
> horse.

I have no problem with subjective reports - as reports of subjective 
experience. As such, they have their uses; and in therapy, for example, 
they may be crucial. But they aren't any good in telling us what's going 
on in the brain. The experiments you attempt to explain can't be 
explained by an appeal to subjective experience. They were designed to 
find out how the subjective experience of decision making is evinced in 
brain activity. The results were a surprise. If there is anything one 
can extrapolate from them, it's that "conscious deliberation" itself is 
a result of non-conscious processes. IOW, consciousness occurs after the 
fact. Consciousness is a kind of sumnmarising attention-giving. Maybe.

>>It's possible to determine that a brain/person/animal is "thinking of X"
>>by picking up electrical activity in the brain, using that signal to
>>trigger an external device, and training the brain/person/animal to
>>trigger that device by "thinking of X."
> 
> 
> I fail to see why, in humans, that would be a better test than asking them
> what they are thinking about -- at least for conscious deliberation, which
> is the issue in this example.

Because there have been more than enough experiments that show we are 
"thinking about" a lot of things we are not conscious of. See for 
example the experiments testing stroke victims' ability to respond to 
items they cannot see consciously on account of damage to their visual 
cortex.

>>That experiment has been done,
>>and works - but there is no obvious way to determine that signals of a
>>particular pattern constitute "thinking" - whatever "thinking" may be.
>>The experiments I'm alluding to don't even demonstrate that thinking
>>must be conscious.
> 
> 
> True.  It's clear that for actions, some of them are "automatic", and also
> that some of them are consequences to other conscious thoughts.  That being
> said, it is the conscious decisions that we are concerned about here,
> particularly since those decisions are so crucial to the notion of
> intelligence.

It's not at all clear that some actions are the result of conscious 
thoughts. All that is clear is that we believe we are making conscious 
decisions, which is something quite different. Whether that belief is an 
illusion or not remains to be seen, but the evidence sofar suggests 
illusion.

BTW, consciousness is not a necessary element or aspect of intelligence. 
   Nor for that matter is decision-making necessarily a part of 
intelligence. It all depends on what you mean by "intelligence", and 
what evidence you are willing to accept as signs of "intelligence" in a 
person/animal/brain/system/...
0
Wolf
7/16/2004 3:45:00 PM
John Hasenkam wrote:

....snip...
> Yes we do, there are countless examples of people who refused to tow the
> party line (scientific or otherwise),...snip...

Nobody tows a party line. They toe it. Big difference.

This error is becoming so widespread, it will sonn be "correct," and 
some self-styled language expert will invent a silly story explaining 
the absuridty of the dead metaphor hidden in the cliche.

And the other error that surprises me when I read it made by supposedly 
well-schooled  people is "Low and behold!" Like, you're supposed to make 
like a melancholy cow?

:-)



0
Wolf
7/16/2004 3:51:30 PM
In article <40f7e6fb@dnews.tpgi.com.au>, John Hasenkam 
<johnh@faraway.?.invalid> writes
>And will people stop calling me a behaviorist. That is insulting to
>behaviorists!
>
>
>Regards,
>
>
>John.
>

Perhaps for some relief (or just to see some more exasperated writers 
<g>):

<http://www.behavior.org/journals_BP/index.cfm?page=http%3A//www.behavior
..org/journals_BP/BP_contents.cfm>

Behavior and Philosophy, 31, 47-61 (2003)
John C. Malone, Maria E. A. Armento, Stephanie T. Epps
University of Tennessee

WHAT COLOR IS THE SKY ON YOUR PLANET? A REVIEW OF
INVESTIGATIONS IN BEHAVIORAL EPISTEMOLOGY
Hayes, L. J., & Ghezzi, P. M. (Eds.). (1997). Reno, NV: Context Press.

-- 
David Longley
0
David
7/16/2004 4:06:39 PM
AC: For those people who might be interested in reading on
behaviourism, I don't recommend reading what David and Glenn suggest,
because Quine and Skinner are probably way too confusing for
beginners, and David's "Fragments" doesn't really say much at all  I
did read a good book recently by John Staddon called "The New
Behaviorism: Mind, Mechanism and Society" that does a pretty good job
describing Skinner and other behaviourists,[�]

GS: Really? A good job? But how would you know Allen? Within the next
year there will be published, in Behavioural Processes, some reviews
of Staddon's book, the ones I know about are all authored by graduate
students)

[�]and also points out some of the flaws and issues and motivations of
Skinner.

GS: Does he also point out some of John Staddon's motivations? And, of
course, there is again the question of how YOU know that the
criticisms are "accurate," or that Skinner's position has been
accurately represented. You are simply suggesting the route to
"understanding" behaviorism that Longley and I have criticized; namely
that of reading what Skinner's critics say and not what Skinner said.

AC: The only objection I found in it is probably at the heart of the
debate here between the behaviourists and the non-behaviourists. 
Staddon is puzzled that people find worrysome discoveries that say
that our conscious recognition of a decision actually FOLLOWS the
activation of the neurons that will carry out the action.  To him,
this doesn't seem confusing or worrysome at all.  So why do we find
the discovery worrysome?  Well, it's because that by all common sense,
our mental deliberations can and in fact do result in actions being
taken.  If it is the case that the action starts before the decision
is "made", then our conscious decisions don't result in actions.  And
that, ultimately, eliminates us as, in any way, intelligent beings,
since intelligent deliberation plays no role in our actions.

GS: I don't know if Staddon phrased the issue this way (no, I don't
intend to read it - but I have talked to some of the graduate students
that wrote reviews)but it is peppered with problems. Say I decide to
go to Paris instead of London in six weeks - in what sense is the
decision made after the "neurons that will carry out the action?" What
this illustrates is that the language used above is flawed because it
USES colloquial terms instead of casting the issues in technical terms
so that the relation of "decision" to other actions can be explicated.

Colloquially, "deciding" may be invoked anytime a person or animal
does anything "voluntary" (i.e., operant). In this sort of case, the
"decision" as a cause may simply be replaced by the contingencies as a
cause. Physiology can then, someday, tell us how contingencies cause
behavior - how it mediates behavioral function - but there will be
nothing that occurs that we will point to and say "See, the decision
is made right here." Decision will no longer be a concern because it
will be recognized as the animism that it is.

There is another meaning of "decide," however, that should also be
examined. Sometimes it is used when people are actively doing
something that, then, results in other behavior. For example, I might
obtain brochures from the tourist industries in Paris and London.
These we read and compare, maybe in a very painstaking manner.
Eventually, our actions result in us saying to ourselves or others "I
am going to Paris." All of this could be called "making a decision,"
and, even though it is behavior ultimately traceable to contingencies,
it is far more complicated than in the former circumstance where it is
not evident that anything resembling this is occurring at all.

AC: However, there is a way around this problem, which is to say that
the deliberation does, in fact, determine the action, but that the
action and the conscious recognition of the action both are the result
of a brain event or an event) that is the outcome of the deliberation
itself.  In short, the deliberation -- when it reaches its conclusion
-- kicks off a brain event that both instigates the action, and the
conscious recognition of it.  And it is obvious that these don't have
to occur together, since we can make "delayed decisions", where we
decide what to do at a future time, and then do it.

GS: There is a simpler, and less arcane description. First, sometimes
there is nothing going on that could be called "deliberation." Here
deliberation is a metaphor based upon observation of circumstances
where there is some behavior that can be pointed to - such as
obtaining and reading the brochures - that is "deliberation." This
behavior has discriminative (and other) functions that eventually
strengthen (make more probable) other responses, and such behavior is
reinforced (negatively) precisely because it does so. Such behavior
is, of course, mediated by physiology, but when it is understood we
will recognize that describing actual physiology as "deliberation" is
silly.


"Allan C Cybulskie" <allan.c.cybulskie@yahoo.ca> wrote in message news:<ZLEJc.26181$TB3.1010975@news20.bellglobal.com>...
0
gmsizemore2
7/16/2004 4:18:10 PM
From: "Allan C Cybulskie" <allan.c.cybulskie@yahoo.ca>
>
> It is NOT an a priori assumption, but is instead an empirical observation.
> It appears to us that when we deliberate over a decision, and come to a
> conclusion as to what action to take, that the action taken is the one
> consistent with the decision and is determined by the decision we made.
> This holds particularly true for "delayed decisions", where I decide what
to
> do in advance and then do it.  It seems obvious to us that when I think
"I'm
> going to lift my arm and grab the CD" that it is that decision that causes
> the action of my lifting my arm and grabbing the CD.
>

I'm not familiar with Staddon's work, but I take that this
interpretation requires further clarification. The news is that
our conventional "intuitive" approach of saying that decision
precedes action is really inaccurate. But it seems to me to be
equally wrong to propose that action precedes decision. What is
consensus today is that action/decision pairs are integrated
into the same unit (in other words, they are activated at the
same time). Besides, there are several processes that influence
this mechanism, one of them being inhibition. When one thinks
to lift one's arm to grab a CD, one has the option of
"just thinking it", without actually doing it. Several studies
verified that even in this consciously inhibited situation one
activates most of the motor areas involved in the grasping of
the object.

Sergio Navega.


0
Sergio
7/16/2004 6:26:55 PM
Allan C Cybulskie wrote:

> ----- Original Message ----- 
> From: "David Longley" <David@longley.demon.co.uk>
> Newsgroups:
> comp.ai.philosophy,bionet.neuroscience,sci.cognitive,sci.philosophy.meta,com
> p.ai.neural-nets
> Sent: Tuesday, July 13, 2004 9:43 AM
> Subject: Re: death of the mind.
> 
> 
> 
>>Here, once again, we have a *maths* graduate making a 'psychological
>>appraisal' of what he has been told by an applied (behavioural)
>>psychologist viz-a-viz the former's limited awareness of the
>>contingencies controlling his behaviour and the consequences.
>>
>>This characteristic behaviour is why, over the years, I have frequently
>>referred to Rickert's behaviour as an illustrative example of the
>>intensional, solipsistic folly which all too many maths and "computer
>>science" folk appear to be so prone to.
> 
> 
> Yes, David, we generally do tend to insist that we know our own minds and
> intentions better than other people do, because we have better access to and
> spend much more time observing ourselves than others do.  If Neil says that
> he places no value on your words, his view is more credible than yours.
> Part of the reasoning for this is that I can, in fact, alter my words and
> behaviour such that I "fool" you, and present an impression to you and
> others that would lead you to the wrong conclusion.  Thus, I can fool you,
> and still know what I really mean.  So how can you say that your view is
> necessarily better than mine of that?
> 

Yes, but this is not a matter of fact; nor is it a matter which we can 
settle by reasoning or logic.  There are cases where we place no value 
in a person's words; for example when they are babbling, in that case we 
simply mark down in the chart "hebefrenia"; another example is when 
patty's son says to her "I hate you, I want to kill you" then she does 
not take his words at their face value.

No, it is a *political* judgment about a person that governs whether we 
take him at his word or not.  In the case of Longley vs Rickert, both of 
these men are accomplished in their professions, both of them are 
speaking valuable words (my judgment); but neither of them values the 
others words.  So now patty does not value their words about each other. 
After a decade of fighting they have lost respect for each other; 
neither of them can be objective about the other. Now we can join their 
battle and continue to choose political factions and fight within those 
groups.  Or perhaps we can examine the words themselves (not the ones 
about each other, but the ones about the issues) and let them stand or 
fall on their own merits.

Newsgroups trimmed.

patty
0
patty
7/16/2004 6:53:17 PM
"John Hasenkam" <johnh@faraway.> wrote in message news:<40f7e6fb@dnews.tpgi.com.au>...

> >
> > Best that you had not used the word indoctrination here in the first
> > place. That shows a somewhat callous perspective towards education.
> > Like you, life has dealt me a few blows - eg, auto transmission went
> > out this past week, on and on - but like Socrates, I choose not to be
> > entrapped by raw materialism.
> >
> > And of course, to the enlightened teacher, as opposed to the
> > egotistical self-same teacher, transcension is the entire point of
> > education. Only a very poor teacher would say ... "... now students,
> > I'm going to tell you the truth, and you must never waver from the
> > path, or else you will become as idiots ...". Now, that IS
> > indoctrination.
> 
> "A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its
> opponents and making them see the light, but rather because
> its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows
> up that is familiar with the idea from the beginning."
> 
> Max Planck
> 
> Read some history of science. It took decades for people to accept Darwin's
> views and he provided ample evidence.


Well, you are definitely trying to mix things up here. 

We were talking about the difference between a teacher who
indoctrinates versus one who educates his[her] students .... not
whether a group of peer scientists are willing to accept changes to
their pet and/or the extant theories.

Regards education, I was very lucky - in having been trained as an
engineer - rather than in the soft sciences. Engineering largely deals
with principles which are able to be repeated time and again by
essentially all other engineers - so we didn't have to listen to too
many egotistical teachers developing their own pet theories about the
metaphysical.
===============


> People still believe in free will. I place a cruel twist on this: we cannot
> have free will, but just perhaps our brains do. Brains are running the
> world, not us.


If it makes you feel happy, it can't be all that bad - Sheryl Crow.
=================



> If education does not involve indoctrination please explain:
> 
> Why it can take a generation for new ideas to be readily accepted by the
> majority.


Peer scientists as a group are relatively conservative. Abd as
mentioned above, they are not students in the classroom.
==============


> Why old ideas, even when repeatedly demonstrated to be false, persist.


Pure and simple ---> ego. 2 examples that come to mind are Francis
Crick and "his" discovery of how life works, and my old advisor, who
wouldn't even deign to look at data that didn't support his own ideas.

And Kuhn might have something to add to this, too.
===============


> Why even well educated people persist in beliefs that are bunkum.
> 

Bunkum, like beauty, is *ALL* in the mind of the holder. You should
know that. It's opinion. Your bunkum is another man's truth, and your
truth is bunkum to another man.

Your statement makes sense ONLY if you believe you have the absolute
truth - and I can tell you right now ... neither you nor anyone has
the absolute truth about anything. If someone stands up, and tries to
tell you he has the truth and what everyone else believes is bunkum,
you had best tell him to go join a seminary - or maybe write a book.

*IF* it sells, then at least he came claim a small following of
believers.
=================



> > Always better to talk about education in terms of opening students'
> > minds, in order that they may learn to think for themselves, rather
> > than closing them, by passing the gas of "absolute anything".
> > =================
> 
> Ideally, education is about opening up our minds. Practically, the older we
> get, the harder that becomes. Aint evolution a bitch. Only a few transcend
> their education. 


Only a few thranscend their education, but they are the few that are
responsible for just about all of the forward progress too. An
educator plays to that, knowing that most of the students only want a
job and a car and they'll be satisfied to graduate, but there are the
few who will not be so easily satisfied. So ....

..... do you bring them all down to the lowest level, or try to bring
at least some of them up to a higher level?

Maybe you've just been away from school for too long, or are a
graduate of a somewhat restrictive educational process.
=================


> > Well, IF you're in the army, then you MUST accept the army way - else
> > you and your comrades will face quick extinction. But, out here, we
> > don't have to accept those terms. Hardly. How do we play the
> > prisoner's dilemma?
> 
> Yes we do, there are countless examples of people who refused to tow the
> party line (scientific or otherwise), who were ostracised for their views.


I think what history shows is that it is very rarely the "joiners" who
are responsible for forward progress - rather the independent thinkers
who are not so willing to settle for just a little peer approval.
That's where the real equity is.

Name all the great men. In general, they were all self-made men and
independent thinkers. How many worked by committee?
===============


> Where is freedom? We don't need overt co-ercion to be persuaded, social
> pressures, seeking acceptance from others, is usually far more important
> than the quest for truth because such acceptance provides immediate and
> tangible rewards whereas bucking the trend entails a huge risk.


As just mentioned .... to wit, the army privates and the "joiners"
rarely are on the fork in the road leading to progress.
===============

 
> >
> > If you spend 24 hours a day worrying about philosophy, then you have 0
> > hours left to live a life. It's your choice. I'd say the proper blend
> > is 2% devoted to philosophy, 98% to living.
> 
> Karl Popper: The reason why many philosophers are depressed is because they
> know they have nothing useful to contribute.
> 


Karl was a very smart man, I presume this must mean.
================


> Camus, The Myth of Sisyphus:
> 
> "But it is bad to stop, hard to be satisfied with a single way of seeing, to
> go without contradiction, perhaps the most subtle of all spiritual forces.
> The preceding merely defines a way of thinking. But the point is to live."
> 

Even a toad gets weary of living in a shoebox in the back of a closet.
=================


> In a tangental way Camus touches on something important here. Brains don't
> like contradiction, will perform all sorts of somersaults to avoid the same.
> Yet as the physicist John Wheeler once advised, "In any discipline find the
> strangest thing and then explore it." The sad truth is that most of the time
> we avoid the strange things, we hate being strangers in a strange land.
> 

Hmmm, Wheeler plagiarizing Heinlein. Bad, bad, bad.

And as mentioned several times above, the 98% or so of the masses are
one thing, the other 2% are something else.

We must endeavor not to suppress the minds of the 2nd group while
dealing with mundane issues regards the 1st group. Must'nt we, now.
================


> And will people stop calling me a behaviorist. That is insulting to
> behaviorists!
> 
> 
> Regards,
> 
> 
> John.


Um ... you must be mixing messages. I didn't note use of that word
pertaining to YOU in my preceding posts. However, as one who .... by
his own admission .... is involved in an AI project which is on the
verge of commercialization, why not talk more about some AI in general
- and then other people around here won't be getting so confused.
0
feedbackdroids
7/16/2004 7:55:10 PM
In article <xuVJc.93385$%_6.60230@attbi_s01>, patty 
<pattyNO@SPAMicyberspace.net> writes
>Allan C Cybulskie wrote:
>
>> ----- Original Message -----  From: "David Longley" 
>><David@longley.demon.co.uk>
>> Newsgroups:
>> comp.ai.philosophy,bionet.neuroscience,sci.cognitive,sci.philosophy.meta,com
>> p.ai.neural-nets
>> Sent: Tuesday, July 13, 2004 9:43 AM
>> Subject: Re: death of the mind.
>>
>>>Here, once again, we have a *maths* graduate making a 'psychological
>>>appraisal' of what he has been told by an applied (behavioural)
>>>psychologist viz-a-viz the former's limited awareness of the
>>>contingencies controlling his behaviour and the consequences.
>>>
>>>This characteristic behaviour is why, over the years, I have frequently
>>>referred to Rickert's behaviour as an illustrative example of the
>>>intensional, solipsistic folly which all too many maths and "computer
>>>science" folk appear to be so prone to.
>>   Yes, David, we generally do tend to insist that we know our own 
>>minds and
>> intentions better than other people do, because we have better access to and
>> spend much more time observing ourselves than others do.  If Neil says that
>> he places no value on your words, his view is more credible than yours.
>> Part of the reasoning for this is that I can, in fact, alter my words and
>> behaviour such that I "fool" you, and present an impression to you and
>> others that would lead you to the wrong conclusion.  Thus, I can fool you,
>> and still know what I really mean.  So how can you say that your view is
>> necessarily better than mine of that?
>>
>
>Yes, but this is not a matter of fact; nor is it a matter which we can 
>settle by reasoning or logic.  There are cases where we place no value 
>in a person's words; for example when they are babbling, in that case 
>we simply mark down in the chart "hebefrenia"; another example is when 
>patty's son says to her "I hate you, I want to kill you" then she does 
>not take his words at their face value.
>
>No, it is a *political* judgment about a person that governs whether we 
>take him at his word or not.  In the case of Longley vs Rickert, both 
>of these men are accomplished in their professions, both of them are 
>speaking valuable words (my judgment); but neither of them values the 
>others words.  So now patty does not value their words about each 
>other. After a decade of fighting they have lost respect for each 
>other; neither of them can be objective about the other. Now we can 
>join their battle and continue to choose political factions and fight 
>within those groups.  Or perhaps we can examine the words themselves 
>(not the ones about each other, but the ones about the issues) and let 
>them stand or fall on their own merits.
>
>Newsgroups trimmed.
>
>patty

You need to be clearer on this (ie you need to make a more careful and 
accurate discrimination/report). I criticise Rickert's writings when he 
writes about philosophy and psychology or when he makes ignorant remarks 
about what I have written. That's because so much of what he writes is 
not only naive, ill-informed or false, it's because he has no training 
in these areas, resents correction, and make out that his lack of 
training doesn't matter. If you think this is rational behaviour, I 
think you should you should substantiate this. Why do you think degrees 
in mathematics qualify someone to write on philosophy or psychology any 
more than someone else untrained in those disciplines? I suggest you 
look into this more carefully. You, you will find others who have 
criticised his behaviour in much the same way, if not for these reasons, 
for the consequences. What he has had to say in areas in which he does 
have training or experience (e.g. mathematics) is another matter and I 
have said so on a number of occasions.

-- 
David Longley
0
David
7/16/2004 10:35:06 PM
John Casey wrote:

> "John Hasenkam" <johnh@faraway.> wrote in message
> news:40f7e6fb@dnews.tpgi.com.au...

>>People still believe in free will. I place a cruel twist on this: we
>> cannot have free will, but just perhaps our brains do.
 >> Brains are running the world, not us.
 >
> And who is the "us" if it is not the brain?
> 
> 
> [...]
> 
> --
> John Casey
> 

"Us" is a program the brain is running. Why it does so is a bit of a 
mystery. :-)

0
Wolf
7/17/2004 12:33:08 AM
In article <Ds_Jc.45924$RD4.2136728@news20.bellglobal.com>, Wolf 
Kirchmeir <wwolfkir@sympatico.ca> writes
>John Casey wrote:
>
>> "John Hasenkam" <johnh@faraway.> wrote in message
>> news:40f7e6fb@dnews.tpgi.com.au...
>
>>>People still believe in free will. I place a cruel twist on this: we
>>> cannot have free will, but just perhaps our brains do.
>>> Brains are running the world, not us.
>>
>> And who is the "us" if it is not the brain?
>>   [...]
>>  --
>> John Casey
>>
>
>"Us" is a program the brain is running. Why it does so is a bit of a 
>mystery. :-)
>

ROFL!
-- 
David Longley
0
David
7/17/2004 1:21:56 AM
"dan michaels" <feedbackdroids@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:8d8494cf.0407161155.5b99e97a@posting.google.com...
> "John Hasenkam" <johnh@faraway.> wrote in message
news:<40f7e6fb@dnews.tpgi.com.au>...
>
> >
>
> Hmmm, Wheeler plagiarizing Heinlein. Bad, bad, bad.

Ha! Was wondering if anyone would pick up the old scifi classic reference.
Pity about the novel ending though, an avid scifi reader friend of mine said
that was because the publishers were becoming impatient. It was me
plagiarising Heinlein.


> And as mentioned several times above, the 98% or so of the masses are
> one thing, the other 2% are something else.
>
> We must endeavor not to suppress the minds of the 2nd group while
> dealing with mundane issues regards the 1st group. Must'nt we, now.
> ================

Oh I wish I knew how to do that.

>
> > And will people stop calling me a behaviorist. That is insulting to
> > behaviorists!
> >
> >
> > Regards,
> >
> >
> > John.
>
>
> Um ... you must be mixing messages. I didn't note use of that word
> pertaining to YOU in my preceding posts. However, as one who .... by
> his own admission .... is involved in an AI project which is on the
> verge of commercialization, why not talk more about some AI in general
> - and then other people around here won't be getting so confused.


Sorry Dan, comment was meant for other souls. As mentioned previously, I
really don't want to state too much more at present. I think the usefulness
of my contribution here is declining rapidly so I'll go back to being a
spectator for a while. Besides, I currently have many thousands of words to
address in relation to my AI involvement. That has been stacking up for
weeks now ... .

Thanks to everyone for the feedback. All the best in your respective
endeavours.


John.



0
John
7/17/2004 7:58:34 AM
"John Casey" <kjcasey@hotkey.net.au> wrote in message
news:40f84cbc$1_1@news.iprimus.com.au...
>
> "John Hasenkam" <johnh@faraway.> wrote in message
> news:40f7e6fb@dnews.tpgi.com.au...
>
> [...]
>
> > "A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its
> > opponents and making them see the light, but rather because
> > its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows
> > up that is familiar with the idea from the beginning."
> >
> > Max Planck
> >
> > Read some history of science. It took decades for people to accept
> Darwin's
> > views and he provided ample evidence.
> > Most older scientists were very reluctant to accept Einstein's views
until
> > the eclipse studies of 1919, the younger ones not so reluctant.
> > It took decades to convince doctors to wash their hands.
>
> Have you read the book "Fabulous Science - fact and fiction in the
> history of scientific discovery" by John Waller. It covers the examples
> you give above and makes you think about how real science is done
> regardless of what the scientists themselves might have you believe.

No. Does he support the general thrust I am driving at?



>
> > People still believe in free will. I place a cruel twist on this: we
> cannot
> > have free will, but just perhaps our brains do. Brains are running the
> > world, not us.
>
>
> And who is the "us" if it is not the brain?

No, brains are much more than us, brains are much smarter than us.
Alternatively, we are more than our brains, our bodies have a certain amount
to do with who we are, as does our environment and history.


Regards,


John


>
> [...]
>
> --
> John Casey
>
>
>



0
John
7/17/2004 7:59:07 AM
"Wolf Kirchmeir" <wwolfkir@sympatico.ca> wrote in message
news:bPSJc.27499$TB3.1137662@news20.bellglobal.com...
> John Hasenkam wrote:
>
> ...snip...
> > Yes we do, there are countless examples of people who refused to tow the
> > party line (scientific or otherwise),...snip...
>
> Nobody tows a party line. They toe it. Big difference.
>
> This error is becoming so widespread, it will sonn be "correct," and
> some self-styled language expert will invent a silly story explaining
> the absuridty of the dead metaphor hidden in the cliche.

Interesting error because:

QWERTY
The key marks, w,e,c,n,m,d,s,a have rubbed off my keyboard.
I haven't used the phrase in ages, don't know about the usage of "tow".
The two words are very similiar and can have a certain sense in the phrase.
Your response is consistent with your other responses.

Whatever, I enjoy kicking against the pricks, and like the phrase
particularly given that in my country "being a prick" has negative
connotations which gives the phrase a humourous aspect with an unusual and
fresh interpretation of just who or what the pricks are.. I have no
intention of suffering like St. Paul.

Now was this deliberate on your part?

"...it will sonn ... "

You playing games with me?

> And the other error that surprises me when I read it made by supposedly
> well-schooled  people is "Low and behold!" Like, you're supposed to make
> like a melancholy cow?

I am the most probably the least well-schooled person on this forum. I hated
school, hated university even more. That's brain damage for you. A touch of
opposition defiant disorder perhaps. That may explain why I've always
enjoyed kicking against the pricks.

So whaddya reckon Wolf, do I have any chance of teaching myself enough about
behaviorism to give myself a useful insight into the same?

Stay well,

John.


0
John
7/17/2004 8:01:07 AM
"Wolf Kirchmeir" <wwolfkir@sympatico.ca> wrote in message
news:LRHJc.26579$TB3.1062365@news20.bellglobal.com...
> Allan C Cybulskie wrote:
> ...snip...
> >
> > However, there is a way around this problem, which is to say that the
> > deliberation does, in fact, determine the action, but that the action
and
> > the conscious recognition of the action both are the result of a brain
event
> > (or an event) that is the outcome of the deliberation itself.  In short,
the
> > deliberation -- when it reaches its conclusion -- kicks off a brain
event
> > that both instigates the action, and the conscious recognition of it.
And
> > it is obvious that these don't have to occur together, since we can make
> > "delayed decisions", where we decide what to do at a future time, and
then
> > do it.
>
> This explanation is concocted merely to save an a priori assumption,
> namely that deliberations precede actions. Trying to save an a priori
> assumption is not wrong in and of itself, if that assumption is itself
> the result of some viable theory. This sort of thing has been done many
> times in scientific theory building, and continues to be done. But there
> has to be some way of verifying that the posited phenomenon that saves
> the assmption actually occurs. I see some difficulties here, chief of
> which is that we don't know (yet?) how to recognise that deliberating is
> going on, apart from the subject's own reports - and it's the timing of
> those reports that have led to the discovery that activation precedes
> conscious decision to act.
>
> It's possible to determine that a brain/person/animal is "thinking of X"
> by picking up electrical activity in the brain, using that signal to
> trigger an external device, and training the brain/person/animal to
> trigger that device by "thinking of X." That experiment has been done,
> and works - but there is no obvious way to determine that signals of a
> particular pattern constitute "thinking" - whatever "thinking" may be.
> The experiments I'm alluding to don't even demonstrate that thinking
> must be conscious.

Thinking (not just cognitive-level conscious awareness but active
imagination at the same level) has this far proven itself to be ON THE WHOLE
adaptive in that it provides BOTH a safe preoccupation (focus of actention)
that delays or prevents futile or hopeless overt behaviour by the individual
by simulating such-like future self-affecting events and self-involving
interactions, AND in that it simulates, and prepares for (including by
auto-generating positive feelings, emotions and optimistic attitudes),
future successful actions that promote the individual's personal _and_ (of
course) reproductive/genetic survival.

No wonder then, that evolution has not bothered to make us capable of easily
(or at all) resolving the gap between 'a certain content of consciousness'
and being conscious of the existence (or not) of such a gap.
;-)

P


0
Peter
7/17/2004 9:20:37 AM
"John Hasenkam" <johnh@faraway.> wrote in message
news:40f7e6fb@dnews.tpgi.com.au...

[...]

> "A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its
> opponents and making them see the light, but rather because
> its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows
> up that is familiar with the idea from the beginning."
>
> Max Planck
>
> Read some history of science. It took decades for people to accept
Darwin's
> views and he provided ample evidence.
> Most older scientists were very reluctant to accept Einstein's views until
> the eclipse studies of 1919, the younger ones not so reluctant.
> It took decades to convince doctors to wash their hands.

Have you read the book "Fabulous Science - fact and fiction in the
history of scientific discovery" by John Waller. It covers the examples
you give above and makes you think about how real science is done
regardless of what the scientists themselves might have you believe.


> People still believe in free will. I place a cruel twist on this: we
cannot
> have free will, but just perhaps our brains do. Brains are running the
> world, not us.


And who is the "us" if it is not the brain?


[...]

--
John Casey



0
John
7/17/2004 9:44:40 AM
In article <xuVJc.93385$%_6.60230@attbi_s01>, patty 
<pattyNO@SPAMicyberspace.net> writes
>Allan C Cybulskie wrote:
>
>> ----- Original Message -----  From: "David Longley" 
>><David@longley.demon.co.uk>
>> Newsgroups:
>> comp.ai.philosophy,bionet.neuroscience,sci.cognitive,sci.philosophy.meta,com
>> p.ai.neural-nets
>> Sent: Tuesday, July 13, 2004 9:43 AM
>> Subject: Re: death of the mind.
>>
>>>Here, once again, we have a *maths* graduate making a 'psychological
>>>appraisal' of what he has been told by an applied (behavioural)
>>>psychologist viz-a-viz the former's limited awareness of the
>>>contingencies controlling his behaviour and the consequences.
>>>
>>>This characteristic behaviour is why, over the years, I have frequently
>>>referred to Rickert's behaviour as an illustrative example of the
>>>intensional, solipsistic folly which all too many maths and "computer
>>>science" folk appear to be so prone to.
>>   Yes, David, we generally do tend to insist that we know our own 
>>minds and
>> intentions better than other people do, because we have better access to and
>> spend much more time observing ourselves than others do.  If Neil says that
>> he places no value on your words, his view is more credible than yours.
>> Part of the reasoning for this is that I can, in fact, alter my words and
>> behaviour such that I "fool" you, and present an impression to you and
>> others that would lead you to the wrong conclusion.  Thus, I can fool you,
>> and still know what I really mean.  So how can you say that your view is
>> necessarily better than mine of that?
>>
>
>Yes, but this is not a matter of fact; nor is it a matter which we can 
>settle by reasoning or logic.  There are cases where we place no value 
>in a person's words; for example when they are babbling, in that case 
>we simply mark down in the chart "hebefrenia"; another example is when 
>patty's son says to her "I hate you, I want to kill you" then she does 
>not take his words at their face value.
>
>No, it is a *political* judgment about a person that governs whether we 
>take him at his word or not.  In the case of Longley vs Rickert, both 
>of these men are accomplished in their professions, both of them are 
>speaking valuable words (my judgment); but neither of them values the 
>others words.  So now patty does not value their words about each 
>other. After a decade of fighting they have lost respect for each 
>other; neither of them can be objective about the other. Now we can 
>join their battle and continue to choose political factions and fight 
>within those groups.  Or perhaps we can examine the words themselves 
>(not the ones about each other, but the ones about the issues) and let 
>them stand or fall on their own merits.
>
>Newsgroups trimmed.
>
>patty

You need to be clearer on this (ie you need to make a more careful and 
accurate discrimination/report). I criticise Rickert's writings when he 
writes about philosophy and psychology or when he makes ignorant remarks 
about what I have written. That's because so much of what he writes is 
not only naive, ill-informed or false, it's because he has no training 
in these areas, resents correction, and makes out that his lack of 
training doesn't matter. If you think this is rational behaviour, I 
think you should substantiate this. Why do you think degrees in 
mathematics qualify someone to write authoritatively on philosophy or 
psychology any more than someone else untrained in those disciplines? I 
suggest you look into this more carefully. You, you will find others who 
have criticised his behaviour in much the same way, if not for these 
reasons, for the consequences. What he has had to say in areas in which 
he does have training or experience (e.g. mathematics) is another matter 
and I have said so on a number of occasions.
-- 
David Longley
0
David
7/17/2004 11:16:24 AM
On Fri, 16 Jul 2004 20:33:08 -0400, Wolf Kirchmeir
<wwolfkir@sympatico.ca> in comp.ai.philosophy wrote:

>John Casey wrote:
>
>> "John Hasenkam" <johnh@faraway.> wrote in message
>> news:40f7e6fb@dnews.tpgi.com.au...
>
>>>People still believe in free will. I place a cruel twist on this: we
>>> cannot have free will, but just perhaps our brains do.
> >> Brains are running the world, not us.
> >
>> And who is the "us" if it is not the brain?
>> 
>> 
>> [...]
>> 
>> --
>> John Casey
>> 
>
>"Us" is a program the brain is running. Why it does so is a bit of a 
>mystery. :-)

So, why is this program the brain is running not the mind?

Regards - Lester

0
lesterDELzick
7/17/2004 4:37:19 PM
"John Hasenkam" <johnh@faraway.> wrote in message news:<40f8dd2e@dnews.tpgi.com.au>...
> "dan michaels" <feedbackdroids@yahoo.com> wrote in message
> news:8d8494cf.0407161155.5b99e97a@posting.google.com...
> > "John Hasenkam" <johnh@faraway.> wrote in message
>  news:<40f7e6fb@dnews.tpgi.com.au>...
> >
> > >
> >
> > Hmmm, Wheeler plagiarizing Heinlein. Bad, bad, bad.
> 
> Ha! Was wondering if anyone would pick up the old scifi classic reference.
> Pity about the novel ending though, an avid scifi reader friend of mine said
> that was because the publishers were becoming impatient. It was me
> plagiarising Heinlein.
> 
> 
> > And as mentioned several times above, the 98% or so of the masses are
> > one thing, the other 2% are something else.
> >
> > We must endeavor not to suppress the minds of the 2nd group while
> > dealing with mundane issues regards the 1st group. Must'nt we, now.
> > ================
> 
> Oh I wish I knew how to do that.
> 


Well, I guess by your lack of responsiveness to the rest of my msg,
you're tacitly admitting that you "were" mixing up indoctrination vs
liberal-education of students with the conservative behavior of
peer-level scientists, in regards how they respond to new or changed
versions of "accepted" theories. Liberal vs indoctrinational
education, versus doctrinaire attitudes of working scientists. Very
different issues.

Regards whether or not to treat all students alongs the line of the
lowest common denominator, or not - of course, that's *THE* problem
every educator needs to learn to solve on his[her] own. As one who has
observed a number of teachers in the field, I'd say the lazy ones
don't try very hard to solve this. They're basically like the students
themselves who wish only to graduate, get a job, and then possibly
never read another book.

OTOH, you have the teachers who do try and find their way through the
issue - they're the ones you remember years later, of course, whereas
all the others are just a blur.

Regards this matter in general, all I can do is refer you to Skinnerd
himself .... the good teacher looks to instill the "positive reasons
for studying" into their students .... as someone else used to post
around here ....

> > Civilization has moved from an aversive control toward a positive
> > approach .... You hear claims occasionally that we've got to
> > start whipping our school boys and girls again, but this simply
> > reminds us that until very recently, education was very aversive ...
> > but there is a movement away from punishment, and an effort to find
> > positive reasons for studying. - B.F. Skinner
0
feedbackdroids
7/17/2004 4:48:33 PM
SN: When one thinks to lift one's arm to grab a CD, one has the option of
"just thinking it", without actually doing it. Several studies verified that
even in this consciously inhibited situation one activates most of the motor
areas involved in the grasping of the object.



GS: One would think that it would probably be this way. After all, thinking
is behavior.



"Sergio Navega" <snavega@intelliwise.com> wrote in message
news:40f81fe3$1_7@news.athenanews.com...
> From: "Allan C Cybulskie" <allan.c.cybulskie@yahoo.ca>
> >
> > It is NOT an a priori assumption, but is instead an empirical
observation.
> > It appears to us that when we deliberate over a decision, and come to a
> > conclusion as to what action to take, that the action taken is the one
> > consistent with the decision and is determined by the decision we made.
> > This holds particularly true for "delayed decisions", where I decide
what
> to
> > do in advance and then do it.  It seems obvious to us that when I think
> "I'm
> > going to lift my arm and grab the CD" that it is that decision that
causes
> > the action of my lifting my arm and grabbing the CD.
> >
>
> I'm not familiar with Staddon's work, but I take that this
> interpretation requires further clarification. The news is that
> our conventional "intuitive" approach of saying that decision
> precedes action is really inaccurate. But it seems to me to be
> equally wrong to propose that action precedes decision. What is
> consensus today is that action/decision pairs are integrated
> into the same unit (in other words, they are activated at the
> same time). Besides, there are several processes that influence
> this mechanism, one of them being inhibition. When one thinks
> to lift one's arm to grab a CD, one has the option of
> "just thinking it", without actually doing it. Several studies
> verified that even in this consciously inhibited situation one
> activates most of the motor areas involved in the grasping of
> the object.
>
> Sergio Navega.
>
>


0
Glen
7/17/2004 10:02:31 PM
"Glen M. Sizemore" <gmsizemore2@yahoo.com> escreveu na mensagem
news:OlhKc.17910$Mh.11894@cyclops.nntpserver.com...
> SN: When one thinks to lift one's arm to grab a CD, one has the option of
> "just thinking it", without actually doing it. Several studies verified
that
> even in this consciously inhibited situation one activates most of the
motor
> areas involved in the grasping of the object.
>
> GS: One would think that it would probably be this way. After all,
thinking
> is behavior.
>

I suppose you're complaining about my use of the word "thinking",
which may be, to a radical behaviorist, an unforgivable sin.
Let's then change that to "patterns of activations" as determined
by fMRI, for instance. Would it make any difference?

Sergio Navega.




>
>
> "Sergio Navega" <snavega@intelliwise.com> wrote in message
> news:40f81fe3$1_7@news.athenanews.com...
> > From: "Allan C Cybulskie" <allan.c.cybulskie@yahoo.ca>
> > >
> > > It is NOT an a priori assumption, but is instead an empirical
> observation.
> > > It appears to us that when we deliberate over a decision, and come to
a
> > > conclusion as to what action to take, that the action taken is the one
> > > consistent with the decision and is determined by the decision we
made.
> > > This holds particularly true for "delayed decisions", where I decide
> what
> > to
> > > do in advance and then do it.  It seems obvious to us that when I
think
> > "I'm
> > > going to lift my arm and grab the CD" that it is that decision that
> causes
> > > the action of my lifting my arm and grabbing the CD.
> > >
> >
> > I'm not familiar with Staddon's work, but I take that this
> > interpretation requires further clarification. The news is that
> > our conventional "intuitive" approach of saying that decision
> > precedes action is really inaccurate. But it seems to me to be
> > equally wrong to propose that action precedes decision. What is
> > consensus today is that action/decision pairs are integrated
> > into the same unit (in other words, they are activated at the
> > same time). Besides, there are several processes that influence
> > this mechanism, one of them being inhibition. When one thinks
> > to lift one's arm to grab a CD, one has the option of
> > "just thinking it", without actually doing it. Several studies
> > verified that even in this consciously inhibited situation one
> > activates most of the motor areas involved in the grasping of
> > the object.
> >
> > Sergio Navega.
> >
> >
>
>


0
Sergio
7/17/2004 10:10:28 PM
"John Hasenkam" <johnh@faraway.> wrote in message
news:40f8dd2f@dnews.tpgi.com.au...
>
> "John Casey" <kjcasey@hotkey.net.au> wrote in message
> news:40f84cbc$1_1@news.iprimus.com.au...
> >
> > "John Hasenkam" <johnh@faraway.> wrote in message
> > news:40f7e6fb@dnews.tpgi.com.au...
> >
> > [...]
> >
> > > "A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its
> > > opponents and making them see the light, but rather because
> > > its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows
> > > up that is familiar with the idea from the beginning."
> > >
> > > Max Planck
> > >
> > > Read some history of science. It took decades for people to accept
> > > Darwin's views and he provided ample evidence.
> > > Most older scientists were very reluctant to accept Einstein's views
> > > until the eclipse studies of 1919, the younger ones not so reluctant.
> > > It took decades to convince doctors to wash their hands.
> >
> > Have you read the book "Fabulous Science - fact and fiction in the
> > history of scientific discovery" by John Waller. It covers the examples
> > you give above and makes you think about how real science is done
> > regardless of what the scientists themselves might have you believe.
>
> No. Does he support the general thrust I am driving at?

Not really. To quote from the book, "Within a decade most scientists,
a large proportion of laymen, even many senior churchmen, had gladly
embraced the essential 'truth' of human evolution". John Waller also
says that Charles Darwin was very much a man of his time.

The eclipse studies of 1919 you mentioned were apparently massaged.

And Joseph Lister's hospital wards were notoriously dirty.

John Waller says the credit in science usually goes to those who cross
the finishing line first whilst those who provided the means for this to
happen are denied a place on the podium.

I am sure those who make breakthroughs in AI will claim all the
credit as well  :)

--
John Casey



0
John
7/17/2004 10:14:45 PM
SN: When one thinks to lift one's arm to grab a CD, one has the option of
> "just thinking it", without actually doing it. Several studies verified
that
> even in this consciously inhibited situation one activates most of the
motor
> areas involved in the grasping of the object.
>
> GS: One would think that it would probably be this way. After all,
thinking
> is behavior.
>

....

SN: I suppose you're complaining about my use of the word "thinking",[.]



GS: I'm not complaining about anything - yet.



SN: [.]which may be, to a radical behaviorist, an unforgivable sin.



GS: It isn't. Thinking is behavior.



SN: Let's then change that to "patterns of activations" as determined by
fMRI, for instance. Would it make any difference?



GS: That's stupid - it misses the whole point. The point is that when you
instruct people to think about behaving in a particular fashion, much of
what goes on in the brain is like what goes on when the person engages in
the full-blown action. It makes sense that it should be like this, since
thinking is behavior. When we privately do things - talking, seeing, etc. we
are doing some of the same things that we do when we engage in the more
public aspects of these sorts of responses.



"Sergio Navega" <snavega@intelliwise.com> wrote in message
news:40f9a4c3_2@news.athenanews.com...
> "Glen M. Sizemore" <gmsizemore2@yahoo.com> escreveu na mensagem
> news:OlhKc.17910$Mh.11894@cyclops.nntpserver.com...


0
Glen
7/17/2004 10:21:46 PM
In article <ZLEJc.26181$TB3.1010975@news20.bellglobal.com>, Allan C 
Cybulskie <allan.c.cybulskie@yahoo.ca> writes
>For those people who might be interested in reading on behaviourism, I don't
>recommend reading what David and Glenn suggest, because Quine and Skinner
>are probably way too confusing for beginners, and David's "Fragments"
>doesn't really say much at all  I did read a good book recently by John
>Staddon called "The New Behaviorism: Mind, Mechanism and Society" that does
>a pretty good job describing Skinner and other behaviourists, and also
>points out some of the flaws and issues and motivations of Skinner.
>
>The only objection I found in it is probably at the heart of the debate here
>between the behaviourists and the non-behaviourists.  Staddon is puzzled
>that people find worrysome discoveries that say that our conscious
>recognition of a decision actually FOLLOWS the activation of the neurons
>that will carry out the action.  To him, this doesn't seem confusing or
>worrysome at all.  So why do we find the discovery worrysome?  Well, it's
>because that by all common sense, our mental deliberations can and in fact
>do result in actions being taken.  If it is the case that the action starts
>before the decision is "made", then our conscious decisions don't result in
>actions.  And that, ultimately, eliminates us as, in any way, intelligent
>beings, since intelligent deliberation plays no role in our actions.
>
>However, there is a way around this problem, which is to say that the
>deliberation does, in fact, determine the action, but that the action and
>the conscious recognition of the action both are the result of a brain event
>(or an event) that is the outcome of the deliberation itself.  In short, the
>deliberation -- when it reaches its conclusion -- kicks off a brain event
>that both instigates the action, and the conscious recognition of it.  And
>it is obvious that these don't have to occur together, since we can make
>"delayed decisions", where we decide what to do at a future time, and then
>do it.
>
>
>
In brief, talking (reporting) is behaviour. This is one class of 
behaviour amongst other classes of behaviours (some of which are 
private, some of which are public).

Yet you have the temerity to remark that "Fragments doesn't really say 
much at all"! Perhaps you should have appended "to me"? Perhaps you 
might then have given some further thought to what it's all about and 
why I (exasperatedly at times) advocate the approach that I do (there 
and elsewhere) at the exclusion of the claptrap which you appear to find 
so beguiling/intriguing.

PS. For those who don't know, Cybulskie's reference is to pages 172-174 
of Staddon's book. The earlier "experiments" by Libet 1979;1981 etc have 
been debated ad nauseam by cognitive "scientists" such as Dennett (1991 
p.153-166), by spiritualists such as Popper and Eccles (1977), by 
Churchland (1981) and by many others contributing to this new genre of 
entertainment (all of whom, I might add, somehow seem to become more 
readable after a bottle or two of wine).
-- 
David Longley
http://www.longley.demon.co.uk/Frag.htm
0
David
7/18/2004 9:10:02 AM
John Hasenkam wrote:
> "Wolf Kirchmeir" <wwolfkir@sympatico.ca> wrote in message
> news:bPSJc.27499$TB3.1137662@news20.bellglobal.com...
....snip...
> 
> I am the most probably the least well-schooled person on this forum. I hated
> school, hated university even more. That's brain damage for you. A touch of
> opposition defiant disorder perhaps. That may explain why I've always
> enjoyed kicking against the pricks.
> 
> So whaddya reckon Wolf, do I have any chance of teaching myself enough about
> behaviorism to give myself a useful insight into the same?
> 
> Stay well,
> 
> John.

Ah, well, John, schooling ain't the same as eddication.

Read the classic texts by Skinner (he overstates his case, but he had 
issues with "soul" etc on account of his religious raising), and read a 
few articles describing actual research. If you want just an "informed 
opinion", that should be enough.

Despite what Lester et al. say, behaviorism explains a lot; radical 
behaviorism is very careful to set limits on those explanations. Some 
people think these limits mean that RB denies the value of attempting to 
explanation outside those limits. I don't think so. It just claims that 
wt present we don't have the tools and methods to go beyond. Note that 
neurology and molecular biology appear to be going beyond those limts, 
but they don't. As Glen says "physiology mediates." That mediation is 
beginning to be analysed, but IMO that analysis is atill at the stage of 
gathering observations that may be useful. Where biology was in the 
17-1800s, IOW. Dawrin's genius was to recognise a pattern or two and 
construct a theory - a theory that subseqeunet research has filled in 
but not refuted. We don't have such a theory of behaviour yet, but IMO 
the behaviorist stance (which says that the environment is an essential 
part of such a theory) will be a central feature.

HTH


PS I'm a lousy typist., so I make typos, but I don'ty make errors., Hah!

0
Wolf
7/18/2004 1:06:23 PM
Lester Zick wrote:

> On Fri, 16 Jul 2004 20:33:08 -0400, Wolf Kirchmeir
> <wwolfkir@sympatico.ca> in comp.ai.philosophy wrote:
....snip..
>>"Us" is a program the brain is running. Why it does so is a bit of a 
>>mystery. :-)
> 
> 
> So, why is this program the brain is running not the mind?
> 
> Regards - Lester
> 


You can call it "the mind" if you like, but be careful: it's very 
difficult to figure just what that program is doing. What you "feel", 
"experience", etc is not the program. Etc.

And of course the program, like any behaviour, can be and is modified by 
experience, that is, by the environment. Some of those mdoifiactions are 
one-offs -- they are developmental stages that can't be reversed. Most 
are the slow and steady effect accumulation we call  "maturing." At 
least in some people.
0
Wolf
7/18/2004 1:13:15 PM
On Sun, 18 Jul 2004 09:13:15 -0400, Wolf Kirchmeir
<wwolfkir@sympatico.ca> in comp.ai.philosophy wrote:

>Lester Zick wrote:
>
>> On Fri, 16 Jul 2004 20:33:08 -0400, Wolf Kirchmeir
>> <wwolfkir@sympatico.ca> in comp.ai.philosophy wrote:
>...snip..
>>>"Us" is a program the brain is running. Why it does so is a bit of a 
>>>mystery. :-)
>> 
>> 
>> So, why is this program the brain is running not the mind?
>> 
>> Regards - Lester
>> 
>
>
>You can call it "the mind" if you like, but be careful: it's very 
>difficult to figure just what that program is doing. What you "feel", 
>"experience", etc is not the program. Etc.

And why is what you feel, experience, etc. not results of the program?
Where do you imagine such things come from, Wolf, if not the program?
What we feel, experience, etc. is part of the "us" is it not?

>And of course the program, like any behaviour, can be and is modified by 
>experience, that is, by the environment. Some of those mdoifiactions are 
>one-offs -- they are developmental stages that can't be reversed. Most 
>are the slow and steady effect accumulation we call  "maturing." At 
>least in some people.

I wouldn't disagree. But the program would seem to be all there is to
explain anything we are, the "us" that the brain is running. At least
I assume you're not suggesting that apart from low level functions
there is any part of the "us" that the brain is not running?

Regards - Lester

0
lesterDELzick
7/18/2004 2:52:21 PM
On Sun, 18 Jul 2004 09:06:23 -0400, Wolf Kirchmeir
<wwolfkir@sympatico.ca> in comp.ai.philosophy wrote:

>John Hasenkam wrote:
>> "Wolf Kirchmeir" <wwolfkir@sympatico.ca> wrote in message
>> news:bPSJc.27499$TB3.1137662@news20.bellglobal.com...
>...snip...
>> 
>> I am the most probably the least well-schooled person on this forum. I hated
>> school, hated university even more. That's brain damage for you. A touch of
>> opposition defiant disorder perhaps. That may explain why I've always
>> enjoyed kicking against the pricks.
>> 
>> So whaddya reckon Wolf, do I have any chance of teaching myself enough about
>> behaviorism to give myself a useful insight into the same?
>> 
>> Stay well,
>> 
>> John.
>
>Ah, well, John, schooling ain't the same as eddication.
>
>Read the classic texts by Skinner (he overstates his case, but he had 
>issues with "soul" etc on account of his religious raising), and read a 
>few articles describing actual research. If you want just an "informed 
>opinion", that should be enough.
>
>Despite what Lester et al. say, behaviorism explains a lot; radical 
>behaviorism is very careful to set limits on those explanations. Some 
>people think these limits mean that RB denies the value of attempting to 
>explanation outside those limits. I don't think so. It just claims that 
>wt present we don't have the tools and methods to go beyond. Note that 
>neurology and molecular biology appear to be going beyond those limts, 
>but they don't. As Glen says "physiology mediates." That mediation is 
>beginning to be analysed, but IMO that analysis is atill at the stage of 
>gathering observations that may be useful. Where biology was in the 
>17-1800s, IOW. Dawrin's genius was to recognise a pattern or two and 
>construct a theory - a theory that subseqeunet research has filled in 
>but not refuted. We don't have such a theory of behaviour yet, but IMO 
>the behaviorist stance (which says that the environment is an essential 
>part of such a theory) will be a central feature.

The problem is that the behavioist position we see is not that the
environment is an essential feature of any theory of behavior but that
the environment is the exclusive determinant of behavior, period.

And it is my impression that as a philosophy of behavior analysis,
behaviorism cannot be invalidated. Behaviorists simply expand
definitions to include whatever behavioral determinants eventuate.
We already see the transfiguration of behaviorist legerdemain to
include physiological interactions. Under such criteria, what are not
behaviorist experimental environmental independent variables?

Once again my impression is that the typical behaviorist would just
respond that any experimentally observable factors are behaviorist
environmental factors. But that just regresses the scientific analysis
to the nature and experimental observability of environmental factors.
Then we're back to the lab coat, forceps, electrode, stopwatch, and
log sheet definition of environmental behavioral experimentation.

The difficulty is that behaviorism is a philosophy and not a science
of behavioral analysis. So the results of behaviorist experimentation
do not confirm or deny behaviorism. They don't confirm or deny
anything except experimental circumstances and behavioral results.
But they don't explain anything else in the sense of showing where
those results come from to the exclusion of other possibilities.

You ascribe this to the general primitive state of behavior analysis.
I ascribe it to the primitive generality of philosophical materialism.
Darwin had no dogmatic foundation for his evolutionary theories and
observations that I'm aware of. And it's materialist dogma that Lester
et al. complain about in connection with behaviorism as a philosophy.

Regards - Lester

0
lesterDELzick
7/18/2004 2:52:22 PM
Lester Zick wrote:
> On Sun, 18 Jul 2004 09:13:15 -0400, Wolf Kirchmeir
> <wwolfkir@sympatico.ca> in comp.ai.philosophy wrote:
> 
> 
>>Lester Zick wrote:
>>
>>
>>>On Fri, 16 Jul 2004 20:33:08 -0400, Wolf Kirchmeir
>>><wwolfkir@sympatico.ca> in comp.ai.philosophy wrote:
>>
>>...snip..
>>
>>>>"Us" is a program the brain is running. Why it does so is a bit of a 
>>>>mystery. :-)
>>>
>>>
>>>So, why is this program the brain is running not the mind?
>>>
>>>Regards - Lester
>>>
>>
>>
>>You can call it "the mind" if you like, but be careful: it's very 
>>difficult to figure just what that program is doing. What you "feel", 
>>"experience", etc is not the program. Etc.
> 
> 
> And why is what you feel, experience, etc. not results of the program?
> Where do you imagine such things come from, Wolf, if not the program?
> What we feel, experience, etc. is part of the "us" is it not?


I said what you feel etc is not the program.

Read!
0
Wolf
7/18/2004 3:49:04 PM
Lester Zick wrote:


> 
> The problem is that the behavioist position we see is not that the
> environment is an essential feature of any theory of behavior but that
> the environment is the exclusive determinant of behavior, period.
> 


False.

0
Wolf
7/18/2004 3:50:04 PM
"John Hasenkam" <johnh@faraway.> wrote in message news:<40f8dd30@dnews.tpgi.com.au>...


> I am the most probably the least well-schooled person on this forum. I hated
> school, hated university even more. That's brain damage for you. A touch of
> opposition defiant disorder perhaps. That may explain why I've always
> enjoyed kicking against the pricks.
> 


Which is why Pink Floyd wrote the song - The Wall - after all, because
of such schooling and such prigs. In a sense I truly feel sorry for
people who grew up in doctrinaire educational systems - meaning those
that close the mind, rather than open it up.
===================


> So whaddya reckon Wolf, do I have any chance of teaching myself enough about
> behaviorism to give myself a useful insight into the same?
> 


So long as you don't accept the tenets of behaviorsim - or anything
much else - as the premature and absolute truth, then you'll do well,
young grasshopper.
0
feedbackdroids
7/18/2004 5:07:07 PM
On Sun, 18 Jul 2004 11:49:04 -0400, Wolf Kirchmeir
<wwolfkir@sympatico.ca> in comp.ai.philosophy wrote:

>Lester Zick wrote:
>> On Sun, 18 Jul 2004 09:13:15 -0400, Wolf Kirchmeir
>> <wwolfkir@sympatico.ca> in comp.ai.philosophy wrote:
>> 
>> 
>>>Lester Zick wrote:
>>>
>>>
>>>>On Fri, 16 Jul 2004 20:33:08 -0400, Wolf Kirchmeir
>>>><wwolfkir@sympatico.ca> in comp.ai.philosophy wrote:
>>>
>>>...snip..
>>>
>>>>>"Us" is a program the brain is running. Why it does so is a bit of a 
>>>>>mystery. :-)
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>So, why is this program the brain is running not the mind?
>>>>
>>>>Regards - Lester
>>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>You can call it "the mind" if you like, but be careful: it's very 
>>>difficult to figure just what that program is doing. What you "feel", 
>>>"experience", etc is not the program. Etc.
>> 
>> 
>> And why is what you feel, experience, etc. not results of the program?
>> Where do you imagine such things come from, Wolf, if not the program?
>> What we feel, experience, etc. is part of the "us" is it not?
>
>
>I said what you feel etc is not the program.

And I asked you why you feel that what you feel is not the program?

>Read!

Respond!

Regards - Lester

0
lesterDELzick
7/18/2004 5:14:27 PM
On Sun, 18 Jul 2004 11:50:04 -0400, Wolf Kirchmeir
<wwolfkir@sympatico.ca> in comp.ai.philosophy wrote:

>Lester Zick wrote:
>
>
>> 
>> The problem is that the behavioist position we see is not that the
>> environment is an essential feature of any theory of behavior but that
>> the environment is the exclusive determinant of behavior, period.
>> 
>
>
>False.

False.

Regards - Lester

0
lesterDELzick
7/18/2004 5:15:11 PM
Leaster: The problem is that the behavioist position we see is not that the
environment is an essential feature of any theory of behavior but that the
environment is the exclusive determinant of behavior, period.



GS: This is true, but it requires some comment. Human behavior can be viewed
as an interaction of four environments: natural selection, cultural
selection, personal history, and the current environment. Here, the term
"current environment" can refer to variables other than "stimuli" and may
include variables such as drugs (see below).

Leaster: And it is my impression that as a philosophy of behavior analysis,
behaviorism cannot be invalidated. Behaviorists simply expand definitions to
include whatever behavioral determinants eventuate.



GS: So, what you are saying is that what behaviorists say about their
subject matter depends on the outcome experiments? Yeah, boy are they
stupid.



Leaster: We already see the transfiguration of behaviorist legerdemain to
include physiological interactions.



GS: You should clarify what you mean here. IMO, it is correct to say that
some stuff that we usually regard as "physiological" are included in
"behavior" when what is measured can be shown to be sensitive to behavioral
manipulations, like contingencies. For example, in the "Hefferline
Experiments" the response that was reinforced could only be detected with
apparatus that measures electrical activity of a few motor units.



Leaster: Under such criteria, what are not behaviorist experimental
environmental independent variables?



GS: Oh, you're talking about independent variables. I'd guess that you are
talking about the fact that I have talked about drug effects. Variables like
type of drug, dose, route of administration, etc. are pharmacological
independent variables (not really "physiological;" these variables also, of
course, affect physiology). But I fail to see any importance of your point.
In JEAB, for example, papers are published where the focus is on the interac
tion of pharmacological and behavioral variables. JEAB would probably not
publish a paper were, for example, one simply used behavior maintained under
a particular schedule of reinforcement to look at agonist/antagonist
interactions.

Leaster: Once again my impression is that the typical behaviorist would just
respond that any experimentally observable factors are behaviorist
environmental factors. But that just regresses the scientific analysis to
the nature and experimental observability of environmental factors. Then
we're back to the lab coat, forceps, electrode, stopwatch, and log sheet
definition of environmental behavioral experimentation.



GS: Gibberish again.

Leaster: The difficulty is that behaviorism is a philosophy and not a
science of behavioral analysis. So the results of behaviorist
experimentation do not confirm or deny behaviorism.



GS: But the results of scientific experiments rarely, in the sense you mean
it, change the assumptions underlying a scientific endeavor.



Leaster: They don't confirm or deny anything except experimental
circumstances and behavioral results.



GS: No, the results can confirm or deny specific hypotheses. But specific
hypotheses are not the assumptions of a science, even though they
(hypotheses) are couched in terms of the underlying concepts. This is not to
imply that behavior analysis is about hypothesis testing as a general
strategy, though this is increasingly the case as everyone "goes
quantitative" in the EAB.



Leaster: But they don't explain anything else in the sense of showing where
those results come from to the exclusion of other possibilities.



GS: Not sure I can see what you mean here; "they," in your sentence, refers
to the "results obtained by the experimental analysis of behavior." That is,
you said: "So the results of behaviorist experimentation do not confirm or
deny behaviorism." So, if we put in "the results," your "insight" becomes:
"But the results don't explain anything else in the sense of showing where
those results come from to the exclusion of other possibilities." The
results don't explain the results - I'd have to agree with that. But, wouldn
't that be true by definition? And thus true for any science? Good
experiments demonstrate, whether they are hypothesis-testing or not, that
changes in the dependent variable are the result of changes in the dependent
variable.



Leaster: You ascribe this to the general primitive state of behavior
analysis. I ascribe it to the primitive generality of philosophical
materialism. Darwin had no dogmatic foundation for his evolutionary theories
and observations that I'm aware of. And it's materialist dogma that Lester
et al. complain about in connection with behaviorism as a philosophy.



GS: More gibberish.



"Lester Zick" <lesterDELzick@worldnet.att.net> wrote in message
news:40fa8031.19919102@netnews.att.net...


0
Glen
7/18/2004 5:34:29 PM
Lester Zick wrote:

>>>
>>>And why is what you feel, experience, etc. not results of the program?
>>>Where do you imagine such things come from, Wolf, if not the program?
>>>What we feel, experience, etc. is part of the "us" is it not?
>>
>>
>>I said what you feel etc is not the program.
> 
> 
> And I asked you why you feel that what you feel is not the program?


No, you asked "And why is what you feel, experience, etc. not results of 
the program?"

Different question, as you should realise, being a programmer.
0
Wolf
7/18/2004 5:40:19 PM
Glen M. Sizemore wrote:

> Leaster: The problem is that the behavioist position we see is not that the
> environment is an essential feature of any theory of behavior but that the
> environment is the exclusive determinant of behavior, period.
> 
> 
> 
> GS: This is true, but it requires some comment. Human behavior can be viewed
> as an interaction of four environments: natural selection, cultural
> selection, personal history, and the current environment. Here, the term
> "current environment" can refer to variables other than "stimuli" and may
> include variables such as drugs (see below).

By "exclusive determinant," Lester appears to mean that there's nothing 
within the organism that determines behaviour. Ie, he seems to think 
that behaviorists believe that absent an external stimulus, there will 
be no behavior whatsoever. This is of course nonsense, since at the very 
least there must be something within the organism that responds to an 
external stimulus. That's why I labelled this paragragh "false" in my 
earlier comment.

BTW, there is IMO another environment, the chemical environment of the 
cell (both within and without) which determines the expression of genes, 
which in turn determine the operation of the cell, which at another 
level of the organism's functioning determines its behaviour. Maybe you 
would include that in "personal history," in which case the latter would 
require analysis at several levels.

Like I said, "It's behaviour all the way down."
0
Wolf
7/18/2004 5:58:43 PM
Leaster: The problem is that the behavioist position we see is not that the
> environment is an essential feature of any theory of behavior but that the
> environment is the exclusive determinant of behavior, period.
>
> GS: This is true, but it requires some comment. Human behavior can be
viewed
> as an interaction of four environments: natural selection, cultural
> selection, personal history, and the current environment. Here, the term
> "current environment" can refer to variables other than "stimuli" and may
> include variables such as drugs (see below).

WK: By "exclusive determinant," Lester appears to mean that there's nothing
within the organism that determines behaviour. Ie, he seems to think
that behaviorists believe that absent an external stimulus, there will  be
no behavior whatsoever.



GS: I did not come away with this impression. I think he is mistaking
"reductionism" with "explanation" - many do.



WK: This is of course nonsense, since at the very  least there must be
something within the organism that responds to an external stimulus. That's
why I labelled this paragragh "false" in my  earlier comment.



GS: But I would not call the "thing" inside the organism "behavior." I
realize that there is a meaning of behavior that is applied to any
phenomenon; but the term "behavior" clearly has a more restricted meaning. A
better refutation of the notion that behavior requires some eliciting
stimulus is the embryological work that shows that organized movements occur
before the sensory systems make any contact with the CNS.

WK: BTW, there is IMO another environment, the chemical environment of the
cell (both within and without) which determines the expression of genes,
which in turn determine the operation of the cell, which at another level of
the organism's functioning determines its behaviour. Maybe you would include
that in "personal history," in which case the latter would require analysis
at several levels.



GS: I'm not sure I would include it at all. It seems reasonable to limit the
variables that one includes in a science. IMO, all of embryology, for
example, is not really part of "behavior analysis," even though behavior
depends critically on events that embryologists talk about. I would include,
as "current environment," things like deprivation and drugs (but not the
chemical environment they induce) because they are variables that have an
immediate and profound impact on the behavior of animals that are "normally
developed."


WK: Like I said, "It's behaviour all the way down."



GS: But the "chemical environment of cells" is not behavior - it affects
behavior. And while it is true that any phenomenon can be said to "behave"
in some particular fashion, it is useful to maintain the distinction between
the behavior of animals and all other forms of behavior.



Cordially,

Glen


"Wolf Kirchmeir" <wwolfkir@sympatico.ca> wrote in message
news:cSyKc.917$Vw3.151292@news20.bellglobal.com...


0
Glen
7/18/2004 8:05:41 PM
You DO realize that your corrections show up as different posts, right, and
that you aren't cancelling them successfully?  This is the third time I've
read this post.

"David Longley" <David@longley.demon.co.uk> wrote in message
news:jX$z6EJPM99AFwGD@longley.demon.co.uk...
> In article <ZLEJc.26181$TB3.1010975@news20.bellglobal.com>, Allan C
> Cybulskie <allan.c.cybulskie@yahoo.ca> writes
> >For those people who might be interested in reading on behaviourism, I
don't
> >recommend reading what David and Glenn suggest, because Quine and Skinner
> >are probably way too confusing for beginners, and David's "Fragments"
> >doesn't really say much at all  I did read a good book recently by John
> >Staddon called "The New Behaviorism: Mind, Mechanism and Society" that
does
> >a pretty good job describing Skinner and other behaviourists, and also
> >points out some of the flaws and issues and motivations of Skinner.
>
> It needs to be said that Staddon's book provides an idiosyncratic view
> of modern behaviourism (see the remarks by another graduate of "The
> Pigeon Lab"
> <http://seab.envmed.rochester.edu/jeab/articles/2002/jeab-77-03-0367.pdf>
> .

From reading it, it seems that that author has the same view of it that I
do: that most of Staddon's comments are basically comments on things that he
didn't think Skinner had to say.  For example, the point about positive
versus negative reinforcement is, in Staddon's work, invalid because the
same problems can occur for positive as for negative reinforcement.  So
Skinner doesn't need to claim that positive is better than negative from a
PRACTICAL viewpoint, thus avoiding the backlash from common sense where we
know from our own histories that sometimes punishment works as well or
better than rewards.

>  From what you write here, and in your others posts (which I'm not going
> to respond to individually as in my view, they just make the same
> nebulous errors that you have made in the past), I don't think you
> (presently) have enough grounding to make informed comments on these
> matters, and it certainly doesn't justify your recommendations.

Sigh.  The fact that I disagree has nothing to do with my knowledge or
understanding of the issues.  I understand them well enough to claim with
all justification that Staddon gives a clearer view of behaviourism that is
more accessible to the average reader than Quine, Skinner, or you do.  And
that is all I claimed.  He is also far more balanced than certainly you,
Glen, and Skinner are ...


> PS. Unless you can get Baum, Catania etc to post to c.a.p, it's probably
> unwise to advise others NOT to read what Glen and I suggest.

I suggest that for those who want to start out learning about the things you
and Glen are trying to talk about, they should start with something clear,
like Staddon.  Perhaps Baum and Catania are clear, but Skinner, Quine and
your paper are certainly not for beginners.

>
> In my view, you're still just looking for an interesting read/argument
> rather than for anything practically useful.

I am looking for things practically useful in dealing with the issues in the
fields that I am currently pursuing, and behaviourism has so far failed to
provide anything in those areas.  It may be useful for your "behavioural
analysis", but philosophy of mind and artificial intelligence have only
limited use for it.



0
Allan
7/18/2004 9:35:31 PM
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Wolf Kirchmeir" <wwolfkir@sympatico.ca>
Newsgroups:
comp.ai.philosophy,bionet.neuroscience,sci.cognitive,sci.philosophy.meta,com
p.ai.neural-nets
Sent: Friday, July 16, 2004 11:45 AM
Subject: Re: death of the mind.


> Allan C Cybulskie wrote:
> > "Wolf Kirchmeir" <wwolfkir@sympatico.ca> wrote in message
> > news:LRHJc.26579$TB3.1062365@news20.bellglobal.com...
>
> >>This explanation is concocted merely to save an a priori assumption,
> >>namely that deliberations precede actions. Trying to save an a priori
> >>assumption is not wrong in and of itself, if that assumption is itself
> >>the result of some viable theory.
> >
> >
> > It is NOT an a priori assumption, but is instead an empirical
observation.
> > It appears to us that when we deliberate over a decision, and come to a
> > conclusion as to what action to take, that the action taken is the one
> > consistent with the decision and is determined by the decision we made.
> > This holds particularly true for "delayed decisions", where I decide
what to
> > do in advance and then do it.  It seems obvious to us that when I think
"I'm
> > going to lift my arm and grab the CD" that it is that decision that
causes
> > the action of my lifting my arm and grabbing the CD.
> >
> > So it isn't an a priori assumption, but is an assumption based on actual
> > experence.  It could be wrong.
>
> It is an assumption,

Note that I DID say it was an assumption, although I may have been too quick
to agree on that point.

> since subjective experience is notoriously
> unreliable. What you feel is happening may not be bear any resemblance
> to what is actually happening.

But from this, it's clear that I am not making an assumption, but am instead
making an inference from experience.  The inference could be incorrect, as I
said above, but it is not simply an assumption, but is in fact an inference
from what we experience.

> Hence my cliam that "deliberation precedes action" is an a priori
> assumption. That it concurs with subjective experience doesn't alter its
> logical status,

But if I derive it from experience, then it isn't a priori.  A priori MEANS
before experience.  So, at a minimum, it's an A POSTERIORI assumption, if it
is an assumption at all.  So perhaps your notion that it could be wrong -- 
and so isn't a proven fact -- is valid, but your terminology certainly is
not, and implies that all I've done is make an argument without taking
experience into account, which is not what I've done.

> since it's that subjective experience that needs to be
> explained. A "delayed decision" is a red herring, since the actual
> moment of reaching for the CD is the decision

Hmmm.  But isn't this an a priori argument?  After all, you are simply
stating that the time of the decision is the actual moment, and not a
delayed decision at all.  But this seems to proceed purely from a
definitional argument as opposed to any analysis of experience, because I
cannot see any experience that would even point to that sort of argument.
In fact, the ability to self-condition behaviour implies that a decision is
not required at the time of action.

However, you might want to look up some Stoic philosophy if you are really
interested in that sort of idea because they -- Seneca in particular -- held
an idea that all action was the result of, at least, an intellectual assent
or judgement.

 - after all, you need not
> follow through on a delayed decision, which means that you decide to
> follow through - and that's the real decision, not the earlier one.

That's an interesting view, yet there seems to be no reason why I couldn't
make a decision later not to that didn't mean that I had to decide to follow
through.  More importantly, if we are focusing on CONSCIOUS decisions -- 
which I was -- then there is no conscious decision to follow through in many
cases.

> > As for your concerns about the reports of the subject being our only way
to
> > determine that deliberation is occurring, that's only a problem for
those
> > who are more interested in following a certain scientific method instead
of
> > discovering what the truth is.  It would be nice if all propositions had
a
> > nice set of scientific-type experiments, but ultimately the value of
> > scientific experiments is to explan or create things that people can
> > themselves directly experience and utilize.  To denigrate the things
that
> > people directly experience and utilize thus is placing the cart before
the
> > horse.
>
> I have no problem with subjective reports - as reports of subjective
> experience. As such, they have their uses; and in therapy, for example,
> they may be crucial. But they aren't any good in telling us what's going
> on in the brain. The experiments you attempt to explain can't be
> explained by an appeal to subjective experience.

Actually, subjective experience plays a HUGE role in, at least, what is
critical about the experiences and experiments from my perspective, which is
the relation between the brain events that activate an action and the
conscious, subjective experiences of deliberation and decision-making.  So
subjective experience cannot be ignored when analyzing it from that
perspective.

> They were designed to
> find out how the subjective experience of decision making is evinced in
> brain activity. The results were a surprise. If there is anything one
> can extrapolate from them, it's that "conscious deliberation" itself is
> a result of non-conscious processes. IOW, consciousness occurs after the
> fact. Consciousness is a kind of sumnmarising attention-giving. Maybe.

This result does not necessarily follow.  After all, it still seems that the
action taken follows the deliberation of the conscious mind, and we have no
reason yet to assume that that is just a summary and not actively involved.
As my explanation hints.

>
> >>It's possible to determine that a brain/person/animal is "thinking of X"
> >>by picking up electrical activity in the brain, using that signal to
> >>trigger an external device, and training the brain/person/animal to
> >>trigger that device by "thinking of X."
> >
> >
> > I fail to see why, in humans, that would be a better test than asking
them
> > what they are thinking about -- at least for conscious deliberation,
which
> > is the issue in this example.
>
> Because there have been more than enough experiments that show we are
> "thinking about" a lot of things we are not conscious of. See for
> example the experiments testing stroke victims' ability to respond to
> items they cannot see consciously on account of damage to their visual
> cortex.

All of which would be irrelevant to an attempt to determine how CONSCIOUS
thought works with the brain, right?  And if you are going to ask them to
trigger the device by "thinking of X" isn't that a hint that they are to
CONSCIOUSLY think of X.

> > True.  It's clear that for actions, some of them are "automatic", and
also
> > that some of them are consequences to other conscious thoughts.  That
being
> > said, it is the conscious decisions that we are concerned about here,
> > particularly since those decisions are so crucial to the notion of
> > intelligence.
>
> It's not at all clear that some actions are the result of conscious
> thoughts.

I didn't say "result".  I said "consequences", whereupon I meant that we
either a) self-condition ourselves to then take an automatic action or that
b) we take actions based on conscious ideas or values that we have
developed.  For example, if I consciously feel that someone is not genuine,
when they compliment me I may automatically feel distrustful of the
compliment, which is an "action" taken on the basis of prior conclusions,
but not decisions, per se.

> BTW, consciousness is not a necessary element or aspect of intelligence.
>    Nor for that matter is decision-making necessarily a part of
> intelligence. It all depends on what you mean by "intelligence", and
> what evidence you are willing to accept as signs of "intelligence" in a
> person/animal/brain/system/...

Think about what you've said here.  You've basically said that we don't
require consciousness as an element of intelligence because we could always
change the definition of intelligence to match what we find.  I merely claim
that if we took consciousness out of intelligence -- or if it had no impact
on action -- then it would completely overrturn what is normally considered
to be intelligence and force us to look at things in a completely different
light.  Therefore, consciousness is key to the CURRENT ideas of
intelligence.


0
Allan
7/18/2004 9:59:18 PM
"Glen M. Sizemore" <gmsizemore2@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:6e2f1d09.0407160818.4f42b410@posting.google.com...
> AC: For those people who might be interested in reading on
> behaviourism, I don't recommend reading what David and Glenn suggest,
> because Quine and Skinner are probably way too confusing for
> beginners, and David's "Fragments" doesn't really say much at all  I
> did read a good book recently by John Staddon called "The New
> Behaviorism: Mind, Mechanism and Society" that does a pretty good job
> describing Skinner and other behaviourists,[.]
>
> GS: Really? A good job? But how would you know Allen? Within the next
> year there will be published, in Behavioural Processes, some reviews
> of Staddon's book, the ones I know about are all authored by graduate
> students)

Are you implying that the only person who could write a review of the book
intended for people who are beginners would be a graduate student?  Odd,
since they may not be in touch with those who know less about such issues.
Or are you implying that I am not a graduate student?  Odd, since I am
currently a Masters student.  You have three guesses as to what field, but
if it takes you more than two, you haven't been paying attention.

>
> [.]and also points out some of the flaws and issues and motivations of
> Skinner.
>
> GS: Does he also point out some of John Staddon's motivations?

Yep.

> And, of
> course, there is again the question of how YOU know that the
> criticisms are "accurate," or that Skinner's position has been
> accurately represented. You are simply suggesting the route to
> "understanding" behaviorism that Longley and I have criticized; namely
> that of reading what Skinner's critics say and not what Skinner said.

Considering that Staddon insist that he is a radical behaviourist, and that
he wants to clarify those issues, I wonder whether it is better to consider
him a critic, or a disciple.

>
> AC: The only objection I found in it is probably at the heart of the
> debate here between the behaviourists and the non-behaviourists.
> Staddon is puzzled that people find worrysome discoveries that say
> that our conscious recognition of a decision actually FOLLOWS the
> activation of the neurons that will carry out the action.  To him,
> this doesn't seem confusing or worrysome at all.  So why do we find
> the discovery worrysome?  Well, it's because that by all common sense,
> our mental deliberations can and in fact do result in actions being
> taken.  If it is the case that the action starts before the decision
> is "made", then our conscious decisions don't result in actions.  And
> that, ultimately, eliminates us as, in any way, intelligent beings,
> since intelligent deliberation plays no role in our actions.
>
> GS: I don't know if Staddon phrased the issue this way

The reply is mine.  Staddon's only comment is that he fails to see why we
should be surprised.

>(no, I don't
> intend to read it - but I have talked to some of the graduate students
> that wrote reviews)but it is peppered with problems. Say I decide to
> go to Paris instead of London in six weeks - in what sense is the
> decision made after the "neurons that will carry out the action?"

This was a SPECIFIC experiment where they asked for the conscious
recognition versus the activation of the neurons and nerves that would carry
out the action, and noticed that it seemed to be BEFORE the conscious
recognition of the action by all indications.  So your "Paris versus London"
wasn't part of the test, and is closer to the "delayed decisions" that I
talked about in another post.

> Colloquially, "deciding" may be invoked anytime a person or animal
> does anything "voluntary" (i.e., operant).

And this, of course, is NOT what I was referring to, as I was referring to
decision as being a conscious decision of "I will do X", following from
deliberation.

> There is another meaning of "decide," however, that should also be
> examined. Sometimes it is used when people are actively doing
> something that, then, results in other behavior. For example, I might
> obtain brochures from the tourist industries in Paris and London.
> These we read and compare, maybe in a very painstaking manner.
> Eventually, our actions result in us saying to ourselves or others "I
> am going to Paris." All of this could be called "making a decision,"
> and, even though it is behavior ultimately traceable to contingencies,
> it is far more complicated than in the former circumstance where it is
> not evident that anything resembling this is occurring at all.

I disagree that obtaining brochures and reading them is considering part of
"deliberation", in terms of reaching a decision.  It is gathering
information to be USED in making a decision, but is not deliberation in the
way we consider it to be.  The comparisons, however, ARE deliberation.

>
> AC: However, there is a way around this problem, which is to say that
> the deliberation does, in fact, determine the action, but that the
> action and the conscious recognition of the action both are the result
> of a brain event or an event) that is the outcome of the deliberation
> itself.  In short, the deliberation -- when it reaches its conclusion
> -- kicks off a brain event that both instigates the action, and the
> conscious recognition of it.  And it is obvious that these don't have
> to occur together, since we can make "delayed decisions", where we
> decide what to do at a future time, and then do it.
>
> GS: There is a simpler, and less arcane description.

How can you find a simpler and less arcane description -- without ignoring
deliberation -- than "The end of the deliberation results in brain events
that a) start the action and b) instigate a conscious awareness of the
decision (action) that was taken".  Or, to put it simpler, the
deliberation's end kicks off both the action and the awareness of the kick
off of the action.

> First, sometimes
> there is nothing going on that could be called "deliberation."

And, obviously, that isn't the case I'm talking or concerned about.

>
> "Allan C Cybulskie" <allan.c.cybulskie@yahoo.ca> wrote in message
news:<ZLEJc.26181$TB3.1010975@news20.bellglobal.com>...


0
Allan
7/18/2004 10:11:47 PM
"Sergio Navega" <snavega@intelliwise.com> wrote in message
news:40f81fe3$1_7@news.athenanews.com...
> From: "Allan C Cybulskie" <allan.c.cybulskie@yahoo.ca>
> >
> > It is NOT an a priori assumption, but is instead an empirical
observation.
> > It appears to us that when we deliberate over a decision, and come to a
> > conclusion as to what action to take, that the action taken is the one
> > consistent with the decision and is determined by the decision we made.
> > This holds particularly true for "delayed decisions", where I decide
what
> to
> > do in advance and then do it.  It seems obvious to us that when I think
> "I'm
> > going to lift my arm and grab the CD" that it is that decision that
causes
> > the action of my lifting my arm and grabbing the CD.
> >
>
> I'm not familiar with Staddon's work, but I take that this
> interpretation requires further clarification.

The interpretation of it actually remaining an issue is mine, not his ...

> The news is that
> our conventional "intuitive" approach of saying that decision
> precedes action is really inaccurate. But it seems to me to be
> equally wrong to propose that action precedes decision. What is
> consensus today is that action/decision pairs are integrated
> into the same unit (in other words, they are activated at the
> same time).

That was pretty much my take on it ...

> Besides, there are several processes that influence
> this mechanism, one of them being inhibition. When one thinks
> to lift one's arm to grab a CD, one has the option of
> "just thinking it", without actually doing it.

Yep.  This is actually a problematic notion for people who think that
consciousness plays a role in our actions -- what's different between
deciding to take an action when we don't do it and deciding to take an
action and doing it.

> Several studies
> verified that even in this consciously inhibited situation one
> activates most of the motor areas involved in the grasping of
> the object.

This is interesting ...


0
Allan
7/18/2004 10:15:20 PM
On Sun, 18 Jul 2004 13:40:19 -0400, Wolf Kirchmeir
<wwolfkir@sympatico.ca> in comp.ai.philosophy wrote:

>Lester Zick wrote:
>
>>>>
>>>>And why is what you feel, experience, etc. not results of the program?
>>>>Where do you imagine such things come from, Wolf, if not the program?
>>>>What we feel, experience, etc. is part of the "us" is it not?
>>>
>>>
>>>I said what you feel etc is not the program.
>> 
>> 
>> And I asked you why you feel that what you feel is not the program?
>
>
>No, you asked "And why is what you feel, experience, etc. not results of 
>the program?"
>
>Different question, as you should realise, being a programmer.

I don't necessarily reiterate questions verbatim when you're being
evasive about answering them. Below is what you wrote and what I
asked in reply. If you don't want to answer, no problem.

Begin quote:

>You can call it "the mind" if you like, but be careful: it's very 
>difficult to figure just what that program is doing. What you "feel", 
>"experience", etc is not the program. Etc.

And why is what you feel, experience, etc. not results of the program?
Where do you imagine such things come from, Wolf, if not the program?
What we feel, experience, etc. is part of the "us" is it not?

End quote.

Now it appears you prefer to quibble over who said what, when, and
where; and who asked what, when, and where. I've never had a computer
program reject a question because it wasn't the same as the prior
question the program didn't want to answer. But there's always a first
time, especially with highly conjectural programs like these.

Regards - Lester

0
lesterDELzick
7/18/2004 10:17:58 PM
"Glen M. Sizemore" <gmsizemore2@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:SDhKc.18165$Mh.10271@cyclops.nntpserver.com...
> SN: Let's then change that to "patterns of activations" as determined by
> fMRI, for instance. Would it make any difference?
>
>
>
> GS: That's stupid - it misses the whole point. The point is that when you
> instruct people to think about behaving in a particular fashion, much of
> what goes on in the brain is like what goes on when the person engages in
> the full-blown action. It makes sense that it should be like this, since
> thinking is behavior. When we privately do things - talking, seeing, etc.
we
> are doing some of the same things that we do when we engage in the more
> public aspects of these sorts of responses.

So the question is: why should I subordinate private to public behaviour
instead of saying that the private behaviour is the primary notion, and that
the public is just a less inhibited form of that?


0
Allan
7/18/2004 10:18:55 PM
"David Longley" <David@longley.demon.co.uk> wrote in message
news:8bF0ZuDq5j+AFwcv@longley.demon.co.uk...
> In article <ZLEJc.26181$TB3.1010975@news20.bellglobal.com>, Allan C
> Cybulskie <allan.c.cybulskie@yahoo.ca> writes
> >For those people who might be interested in reading on behaviourism, I
don't
> >recommend reading what David and Glenn suggest, because Quine and Skinner
> >are probably way too confusing for beginners, and David's "Fragments"
> >doesn't really say much at all  I did read a good book recently by John
> >Staddon called "The New Behaviorism: Mind, Mechanism and Society" that
does
> >a pretty good job describing Skinner and other behaviourists, and also
> >points out some of the flaws and issues and motivations of Skinner.
> >
> >The only objection I found in it is probably at the heart of the debate
here
> >between the behaviourists and the non-behaviourists.  Staddon is puzzled
> >that people find worrysome discoveries that say that our conscious
> >recognition of a decision actually FOLLOWS the activation of the neurons
> >that will carry out the action.  To him, this doesn't seem confusing or
> >worrysome at all.  So why do we find the discovery worrysome?  Well, it's
> >because that by all common sense, our mental deliberations can and in
fact
> >do result in actions being taken.  If it is the case that the action
starts
> >before the decision is "made", then our conscious decisions don't result
in
> >actions.  And that, ultimately, eliminates us as, in any way, intelligent
> >beings, since intelligent deliberation plays no role in our actions.
> >
> >However, there is a way around this problem, which is to say that the
> >deliberation does, in fact, determine the action, but that the action and
> >the conscious recognition of the action both are the result of a brain
event
> >(or an event) that is the outcome of the deliberation itself.  In short,
the
> >deliberation -- when it reaches its conclusion -- kicks off a brain event
> >that both instigates the action, and the conscious recognition of it.
And
> >it is obvious that these don't have to occur together, since we can make
> >"delayed decisions", where we decide what to do at a future time, and
then
> >do it.
> >
> >
> >
> In brief, talking (reporting) is behaviour. This is one class of
> behaviour amongst other classes of behaviours (some of which are
> private, some of which are public).

I have noticed that you and Glen attempt to define everything as behaviour,
and then insist that everything is behaviour.  This is not necessarily a
problem.  However, the different classes of behaviour do seem to be
importantly different from each other, and private behaviour seems to have a
larger role in determining other behaviour than public behaviour does.  And
if you accept that, then you have no cause to criticize mentalists and
cognitivists since that is all they basically say or are interested in.

>
> Yet you have the temerity to remark that "Fragments doesn't really say
> much at all"!

It may have interesting things to say to people in your field, but it
neither gives a good description of behaviourism nor a good discussion of
flaws in cognitivism.  Ergo, for the person trying to learn about the issues
here, it doesn't say much at all.

>Perhaps you should have appended "to me"? Perhaps you
> might then have given some further thought to what it's all about and
> why I (exasperatedly at times) advocate the approach that I do (there
> and elsewhere) at the exclusion of the claptrap which you appear to find
> so beguiling/intriguing.

Repeatedly asking people to read over and over something they've read before
and disagred with is in no way a good approach.  No wonder you get
exasperated.



0
Allan
7/18/2004 10:23:47 PM
"Wolf Kirchmeir" <wwolfkir@sympatico.ca> wrote in message
news:6AuKc.70$Gf7.23587@news20.bellglobal.com...
> John Hasenkam wrote:
>
> Despite what Lester et al. say, behaviorism explains a lot; radical
> behaviorism is very careful to set limits on those explanations. Some
> people think these limits mean that RB denies the value of attempting to
> explanation outside those limits. I don't think so. It just claims that
> wt present we don't have the tools and methods to go beyond.

That would be a more methodological behaviourist approach, and both David
and Glen insist that they are not methodological behavourists.  David and
Glen seem to clearly insist that RB can explain pretty much everything of
interest, and Skinner did as well.

> Note that
> neurology and molecular biology appear to be going beyond those limts,
> but they don't. As Glen says "physiology mediates." That mediation is
> beginning to be analysed, but IMO that analysis is atill at the stage of
> gathering observations that may be useful.

I am finding it incredibly annoying the number of cognitive scientists who
want to reduce everything to neurology without having enough evidence to do
so or to do so in a manner that still allows us to talk meaningfully about
things like behaviour, values, emotions, etc, etc.



0
Allan
7/18/2004 10:27:20 PM
"Wolf Kirchmeir" <wwolfkir@sympatico.ca> wrote in message
news:zGuKc.72$Gf7.24678@news20.bellglobal.com...
> Lester Zick wrote:
>
> > On Fri, 16 Jul 2004 20:33:08 -0400, Wolf Kirchmeir
> > <wwolfkir@sympatico.ca> in comp.ai.philosophy wrote:
> ...snip..
> >>"Us" is a program the brain is running. Why it does so is a bit of a
> >>mystery. :-)
> >
> >
> > So, why is this program the brain is running not the mind?
> >
> > Regards - Lester
> >
>
>
> You can call it "the mind" if you like, but be careful: it's very
> difficult to figure just what that program is doing. What you "feel",
> "experience", etc is not the program. Etc.

Then it would be impossible to call it "the mind", since what commonly
distinguishes the mind is, in fact, the experience and what we feel ...



0
Allan
7/18/2004 10:28:09 PM
"Wolf Kirchmeir" <wwolfkir@sympatico.ca> wrote in message
news:AZwKc.791$Vw3.104638@news20.bellglobal.com...
> Lester Zick wrote:
>
>
> >
> > The problem is that the behavioist position we see is not that the
> > environment is an essential feature of any theory of behavior but that
> > the environment is the exclusive determinant of behavior, period.
> >
>
>
> False.

I'm not so sure this is true.  Ultimately, it sounds like for a
behaviourist, it all comes down to the operants and the like, and yet if
those AREN'T simply traceable back to the environment, then it seems that
there's no disagreement between behaviourists and -- certainly -- 
mentalists.  Yet the behaviourists here insist that there is.



0
Allan
7/18/2004 10:29:59 PM
AC:  - what commonly distinguishes the mind is, in fact, the experience and
what we feel...



GS: This is utter nonsense. What is the alleged "unconscious mind!?"



"Allan C Cybulskie" <allan.c.cybulskie@yahoo.ca> wrote in message
news:QPCKc.1178$Vw3.229151@news20.bellglobal.com...
>
> "Wolf Kirchmeir" <wwolfkir@sympatico.ca> wrote in message
> news:zGuKc.72$Gf7.24678@news20.bellglobal.com...
> > Lester Zick wrote:
> >
> > > On Fri, 16 Jul 2004 20:33:08 -0400, Wolf Kirchmeir
> > > <wwolfkir@sympatico.ca> in comp.ai.philosophy wrote:
> > ...snip..
> > >>"Us" is a program the brain is running. Why it does so is a bit of a
> > >>mystery. :-)
> > >
> > >
> > > So, why is this program the brain is running not the mind?
> > >
> > > Regards - Lester
> > >
> >
> >
> > You can call it "the mind" if you like, but be careful: it's very
> > difficult to figure just what that program is doing. What you "feel",
> > "experience", etc is not the program. Etc.
>
> Then it would be impossible to call it "the mind", since what commonly
> distinguishes the mind is, in fact, the experience and what we feel ...
>
>
>


0
Glen
7/18/2004 10:47:17 PM
On Sun, 18 Jul 2004 13:34:29 -0400, "Glen M. Sizemore"
<gmsizemore2@yahoo.com> in comp.ai.philosophy wrote:

>Leaster: The problem is that the behavioist position we see is not that the
>environment is an essential feature of any theory of behavior but that the
>environment is the exclusive determinant of behavior, period.

>GS: This is true, but it requires some comment.

You've just made the only relevant comment required, princess.

>                                                                             Human behavior can be viewed
>as an interaction of four environments: natural selection, cultural
>selection, personal history, and the current environment. Here, the term
>"current environment" can refer to variables other than "stimuli" and may
>include variables such as drugs (see below).

Human behavior can be viewed as this and that and however behaviorists
choose to view it so as to conform it to behaviorism dogma. Yes, we
know all this, princess.It's called dogmatic materialist reductionism.

>Leaster: And it is my impression that as a philosophy of behavior analysis,
>behaviorism cannot be invalidated. Behaviorists simply expand definitions to
>include whatever behavioral determinants eventuate.

>GS: So, what you are saying is that what behaviorists say about their
>subject matter depends on the outcome experiments? Yeah, boy are they
>stupid.

No, princess,I'm saying that what behaviorists say about their subject
matter is whatever is required to accommodate their doctrinal
perspective on behavior analysis. 

>Leaster: We already see the transfiguration of behaviorist legerdemain to
>include physiological interactions.

>GS: You should clarify what you mean here. IMO, it is correct to say that
>some stuff that we usually regard as "physiological" are included in
>"behavior" when what is measured can be shown to be sensitive to behavioral
>manipulations, like contingencies. For example, in the "Hefferline
>Experiments" the response that was reinforced could only be detected with
>apparatus that measures electrical activity of a few motor units.

Yadayadayada, princess. Why should I explain what the philosophy of
behaviorism considers behavioral determinants?

>Leaster: Under such criteria, what are not behaviorist experimental
>environmental independent variables?

>GS: Oh, you're talking about independent variables. I'd guess that you are
>talking about the fact that I have talked about drug effects. Variables like
>type of drug, dose, route of administration, etc. are pharmacological
>independent variables (not really "physiological;" these variables also, of
>course, affect physiology). But I fail to see any importance of your point.
>In JEAB, for example, papers are published where the focus is on the interac
>tion of pharmacological and behavioral variables. JEAB would probably not
>publish a paper were, for example, one simply used behavior maintained under
>a particular schedule of reinforcement to look at agonist/antagonist
>interactions.

Say what? The words I used were environmental independent variables.
Either you don't read before you react, princess, or you don't know
what the environmental independent variables of behavior are supposed
to be according to the tenets of behaviorist philosophical doctrine.
And I'm inclined to suspect both, princess.

>Leaster: Once again my impression is that the typical behaviorist would just
>respond that any experimentally observable factors are behaviorist
>environmental factors. But that just regresses the scientific analysis to
>the nature and experimental observability of environmental factors. Then
>we're back to the lab coat, forceps, electrode, stopwatch, and log sheet
>definition of environmental behavioral experimentation.

>GS: Gibberish again.

The ultimate behaviorist rejoinder, princess.

>Leaster: The difficulty is that behaviorism is a philosophy and not a
>science of behavioral analysis. So the results of behaviorist
>experimentation do not confirm or deny behaviorism.

>GS: But the results of scientific experiments rarely, in the sense you mean
>it, change the assumptions underlying a scientific endeavor.

They don't need to, princess, since we don't know and behaviorists
can't say what the philosophical assumptions defining environmental
independent variables actually are for behavior analysis.

>Leaster: They don't confirm or deny anything except experimental
>circumstances and behavioral results.

>GS: No, the results can confirm or deny specific hypotheses. But specific
>hypotheses are not the assumptions of a science, even though they
>(hypotheses) are couched in terms of the underlying concepts. This is not to
>imply that behavior analysis is about hypothesis testing as a general
>strategy, though this is increasingly the case as everyone "goes
>quantitative" in the EAB.

The question is, princess, do any results confirm or deny behaviorism?
If not then behaviorism has nothing of scientific significance to say.

>Leaster: But they don't explain anything else in the sense of showing where
>those results come from to the exclusion of other possibilities.

>GS: Not sure I can see what you mean here; "they," in your sentence, refers
>to the "results obtained by the experimental analysis of behavior." That is,
>you said: "So the results of behaviorist experimentation do not confirm or
>deny behaviorism." So, if we put in "the results," your "insight" becomes:
>"But the results don't explain anything else in the sense of showing where
>those results come from to the exclusion of other possibilities." The
>results don't explain the results - I'd have to agree with that. But, wouldn
>'t that be true by definition? And thus true for any science? Good
>experiments demonstrate, whether they are hypothesis-testing or not, that
>changes in the dependent variable are the result of changes in the dependent
>variable.

Extremely evasive, princess. The issue is whether experimental results
confirm or deny the philosophy of behaviorism and not whether they -
the experimental results - confirm themselves.

>Leaster: You ascribe this to the general primitive state of behavior
>analysis. I ascribe it to the primitive generality of philosophical
>materialism. Darwin had no dogmatic foundation for his evolutionary theories
>and observations that I'm aware of. And it's materialist dogma that Lester
>et al. complain about in connection with behaviorism as a philosophy.

>GS: More gibberish.

Yes, I daresay gibberish rankles when it isn't your own, princess.

Regards - Lester

0
lesterDELzick
7/18/2004 10:57:53 PM
On Sun, 18 Jul 2004 16:05:41 -0400, "Glen M. Sizemore"
<gmsizemore2@yahoo.com> in comp.ai.philosophy wrote:

>Leaster: The problem is that the behavioist position we see is not that the
>> environment is an essential feature of any theory of behavior but that the
>> environment is the exclusive determinant of behavior, period.
>>
>> GS: This is true, but it requires some comment. Human behavior can be
>viewed
>> as an interaction of four environments: natural selection, cultural
>> selection, personal history, and the current environment. Here, the term
>> "current environment" can refer to variables other than "stimuli" and may
>> include variables such as drugs (see below).
>
>WK: By "exclusive determinant," Lester appears to mean that there's nothing
>within the organism that determines behaviour. Ie, he seems to think
>that behaviorists believe that absent an external stimulus, there will  be
>no behavior whatsoever.
>
>
>
>GS: I did not come away with this impression. I think he is mistaking
>"reductionism" with "explanation" - many do.
>
>
>
>WK: This is of course nonsense, since at the very  least there must be
>something within the organism that responds to an external stimulus. That's
>why I labelled this paragragh "false" in my  earlier comment.
>
>
>
>GS: But I would not call the "thing" inside the organism "behavior." I
>realize that there is a meaning of behavior that is applied to any
>phenomenon; but the term "behavior" clearly has a more restricted meaning. A
>better refutation of the notion that behavior requires some eliciting
>stimulus is the embryological work that shows that organized movements occur
>before the sensory systems make any contact with the CNS.
>
>WK: BTW, there is IMO another environment, the chemical environment of the
>cell (both within and without) which determines the expression of genes,
>which in turn determine the operation of the cell, which at another level of
>the organism's functioning determines its behaviour. Maybe you would include
>that in "personal history," in which case the latter would require analysis
>at several levels.
>
>
>
>GS: I'm not sure I would include it at all. It seems reasonable to limit the
>variables that one includes in a science. IMO, all of embryology, for
>example, is not really part of "behavior analysis," even though behavior
>depends critically on events that embryologists talk about. I would include,
>as "current environment," things like deprivation and drugs (but not the
>chemical environment they induce) because they are variables that have an
>immediate and profound impact on the behavior of animals that are "normally
>developed."
>
>
>WK: Like I said, "It's behaviour all the way down."
>
>
>
>GS: But the "chemical environment of cells" is not behavior - it affects
>behavior. And while it is true that any phenomenon can be said to "behave"
>in some particular fashion, it is useful to maintain the distinction between
>the behavior of animals and all other forms of behavior.

Whyn't you two get your act together before both of you use
behaviorism to mean different things. Princess Glen's terminology
is more consistent whereas Wolf's terminology seems to signify
some attempt to compromise with cognitive science.

Regards - Lester

0
lesterDELzick
7/18/2004 10:57:54 PM
On Sun, 18 Jul 2004 18:29:59 -0400, "Allan C Cybulskie"
<allan.c.cybulskie@yahoo.ca> in comp.ai.philosophy wrote:

>
>"Wolf Kirchmeir" <wwolfkir@sympatico.ca> wrote in message
>news:AZwKc.791$Vw3.104638@news20.bellglobal.com...
>> Lester Zick wrote:
>>
>>
>> >
>> > The problem is that the behavioist position we see is not that the
>> > environment is an essential feature of any theory of behavior but that
>> > the environment is the exclusive determinant of behavior, period.
>> >
>>
>>
>> False.
>
>I'm not so sure this is true.  Ultimately, it sounds like for a
>behaviourist, it all comes down to the operants and the like, and yet if
>those AREN'T simply traceable back to the environment, then it seems that
>there's no disagreement between behaviourists and -- certainly -- 
>mentalists.  Yet the behaviourists here insist that there is.

Yes, well, behaviorists like Wolf seem to disagree with behaviorists
like GS and vice versa. Thus it would appear that behaviorists by and
large don't have any consistent definition of behaviorism apart from
it's whatever behaviorists do and say at any point in time.

Regards - Lester

0
lesterDELzick
7/18/2004 11:01:51 PM
On Sun, 18 Jul 2004 18:27:20 -0400, "Allan C Cybulskie"
<allan.c.cybulskie@yahoo.ca> in comp.ai.philosophy wrote:

>
>"Wolf Kirchmeir" <wwolfkir@sympatico.ca> wrote in message
>news:6AuKc.70$Gf7.23587@news20.bellglobal.com...
>> John Hasenkam wrote:
>>
>> Despite what Lester et al. say, behaviorism explains a lot; radical
>> behaviorism is very careful to set limits on those explanations. Some
>> people think these limits mean that RB denies the value of attempting to
>> explanation outside those limits. I don't think so. It just claims that
>> wt present we don't have the tools and methods to go beyond.
>
>That would be a more methodological behaviourist approach, and both David
>and Glen insist that they are not methodological behavourists.  David and
>Glen seem to clearly insist that RB can explain pretty much everything of
>interest, and Skinner did as well.
>
>> Note that
>> neurology and molecular biology appear to be going beyond those limts,
>> but they don't. As Glen says "physiology mediates." That mediation is
>> beginning to be analysed, but IMO that analysis is atill at the stage of
>> gathering observations that may be useful.
>
>I am finding it incredibly annoying the number of cognitive scientists who
>want to reduce everything to neurology without having enough evidence to do
>so or to do so in a manner that still allows us to talk meaningfully about
>things like behaviour, values, emotions, etc, etc.

It's by no means clear whether Wolf is a behaviorist or just cognitive
science fellow traveler. He's also got programs running in the brain
that somehow don't include feelings and experiences but might be
called the mind if we are careful. So maybe Wolf's a computationalist
in behaviorist's/cognitive scientist's clothing.

Regards - Lester

0
lesterDELzick
7/18/2004 11:25:33 PM
On Sun, 18 Jul 2004 18:28:09 -0400, "Allan C Cybulskie"
<allan.c.cybulskie@yahoo.ca> in comp.ai.philosophy wrote:

>
>"Wolf Kirchmeir" <wwolfkir@sympatico.ca> wrote in message
>news:zGuKc.72$Gf7.24678@news20.bellglobal.com...
>> Lester Zick wrote:
>>
>> > On Fri, 16 Jul 2004 20:33:08 -0400, Wolf Kirchmeir
>> > <wwolfkir@sympatico.ca> in comp.ai.philosophy wrote:
>> ...snip..
>> >>"Us" is a program the brain is running. Why it does so is a bit of a
>> >>mystery. :-)
>> >
>> >
>> > So, why is this program the brain is running not the mind?
>> >
>> > Regards - Lester
>> >
>>
>>
>> You can call it "the mind" if you like, but be careful: it's very
>> difficult to figure just what that program is doing. What you "feel",
>> "experience", etc is not the program. Etc.
>
>Then it would be impossible to call it "the mind", since what commonly
>distinguishes the mind is, in fact, the experience and what we feel ...

Is it conceivable that Wolf really meant that what we feel, experience
etc. is not the program but are results of the program? I took it to
mean that feelings, experiences, etc. come from somewhere else than
the program. Hard to tell.

Regards - Lester

0
lesterDELzick
7/18/2004 11:25:33 PM
On Sun, 18 Jul 2004 18:47:17 -0400, "Glen M. Sizemore"
<gmsizemore2@yahoo.com> in comp.ai.philosophy wrote:

>AC:  - what commonly distinguishes the mind is, in fact, the experience and
>what we feel...

>GS: This is utter nonsense. What is the alleged "unconscious mind!?"

You, princess.

Regards - Lester

0
lesterDELzick
7/18/2004 11:25:34 PM
SN: Let's then change that to "patterns of activations" as determined by
> fMRI, for instance. Would it make any difference?
>
>
>
> GS: That's stupid - it misses the whole point. The point is that when you
> instruct people to think about behaving in a particular fashion, much of
> what goes on in the brain is like what goes on when the person engages in
> the full-blown action. It makes sense that it should be like this, since
> thinking is behavior. When we privately do things - talking, seeing, etc.
we
> are doing some of the same things that we do when we engage in the more
> public aspects of these sorts of responses.

AC: So the question is: why should I subordinate private to public behaviour
instead of saying that the private behaviour is the primary notion, and that
the public is just a less inhibited form of that?



GS: I never said that private behavior was "subordinate" to public behavior,
and if I did, I would clarify the sense in which that was true. There are,
in fact, several senses in which I think that private behavior could be
called "subordinate." First, operant behavior is acquired because, by
definition, it acts upon the physical and social environments and, thus, it
is difficult to imagine how private responding could be established before
public. When we think about a problem, and solve it, we are responding
privately before we respond publicly, but the response classes composing the
thinking were established publicly. When we do long division, for example,
"in our heads," we are behaving in some of the ways that we used to behave
when we did long division at the blackboard (or whiteboard!). The private
behavior could not exist if the public behavior had not been established
(also, see Wittgenstein's discussion of "private language"). Secondly, as
far as a science of behavior is concerned, the role of private responses in
the modulation of publicly observable responses is only treatable (by
inference) after one has established a study of public behavior.



"Allan C Cybulskie" <allan.c.cybulskie@yahoo.ca> wrote in message
news:9HCKc.1171$Vw3.226410@news20.bellglobal.com...


0
Glen
7/18/2004 11:40:08 PM
"Glen M. Sizemore" <gmsizemore2@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:T5DKc.17332$5Y.17243@cyclops.nntpserver.com...
> AC:  - what commonly distinguishes the mind is, in fact, the experience
and
> what we feel...
>
>
>
> GS: This is utter nonsense. What is the alleged "unconscious mind!?"

There's no such thing.  There's an alleged SUBconscious mind, and it's only
given the title "mind" due to its supposed impact and relation to conscious
mind.  But there are many philosophers -- Merleau-Ponty particularly comes
to mind -- who have no problem refusing to consider it to be mind.  I only
disagree with him to the extent that it seems that this subconscious mind
does or aids in actual conscious thinking.


0
Allan
7/19/2004 12:36:25 AM
"Glen M. Sizemore" <gmsizemore2@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:oTDKc.19389$5Y.5912@cyclops.nntpserver.com...
> SN: Let's then change that to "patterns of activations" as determined by
> > fMRI, for instance. Would it make any difference?
> >
> >
> >
> > GS: That's stupid - it misses the whole point. The point is that when
you
> > instruct people to think about behaving in a particular fashion, much of
> > what goes on in the brain is like what goes on when the person engages
in
> > the full-blown action. It makes sense that it should be like this, since
> > thinking is behavior. When we privately do things - talking, seeing,
etc.
> we
> > are doing some of the same things that we do when we engage in the more
> > public aspects of these sorts of responses.
>
> AC: So the question is: why should I subordinate private to public
behaviour
> instead of saying that the private behaviour is the primary notion, and
that
> the public is just a less inhibited form of that?
>
>
>
> GS: I never said that private behavior was "subordinate" to public
behavior,
> and if I did, I would clarify the sense in which that was true. There are,
> in fact, several senses in which I think that private behavior could be
> called "subordinate." First, operant behavior is acquired because, by
> definition, it acts upon the physical and social environments and, thus,
it
> is difficult to imagine how private responding could be established before
> public. When we think about a problem, and solve it, we are responding
> privately before we respond publicly, but the response classes composing
the
> thinking were established publicly. When we do long division, for example,
> "in our heads," we are behaving in some of the ways that we used to behave
> when we did long division at the blackboard (or whiteboard!). The private
> behavior could not exist if the public behavior had not been established
> (also, see Wittgenstein's discussion of "private language").

But, let's take this a step further back, and wonder how long division could
be established in the first place.  It seems unlikely that this could be
"public" behaviour, since it was not learned at a blackboard or a
whiteboard.  Thus, it seems that most public behaviour -- which would
include language -- has to start in private behaviour and end with an aim
towards the public.  For example, to borrow Chomsky's view of a consistent
structure of language with (I think) Botteril and Carruthers' idea of
modular minds, thought in language seems to have to proceed spoken language,
but English (say) is not a "language of mind".  To me, there are a set of
common structures that the modules could use to communicate, and langauges
would be based on that, thus explaining the common structures of all (or
most) languages.  But it would have to start privately first, and then
attempt to go public, and then be influenced and shaped by the public.  But
the private starts first, not the public.  Basically, the argument can be
that if I didn't have awareness of the public -- which is a private
behaviour -- then I could learn nothing from it, and so private behaviours
must come first.

Which is not to say that we can't learn some private behaviours from public
behaviours, BTW.

> Secondly, as
> far as a science of behavior is concerned, the role of private responses
in
> the modulation of publicly observable responses is only treatable (by
> inference) after one has established a study of public behavior.

This is something that we have never disagreed upon.  I agree that science
needs to study public behaviour, but that direct experience of private
behaviour -- while not scientifically admissable -- is perfectly valid for
study, and is what we are, in fact, directly interested in.  I don't believe
that we need to make everything a science in order to say something
interesting about it.



0
Allan
7/19/2004 12:47:30 AM
In article <u2CKc.1149$Vw3.213413@news20.bellglobal.com>, Allan C 
Cybulskie <allan.c.cybulskie@yahoo.ca> writes
>You DO realize that your corrections show up as different posts, right, and
>that you aren't cancelling them successfully?  This is the third time I've
>read this post.
>

Looks like all three readings were a waste of time for you - but that 
doesn't surprise me.

I've been told before that the cancels aren't working, but I mistakenly 
thought they had been deleted, albeit with a delay. I now see that they 
aren't after all. I'll look into it, but if anyone knows why the 
Turnpike software cancel may not be working, please let me know as I 
appreciate that it must be irritating.

>"David Longley" <David@longley.demon.co.uk> wrote in message
>news:jX$z6EJPM99AFwGD@longley.demon.co.uk...
>> In article <ZLEJc.26181$TB3.1010975@news20.bellglobal.com>, Allan C
>> Cybulskie <allan.c.cybulskie@yahoo.ca> writes
>> >For those people who might be interested in reading on behaviourism, I
>don't
>> >recommend reading what David and Glenn suggest, because Quine and Skinner
>> >are probably way too confusing for beginners, and David's "Fragments"
>> >doesn't really say much at all  I did read a good book recently by John
>> >Staddon called "The New Behaviorism: Mind, Mechanism and Society" that
>does
>> >a pretty good job describing Skinner and other behaviourists, and also
>> >points out some of the flaws and issues and motivations of Skinner.
>>
>> It needs to be said that Staddon's book provides an idiosyncratic view
>> of modern behaviourism (see the remarks by another graduate of "The
>> Pigeon Lab"
>> <http://seab.envmed.rochester.edu/jeab/articles/2002/jeab-77-03-0367.pdf>
>> .
>
>From reading it, it seems that that author has the same view of it that I
>do: that most of Staddon's comments are basically comments on things that he
>didn't think Skinner had to say.  For example, the point about positive
>versus negative reinforcement is, in Staddon's work, invalid because the
>same problems can occur for positive as for negative reinforcement.  So
>Skinner doesn't need to claim that positive is better than negative from a
>PRACTICAL viewpoint, thus avoiding the backlash from common sense where we
>know from our own histories that sometimes punishment works as well or
>better than rewards.
>
>>  From what you write here, and in your others posts (which I'm not going
>> to respond to individually as in my view, they just make the same
>> nebulous errors that you have made in the past), I don't think you
>> (presently) have enough grounding to make informed comments on these
>> matters, and it certainly doesn't justify your recommendations.
>
>Sigh.  The fact that I disagree has nothing to do with my knowledge or
>understanding of the issues.  I understand them well enough to claim with
>all justification that Staddon gives a clearer view of behaviourism that is
>more accessible to the average reader than Quine, Skinner, or you do.  And
>that is all I claimed.  He is also far more balanced than certainly you,
>Glen, and Skinner are ...
>
>
>> PS. Unless you can get Baum, Catania etc to post to c.a.p, it's probably
>> unwise to advise others NOT to read what Glen and I suggest.
>
>I suggest that for those who want to start out learning about the things you
>and Glen are trying to talk about, they should start with something clear,
>like Staddon.  Perhaps Baum and Catania are clear, but Skinner, Quine and
>your paper are certainly not for beginners.
>
>>
>> In my view, you're still just looking for an interesting read/argument
>> rather than for anything practically useful.
>
>I am looking for things practically useful in dealing with the issues in the
>fields that I am currently pursuing, and behaviourism has so far failed to
>provide anything in those areas.  It may be useful for your "behavioural
>analysis", but philosophy of mind and artificial intelligence have only
>limited use for it.
>
>
>

As usual, you just tell us what you presently think/see. I'm already 
aware of that. That's why I've made efforts to correct you. You're too 
preoccupied with being right to benefit from that. I know it's difficult 
(for some almost impossible), but you'd be wise to spend some time 
trying to differentiate between what may be the case and what you 
"think" the case may be. The former is difficult and you'll only get an 
inkling (for obvious reasons if you think about it - cf. neophobia). You 
urgently need to do something about that. You can only do that by 
beginning with the premise that what you currently think is the case 
probably isn't!

Consider that a first lesson in extensionalism (or science).

PS. You need more than one lesson.

PPS. Staddon's book is not for beginners. It may suit his purposes to 
make it out to be!
-- 
David Longley
0
David
7/19/2004 9:05:24 AM
In article <KLCKc.1172$Vw3.227827@news20.bellglobal.com>, Allan C 
Cybulskie <allan.c.cybulskie@yahoo.ca> writes
>
>"David Longley" <David@longley.demon.co.uk> wrote in message
>news:8bF0ZuDq5j+AFwcv@longley.demon.co.uk...
>> In article <ZLEJc.26181$TB3.1010975@news20.bellglobal.com>, Allan C
>> Cybulskie <allan.c.cybulskie@yahoo.ca> writes
>> >For those people who might be interested in reading on behaviourism, I
>don't
>> >recommend reading what David and Glenn suggest, because Quine and Skinner
>> >are probably way too confusing for beginners, and David's "Fragments"
>> >doesn't really say much at all  I did read a good book recently by John
>> >Staddon called "The New Behaviorism: Mind, Mechanism and Society" that
>does
>> >a pretty good job describing Skinner and other behaviourists, and also
>> >points out some of the flaws and issues and motivations of Skinner.
>> >
>> >The only objection I found in it is probably at the heart of the debate
>here
>> >between the behaviourists and the non-behaviourists.  Staddon is puzzled
>> >that people find worrysome discoveries that say that our conscious
>> >recognition of a decision actually FOLLOWS the activation of the neurons
>> >that will carry out the action.  To him, this doesn't seem confusing or
>> >worrysome at all.  So why do we find the discovery worrysome?  Well, it's
>> >because that by all common sense, our mental deliberations can and in
>fact
>> >do result in actions being taken.  If it is the case that the action
>starts
>> >before the decision is "made", then our conscious decisions don't result
>in
>> >actions.  And that, ultimately, eliminates us as, in any way, intelligent
>> >beings, since intelligent deliberation plays no role in our actions.
>> >
>> >However, there is a way around this problem, which is to say that the
>> >deliberation does, in fact, determine the action, but that the action and
>> >the conscious recognition of the action both are the result of a brain
>event
>> >(or an event) that is the outcome of the deliberation itself.  In short,
>the
>> >deliberation -- when it reaches its conclusion -- kicks off a brain event
>> >that both instigates the action, and the conscious recognition of it.
>And
>> >it is obvious that these don't have to occur together, since we can make
>> >"delayed decisions", where we decide what to do at a future time, and
>then
>> >do it.
>> >
>> >
>> >
>> In brief, talking (reporting) is behaviour. This is one class of
>> behaviour amongst other classes of behaviours (some of which are
>> private, some of which are public).
>
>I have noticed that you and Glen attempt to define everything as behaviour,
>and then insist that everything is behaviour.  This is not necessarily a
>problem.  However, the different classes of behaviour do seem to be
>importantly different from each other, and private behaviour seems to have a
>larger role in determining other behaviour than public behaviour does.  And
>if you accept that, then you have no cause to criticize mentalists and
>cognitivists since that is all they basically say or are interested in.
>
>>
>> Yet you have the temerity to remark that "Fragments doesn't really say
>> much at all"!
>
>It may have interesting things to say to people in your field, but it
>neither gives a good description of behaviourism nor a good discussion of
>flaws in cognitivism.  Ergo, for the person trying to learn about the issues
>here, it doesn't say much at all.
>
>>Perhaps you should have appended "to me"? Perhaps you
>> might then have given some further thought to what it's all about and
>> why I (exasperatedly at times) advocate the approach that I do (there
>> and elsewhere) at the exclusion of the claptrap which you appear to find
>> so beguiling/intriguing.
>
>Repeatedly asking people to read over and over something they've read before
>and disagred with is in no way a good approach.  No wonder you get
>exasperated.
>
>
>
It isn't about teaching people in one particular field. This was written 
for applied psychologists and their managers. It isn't a description of 
behaviourism. It's a criticism of bad *practice* and an explication of 
good *practice*. The criteria for good and bad practice being what 
doesn't work and what does work *according to empirical evidence*.

Are you stupid? Wake up!! It doesn't make any difference whether you 
"disagree" or not.
-- 
David Longley
http://www.longley.demon.co.uk
0
David
7/19/2004 9:16:19 AM
"Wolf Kirchmeir" <wwolfkir@sympatico.ca> wrote in message
news:6AuKc.70$Gf7.23587@news20.bellglobal.com...
> John Hasenkam wrote:
> > "Wolf Kirchmeir" <wwolfkir@sympatico.ca> wrote in message
> > news:bPSJc.27499$TB3.1137662@news20.bellglobal.com...
> ...snip...
> >
> > I am the most probably the least well-schooled person on this forum. I
hated
> > school, hated university even more. That's brain damage for you. A touch
of
> > opposition defiant disorder perhaps. That may explain why I've always
> > enjoyed kicking against the pricks.
> >
> > So whaddya reckon Wolf, do I have any chance of teaching myself enough
about
> > behaviorism to give myself a useful insight into the same?
> >
> > Stay well,
> >
> > John.
>
> Ah, well, John, schooling ain't the same as eddication.

19/07/04 6:30PM

education: latin root: leading into the light. No point providing light if
the scales haven't fallen from the eyes(stealing from St. Paul again).

Thanks Wolf,

I think we cannot penetrate brain function in relation to behavior unless we
first determine how the brain maintains stable output under such widely
varying conditions. Neat trick. Physiology will *never* be an adequate
explanation of behavior.

I came here to steal the insights of yourself, Glen, and David. I don't
expect to acquire any expertise in behaviorism but I know this coming
learning cycle will help me. As to this Glen character - a voice in the
wilderness, Zarathustra, rebel with a cause(wonderful Eysenck autobio)? I
suggest he is on a
mission from god, in the sense as in the movie, "The Blues Brothers". ie.
saving orphans from the pricks. Now whoever said RBists can't have a social
conscience?

"'Skills of mind' and 'skills of eye, ear, and muscle' are fundamentally
similiar."
Rosenbaum et al, 2001, Annual Review of Psychology, vol 52, 453-470.


"Motor development and cognitive development are fundamentally intertwined."
Adele Diamond.

So what is this rubbish about some huge gap between simple and complex
behavior?

Regards,


John.


> Read the classic texts by Skinner (he overstates his case, but he had
> issues with "soul" etc on account of his religious raising), and read a
> few articles describing actual research. If you want just an "informed
> opinion", that should be enough.
>
> Despite what Lester et al. say, behaviorism explains a lot; radical
> behaviorism is very careful to set limits on those explanations. Some
> people think these limits mean that RB denies the value of attempting to
> explanation outside those limits. I don't think so. It just claims that
> wt present we don't have the tools and methods to go beyond. Note that
> neurology and molecular biology appear to be going beyond those limts,
> but they don't. As Glen says "physiology mediates." That mediation is
> beginning to be analysed, but IMO that analysis is atill at the stage of
> gathering observations that may be useful. Where biology was in the
> 17-1800s, IOW. Dawrin's genius was to recognise a pattern or two and
> construct a theory - a theory that subseqeunet research has filled in
> but not refuted. We don't have such a theory of behaviour yet, but IMO
> the behaviorist stance (which says that the environment is an essential
> part of such a theory) will be a central feature.
>
> HTH
>
>
> PS I'm a lousy typist., so I make typos, but I don'ty make errors., Hah!
>




0
John
7/19/2004 11:03:26 AM
I have looked at the most recent of your papers listed on your website.

What I saw, combined with your behavior in this newsgroup I most sincerly
suggest that you find/make time to stand back and have a good look at
yourself.

You would then at least have some chance of discovering a way to get relief
from some of your obsessive and overly intellectual self (as far as I can
see the dominant side of how you are - and have been influenced to become).

> Are you stupid? Wake up!! It doesn't make any difference whether you
> "disagree" or not.
> --
> David Longley
> http://www.longley.demon.co.uk


0
Peter
7/19/2004 11:43:43 AM
Lester Zick wrote:

> On Sun, 18 Jul 2004 13:40:19 -0400, Wolf Kirchmeir
> <wwolfkir@sympatico.ca> in comp.ai.philosophy wrote:

....snip...
> 
> I don't necessarily reiterate questions verbatim when you're being
> evasive about answering them. 

....snip...


You should, because small differences in wording can make huge 
differences in meaning. You apparently didn't notice that, so your 
comment was beside the point. When you comment on what I actually said 
instead of what you think I said, I will answer you.

0
Wolf
7/19/2004 1:02:06 PM
John Hasenkam wrote:

> I think we cannot penetrate brain function in relation to behavior unless we
> first determine how the brain maintains stable output under such widely
> varying conditions. Neat trick. 

But maybe we could look at that from the other way around.  Maybe the 
brain does not encounter such widely varying conditions.  Maybe when the 
brain is doing a very good job at what it has come to do,  it encounters 
the same conditions day after day.  Ever wonder where we get the 
impression that people never change?  ... that the older people are, 
the less they change?  ... that the stability of our communities rests 
on this principal?   ... that the only way to change is to change your 
environment first!  ... that the people who have become good at that are 
just those people who are our leaders.


> Physiology will *never* be an adequate
> explanation of behavior.
> 

We could go with that one :)

patty

0
patty
7/19/2004 1:04:59 PM
In article <TtOKc.118$lV3.6336@nnrp1.ozemail.com.au>, Peter F. 
<effectivespamblock@ozemail.com.au> writes
>I have looked at the most recent of your papers listed on your website.
>
>What I saw, combined with your behavior in this newsgroup I most sincerly
>suggest that you find/make time to stand back and have a good look at
>yourself.
>
>You would then at least have some chance of discovering a way to get relief
>from some of your obsessive and overly intellectual self (as far as I can
>see the dominant side of how you are - and have been influenced to become).
>
>> Are you stupid? Wake up!! It doesn't make any difference whether you
>> "disagree" or not.
>> --
>> David Longley
>> http://www.longley.demon.co.uk
>
>
Then perhaps you should look into this:

http://www.longley.demon.co.uk/Frag.htm
http://www.longley.demon.co.uk/Cropwood.pdf
http://www.longley.demon.co.uk/CatA1990.pdf
http://www.longley.demon.co.uk/Regimes.pdf

http://www.longley.demon.co.uk/Sm-97apr.pdf
http://www.longley.demon.co.uk/Workj97.pdf

and *then* see:

http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/pdfs2/r161.pdf

http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/pdfs2/r206.pdf
http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/pdfs2/r205.pdf


(and more recently):

<http://www.renewal.net/Documents/Research/Understandingwhataccredited.pd
f>

See press and parliamentary coverage

<http://society.guardian.co.uk/mentalhealth/comment/0,8146,1047852,00.htm
l>
<http://www.parliament.the-stationery-office.co.uk/pa/cm200203/cmhansrd/c
m031110/text/31110w25.htm>

Just for good measure - something I've just come across:

<http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/pdfs04/r242.pdf>

See last two "key points" with respect to my early papers in the second 
group above. It really doesn't matter whether *you* "agree" either. You 
need to try to grasp *why*. 
<http://www.hmprisonservice.gov.uk/news/index.asp?id=1262,22,6,22,0,0>


-- 
David Longley
0
David
7/19/2004 1:28:58 PM
Allan C Cybulskie wrote:

> "Glen M. Sizemore" <gmsizemore2@yahoo.com> wrote in message
> news:SDhKc.18165$Mh.10271@cyclops.nntpserver.com...

....snip...

 > When we privately do things - talking, seeing, etc.
> 
> we
> 
>>are doing some of the same things that we do when we engage in the more
>>public aspects of these sorts of responses.
> 
> 
> So the question is: why should I subordinate private to public behaviour
> instead of saying that the private behaviour is the primary notion, and that
> the public is just a less inhibited form of that?

Because a) the meaning of "private behaviour" is ambiguous. It can refer 
either to awareness (including "conscious deliberation" or "thinking" 
(1)), which is IMO the usual sense. NB that my only access to your 
private behaviour is what you tell me about it, but there's no reason to 
believe that your reports are accurate or complete. Sincerity is not the 
same as truthfulness. Or, the term refers to brain events that can be 
observed via various techniques. Unfortunately, it's very difficult to 
determine which brain events correspond to "thinking." (2) It should 
also be clear that animals who apparently don't "consciously deliberate" 
(ie, they don't talk about it) nevertheless "decide" to act. In them, 
all we have are the public behaviours; there is no access to private 
behaviour in the susal sense at all. IOW, you may posit that private 
behaviour is in some sense primary, but there is no way to verify that 
supposition. (3)

(1) "Thinking" is ambigous, too, since it refers to either the data 
processing that occurs between, say, sensory input and muscular action, 
or to the "conscious thinking" that many humans seem to believe is the 
only kind of thinking that happens, and which should IMO be understood 
as awareness of thinking. It should also be fairly obvious that 
"conscious thinking" is a very small part of the total process.

(2) It may very well be that the time-difference between activation of 
neuro-muscular sustems and conscious "decision" is an effect of the time 
it takes for the awareness module to respond to the inputs from the 
neuro-muscular cicuits and  respond to them. That's why I suggested that 
consciousness might be a kind of summary (bad term I know, but I can't 
think of a better just now.) But even if this is so, there is nothing in 
the current technology of observing brain events that allows one to 
disentangle those events enough to decide whether the suggestion is true 
or not. (It's not my suggestion, BTW, but I can't recall where I first 
came across it.)

(3) Even if it were true that private behaviour is primary, its 
explanatory power would be low. "Private thinking" could change the 
behaviours of a human, if its subject were, say, ethical choice. But 
from an observer's point of view, all that would be accessible is the 
external behaviours of talking, writing, etc, and differences in actions 
before and after the talking, writing, etc. The observer could only say 
that given certain kinds of talk, a person's behaviour is likely to 
change in certain ways. Just such an observation has been made many 
times, but it does not prove that the private behaviour is primary, 
because the observations also include some triggering event in the 
person's environment - reading an article, witnessing an action by 
another person, talk by another person, etc. A person  may report on 
some change of internal state (for example, a change in belief or 
feeling) and report further that this change of state played a role in 
his or her change in behaviour. But note that this report is a public 
behaviour, and we can't tell whether the private behaviour it purports 
to record is primary or not. So, no matter what role the private 
behaviours play (and I'm certain they play a role), we can only observe 
and make statements about the public behaviours and the triggering events.

OTOH, because people make reports of private behaviour, and because one 
can observe that such reports typically follow certain kinds of events 
(including talking to the person in question about such private 
behaviour, etc et etc), people have developed a number of techniques of 
changing people's behaviour by talking to them, etc etc etc. These 
techniques are thoroughly behaviorist, regardless of what the 
practitioner believes he is doing.
0
Wolf
7/19/2004 1:41:37 PM
David Longley wrote:

> I've been told before that the cancels aren't working, but I mistakenly 
> thought they had been deleted, albeit with a delay. I now see that they 
> aren't after all. I'll look into it, but if anyone knows why the 
> Turnpike software cancel may not be working, please let me know as I 
> appreciate that it must be irritating.
> 

Obviously your post can be read by people prior to your cancellation 
transaction.  Your cancels are working, but they cannot undo the history 
or actual events which have transpired.  Patty has been involved in a 
number of these, and it is not irritating, just very funny ;)

Newsgroups trimmed.

patty

0
patty
7/19/2004 1:54:30 PM
Lester Zick wrote:

....snip...
> 
> Yes, well, behaviorists like Wolf seem to disagree with behaviorists
> like GS and vice versa. Thus it would appear that behaviorists by and
> large don't have any consistent definition of behaviorism apart from
> it's whatever behaviorists do and say at any point in time.
> 
> Regards - Lester
> 

Which means that we are trying to figure just what we are talking about, 
instead of making a priori assumptions. Unlike you. You keep maundering 
on about definitions, etc, as if they were immutable laws written on 
stone. You have occasionally quoted dictionary definitions, even. Good 
grief!

What's a definition? If it's in the dictionary, it's the dictionary 
maker's report on the meaning(s) attached to a word, as best as the 
maker can ascertain. Such definitions may have nothing to do with what 
the supposed referent of a word really is. (Consider the meanings of 
"heat" for an example.)

If it's in a math text, it's limitation on the meaning of a term, 
defined as the context in which the term may be used to construct 
truthfunctional statements. If it's a poor definition, then the term can 
be used to construct contradictory statements, which is why 
mathematicians care deeply about the definitions they make.

If it's in a science text, it's a summary of the current state of 
knowledge about whatever it is that the definition refers to.

If it's in a piece of legislation, it's a limitation on the meanings the 
word has in other contexts (including the explcit denial of some of 
those meanings, if necessary). And, as we all know, even so a word will 
be ambiguous enough that it takes loadasadough to get a judge to define 
the  word further so that egregious miscarriages of justice may be avoided.

If it's in theology, -- well, better not get into that. Theology is as 
bad as economics: ask three theologians for the meaning of "god", and 
you'll get six anssers.

Etc.

In all cases, definitions are human constructs, and therefore are 
subject to change. The fact that Glen and I do not fully agree means 
both that neither of us fully understand the subject, and that I in 
particular am uncertain about the scope of "behaviorism." BTW, we can 
disagree about the scope of "behaviorism" without disagreeing about the 
futility of mentalist explanations. We can even disagree about the 
reasons for that futility. We can disagree about a lot of things, in 
fact. But that disagreement is not evidence that can be used to refute 
behaviorism.
0
Wolf
7/19/2004 2:07:10 PM
On Mon, 19 Jul 2004 09:02:06 -0400, Wolf Kirchmeir
<wwolfkir@sympatico.ca> in comp.ai.philosophy wrote:

>Lester Zick wrote:
>
>> On Sun, 18 Jul 2004 13:40:19 -0400, Wolf Kirchmeir
>> <wwolfkir@sympatico.ca> in comp.ai.philosophy wrote:
>
>...snip...
>> 
>> I don't necessarily reiterate questions verbatim when you're being
>> evasive about answering them. 
>
>...snip...
>
>
>You should, because small differences in wording can make huge 
>differences in meaning. You apparently didn't notice that, so your 
>comment was beside the point. When you comment on what I actually said 
>instead of what you think I said, I will answer you.

My original question did. And if small differences can make such a
huge difference, you shouldn't indulge is quite so much snippage.
However I can see you want to regress  discussion and argue over
trivialities.What did you actually say that you don't want to discuss?

Regards - Lester

0
lesterDELzick
7/19/2004 3:12:55 PM
On Mon, 19 Jul 2004 10:07:10 -0400, Wolf Kirchmeir
<wwolfkir@sympatico.ca> in comp.ai.philosophy wrote:

>Lester Zick wrote:
>
>...snip...
>> 
>> Yes, well, behaviorists like Wolf seem to disagree with behaviorists
>> like GS and vice versa. Thus it would appear that behaviorists by and
>> large don't have any consistent definition of behaviorism apart from
>> it's whatever behaviorists do and say at any point in time.

[. . .]

>In all cases, definitions are human constructs, and therefore are 
>subject to change. The fact that Glen and I do not fully agree means 
>both that neither of us fully understand the subject,

Yes, well, I'll let you explain that one to Glen.

>                                                                                      and that I in 
>particular am uncertain about the scope of "behaviorism." BTW, we can 
>disagree about the scope of "behaviorism" without disagreeing about the 
>futility of mentalist explanations. We can even disagree about the 
>reasons for that futility. We can disagree about a lot of things, in 
>fact. But that disagreement is not evidence that can be used to refute 
>behaviorism.

The point is that nothing you, Glen, or any other behaviorist says
about behaviorism can be used to refute behaviorism. That is what
makes it a speculative philosophy and not the fact that behaviorism
can't even explain what it is denying when it denies the mind and
mental effects.

What refutes behaviorism is not that behaviorists disagree over what
behaviorism is and maintains. What refutes behaviorism is its
speculative and unscientific nature. Behaviorism can't show that
anything it says with respect to behavior is necessarily true to the
exclusion of other explanations. You like behaviorist explanations
and dislike other explanations? So what?

Behaviorists are just unoriginal materialist cretins. When I make
basic observations on the mechanical nature of sentient behavior, I
offer proof of the universal applicability of my claims. Behaviorists
just indulge in ridicule and name calling to avoid any necessity for
the experimental validation of their claims. No one has to refute
behaviorism's denial of the mind and mental effects when behaviorism
can't validate its claims experimentally to begin with.

I could care less whether you, Glen, or the man on the moon understand
behaviorism in exactly the same way. But when you and Glen come out
with flatly contradictory claims as to what behaviorism says and try
to use that as a basis for arguing nonsense, not only is at least one
of you wrong, but it is evident as well that one or the both of you
isn't even paying attention.

Regards - Lester

0
lesterDELzick
7/19/2004 4:32:16 PM
Allan C Cybulskie wrote:
> "Glen M. Sizemore" <gmsizemore2@yahoo.com> wrote in message
> news:T5DKc.17332$5Y.17243@cyclops.nntpserver.com...
> 
>>AC:  - what commonly distinguishes the mind is, in fact, the experience
> 
> and
> 
>>what we feel...
>>
>>
>>
>>GS: This is utter nonsense. What is the alleged "unconscious mind!?"
> 
> 
> There's no such thing.  There's an alleged SUBconscious mind, and it's only
> given the title "mind" due to its supposed impact and relation to conscious
> mind.  But there are many philosophers -- Merleau-Ponty particularly comes
> to mind -- who have no problem refusing to consider it to be mind.  I only
> disagree with him to the extent that it seems that this subconscious mind
> does or aids in actual conscious thinking.
> 
> 


One way to consider this alleged "mind" is to consider the semantic 
networks ... the networks of usage of words within their various 
contexts.  It is hard to deny the existence of those networks.  Then it 
is easy to partition those networks into that which an individual has 
been exposed to and that which they have not.  We then could call that 
which they have not been exposed to (experienced, trained in, played 
games in, etc) as their subconscious mind.

Woops ... patty said the nasty out of quotes ... can you gentlemen ever 
forgive me ?

Newsgroups trimmed for faster service ... try it, you may like it.

patty

PS:  patty seriously doubts that idea was first generated between her 
ears ... consequently she takes no credit or responsibility for copying 
it into this context which she could not resist!
0
patty
7/19/2004 6:54:00 PM
Allan C Cybulskie wrote:

> But, let's take this a step further back, and wonder how long division could
> be established in the first place.  It seems unlikely that this could be
> "public" behaviour, since it was not learned at a blackboard or a
> whiteboard.  Thus, it seems that most public behaviour -- which would
> include language -- has to start in private behaviour and end with an aim
> towards the public.  

Well patty has invented a number of algorithms in her day.  The 
invention process always started with her making marks on a piece of 
paper and then guessing patterns on those marks or tracing lines to run 
examples through the maze of marks; and then mutating the marks until 
they worked.   She calls that putting public behavior before private 
behavior.  But of course that is just patty, your mileage may vary, she 
may be a bit weak between the ears.

Newsgroups trimmed ... let's get real ... this is really not that important!

patty
0
patty
7/19/2004 7:36:16 PM
Lester Zick wrote:
> Behaviorism can't show that
> anything it says with respect to behavior is necessarily true to the
> exclusion of other explanations.

Neither can any other science.
0
Wolf
7/19/2004 7:55:00 PM
In article <QoVKc.117255$JR4.24467@attbi_s54>, patty 
<pattyNO@SPAMicyberspace.net> writes
>Allan C Cybulskie wrote:
>
>> But, let's take this a step further back, and wonder how long division could
>> be established in the first place.  It seems unlikely that this could be
>> "public" behaviour, since it was not learned at a blackboard or a
>> whiteboard.  Thus, it seems that most public behaviour -- which would
>> include language -- has to start in private behaviour and end with an aim
>> towards the public.
>
>Well patty has invented a number of algorithms in her day.  The 
>invention process always started with her making marks on a piece of 
>paper and then guessing patterns on those marks or tracing lines to run 
>examples through the maze of marks; and then mutating the marks until 
>they worked.   She calls that putting public behavior before private 
>behavior.  But of course that is just patty, your mileage may vary, she 
>may be a bit weak between the ears.
>
>Newsgroups trimmed ... let's get real ... this is really not that important!
>
>patty

He clearly hasn't looked into as much phenomenology as he makes out. 
Instead of Merleau-Ponty, perhaps he should read Husserl (on the origin 
of geometry) or that great "experimentalist" Piaget #1 (or better still, 
Quine on reference for that matter). All have provided "genetic 
epistemologies".

(#1 Instead of assimilation, accomodation and adaptation - one might 
substitute the three term contingency for example).

-- 
David Longley
0
David
7/19/2004 8:24:14 PM
"patty" <pattyNO@SPAMicyberspace.net> wrote in message
news:%FPKc.131488$Oq2.52197@attbi_s52...
> John Hasenkam wrote:
>
> > I think we cannot penetrate brain function in relation to behavior
unless we
> > first determine how the brain maintains stable output under such widely
> > varying conditions. Neat trick.
>
> But maybe we could look at that from the other way around.  Maybe the
> brain does not encounter such widely varying conditions.  Maybe when the
> brain is doing a very good job at what it has come to do,  it encounters
> the same conditions day after day.  Ever wonder where we get the
> impression that people never change?  ... that the older people are,
> the less they change?  ... that the stability of our communities rests
> on this principal?   ... that the only way to change is to change your
> environment first!  ... that the people who have become good at that are
> just those people who are our leaders.

I didn't make my point clear. I was referring to constantly changing
physiological conditions. Irrespective of the environment changes in various
physiological processes impact on brain function yet it maintains a
remarkably consistent output. I think that we need to figure out how the
brain can generate the same behavior despite these ongoing changes. Behavior
does change but only minimally. For example, the regions of the brain that
manage language shift through the menstrual cycle and some of these shifts
are substantial. Circadian variations also change the internal milieu on a
daily basis. That's the neat trick which to me suggests that in looking at
how brains change in response to the environment we need to think about how
it manages to respond to the environment in a consistent manner in spite of
these changes.

People don't change? We like to think that. At a stretch, I recall how we
will perceive the same colours in spite of frequency changes hitting the
retina. Or how we fail to notice small changes in the visual environment
that we have seen many times. Or how for some time we fail to notice how the
car is changing because we do not detect the slow change in its performance.


John.

>
> > Physiology will *never* be an adequate
> > explanation of behavior.
> >
>
> We could go with that one :)
>
> patty
>


0
John
7/20/2004 12:15:20 AM
Wolf Kirchmeir <wwolfkir@sympatico.ca> wrote in message news:<DFVKc.11683$Gf7.342658@news20.bellglobal.com>...
> Lester Zick wrote:
> > Behaviorism can't show that
> > anything it says with respect to behavior is necessarily true to the
> > exclusion of other explanations.
> 
> Neither can any other science.


Then why all the endless arguing and name calling?
0
feedbackdroids
7/20/2004 5:10:05 AM
Wolf Kirchmeir <wwolfkir@sympatico.ca> wrote in message news:<DFVKc.11683$Gf7.342658@news20.bellglobal.com>...
> Lester Zick wrote:
> > Behaviorism can't show that
> > anything it says with respect to behavior is necessarily true to the
> > exclusion of other explanations.
> 
> Neither can any other science.


Then why all the endless arguing and name calling?
0
feedbackdroids
7/20/2004 5:10:29 AM
John Hasenkam wrote:

....snip...
> I didn't make my point clear. I was referring to constantly changing
> physiological conditions. Irrespective of the environment changes in various
> physiological processes impact on brain function yet it maintains a
> remarkably consistent output. I think that we need to figure out how the
> brain can generate the same behavior despite these ongoing changes. Behavior
> does change but only minimally. For example, the regions of the brain that
> manage language shift through the menstrual cycle and some of these shifts
> are substantial. Circadian variations also change the internal milieu on a
> daily basis. That's the neat trick which to me suggests that in looking at
> how brains change in response to the environment we need to think about how
> it manages to respond to the environment in a consistent manner in spite of
> these changes.

The brain is probably a chaotic system; the stability is the effect of 
the attractor.
....snip..
0
Wolf
7/20/2004 1:40:54 PM
On Mon, 19 Jul 2004 15:55:00 -0400, Wolf Kirchmeir
<wwolfkir@sympatico.ca> in comp.ai.philosophy wrote:

>Lester Zick wrote:
>> Behaviorism can't show that
>> anything it says with respect to behavior is necessarily true to the
>> exclusion of other explanations.
>
>Neither can any other science.

Oh, no, brown cow. I can show that differences, contradiction et al.
are necessarily true of all things including behavior to the exclusion
of other explanations. Jealousy is indeed a green eyed monster.

Regards - Lester

0
lesterDELzick
7/20/2004 2:42:59 PM
On 19 Jul 2004 22:10:05 -0700, feedbackdroids@yahoo.com (dan michaels)
in comp.ai.philosophy wrote:

>Wolf Kirchmeir <wwolfkir@sympatico.ca> wrote in message news:<DFVKc.11683$Gf7.342658@news20.bellglobal.com>...
>> Lester Zick wrote:
>> > Behaviorism can't show that
>> > anything it says with respect to behavior is necessarily true to the
>> > exclusion of other explanations.
>> 
>> Neither can any other science.

Behaviorism is not science but speculative philosophy. What makes
it speculative is its primary tenet, the absence of mind and mental
effects, is not subject to experimental validation or invalidation.

>Then why all the endless arguing and name calling?

Good question. One is inclined to suspect the abject failure of
materialism as science is just becoming manifest to some.

Regards - Lester

0
lesterDELzick
7/20/2004 2:43:00 PM
"Glen M. Sizemore" <gmsizemore2@yahoo.com> escreveu na mensagem
news:SDhKc.18165$Mh.10271@cyclops.nntpserver.com...
>
> GS: It isn't. Thinking is behavior.
>

That's one way of defining the word "thinking". But you've
got to concede that, in the age of fMRI and PET scans, this
way of seeing things is not useful anymore.

>
> GS: That's stupid - it misses the whole point. The point is that when you
> instruct people to think about behaving in a particular fashion, much of
> what goes on in the brain is like what goes on when the person engages in
> the full-blown action.

I guess it all boils down to understand the word "thinking" in
a more broad way. Your way of seeing it seems limited to me, as
it avoids considering all brain activities that *don't* result
in external behavior.

> It makes sense that it should be like this, since
> thinking is behavior. When we privately do things - talking, seeing, etc.
we
> are doing some of the same things that we do when we engage in the more
> public aspects of these sorts of responses.
>

However, there are quite a lot of things happening inside our brains
that don't have externally visible behavior. If you're willing to
dismiss all this activity just to continue using your definition,
then you seem to be dismissing all potential progress that can be
achieved by the neurocognitive way of studying the brain. For instance,
put researcher Isabel Gauthier to look at the pattern of activations
of a fMRI scan and she will tell you if the subject is thinking about
human faces or not (even if the subject remains silent).

Sergio Navega.


0
Sergio
7/20/2004 3:14:07 PM
In article <40fd3773$1_3@news.athenanews.com>, Sergio Navega 
<snavega@intelliwise.com> writes
>"Glen M. Sizemore" <gmsizemore2@yahoo.com> escreveu na mensagem
>news:SDhKc.18165$Mh.10271@cyclops.nntpserver.com...
>>
>> GS: It isn't. Thinking is behavior.
>>
>
>That's one way of defining the word "thinking". But you've
>got to concede that, in the age of fMRI and PET scans, this
>way of seeing things is not useful anymore.
>

Nonsense.

>>
>> GS: That's stupid - it misses the whole point. The point is that when you
>> instruct people to think about behaving in a particular fashion, much of
>> what goes on in the brain is like what goes on when the person engages in
>> the full-blown action.
>
>I guess it all boils down to understand the word "thinking" in
>a more broad way. Your way of seeing it seems limited to me, as
>it avoids considering all brain activities that *don't* result
>in external behavior.
>
>> It makes sense that it should be like this, since
>> thinking is behavior. When we privately do things - talking, seeing, etc.
>we
>> are doing some of the same things that we do when we engage in the more
>> public aspects of these sorts of responses.
>>
>
>However, there are quite a lot of things happening inside our brains
>that don't have externally visible behavior. If you're willing to
>dismiss all this activity just to continue using your definition,
>then you seem to be dismissing all potential progress that can be
>achieved by the neurocognitive way of studying the brain. For instance,
>put researcher Isabel Gauthier to look at the pattern of activations
>of a fMRI scan and she will tell you if the subject is thinking about
>human faces or not (even if the subject remains silent).
>
>Sergio Navega.
>
>
How does anything that you write above impugn the point that "thinking", 
"seeing" etc is private behaviour? Why does being able to show that 
blood flows in areas of the brain which are "active" when people 
actually see people smiling etc *and* when they just "think" about this 
in any way impugn the value of treating this as behaviour? On the 
contrary, it would seem to do exactly the opposite through bringing some 
reference to such behaviour under some control of the reinforcing 
(verbal) community - ie by rendering it public. The writing is on the 
wall for intensionalist cognitivism, not for behaviour analysis and 
behavioural neuroscience.
-- 
David Longley
0
David
7/20/2004 3:47:00 PM
John Hasenkam wrote:
> "patty" <pattyNO@SPAMicyberspace.net> wrote in message
> news:%FPKc.131488$Oq2.52197@attbi_s52...
> 
>>John Hasenkam wrote:
>>
>>
>>>I think we cannot penetrate brain function in relation to behavior
> 
> unless we
> 
>>>first determine how the brain maintains stable output under such widely
>>>varying conditions. Neat trick.
>>
>>But maybe we could look at that from the other way around.  Maybe the
>>brain does not encounter such widely varying conditions.  Maybe when the
>>brain is doing a very good job at what it has come to do,  it encounters
>>the same conditions day after day.  Ever wonder where we get the
>>impression that people never change?  ... that the older people are,
>>the less they change?  ... that the stability of our communities rests
>>on this principal?   ... that the only way to change is to change your
>>environment first!  ... that the people who have become good at that are
>>just those people who are our leaders.
> 
> 
> I didn't make my point clear. I was referring to constantly changing
> physiological conditions. Irrespective of the environment changes in various
> physiological processes impact on brain function yet it maintains a
> remarkably consistent output. 


Your point came through loud and clear.  We (at least i) have not been 
trained to think of the brain as an organ who's job (as it were) was to 
maintain constant output (obviously sensitive to the context in which it 
finds itself).  So that was a flash of sorts for me.   I just started 
there and gave my impressions of how that affected our lives.  I can't 
hope to shed any light on your question, i dont know anything about the 
brain.

patty
0
patty
7/20/2004 4:11:53 PM
"David Longley" <David@longley.demon.co.uk> escreveu na mensagem
news:3Kzm9DH05T$AFwVB@longley.demon.co.uk...
> >
> How does anything that you write above impugn the point that "thinking",
> "seeing" etc is private behaviour? Why does being able to show that
> blood flows in areas of the brain which are "active" when people
> actually see people smiling etc *and* when they just "think" about this
> in any way impugn the value of treating this as behaviour? On the
> contrary, it would seem to do exactly the opposite through bringing some
> reference to such behaviour under some control of the reinforcing
> (verbal) community - ie by rendering it public. The writing is on the
> wall for intensionalist cognitivism, not for behaviour analysis and
> behavioural neuroscience.

The question is not to impugn behaviorism (at least, in my way of
seeing things). I'm not "against" behaviorism (I have some Skinner
books and also Baum's). The best book about behavior change I have
is "Principles of Behavior Change", by Edward Sarafino. It's a
wonderful book, so much better than much of what we have with
psychoanalisis. So I don't want to bury behaviorism.

I am against artificial attempts to prevent the creation of
insightful scientific models. If we have today ERP, PET, fMRI, TMS
and other techniques for "peeking" at the brain while it's working,
we have a good chance to really make progress with our models (and
in science we *do* need to make models; in AI this is absolutely
essential). If one cognitive scientist proposes a falsifiable
model and it turns out to be falsified (by behavioral data or
by neurobiological means), then I think this theory should really
be thrown away, and not because it was not developed the way
radical behaviorists wanted.

Sergio Navega.


0
Sergio
7/20/2004 4:56:21 PM
In article <40fd4f68$1_6@news.athenanews.com>, Sergio Navega 
<snavega@intelliwise.com> writes
>"David Longley" <David@longley.demon.co.uk> escreveu na mensagem
>news:3Kzm9DH05T$AFwVB@longley.demon.co.uk...
>> >
>> How does anything that you write above impugn the point that "thinking",
>> "seeing" etc is private behaviour? Why does being able to show that
>> blood flows in areas of the brain which are "active" when people
>> actually see people smiling etc *and* when they just "think" about this
>> in any way impugn the value of treating this as behaviour? On the
>> contrary, it would seem to do exactly the opposite through bringing some
>> reference to such behaviour under some control of the reinforcing
>> (verbal) community - ie by rendering it public. The writing is on the
>> wall for intensionalist cognitivism, not for behaviour analysis and
>> behavioural neuroscience.
>
>The question is not to impugn behaviorism (at least, in my way of
>seeing things). I'm not "against" behaviorism (I have some Skinner
>books and also Baum's). The best book about behavior change I have
>is "Principles of Behavior Change", by Edward Sarafino. It's a
>wonderful book, so much better than much of what we have with
>psychoanalisis. So I don't want to bury behaviorism.
>
>I am against artificial attempts to prevent the creation of
>insightful scientific models. If we have today ERP, PET, fMRI, TMS
>and other techniques for "peeking" at the brain while it's working,
>we have a good chance to really make progress with our models (and
>in science we *do* need to make models; in AI this is absolutely
>essential). If one cognitive scientist proposes a falsifiable
>model and it turns out to be falsified (by behavioral data or
>by neurobiological means), then I think this theory should really
>be thrown away, and not because it was not developed the way
>radical behaviorists wanted.
>
>Sergio Navega.
>
>

You haven't *really* addressed my question. You suggested that this 
technology should unsettle Glen. But people like Glen and I have spent 
time "peeking" at the brains of animals by inserting cannulae or 
electrodes like many other behavioural neuroscientists and recording 
animals' operant behaviour (neurosurgeons have done it quite directly 
for decades). What's new about fMRI etc is that it makes some of this 
easier, especially for those who don't know enough about brain and 
behaviour to look at it with circumspection. It misleads a lot of 
people, especially those cognitivists who are undisciplined mentalists 
or intensionalists in my view.  The technology is just a new technology 
in a long line of technologies and one of my tacit points was that when 
others here have said things similar to what you said in your post, it 
has just betrayed their (all too common) naive conception of radical or 
evidential behaviourism. When a person makes a verbal or other response 
when someone is looking at an fMRI image etc, how does that 
fundamentally differ from when someone records what a field electrode 
etc picks up in a freely moving animal on some schedule or other 
'behavioural assay'. It  doesn't unless one is a closet mentalist 
looking for "meaning" in what the subject says or does. This is what 
almost all "cognitivists" including "cognitive neuroscientists".  People 
(including themselves) are often just seduced by their proximity to 
physical "brain talk"!
-- 
David Longley
0
David
7/20/2004 5:54:31 PM
David Longley wrote:

[sorry big snip of this out of its context]

> a closet mentalist 
> looking for "meaning" in what the subject says or does. 

How can one call themselves studying human behavior without looking for 
meaning (usage whatever) in what the subject says or does?   By analogy, 
could we make a valid study of airplane behavior without considering the 
intent, comfort, and destinations of their passengers?

Newsgroups trimmed: what is the intention of the person who has added them?

patty
0
patty
7/20/2004 6:21:35 PM
In article <PodLc.128055$JR4.119361@attbi_s54>, patty 
<pattyNO@SPAMicyberspace.net> writes
>David Longley wrote:
>
>[sorry big snip of this out of its context]
>
>> a closet mentalist  looking for "meaning" in what the subject says or 
>>does.
>
>How can one call themselves studying human behavior without looking for 
>meaning (usage whatever) in what the subject says or does?   By 
>analogy, could we make a valid study of airplane behavior without 
>considering the intent, comfort, and destinations of their passengers?
>
>Newsgroups trimmed: what is the intention of the person who has added them?
>
>patty

"How_can_one_call_themselves_studying_human_behavior...."? she says in 
response to a post from DL.

"eeekk_eeek_eeeekk_eeeek_eek_eeeeeeeeeek" (+piddle all down labcoat (+ 
bitten finger) says the Sprague-Dawley as DL sticks a needle in IP). If 
I also had a recording electrode in the PAG what more would the above 
tell me?

Now you try it with your example.


-- 
David Longley
0
David
7/20/2004 6:56:22 PM
lesterDELzick@worldnet.att.net (Lester Zick) wrote in message news:<40fd2d5e.55231843@netnews.att.net>...
> On 19 Jul 2004 22:10:05 -0700, feedbackdroids@yahoo.com (dan michaels)
> in comp.ai.philosophy wrote:
> 
> >Wolf Kirchmeir <wwolfkir@sympatico.ca> wrote in message news:<DFVKc.11683$Gf7.342658@news20.bellglobal.com>...
> >> Lester Zick wrote:
> >> > Behaviorism can't show that
> >> > anything it says with respect to behavior is necessarily true to the
> >> > exclusion of other explanations.
> >> 
> >> Neither can any other science.
> 
> Behaviorism is not science but speculative philosophy. What makes
> it speculative is its primary tenet, the absence of mind and mental
> effects, is not subject to experimental validation or invalidation.
> 

Adler has made exactly the same argument.
=================


> >Then why all the endless arguing and name calling?
> 
> Good question. One is inclined to suspect the abject failure of
> materialism as science is just becoming manifest to some.
> 
> Regards - Lester


At least I'm glad to see that at least one advocate of behaviorism
[ie, Wolf] is able at least to make a statement such as .... "Neither
can any other science".
0
feedbackdroids
7/20/2004 7:06:46 PM
patty <pattyNO@SPAMicyberspace.net> wrote in message news:<%FPKc.131488$Oq2.52197@attbi_s52>...
> John Hasenkam wrote:
> 

> 
> > Physiology will *never* be an adequate
> > explanation of behavior.
> > 
> 
> We could go with that one :)
> 
> patty


The computer is not the program.
0
feedbackdroids
7/20/2004 7:09:37 PM
dan michaels wrote:

> patty <pattyNO@SPAMicyberspace.net> wrote in message news:<%FPKc.131488$Oq2.52197@attbi_s52>...
> 
>>John Hasenkam wrote:
>>
> 
> 
>>>Physiology will *never* be an adequate
>>>explanation of behavior.
>>>
>>
>>We could go with that one :)
>>
>>patty
> 
> 
> 
> The computer is not the program.

Nor is the behavior of the computer when it is running the program 
either the computer or the program.  So what ?

Newsgroups trimmed again: is the plot thickening or are my observations 
not sufficiently detailed?

patty
0
patty
7/20/2004 7:26:28 PM
"David Longley" <David@longley.demon.co.uk> escreveu na mensagem
news:C$r7w1IXxV$AFwwZ@longley.demon.co.uk...
>
> You haven't *really* addressed my question. You suggested that this
> technology should unsettle Glen. But people like Glen and I have spent
> time "peeking" at the brains of animals by inserting cannulae or
> electrodes like many other behavioural neuroscientists and recording
> animals' operant behaviour (neurosurgeons have done it quite directly
> for decades). What's new about fMRI etc is that it makes some of this
> easier, especially for those who don't know enough about brain and
> behaviour to look at it with circumspection. It misleads a lot of
> people, especially those cognitivists who are undisciplined mentalists
> or intensionalists in my view.  The technology is just a new technology
> in a long line of technologies and one of my tacit points was that when
> others here have said things similar to what you said in your post, it
> has just betrayed their (all too common) naive conception of radical or
> evidential behaviourism. When a person makes a verbal or other response
> when someone is looking at an fMRI image etc, how does that
> fundamentally differ from when someone records what a field electrode
> etc picks up in a freely moving animal on some schedule or other
> 'behavioural assay'. It  doesn't unless one is a closet mentalist
> looking for "meaning" in what the subject says or does. This is what
> almost all "cognitivists" including "cognitive neuroscientists".  People
> (including themselves) are often just seduced by their proximity to
> physical "brain talk"!

My comment that follows will perhaps use an often repeated argument,
but I see no alternative at the moment. An AI researcher may
eventually be interested in understanding human behavior, but
what is essential to such a person is to comprehend the *mechanisms*
behind such behavior, because his/her task is to devise an
artificial mechanism capable of performing (behaving) similarly.
Thus, this leads to what I think is an overexposed argument: the
hardware/software question. For the sake of improving the idea,
let's consider a group of aliens which steal my computer. They
will do anything to understand how it works, because they want
to build their own.

The "hardware aliens" will analyze the boards, chips, cables
and connectors, trying to look for essential principles of
operation. The behaviorist aliens will annotate all reactions
of the computer to given stimuli. The "abstract aliens" will
notice patterns of behavior of that machine. But instead of
just annotating these patterns of behavior, the abstract
aliens will, after some time, start to hypothesize that the
windows showing in the monitor of the computer seem to be
individual instances of programs (which are, by themselves,
abstractions). From this simple hypothesis (that was developed
because of experimental observation) they will *deduct* that
it is necessary to have a central program which coordinates
how much processor time is spent in each of the windows.
The real value of such a deductive model is to be capable of
giving us some *predictions*. One prediction of this abstract
model is that if one opens too much windows, the speed of
the program in each window will be reduced (because of
the shared processor hypothesis). One can experimentally
check this prediction, and if this doesn't correspond to
what is measured, then the model is *wrong* and should be
rejected.

To the behaviorist aliens (a funny idea indeed...) it will
reject the notions of "operating systems", "time slices",
"protected data spaces", "interrupt service routines",
"high level languages", and a lot of other abstract concepts
created by the cognitive aliens. They dismiss these ideas
based solely on the fact that such things don't show directly
as behavior, being just figments of a cognitive alien mind
(sorry, brain).  However, these concepts are essential for
anyone doing creative development in software engineering.
Without entertaining such notions, one would hardly get a
deep vision of all one can do with software. In other words,
if Bill Gates was a behaviorist, he would be selling orange
juice at fifth avenue.

Although the software/hardware distinction is a bad analogy
for the mind/brain distinction, the idea is to have different
levels of analysis, provided that one obeys basic scientific
practices in all these levels.

Sergio Navega.


P.S: As an aside, let me mention a passage that I find hilarious,
although it is a bit against my prior argument. I read this as
an introductory quote to a paper about the use of metaphors and
analogical reasoning (and, of course, its misuse). This is the
situation: a physicist was invited to give a speech to a group
of simple farmers interested in improving the yield of milk of
their cows. Here's how the physicist started his speech:
"Let's start by considering a spherical cow..."



0
Sergio
7/20/2004 8:45:15 PM
In article <40fd4f68$1_6@news.athenanews.com>, Sergio Navega 
<snavega@intelliwise.com> writes
>"David Longley" <David@longley.demon.co.uk> escreveu na mensagem
>news:3Kzm9DH05T$AFwVB@longley.demon.co.uk...
>> >
>> How does anything that you write above impugn the point that "thinking",
>> "seeing" etc is private behaviour? Why does being able to show that
>> blood flows in areas of the brain which are "active" when people
>> actually see people smiling etc *and* when they just "think" about this
>> in any way impugn the value of treating this as behaviour? On the
>> contrary, it would seem to do exactly the opposite through bringing some
>> reference to such behaviour under some control of the reinforcing
>> (verbal) community - ie by rendering it public. The writing is on the
>> wall for intensionalist cognitivism, not for behaviour analysis and
>> behavioural neuroscience.
>
>The question is not to impugn behaviorism (at least, in my way of
>seeing things). I'm not "against" behaviorism (I have some Skinner
>books and also Baum's). The best book about behavior change I have
>is "Principles of Behavior Change", by Edward Sarafino. It's a
>wonderful book, so much better than much of what we have with
>psychoanalisis. So I don't want to bury behaviorism.
>
>I am against artificial attempts to prevent the creation of
>insightful scientific models. If we have today ERP, PET, fMRI, TMS
>and other techniques for "peeking" at the brain while it's working,
>we have a good chance to really make progress with our models (and
>in science we *do* need to make models; in AI this is absolutely
>essential). If one cognitive scientist proposes a falsifiable
>model and it turns out to be falsified (by behavioral data or
>by neurobiological means), then I think this theory should really
>be thrown away, and not because it was not developed the way
>radical behaviorists wanted.
>
>Sergio Navega.
>
>

You haven't *really* addressed my question. You suggested that this 
technology should unsettle Glen. But people like Glen and I have spent 
time "peeking" at the brains of animals by inserting cannulae or 
electrodes like many other behavioural neuroscientists and recording 
animals' operant behaviour (neurosurgeons have done it quite directly 
for decades). What's new about fMRI etc is that it makes some of this 
easier, especially for those who don't know enough about brain and 
behaviour to look at it with circumspection. It misleads a lot of 
people, especially those cognitivists who are undisciplined mentalists 
or intensionalists in my view.  The technology is just a new technology 
in a long line of technologies and one of my tacit points was that when 
others here have said things similar to what you said in your post, it 
has just betrayed their (all too common) naive conception of radical or 
evidential behaviourism. When a person makes a verbal or other response 
when someone is looking at an fMRI image etc, how does that 
fundamentally differ from when someone records what a field electrode 
etc picks up in a freely moving animal on some schedule or in some other 
'behavioural assay'? It  doesn't unless one is a closet mentalist 
looking for "meaning" in what the subject says or does. This is what 
almost all "cognitivists" including "cognitive neuroscientists" do. 
People (including the former) are often just seduced by their proximity 
to physical "brain talk"!
-- 
David Longley
0
David
7/20/2004 9:06:07 PM
In article <40fd8510_7@news.athenanews.com>, Sergio Navega 
<snavega@intelliwise.com> writes
>"David Longley" <David@longley.demon.co.uk> escreveu na mensagem
>news:C$r7w1IXxV$AFwwZ@longley.demon.co.uk...
>>
>> You haven't *really* addressed my question. You suggested that this
>> technology should unsettle Glen. But people like Glen and I have spent
>> time "peeking" at the brains of animals by inserting cannulae or
>> electrodes like many other behavioural neuroscientists and recording
>> animals' operant behaviour (neurosurgeons have done it quite directly
>> for decades). What's new about fMRI etc is that it makes some of this
>> easier, especially for those who don't know enough about brain and
>> behaviour to look at it with circumspection. It misleads a lot of
>> people, especially those cognitivists who are undisciplined mentalists
>> or intensionalists in my view.  The technology is just a new technology
>> in a long line of technologies and one of my tacit points was that when
>> others here have said things similar to what you said in your post, it
>> has just betrayed their (all too common) naive conception of radical or
>> evidential behaviourism. When a person makes a verbal or other response
>> when someone is looking at an fMRI image etc, how does that
>> fundamentally differ from when someone records what a field electrode
>> etc picks up in a freely moving animal on some schedule or other
>> 'behavioural assay'. It  doesn't unless one is a closet mentalist
>> looking for "meaning" in what the subject says or does. This is what
>> almost all "cognitivists" including "cognitive neuroscientists".  People
>> (including themselves) are often just seduced by their proximity to
>> physical "brain talk"!
>
>My comment that follows will perhaps use an often repeated argument,
>but I see no alternative at the moment. An AI researcher may
>eventually be interested in understanding human behavior, but
>what is essential to such a person is to comprehend the *mechanisms*
>behind such behavior, because his/her task is to devise an
>artificial mechanism capable of performing (behaving) similarly.
>Thus, this leads to what I think is an overexposed argument: the
>hardware/software question. For the sake of improving the idea,
>let's consider a group of aliens which steal my computer. They
>will do anything to understand how it works, because they want
>to build their own.
>
>The "hardware aliens" will analyze the boards, chips, cables
>and connectors, trying to look for essential principles of
>operation. The behaviorist aliens will annotate all reactions
>of the computer to given stimuli. The "abstract aliens" will
>notice patterns of behavior of that machine. But instead of
>just annotating these patterns of behavior, the abstract
>aliens will, after some time, start to hypothesize that the
>windows showing in the monitor of the computer seem to be
>individual instances of programs (which are, by themselves,
>abstractions). From this simple hypothesis (that was developed
>because of experimental observation) they will *deduct* that
>it is necessary to have a central program which coordinates
>how much processor time is spent in each of the windows.
>The real value of such a deductive model is to be capable of
>giving us some *predictions*. One prediction of this abstract
>model is that if one opens too much windows, the speed of
>the program in each window will be reduced (because of
>the shared processor hypothesis). One can experimentally
>check this prediction, and if this doesn't correspond to
>what is measured, then the model is *wrong* and should be
>rejected.
>

They may well *deduct* that if they're radical or evidential 
behaviourists (there's a good chance that they will be if they've 
managed to get this far). I'd guess they'd never have to consider such 
notions in the first place being extensionalists.

>To the behaviorist aliens (a funny idea indeed...) it will
>reject the notions of "operating systems", "time slices",
>"protected data spaces", "interrupt service routines",
>"high level languages", and a lot of other abstract concepts
>created by the cognitive aliens. They dismiss these ideas
>based solely on the fact that such things don't show directly
>as behavior, being just figments of a cognitive alien mind
>(sorry, brain).  However, these concepts are essential for
>anyone doing creative development in software engineering.
>Without entertaining such notions, one would hardly get a
>deep vision of all one can do with software. In other words,
>if Bill Gates was a behaviorist, he would be selling orange
>juice at fifth avenue.

How do you know? if he said he was would it make any difference?

>
>Although the software/hardware distinction is a bad analogy
>for the mind/brain distinction, the idea is to have different
>levels of analysis, provided that one obeys basic scientific
>practices in all these levels.
>
>Sergio Navega.
>
>
>P.S: As an aside, let me mention a passage that I find hilarious,
>although it is a bit against my prior argument. I read this as
>an introductory quote to a paper about the use of metaphors and
>analogical reasoning (and, of course, its misuse). This is the
>situation: a physicist was invited to give a speech to a group
>of simple farmers interested in improving the yield of milk of
>their cows. Here's how the physicist started his speech:
>"Let's start by considering a spherical cow..."
>
>
>
I do understand your posts (although I clearly don't agree with what you 
write). It doesn't look like you've understood mine (I've edited the end 
of the one above to correct the sloppy writing in the last two 
sentences, but I suspect that won't make much difference). You don't 
*appear* to understood what you've read by Skinner or Baum either.  Do 
you appreciate what's radical about radical (or evidential) 
behaviourism?

(PS. Do you appreciate that you are Ozkural's favourite net poster?)
-- 
David Longley
0
David
7/20/2004 9:36:33 PM
"David Longley" <David@longley.demon.co.uk> escreveu na mensagem
news:lVWSqqRhBZ$AFw3a@longley.demon.co.uk...
> In article <40fd8510_7@news.athenanews.com>, Sergio Navega
> <snavega@intelliwise.com> writes
> ..... One can experimentally
> >check this prediction, and if this doesn't correspond to
> >what is measured, then the model is *wrong* and should be
> >rejected.
> >
>
> They may well *deduct* that if they're radical or evidential
> behaviourists (there's a good chance that they will be if they've
> managed to get this far). I'd guess they'd never have to consider such
> notions in the first place being extensionalists.

Perhaps extensionalists don't pose abstract notions because they
are afraid that such notions will be only diversions from a more
definitive way of understanding things. My idea is that the
whole brain is too complicated to be understood at once. It
is necessary to segment the problem in several levels, with
a special concern toward the scientific validity of each
level and also with connections between levels. Physicists do
this, chemists do this, biologists do this. On the other
hand, imagined abstract models are the raw materials of
mathematicians and philosophers. In this regard, (experimental)
cognitive scientists are in good company (please notice
that I'm not talking about cognitive philosophers, upon
whom I may even buy some of your arguments).

> >
> >Although the software/hardware distinction is a bad analogy
> >for the mind/brain distinction, the idea is to have different
> >levels of analysis, provided that one obeys basic scientific
> >practices in all these levels.
> >
> >Sergio Navega.
> >
> >
> >P.S: As an aside, let me mention a passage that I find hilarious,
> >although it is a bit against my prior argument. I read this as
> >an introductory quote to a paper about the use of metaphors and
> >analogical reasoning (and, of course, its misuse). This is the
> >situation: a physicist was invited to give a speech to a group
> >of simple farmers interested in improving the yield of milk of
> >their cows. Here's how the physicist started his speech:
> >"Let's start by considering a spherical cow..."
> >
> >
> I do understand your posts (although I clearly don't agree with what you
> write). It doesn't look like you've understood mine (I've edited the end
> of the one above to correct the sloppy writing in the last two
> sentences, but I suspect that won't make much difference). You don't
> *appear* to understood what you've read by Skinner or Baum either.  Do
> you appreciate what's radical about radical (or evidential)
> behaviourism?

It's not that I've not understood Skinner and Baum, it is that
I don't agree with what I've read of Skinner or Baum. In reality,
it is not exactly a disagreement, it is an understanding of
different ways of thinking that seems to be *more productive* than
theirs (and equally valid in scientific terms). And how do I
know this other way of thinking is useful? Because I don't seem
to know of any model based on behavioristic principles that can
fit as many *behavioral data* as, for instance, ACT-R (which is
a computer model constructed with cogsci notions). So in my
score I have behaviorism losing the game for ACT-R. Now see
what happens when you have several competing models: ACT-R is
constantly being compared with Soar (a model reminiscent of
Allen Newell's symbolic ideas). This competition (by the way,
Soar is losing...) is a demonstration that one can find
criteria upon which to judge these models. What are these
criteria? Abstract notions under one's sleeve? No, these
criteria are objective experimental evidences (such as
response times or direction of gaze or the shape of ERP pulses).
I see this as an example of a valid science.

>
> (PS. Do you appreciate that you are Ozkural's favourite net poster?)

I'm unable to judge if this is good or bad, but I can certainly
say that Ezray must be a sensible fellow ;-)


0
Sergio
7/20/2004 10:57:34 PM
As I have told you before, there is nothing about behaviorism that is
antithetical to a physiological understanding of behavior. It is just not
what behaviorists do. What they ARE against, though, is trying to find the
ghosts of mentalistic psychology in the brain. In order to reduce behavior
to physiological mechanisms, one must know what it is that one is trying to
reduce. Behaviorists argue that mentalistic psychology does not break the
psychological world up into the correct pieces. And experiment alone will
not solve this problem for psychology because they force all data into their
conceptual structure of representation, storage, retrieval etc. These are
not hypothetical entities, they are assumptions.



"Sergio Navega" <snavega@intelliwise.com> wrote in message
news:40fd8510_7@news.athenanews.com...
> "David Longley" <David@longley.demon.co.uk> escreveu na mensagem
> news:C$r7w1IXxV$AFwwZ@longley.demon.co.uk...
> >
> > You haven't *really* addressed my question. You suggested that this
> > technology should unsettle Glen. But people like Glen and I have spent
> > time "peeking" at the brains of animals by inserting cannulae or
> > electrodes like many other behavioural neuroscientists and recording
> > animals' operant behaviour (neurosurgeons have done it quite directly
> > for decades). What's new about fMRI etc is that it makes some of this
> > easier, especially for those who don't know enough about brain and
> > behaviour to look at it with circumspection. It misleads a lot of
> > people, especially those cognitivists who are undisciplined mentalists
> > or intensionalists in my view.  The technology is just a new technology
> > in a long line of technologies and one of my tacit points was that when
> > others here have said things similar to what you said in your post, it
> > has just betrayed their (all too common) naive conception of radical or
> > evidential behaviourism. When a person makes a verbal or other response
> > when someone is looking at an fMRI image etc, how does that
> > fundamentally differ from when someone records what a field electrode
> > etc picks up in a freely moving animal on some schedule or other
> > 'behavioural assay'. It  doesn't unless one is a closet mentalist
> > looking for "meaning" in what the subject says or does. This is what
> > almost all "cognitivists" including "cognitive neuroscientists".  People
> > (including themselves) are often just seduced by their proximity to
> > physical "brain talk"!
>
> My comment that follows will perhaps use an often repeated argument,
> but I see no alternative at the moment. An AI researcher may
> eventually be interested in understanding human behavior, but
> what is essential to such a person is to comprehend the *mechanisms*
> behind such behavior, because his/her task is to devise an
> artificial mechanism capable of performing (behaving) similarly.
> Thus, this leads to what I think is an overexposed argument: the
> hardware/software question. For the sake of improving the idea,
> let's consider a group of aliens which steal my computer. They
> will do anything to understand how it works, because they want
> to build their own.
>
> The "hardware aliens" will analyze the boards, chips, cables
> and connectors, trying to look for essential principles of
> operation. The behaviorist aliens will annotate all reactions
> of the computer to given stimuli. The "abstract aliens" will
> notice patterns of behavior of that machine. But instead of
> just annotating these patterns of behavior, the abstract
> aliens will, after some time, start to hypothesize that the
> windows showing in the monitor of the computer seem to be
> individual instances of programs (which are, by themselves,
> abstractions). From this simple hypothesis (that was developed
> because of experimental observation) they will *deduct* that
> it is necessary to have a central program which coordinates
> how much processor time is spent in each of the windows.
> The real value of such a deductive model is to be capable of
> giving us some *predictions*. One prediction of this abstract
> model is that if one opens too much windows, the speed of
> the program in each window will be reduced (because of
> the shared processor hypothesis). One can experimentally
> check this prediction, and if this doesn't correspond to
> what is measured, then the model is *wrong* and should be
> rejected.
>
> To the behaviorist aliens (a funny idea indeed...) it will
> reject the notions of "operating systems", "time slices",
> "protected data spaces", "interrupt service routines",
> "high level languages", and a lot of other abstract concepts
> created by the cognitive aliens. They dismiss these ideas
> based solely on the fact that such things don't show directly
> as behavior, being just figments of a cognitive alien mind
> (sorry, brain).  However, these concepts are essential for
> anyone doing creative development in software engineering.
> Without entertaining such notions, one would hardly get a
> deep vision of all one can do with software. In other words,
> if Bill Gates was a behaviorist, he would be selling orange
> juice at fifth avenue.
>
> Although the software/hardware distinction is a bad analogy
> for the mind/brain distinction, the idea is to have different
> levels of analysis, provided that one obeys basic scientific
> practices in all these levels.
>
> Sergio Navega.
>
>
> P.S: As an aside, let me mention a passage that I find hilarious,
> although it is a bit against my prior argument. I read this as
> an introductory quote to a paper about the use of metaphors and
> analogical reasoning (and, of course, its misuse). This is the
> situation: a physicist was invited to give a speech to a group
> of simple farmers interested in improving the yield of milk of
> their cows. Here's how the physicist started his speech:
> "Let's start by considering a spherical cow..."
>
>
>


0
Glen
7/21/2004 11:03:05 AM
Science needs to make models at the right time, and at a level commensurate
with their current experimental control. The first step, in the case of a
subject matter that is accessible to manipulation, is to directly obtain the
functions that prevail between independent and dependent variables. Another
thing that science must have is conceptual analysis - one must be
painstakingly obsessed with the assumptions and fundamental concepts
underlying the science. Psychologists are taught that the answer to all
problems is more experimentation, but it could be argued, as I am doing,
that no amount of experimentation can save a bad conceptual structure.



"Sergio Navega" <snavega@intelliwise.com> wrote in message
news:40fd4f68$1_6@news.athenanews.com...
> "David Longley" <David@longley.demon.co.uk> escreveu na mensagem
> news:3Kzm9DH05T$AFwVB@longley.demon.co.uk...
> > >
> > How does anything that you write above impugn the point that "thinking",
> > "seeing" etc is private behaviour? Why does being able to show that
> > blood flows in areas of the brain which are "active" when people
> > actually see people smiling etc *and* when they just "think" about this
> > in any way impugn the value of treating this as behaviour? On the
> > contrary, it would seem to do exactly the opposite through bringing some
> > reference to such behaviour under some control of the reinforcing
> > (verbal) community - ie by rendering it public. The writing is on the
> > wall for intensionalist cognitivism, not for behaviour analysis and
> > behavioural neuroscience.
>
> The question is not to impugn behaviorism (at least, in my way of
> seeing things). I'm not "against" behaviorism (I have some Skinner
> books and also Baum's). The best book about behavior change I have
> is "Principles of Behavior Change", by Edward Sarafino. It's a
> wonderful book, so much better than much of what we have with
> psychoanalisis. So I don't want to bury behaviorism.
>
> I am against artificial attempts to prevent the creation of
> insightful scientific models. If we have today ERP, PET, fMRI, TMS
> and other techniques for "peeking" at the brain while it's working,
> we have a good chance to really make progress with our models (and
> in science we *do* need to make models; in AI this is absolutely
> essential). If one cognitive scientist proposes a falsifiable
> model and it turns out to be falsified (by behavioral data or
> by neurobiological means), then I think this theory should really
> be thrown away, and not because it was not developed the way
> radical behaviorists wanted.
>
> Sergio Navega.
>
>


0
Glen
7/21/2004 11:15:24 AM
In article <40fda412$1_2@news.athenanews.com>, Sergio Navega 
<snavega@intelliwise.com> writes
>"David Longley" <David@longley.demon.co.uk> escreveu na mensagem
>news:lVWSqqRhBZ$AFw3a@longley.demon.co.uk...
>> In article <40fd8510_7@news.athenanews.com>, Sergio Navega
>> <snavega@intelliwise.com> writes
>> ..... One can experimentally
>> >check this prediction, and if this doesn't correspond to
>> >what is measured, then the model is *wrong* and should be
>> >rejected.
>> >
>>
>> They may well *deduct* that if they're radical or evidential
>> behaviourists (there's a good chance that they will be if they've
>> managed to get this far). I'd guess they'd never have to consider such
>> notions in the first place being extensionalists.
>
>Perhaps extensionalists don't pose abstract notions because they
>are afraid that such notions will be only diversions from a more
>definitive way of understanding things. My idea is that the
>whole brain is too complicated to be understood at once. It
>is necessary to segment the problem in several levels, with
>a special concern toward the scientific validity of each
>level and also with connections between levels. Physicists do
>this, chemists do this, biologists do this. On the other
>hand, imagined abstract models are the raw materials of
>mathematicians and philosophers. In this regard, (experimental)
>cognitive scientists are in good company (please notice
>that I'm not talking about cognitive philosophers, upon
>whom I may even buy some of your arguments).
>
>> >
>> >Although the software/hardware distinction is a bad analogy
>> >for the mind/brain distinction, the idea is to have different
>> >levels of analysis, provided that one obeys basic scientific
>> >practices in all these levels.
>> >
>> >Sergio Navega.
>> >
>> >
>> >P.S: As an aside, let me mention a passage that I find hilarious,
>> >although it is a bit against my prior argument. I read this as
>> >an introductory quote to a paper about the use of metaphors and
>> >analogical reasoning (and, of course, its misuse). This is the
>> >situation: a physicist was invited to give a speech to a group
>> >of simple farmers interested in improving the yield of milk of
>> >their cows. Here's how the physicist started his speech:
>> >"Let's start by considering a spherical cow..."
>> >
>> >
>> I do understand your posts (although I clearly don't agree with what you
>> write). It doesn't look like you've understood mine (I've edited the end
>> of the one above to correct the sloppy writing in the last two
>> sentences, but I suspect that won't make much difference). You don't
>> *appear* to understood what you've read by Skinner or Baum either.  Do
>> you appreciate what's radical about radical (or evidential)
>> behaviourism?
>
>It's not that I've not understood Skinner and Baum, it is that
>I don't agree with what I've read of Skinner or Baum. In reality,
>it is not exactly a disagreement, it is an understanding of
>different ways of thinking that seems to be *more productive* than
>theirs (and equally valid in scientific terms). And how do I
>know this other way of thinking is useful? Because I don't seem
>to know of any model based on behavioristic principles that can
>fit as many *behavioral data* as, for instance, ACT-R (which is
>a computer model constructed with cogsci notions). So in my
>score I have behaviorism losing the game for ACT-R. Now see
>what happens when you have several competing models: ACT-R is
>constantly being compared with Soar (a model reminiscent of
>Allen Newell's symbolic ideas). This competition (by the way,
>Soar is losing...) is a demonstration that one can find
>criteria upon which to judge these models. What are these
>criteria? Abstract notions under one's sleeve? No, these
>criteria are objective experimental evidences (such as
>response times or direction of gaze or the shape of ERP pulses).
>I see this as an example of a valid science.

What Anderson etc. are doing is methodological behaviourism. They are 
presenting stimuli, measuring behaviour and conjecturing about 
intervening variables or functional relations in terms of hypothetical 
constructs. The point to appreciate is that they are working with 
behaviour. How *they* talk about those functional relations is often 
arcane and idiosyncratic to the researcher (alas). The problem is not so 
much that they have their abstract notions under their sleeves as that 
they poke them inside their subjects' heads or brains!

You don't really respond to what I have said (you just move on to yet 
more of your cognitivist preferences). Besides misusing the term 
extensionalist (which just reinforces my concerns that you haven't 
followed my objections to the cognitivist 'house-of-cards' enterprise), 
you don't appear to appreciate that the response of most people working 
in Behaviour Analysis is to ignore what people like Anderson get up to. 
Herb Simon sent me copies of Anderson's papers a couple of years ago 
when I briefly corresponded with him over some of the issues covered in 
"Fragments" bearing on "minimal rationality" and the context specificity 
of skills. I've been aware of Anderson's work from the '70s and I've 
been tacitly referring to his sort of work as an example of what's wrong 
with so much of contemporary psychology. I think one has to look at it 
from the applied perspective to see just how bad things are - and not 
enough people do that (as I have said here many times). The applied 
perspective *is* the perspective which folk interested in "AI" *should* 
be taking in my view. No doubt the contingencies which most academics 
work under render this very difficult as their environment seems to 
shape them towards cognitivism where research and papers are easier to 
generate - the cognitivist enterprise requires little in the way of 
resources and is low in scientific and pragmatic accountability.

I suggest you look more closely at ACT-R (with and without asterisks), 
and try to see it in operant terms. I reckon it might be worth your 
while to then look into some of the EAB animal work. (Perhaps Glen will 
help you on your way ;-)

>
>>
>> (PS. Do you appreciate that you are Ozkural's favourite net poster?)
>
>I'm unable to judge if this is good or bad, but I can certainly
>say that Ezray must be a sensible fellow ;-)
>

We have tried to help Eray become a more sensible fellow, but he keeps 
"telling us" that he doesn't much like what we have to say very much. 
Although we keep telling him that that doesn't matter, he still tends to 
go off to try to get other folk to reinforce his superstitious 
behaviours. I think he has a club membership rule which excludes people 
who don't agree with him. This behaviour has a lot to do with what I was 
talking to Herb Simon about ;-)
-- 
David Longley
http://www.longley.demon.co.uk/Frag.htm

0
David
7/21/2004 2:10:22 PM
On 20 Jul 2004 12:06:46 -0700, feedbackdroids@yahoo.com (dan michaels)
in comp.ai.philosophy wrote:

>lesterDELzick@worldnet.att.net (Lester Zick) wrote in message news:<40fd2d5e.55231843@netnews.att.net>...
>> On 19 Jul 2004 22:10:05 -0700, feedbackdroids@yahoo.com (dan michaels)
>> in comp.ai.philosophy wrote:
>> 
>> >Wolf Kirchmeir <wwolfkir@sympatico.ca> wrote in message news:<DFVKc.11683$Gf7.342658@news20.bellglobal.com>...
>> >> Lester Zick wrote:
>> >> > Behaviorism can't show that
>> >> > anything it says with respect to behavior is necessarily true to the
>> >> > exclusion of other explanations.
>> >> 
>> >> Neither can any other science.
>> 
>> Behaviorism is not science but speculative philosophy. What makes
>> it speculative is its primary tenet, the absence of mind and mental
>> effects, is not subject to experimental validation or invalidation.
>> 
>
>Adler has made exactly the same argument.
>=================
>
>
>> >Then why all the endless arguing and name calling?
>> 
>> Good question. One is inclined to suspect the abject failure of
>> materialism as science is just becoming manifest to some.
>> 
>> Regards - Lester
>
>
>At least I'm glad to see that at least one advocate of behaviorism
>[ie, Wolf] is able at least to make a statement such as .... "Neither
>can any other science".

Of course he is incorrect. All real sciences have experimentally
validated foundations. That's what makes them science. In the 20th
century many experimentally validated foundations tend to have a lot
of speculative nonsense superimposed on them, quantum effects and
relativity for example.But they always have experimentally determinate
results on which to base their claims to science. The only claim I can
see that behaviorism has to science is that they can train animals and
I'm not sure that's particularly original. Their other claims are then
superimposed on that as speculative philosophy and called science.

I'm not sure I'd call Wolf a behaviorist. I doubt he'd be comfortable
in the role of true believer or defender of the faith. He tends to be
rather more eclectic than doctrinaire and sees various sides including
computationalism.  It has on occasion led him to some significant
insights opposed to conventional interpretations of behaviorist dogma.

I think what Wolf actually meant in saying "Neither can any other
science" is that interpretive superstructures imposed on scientific
foundations cannot be validated experimentally. However if this is the
case, I don't see any way to get from sciences of animal training to
behaviorism's absence of mind and mental effects either inferrentially
or experimentally. In other words behaviorism's absence of mind and
mental effects is not only speculative, it's a non sequitor and cannot
follow from its own scientific foundations. That makes it nonsense.

Regards - Lester

0
lesterDELzick
7/21/2004 3:14:46 PM
David Longley <David@longley.demon.co.uk> wrote in message news:<GetqY0FOln$AFwSI@longley.demon.co.uk>...
> >> (PS. Do you appreciate that you are Ozkural's favourite net poster?)
> >
> >I'm unable to judge if this is good or bad, but I can certainly
> >say that Ezray must be a sensible fellow ;-)
> >

Sergio has been my favorite c.a.p. poster, because he always puts a
lot of thought into his posts, rather than dogma.

> We have tried to help Eray become a more sensible fellow, but he keeps 
> "telling us" that he doesn't much like what we have to say very much. 

Hmmm.

> Although we keep telling him that that doesn't matter, he still tends to 
> go off to try to get other folk to reinforce his superstitious 
> behaviours. I think he has a club membership rule which excludes people 
> who don't agree with him. This behaviour has a lot to do with what I was 
> talking to Herb Simon about ;-)

Nonsense. I am not superstitious. In fact, I think you are the one who
is truly superstitious by subscribing to all the naive, unscientific
skepticism (of mental states) you have been spamming this newsgroup
with for years.

Look what you, Glen (and all those other aliases of him) have turned
the group into!!!!!

Cheers,

--
Eray
0
erayo
7/21/2004 6:40:27 PM
And what aliases would those be, dimwit?



"Eray Ozkural exa" <erayo@bilkent.edu.tr> wrote in message
news:fa69ae35.0407211040.23604644@posting.google.com...
> David Longley <David@longley.demon.co.uk> wrote in message
news:<GetqY0FOln$AFwSI@longley.demon.co.uk>...
> > >> (PS. Do you appreciate that you are Ozkural's favourite net poster?)
> > >
> > >I'm unable to judge if this is good or bad, but I can certainly
> > >say that Ezray must be a sensible fellow ;-)
> > >
>
> Sergio has been my favorite c.a.p. poster, because he always puts a
> lot of thought into his posts, rather than dogma.
>
> > We have tried to help Eray become a more sensible fellow, but he keeps
> > "telling us" that he doesn't much like what we have to say very much.
>
> Hmmm.
>
> > Although we keep telling him that that doesn't matter, he still tends to
> > go off to try to get other folk to reinforce his superstitious
> > behaviours. I think he has a club membership rule which excludes people
> > who don't agree with him. This behaviour has a lot to do with what I was
> > talking to Herb Simon about ;-)
>
> Nonsense. I am not superstitious. In fact, I think you are the one who
> is truly superstitious by subscribing to all the naive, unscientific
> skepticism (of mental states) you have been spamming this newsgroup
> with for years.
>
> Look what you, Glen (and all those other aliases of him) have turned
> the group into!!!!!
>
> Cheers,
>
> --
> Eray


0
Glen
7/21/2004 7:23:33 PM
lesterDELzick@worldnet.att.net (Lester Zick) wrote in message news:<40fe845a.65162551@netnews.att.net>...

> >> Behaviorism is not science but speculative philosophy. What makes
> >> it speculative is its primary tenet, the absence of mind and mental
> >> effects, is not subject to experimental validation or invalidation.
> >> 
> >
> >Adler has made exactly the same argument.
> >=================


> Of course he is incorrect. All real sciences have experimentally
> validated foundations. That's what makes them science. In the 20th
> century many experimentally validated foundations tend to have a lot
> of speculative nonsense superimposed on them, quantum effects and
> relativity for example.But they always have experimentally determinate
> results on which to base their claims to science. 


And, of course, new week's experiments cause the theories to undergo
wholescale revisions. 20th-C physics is the prime example of this.
=================


> I think what Wolf actually meant in saying "Neither can any other
> science" is that interpretive superstructures imposed on scientific
> foundations cannot be validated experimentally. However if this is the
> case, I don't see any way to get from sciences of animal training to
> behaviorism's absence of mind and mental effects either inferrentially
> or experimentally. In other words behaviorism's absence of mind and
> mental effects is not only speculative, it's a non sequitor and cannot
> follow from its own scientific foundations. That makes it nonsense.
> 
> Regards - Lester


In commenting specifically about such matters, Adler had the following
to say in Intellect, Mind Over Matter, 1990, pg X.

"... Metaphysical materialism ... has two obvious defects. The first
is that it has its foundation in a negative proposition that has never
been proved and never can be. In other words, it rests on the
unprovable postulate or assumption that nothing immaterial does or can
exist. That assumption may be true. Making it is not an error.
Asserting it ... dogmatically as an established truth ... however, not
as something that may be assumed, 'is' a serious error, a culpable
mistake to be avoided ...."
0
feedbackdroids
7/22/2004 2:04:39 AM
feedbackdroids@yahoo.com (dan michaels) wrote in message news:<8d8494cf.0407211804.fa191e2@posting.google.com>...
> 
> 
> In commenting specifically about such matters, Adler had the following
> to say in Intellect, Mind Over Matter, 1990, pg X.
> 
> "... Metaphysical materialism ... has two obvious defects. The first
> is that it has its foundation in a negative proposition that has never
> been proved and never can be. In other words, it rests on the
> unprovable postulate or assumption that nothing immaterial does or can
> exist. That assumption may be true. Making it is not an error.
> Asserting it ... dogmatically as an established truth ... however, not
> as something that may be assumed, 'is' a serious error, a culpable
> mistake to be avoided ...."

Let's please avoid equating metaphysical materialism with behaviorism.

My digital multism, for instance, is metaphysical materialism, but it
is by no means behaviorism. Machine functionalism is materialist as
well, but it is not behaviorism.

Regards,

--
Eray Ozkural
0
erayo
7/22/2004 2:01:46 PM
In article <fa69ae35.0407220601.2cc94db3@posting.google.com>, Eray 
Ozkural  exa <erayo@bilkent.edu.tr> writes
>feedbackdroids@yahoo.com (dan michaels) wrote in message 
>news:<8d8494cf.0407211804.fa191e2@posting.google.com>...
>>
>>
>> In commenting specifically about such matters, Adler had the following
>> to say in Intellect, Mind Over Matter, 1990, pg X.
>>
>> "... Metaphysical materialism ... has two obvious defects. The first
>> is that it has its foundation in a negative proposition that has never
>> been proved and never can be. In other words, it rests on the
>> unprovable postulate or assumption that nothing immaterial does or can
>> exist. That assumption may be true. Making it is not an error.
>> Asserting it ... dogmatically as an established truth ... however, not
>> as something that may be assumed, 'is' a serious error, a culpable
>> mistake to be avoided ...."
>
>Let's please avoid equating metaphysical materialism with behaviorism.
>
>My digital multism, for instance, is metaphysical materialism, but it
>is by no means behaviorism. Machine functionalism is materialist as
>well, but it is not behaviorism.
>
>Regards,
>
>--
>Eray Ozkural

You might like to get a better grasp of what "behaviourism" is before 
you start talking about what machine functionalism or metaphysical 
materialism may or may not  be (cf. Popper & Eccles 1977; Putnam 1986). 
Just think what nonsense you might be getting yourself into by getting 
it all wrong in the first place. In fact, forget about the "might" - 
from what I've seen you write to date, it's pretty much a dead cert.

You really don't know what you are talking about. If your lecturers are 
telling you otherwise, change university before it's too late!
-- 
David Longley
0
David
7/22/2004 4:58:37 PM
erayo@bilkent.edu.tr (Eray Ozkural  exa) wrote in message news:<fa69ae35.0407220601.2cc94db3@posting.google.com>...
> feedbackdroids@yahoo.com (dan michaels) wrote in message news:<8d8494cf.0407211804.fa191e2@posting.google.com>...
> > 
> > 
> > In commenting specifically about such matters, Adler had the following
> > to say in Intellect, Mind Over Matter, 1990, pg X.
> > 
> > "... Metaphysical materialism ... has two obvious defects. The first
> > is that it has its foundation in a negative proposition that has never
> > been proved and never can be. In other words, it rests on the
> > unprovable postulate or assumption that nothing immaterial does or can
> > exist. That assumption may be true. Making it is not an error.
> > Asserting it ... dogmatically as an established truth ... however, not
> > as something that may be assumed, 'is' a serious error, a culpable
> > mistake to be avoided ...."
> 
> Let's please avoid equating metaphysical materialism with behaviorism.
> 
> My digital multism, for instance, is metaphysical materialism, but it
> is by no means behaviorism. Machine functionalism is materialist as
> well, but it is not behaviorism.
> 
> Regards,


You'll have to take the terminology issue up with Adler. As I see it,
not all materialism is beh, nor dogmatic. My materialism is neither,
of course. Does your DM dogmatically assert the truth of the
nonexistence of things unprovable? I doubt it. According to Adler,
making working assumptions are not the error, but asserting dogmatism
as truth is error.
0
feedbackdroids
7/22/2004 5:58:56 PM
I have found that the charge of dogmatism is usually leveled by those
incapable of cogently rebutting the position that is labeled "dogmatic."



"dan michaels" <feedbackdroids@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:8d8494cf.0407220958.2d08e14@posting.google.com...
> erayo@bilkent.edu.tr (Eray Ozkural  exa) wrote in message
news:<fa69ae35.0407220601.2cc94db3@posting.google.com>...
> > feedbackdroids@yahoo.com (dan michaels) wrote in message
news:<8d8494cf.0407211804.fa191e2@posting.google.com>...
> > >
> > >
> > > In commenting specifically about such matters, Adler had the following
> > > to say in Intellect, Mind Over Matter, 1990, pg X.
> > >
> > > "... Metaphysical materialism ... has two obvious defects. The first
> > > is that it has its foundation in a negative proposition that has never
> > > been proved and never can be. In other words, it rests on the
> > > unprovable postulate or assumption that nothing immaterial does or can
> > > exist. That assumption may be true. Making it is not an error.
> > > Asserting it ... dogmatically as an established truth ... however, not
> > > as something that may be assumed, 'is' a serious error, a culpable
> > > mistake to be avoided ...."
> >
> > Let's please avoid equating metaphysical materialism with behaviorism.
> >
> > My digital multism, for instance, is metaphysical materialism, but it
> > is by no means behaviorism. Machine functionalism is materialist as
> > well, but it is not behaviorism.
> >
> > Regards,
>
>
> You'll have to take the terminology issue up with Adler. As I see it,
> not all materialism is beh, nor dogmatic. My materialism is neither,
> of course. Does your DM dogmatically assert the truth of the
> nonexistence of things unprovable? I doubt it. According to Adler,
> making working assumptions are not the error, but asserting dogmatism
> as truth is error.


0
Glen
7/22/2004 6:40:46 PM
"Peter F." <effectivespamblock@ozemail.com.au> wrote in message
news:TtOKc.118$lV3.6336@nnrp1.ozemail.com.au...
> I have looked at the most recent of your papers listed on your website.
>
> What I saw, combined with your behavior in this newsgroup I most sincerly
> suggest that you find/make time to stand back and have a good look at
> yourself.
>
> You would then at least have some chance of discovering a way to get
relief
> from some of your obsessive and overly intellectual self

Longley is not overly intellectual that is for sure.  Overly obsessed with
Quine and Skinner , as well as being ignorant of most of what constitutes
neuroscience and AI, that is also for sure.

>(as far as I can
> see the dominant side of how you are - and have been influenced to
become).
>
> > Are you stupid? Wake up!! It doesn't make any difference whether you
> > "disagree" or not.
> > --
> > David Longley
> > http://www.longley.demon.co.uk
>
>


0
AlphaOmega2004
7/22/2004 6:51:51 PM
"Wolf Kirchmeir" <wwolfkir@sympatico.ca> wrote in message
news:cSyKc.917$Vw3.151292@news20.bellglobal.com...
> Glen M. Sizemore wrote:
>
> > Leaster: The problem is that the behavioist position we see is not that
the
> > environment is an essential feature of any theory of behavior but that
the
> > environment is the exclusive determinant of behavior, period.
> >
> >
> >
> > GS: This is true, but it requires some comment. Human behavior can be
viewed
> > as an interaction of four environments: natural selection, cultural
> > selection, personal history, and the current environment. Here, the term
> > "current environment" can refer to variables other than "stimuli" and
may
> > include variables such as drugs (see below).
>
> By "exclusive determinant," Lester appears to mean that there's nothing
> within the organism that determines behaviour. Ie, he seems to think
> that behaviorists believe that absent an external stimulus, there will
> be no behavior whatsoever. This is of course nonsense, since at the very
> least there must be something within the organism that responds to an
> external stimulus. That's why I labelled this paragragh "false" in my
> earlier comment.
>
> BTW, there is IMO another environment, the chemical environment of the
> cell (both within and without) which determines the expression of genes,
> which in turn determine the operation of the cell, which at another
> level of the organism's functioning determines its behaviour. Maybe you
> would include that in "personal history," in which case the latter would
> require analysis at several levels.
>
> Like I said, "It's behaviour all the way down."

It is a process all the way down.  Boy - that says a lot!


0
AlphaOmega2004
7/22/2004 10:58:59 PM
feedbackdroids@yahoo.com (dan michaels) wrote in message news:<8d8494cf.0407220958.2d08e14@posting.google.com>...
> erayo@bilkent.edu.tr (Eray Ozkural  exa) wrote in message news:<fa69ae35.0407220601.2cc94db3@posting.google.com>...
> > Let's please avoid equating metaphysical materialism with behaviorism.
> > 
> > My digital multism, for instance, is metaphysical materialism, but it
> > is by no means behaviorism. Machine functionalism is materialist as
> > well, but it is not behaviorism.
> > 
> > Regards,
> 
> 
> You'll have to take the terminology issue up with Adler. As I see it,
> not all materialism is beh, nor dogmatic. My materialism is neither,
> of course. Does your DM dogmatically assert the truth of the
> nonexistence of things unprovable? I doubt it. According to Adler,
> making working assumptions are not the error, but asserting dogmatism
> as truth is error.

Agreed. By "metaphysical materialism" he might mean something else.

DM does not dogmatically assert that things unprovable do not exist.
We can discuss it; it's an interesting thought. If something is not
provable, does it exist?

If a (sufficiently powerful) formal system is consistent, is its
consistency provable (in the same system)? Godel's theorem says
interesting things about that. Oh, I think I'm getting a headache! [A
Godel "expert" could pop up at any instant!] The answer is no. It has
to be proved somewhere else.

According to Godel, the second incompleteness theorem holds for finite
systems as well. Our universe seems to be finite.

But "consistency" is a condition, it is not material "existence"
itself, so such conditions could exist in a non-material sense. I
think there is nothing strange about a proposition about a computable
universe being true, which itself is not computable... [As much as I
sound like Lester when I talk about the non-material]

I'm aware that the above reasoning does not seem coherent, however, it
would be made all the more plausible if we understand that finite
beings can answer only a tiny part of the unknowable metaphysical
propositions such as those about the  "consistency of the universe"
(which is not too sensible anyway! what would an inconsistent universe
be like!!!???).

Regards,

--
Eray Ozkural

PS: Thus, I do think material existence has something to do with
computability, but I prefer to avoid equating existence in general
with all imaginable propositions (at the present).  For the record, I
do not imply that minds are non-material, either. Quite the opposite.
I tend to think they can be identified as locality of energy, or
something just as physical.
0
erayo
7/24/2004 2:57:17 AM
erayo@bilkent.edu.tr (Eray Ozkural  exa) wrote in message news:<fa69ae35.0407231857.334fa4b2@posting.google.com>...
> feedbackdroids@yahoo.com (dan michaels) wrote in message news:<8d8494cf.0407220958.2d08e14@posting.google.com>...
> > erayo@bilkent.edu.tr (Eray Ozkural  exa) wrote in message news:<fa69ae35.0407220601.2cc94db3@posting.google.com>...
> > > Let's please avoid equating metaphysical materialism with behaviorism.
> > > 
> > > My digital multism, for instance, is metaphysical materialism, but it
> > > is by no means behaviorism. Machine functionalism is materialist as
> > > well, but it is not behaviorism.
> > > 
> > > Regards,
> > 
> > 
> > You'll have to take the terminology issue up with Adler. As I see it,
> > not all materialism is beh, nor dogmatic. My materialism is neither,
> > of course. Does your DM dogmatically assert the truth of the
> > nonexistence of things unprovable? I doubt it. According to Adler,
> > making working assumptions are not the error, but asserting dogmatism
> > as truth is error.
> 
> Agreed. By "metaphysical materialism" he might mean something else.
> 
> DM does not dogmatically assert that things unprovable do not exist.
> We can discuss it; it's an interesting thought. If something is not
> provable, does it exist?
> 

Maybe you just don't have the technology to be able to discover it.
Like radio waves to the caveman. Like the existence of 10s of billions
of galaxies that were only a smear on a lens prior to Hubble.

And try asking it the other way around. If something does not exist,
can you prove it does not exist? That's harder. Can you prove there
are not 4-dimensional creatures who can see simultaneously both the
insides and outsides of your body as normal - like Francis Bacon [the
modern one] ugly paintings.
================
 

> If a (sufficiently powerful) formal system is consistent, is its
> consistency provable (in the same system)? Godel's theorem says
> interesting things about that. Oh, I think I'm getting a headache! [A
> Godel "expert" could pop up at any instant!] The answer is no. It has
> to be proved somewhere else.
> 

Yes, G�del has you by the scruff of the neck.
===================


> According to Godel, the second incompleteness theorem holds for finite
> systems as well. Our universe seems to be finite.
> 
> But "consistency" is a condition, it is not material "existence"
> itself, so such conditions could exist in a non-material sense. I
> think there is nothing strange about a proposition about a computable
> universe being true, which itself is not computable... [As much as I
> sound like Lester when I talk about the non-material]
> 
> I'm aware that the above reasoning does not seem coherent, however, it
> would be made all the more plausible if we understand that finite
> beings can answer only a tiny part of the unknowable metaphysical
> propositions such as those about the  "consistency of the universe"
> (which is not too sensible anyway! what would an inconsistent universe
> be like!!!???).
> 
> Regards,
> 
> --
> Eray Ozkural
> 
> PS: Thus, I do think material existence has something to do with
> computability, but I prefer to avoid equating existence in general
> with all imaginable propositions (at the present).  For the record, I
> do not imply that minds are non-material, either. Quite the opposite.
> I tend to think they can be identified as locality of energy, or
> something just as physical.
0
feedbackdroids
7/24/2004 7:01:13 AM
In article <fa69ae35.0407231857.334fa4b2@posting.google.com>, Eray 
Ozkural  exa <erayo@bilkent.edu.tr> writes
>feedbackdroids@yahoo.com (dan michaels) wrote in message 
>news:<8d8494cf.0407220958.2d08e14@posting.google.com>...
>> erayo@bilkent.edu.tr (Eray Ozkural  exa) wrote in message 
>>news:<fa69ae35.0407220601.2cc94db3@posting.google.com>...
>> > Let's please avoid equating metaphysical materialism with behaviorism.
>> >
>> > My digital multism, for instance, is metaphysical materialism, but it
>> > is by no means behaviorism. Machine functionalism is materialist as
>> > well, but it is not behaviorism.
>> >
>> > Regards,
>>
>>
>> You'll have to take the terminology issue up with Adler. As I see it,
>> not all materialism is beh, nor dogmatic. My materialism is neither,
>> of course. Does your DM dogmatically assert the truth of the
>> nonexistence of things unprovable? I doubt it. According to Adler,
>> making working assumptions are not the error, but asserting dogmatism
>> as truth is error.
>
>Agreed. By "metaphysical materialism" he might mean something else.
>
>DM does not dogmatically assert that things unprovable do not exist.
>We can discuss it; it's an interesting thought. If something is not
>provable, does it exist?
>
Materialism is not the issue, the issue is extensionalism.

If you don't accept that 'to be' (exist) is to be the value of a 
variable (Quine), what use can be made of (talking about  or referring 
to) an entity? What point is there to having entities within a 
scientific ontology which have no identity? Surely the whole point of 
science is to discover useful functional relations between such values?


>If a (sufficiently powerful) formal system is consistent, is its
>consistency provable (in the same system)? Godel's theorem says
>interesting things about that. Oh, I think I'm getting a headache! [A
>Godel "expert" could pop up at any instant!] The answer is no. It has
>to be proved somewhere else.
>
>According to Godel, the second incompleteness theorem holds for finite
>systems as well. Our universe seems to be finite.
>
>But "consistency" is a condition, it is not material "existence"
>itself, so such conditions could exist in a non-material sense. I
>think there is nothing strange about a proposition about a computable
>universe being true, which itself is not computable... [As much as I
>sound like Lester when I talk about the non-material]
>
>I'm aware that the above reasoning does not seem coherent, however, it
>would be made all the more plausible if we understand that finite
>beings can answer only a tiny part of the unknowable metaphysical
>propositions such as those about the  "consistency of the universe"
>(which is not too sensible anyway! what would an inconsistent universe
>be like!!!???).
>
>Regards,
>
>--
>Eray Ozkural
>
>PS: Thus, I do think material existence has something to do with
>computability, but I prefer to avoid equating existence in general
>with all imaginable propositions (at the present).  For the record, I
>do not imply that minds are non-material, either. Quite the opposite.
>I tend to think they can be identified as locality of energy, or
>something just as physical.

-- 
David Longley
0
David
7/24/2004 7:57:58 AM
David Longley <David@longley.demon.co.uk> wrote in message news:<0ZAWJDBGahABFwpl@longley.demon.co.uk>...
> In article <fa69ae35.0407231857.334fa4b2@posting.google.com>, Eray 
> Ozkural  exa <erayo@bilkent.edu.tr> writes
> >
> >Agreed. By "metaphysical materialism" he might mean something else.
> >
> >DM does not dogmatically assert that things unprovable do not exist.
> >We can discuss it; it's an interesting thought. If something is not
> >provable, does it exist?
> >
> Materialism is not the issue, the issue is extensionalism.

For me, materialism is the issue, because I am a materialist.
 
> If you don't accept that 'to be' (exist) is to be the value of a 
> variable (Quine), what use can be made of (talking about  or referring 
> to) an entity? What point is there to having entities within a 
> scientific ontology which have no identity? Surely the whole point of 
> science is to discover useful functional relations between such values?

My approach to existence is that it will continue to deceive us.  The
logicist definition you cite above is somewhat artificial in my
opinion. I think that logical propositions exist primarily in minds:
an electron is not the value of a logical variable, in my opinion.
However, the form (in terms of quantum properties) of an electron may
indeed be defined to be the value of a logical proposition (such as a
solution to Dirac's equation, etc.) I am not saying that Quine did not
have a point. Physical descriptions model particles with variables,
and individual particles have identity by virtue of their particular
values (such as position).

However, they are merely models. A model is a mental construct, it is
a simulacra of existence, not existence itself. Physical existence may
be something altogether different; we do not know at the moment. We do
not even know if space-time is continuous or discrete.

As a matter of fact, Quine's definition seems to me dualist. If an
electron is the value of a variable, where is the variable? The
simpler definition is that an electron has independent existence. This
is the view that Godel tried to dissuade us from taking seriously,
because it nullifies the idea of God.

In other words, I think Quine's definition is just that: a definition.
Like the mind, existence does not like to be defined. It wants to be
discovered, experimented with, thought about.

In my opinion the best methodology to approach existence is the
physical. I can  believe things that physicists say, but I will have
difficulty believing in what a philosopher, especially of the logicist
variety, will have to say about existence.

One thing is certain, however. The mind is part of physics. It is
material.

Best Regards,

--
Eray
0
erayo
7/24/2004 2:38:22 PM
On 24 Jul 2004 00:01:13 -0700, feedbackdroids@yahoo.com (dan michaels)
in comp.ai.philosophy wrote:

>erayo@bilkent.edu.tr (Eray Ozkural  exa) wrote in message news:<fa69ae35.0407231857.334fa4b2@posting.google.com>...
>> feedbackdroids@yahoo.com (dan michaels) wrote in message news:<8d8494cf.0407220958.2d08e14@posting.google.com>...
>> > erayo@bilkent.edu.tr (Eray Ozkural  exa) wrote in message news:<fa69ae35.0407220601.2cc94db3@posting.google.com>...
>> > > Let's please avoid equating metaphysical materialism with behaviorism.
>> > > 
>> > > My digital multism, for instance, is metaphysical materialism, but it
>> > > is by no means behaviorism. Machine functionalism is materialist as
>> > > well, but it is not behaviorism.
>> > > 
>> > > Regards,
>> > 
>> > 
>> > You'll have to take the terminology issue up with Adler. As I see it,
>> > not all materialism is beh, nor dogmatic. My materialism is neither,
>> > of course. Does your DM dogmatically assert the truth of the
>> > nonexistence of things unprovable? I doubt it. According to Adler,
>> > making working assumptions are not the error, but asserting dogmatism
>> > as truth is error.
>> 
>> Agreed. By "metaphysical materialism" he might mean something else.
>> 
>> DM does not dogmatically assert that things unprovable do not exist.
>> We can discuss it; it's an interesting thought. If something is not
>> provable, does it exist?
>> 
>
>Maybe you just don't have the technology to be able to discover it.
>Like radio waves to the caveman. Like the existence of 10s of billions
>of galaxies that were only a smear on a lens prior to Hubble.
>
>And try asking it the other way around. If something does not exist,
>can you prove it does not exist? That's harder. Can you prove there
>are not 4-dimensional creatures who can see simultaneously both the
>insides and outsides of your body as normal - like Francis Bacon [the
>modern one] ugly paintings.

It might be easier to prove there aren't four dimensions.
>================
> 
>
>> If a (sufficiently powerful) formal system is consistent, is its
>> consistency provable (in the same system)? Godel's theorem says
>> interesting things about that. Oh, I think I'm getting a headache! [A
>> Godel "expert" could pop up at any instant!] The answer is no. It has
>> to be proved somewhere else.
>> 
>
>Yes, G�del has you by the scruff of the neck.
>===================
>
>
>> According to Godel, the second incompleteness theorem holds for finite
>> systems as well. Our universe seems to be finite.
>> 
>> But "consistency" is a condition, it is not material "existence"
>> itself, so such conditions could exist in a non-material sense. I
>> think there is nothing strange about a proposition about a computable
>> universe being true, which itself is not computable... [As much as I
>> sound like Lester when I talk about the non-material]
>> 
>> I'm aware that the above reasoning does not seem coherent, however, it
>> would be made all the more plausible if we understand that finite
>> beings can answer only a tiny part of the unknowable metaphysical
>> propositions such as those about the  "consistency of the universe"
>> (which is not too sensible anyway! what would an inconsistent universe
>> be like!!!???).
>> 
>> Regards,
>> 
>> --
>> Eray Ozkural
>> 
>> PS: Thus, I do think material existence has something to do with
>> computability, but I prefer to avoid equating existence in general
>> with all imaginable propositions (at the present).  For the record, I
>> do not imply that minds are non-material, either. Quite the opposite.
>> I tend to think they can be identified as locality of energy, or
>> something just as physical.


Regards - Lester

0
lesterDELzick
7/24/2004 3:57:19 PM
On Sat, 24 Jul 2004 08:57:58 +0100, David Longley
<David@longley.demon.co.uk> in comp.ai.philosophy wrote:

>In article <fa69ae35.0407231857.334fa4b2@posting.google.com>, Eray 
>Ozkural  exa <erayo@bilkent.edu.tr> writes
>>feedbackdroids@yahoo.com (dan michaels) wrote in message 
>>news:<8d8494cf.0407220958.2d08e14@posting.google.com>...
>>> erayo@bilkent.edu.tr (Eray Ozkural  exa) wrote in message 
>>>news:<fa69ae35.0407220601.2cc94db3@posting.google.com>...
>>> > Let's please avoid equating metaphysical materialism with behaviorism.
>>> >
>>> > My digital multism, for instance, is metaphysical materialism, but it
>>> > is by no means behaviorism. Machine functionalism is materialist as
>>> > well, but it is not behaviorism.
>>> >
>>> > Regards,
>>>
>>>
>>> You'll have to take the terminology issue up with Adler. As I see it,
>>> not all materialism is beh, nor dogmatic. My materialism is neither,
>>> of course. Does your DM dogmatically assert the truth of the
>>> nonexistence of things unprovable? I doubt it. According to Adler,
>>> making working assumptions are not the error, but asserting dogmatism
>>> as truth is error.
>>
>>Agreed. By "metaphysical materialism" he might mean something else.
>>
>>DM does not dogmatically assert that things unprovable do not exist.
>>We can discuss it; it's an interesting thought. If something is not
>>provable, does it exist?
>>
>Materialism is not the issue, the issue is extensionalism.

The issue is materialism. Without it extensionalism is nothing.

>If you don't accept that 'to be' (exist) is to be the value of a 
>variable (Quine), what use can be made of (talking about  or referring 
>to) an entity? 

And where does this mysterious variable of which one is the value come
from, pray tell?

>                        What point is there to having entities within a 
>scientific ontology which have no identity?

Positivist mysticism again?

>                                                                       Surely the whole point of 
>science is to discover useful functional relations between such values?

Hardly the whole point.

[. . .]

Regards - Lester

0
lesterDELzick
7/24/2004 3:57:20 PM
"Eray Ozkural exa" <erayo@bilkent.edu.tr> wrote in message
news:fa69ae35.0407231857.334fa4b2@posting.google.com...

[...]


> PS: Thus, I do think material existence has something to do with
> computability, but I prefer to avoid equating existence in general
> with all imaginable propositions (at the present).  For the record, I
> do not imply that minds are non-material, either. Quite the opposite.
> I tend to think they can be identified as locality of energy, or
> something just as physical.

This is something I have never been able to understand.

What is meant by "non-material"?

If something exists what makes it "non-material"?

Isn't light non-material but part of the physical world.

You have asserted above that "locality of energy" as physical.

Actually "energy" as far as I understand it is just a
description of the relationship between things we can
measure such as mass and velocity. A statement about
conservation. You can get more of one thing by getting
less of the other thing and vice versa.

If you chop matter into smaller parts don't we eventually
find that "matter" is a myth? A description of how reality
appears to us?

--
John Casey



0
John
7/24/2004 6:22:14 PM
"John Casey" <kjcasey@hotkey.net.au> wrote in message news:<41020096$1_1@news.iprimus.com.au>...
> "Eray Ozkural exa" <erayo@bilkent.edu.tr> wrote in message
> > PS: Thus, I do think material existence has something to do with
> > computability, but I prefer to avoid equating existence in general
> > with all imaginable propositions (at the present).  For the record, I
> > do not imply that minds are non-material, either. Quite the opposite.
> > I tend to think they can be identified as locality of energy, or
> > something just as physical.
> 
> This is something I have never been able to understand.
> 
> What is meant by "non-material"?

Things that do not correspond to matter (in a universe).

> If something exists what makes it "non-material"?

I didn't say that. On the contrary, I said that some non-material
propositions could be true, which means that they do not physically
exist.

> Isn't light non-material but part of the physical world.

Light is material.

> You have asserted above that "locality of energy" as physical.

Yes.

> Actually "energy" as far as I understand it is just a
> description of the relationship between things we can
> measure such as mass and velocity. A statement about
> conservation. You can get more of one thing by getting
> less of the other thing and vice versa.

Energy and matter are interchangeable. 

> If you chop matter into smaller parts don't we eventually
> find that "matter" is a myth? A description of how reality
> appears to us?

No, we don't. We find that matter has a structure, and it really is
the same substance as energy.

Regards,

--
Eray Ozkural
0
erayo
7/25/2004 1:32:53 AM
Hello Lester,

lesterDELzick@worldnet.att.net (Lester Zick) wrote in message news:<41027a95.5414197@netnews.att.net>...
> On Sat, 24 Jul 2004 08:57:58 +0100, David Longley
> <David@longley.demon.co.uk> in comp.ai.philosophy wrote:
> >Materialism is not the issue, the issue is extensionalism.
> 
> The issue is materialism. Without it extensionalism is nothing.

You pronounce my thoughts more effectively than in my reply.
 
> >If you don't accept that 'to be' (exist) is to be the value of a 
> >variable (Quine), what use can be made of (talking about  or referring 
> >to) an entity? 
> 
> And where does this mysterious variable of which one is the value come
> from, pray tell?

Exactly what I asked David.

> >                        What point is there to having entities within a 
> >scientific ontology which have no identity?
> 
> Positivist mysticism again?

Mysticism indeed. In David's sentence, there are already a bunch of
abstract concepts which are assumed to be fundamental. Even the
concept of "identity" is not granted in a materialist metaphysics.
 
Whenever David echoes Quine, I get the impression that he (originally
Quine) thinks the universe is a collection of logical sentences
hanging in the air. But in reality, it is a machine whose parts
interact causally.

> >                                                                       Surely the whole point of 
> >science is to discover useful functional relations between such values?
> 
> Hardly the whole point.

I had missed that part in David's post. It is, I think, even a worse
fallacy to assume such things about science than only the nature of
existence.

The mistake is of course not the immediate content of David's posts.
One may trust in Quine's metaphysics, but asserting it as absolute
truth is absurd. [*]

There is no reason to believe that Quine solved the very question of
metaphysics: What is existence? Such belief is properly called faith,
it is a religious activity.

Regards,

--
Eray Ozkural
[*] I suppose even Quine himself might have avoided doing that,
although he might just as well, with his overblown ego.
0
erayo
7/25/2004 11:26:02 AM
But virtually all of what is talked about by cognitive psychology is
not observed � only the end product is observed. And what of all the
so-called "implicit learning" stuff? Would you argue that explicit
memory is mental or cognitive but implicit memory is not?

Needless to say, the alternative is that nothing is "mental," but we
do sometimes observe our own behavior, and it is parts of our behavior
that we see when we introspect.


"Allan C Cybulskie" <allan.c.cybulskie@yahoo.ca> wrote in message news:<5IEKc.1248$Vw3.265620@news20.bellglobal.com>...
> "Glen M. Sizemore" <gmsizemore2@yahoo.com> wrote in message
> news:T5DKc.17332$5Y.17243@cyclops.nntpserver.com...
> > AC:  - what commonly distinguishes the mind is, in fact, the experience
>  and
> > what we feel...
> >
> >
> >
> > GS: This is utter nonsense. What is the alleged "unconscious mind!?"
> 
> There's no such thing.  There's an alleged SUBconscious mind, and it's only
> given the title "mind" due to its supposed impact and relation to conscious
> mind.  But there are many philosophers -- Merleau-Ponty particularly comes
> to mind -- who have no problem refusing to consider it to be mind.  I only
> disagree with him to the extent that it seems that this subconscious mind
> does or aids in actual conscious thinking.
0
gmsizemore2
7/25/2004 12:05:30 PM
On 25 Jul 2004 04:26:02 -0700, erayo@bilkent.edu.tr (Eray Ozkural
exa) in comp.ai.philosophy wrote:

>Hello Lester,
>
>lesterDELzick@worldnet.att.net (Lester Zick) wrote in message news:<41027a95.5414197@netnews.att.net>...
>> On Sat, 24 Jul 2004 08:57:58 +0100, David Longley
>> <David@longley.demon.co.uk> in comp.ai.philosophy wrote:
>> >Materialism is not the issue, the issue is extensionalism.
>> 
>> The issue is materialism. Without it extensionalism is nothing.
>
>You pronounce my thoughts more effectively than in my reply.
> 
>> >If you don't accept that 'to be' (exist) is to be the value of a 
>> >variable (Quine), what use can be made of (talking about  or referring 
>> >to) an entity? 
>> 
>> And where does this mysterious variable of which one is the value come
>> from, pray tell?
>
>Exactly what I asked David.
>
>> >                        What point is there to having entities within a 
>> >scientific ontology which have no identity?
>> 
>> Positivist mysticism again?
>
>Mysticism indeed. In David's sentence, there are already a bunch of
>abstract concepts which are assumed to be fundamental. Even the
>concept of "identity" is not granted in a materialist metaphysics.
> 
>Whenever David echoes Quine, I get the impression that he (originally
>Quine) thinks the universe is a collection of logical sentences
>hanging in the air. But in reality, it is a machine whose parts
>interact causally.
>
>> >                                                                       Surely the whole point of 
>> >science is to discover useful functional relations between such values?
>> 
>> Hardly the whole point.
>
>I had missed that part in David's post. It is, I think, even a worse
>fallacy to assume such things about science than only the nature of
>existence.
>
>The mistake is of course not the immediate content of David's posts.
>One may trust in Quine's metaphysics, but asserting it as absolute
>truth is absurd. [*]
>
>There is no reason to believe that Quine solved the very question of
>metaphysics: What is existence? Such belief is properly called faith,
>it is a religious activity.
>
It's curious that Glen accuses modern psychology of ancient animist
beliefs when modern behaviorism is guilty of naive anthropomorphism
with respect to animals, mystically ascribing human traits to animals.
It's a kind of reverse animism where instead of ascribing deistic
traits to animals, behaviorists ascribe human traits to animals and
worship them in that guise.

Regards - Lester

0
lesterDELzick
7/25/2004 3:03:09 PM
"John Casey" <kjcasey@hotkey.net.au> wrote in message news:<410422ee_1@news.iprimus.com.au>...


> So hard to convey a mental concept using words with shifting
> meanings.  Have you ever read the Matter Myth by Paul Davies?


This isn't actually related to your question to Eray, but I've always
had the feeling that PD was really just a fundammentalist masquerading
as a scientist. Whadyathink?
0
feedbackdroids
7/26/2004 4:21:20 AM
"Eray Ozkural exa" <erayo@bilkent.edu.tr> wrote in message
news:fa69ae35.0407241732.436fe8c0@posting.google.com...
> "John Casey" <kjcasey@hotkey.net.au> wrote in message
news:<41020096$1_1@news.iprimus.com.au>...
> > "Eray Ozkural exa" <erayo@bilkent.edu.tr> wrote in message
> > > PS: Thus, I do think material existence has something to do with
> > > computability, but I prefer to avoid equating existence in general
> > > with all imaginable propositions (at the present).  For the record, I
> > > do not imply that minds are non-material, either. Quite the opposite.
> > > I tend to think they can be identified as locality of energy, or
> > > something just as physical.
> >
> > This is something I have never been able to understand.
> >
> > What is meant by "non-material"?
>
> Things that do not correspond to matter (in a universe).
>
> > If something exists what makes it "non-material"?
>
> I didn't say that. On the contrary, I said that some non-material
> propositions could be true, which means that they do not physically
> exist.
>
> > Isn't light non-material but part of the physical world.
>
> Light is material.
>
> > You have asserted above that "locality of energy" as physical.
>
> Yes.
>
> > Actually "energy" as far as I understand it is just a
> > description of the relationship between things we can
> > measure such as mass and velocity. A statement about
> > conservation. You can get more of one thing by getting
> > less of the other thing and vice versa.
>
> Energy and matter are interchangeable.
>
> > If you chop matter into smaller parts don't we eventually
> > find that "matter" is a myth? A description of how reality
> > appears to us?
>
> No, we don't. We find that matter has a structure, and it really is
> the same substance as energy.

So hard to convey a mental concept using words with shifting
meanings.  Have you ever read the Matter Myth by Paul Davies?

--
John

>
> Regards,
>
> --
> Eray Ozkural


0
John
7/26/2004 9:14:03 AM


"dan michaels" <feedbackdroids@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:8d8494cf.0407252021.66067bcf@posting.google.com...
> "John Casey" <kjcasey@hotkey.net.au> wrote in message
news:<410422ee_1@news.iprimus.com.au>...
>
>
> > So hard to convey a mental concept using words with shifting
> > meanings.  Have you ever read the Matter Myth by Paul Davies?
>
>
> This isn't actually related to your question to Eray, but I've always
> had the feeling that PD was really just a fundammentalist masquerading
> as a scientist. Whadyathink?

Well he did win the Templeton Prize, I think that is the name. It was for
improving communication between science and religion ...

For that matter, I wonder about the real motivations behind Penrose.
John.



0
John
7/26/2004 1:49:01 PM
What mind?

LOL
0
erayo
7/26/2004 4:46:26 PM
"John Hasenkam" <johnh@faraway.> wrote in message news:<41050c89@dnews.tpgi.com.au>...

> For that matter, I wonder about the real motivations behind Penrose.
> John.


Penrose is easy. He had a solution which was looking a problem.
0
feedbackdroids
7/26/2004 6:53:02 PM
"dan michaels" <feedbackdroids@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:8d8494cf.0407252021.66067bcf@posting.google.com...
> "John Casey" <kjcasey@hotkey.net.au> wrote in message
news:<410422ee_1@news.iprimus.com.au>...
>
>
> > So hard to convey a mental concept using words with shifting
> > meanings.  Have you ever read the Matter Myth by Paul Davies?
>
>
> This isn't actually related to your question to Eray, but I've always
> had the feeling that PD was really just a fundamentalist masquerading
> as a scientist. Whadyathink?

I certainly hope not. I find religious fundamentalists as scary people
in that they are beyond reasoning with. And indeed they operate in
the opposite direction to the open minded and open ended pursuits
of science.

--
John Casey




0
John
7/26/2004 11:27:28 PM
"John Hasenkam" <johnh@faraway.> wrote in message news:<41050c89@dnews.tpgi.com.au>...
> "dan michaels" <feedbackdroids@yahoo.com> wrote in message
> news:8d8494cf.0407252021.66067bcf@posting.google.com...
> > "John Casey" <kjcasey@hotkey.net.au> wrote in message
>  news:<410422ee_1@news.iprimus.com.au>...
> >
> >
> > > So hard to convey a mental concept using words with shifting
> > > meanings.  Have you ever read the Matter Myth by Paul Davies?
> >
> >
> > This isn't actually related to your question to Eray, but I've always
> > had the feeling that PD was really just a fundammentalist masquerading
> > as a scientist. Whadyathink?
> 
> Well he did win the Templeton Prize, I think that is the name. It was for
> improving communication between science and religion ...
> 
> For that matter, I wonder about the real motivations behind Penrose.

Me, too.

He seems to claim the solution to the mind/body for himself. Hence,
the philosophical arguments based on Godel's results, etc. He's a
physicist: he will surely prefer the mind to be a wave function,
rather than a computation which the computer scientists know better.

Regards,

--
Eray Ozkural
0
erayo
7/27/2004 9:48:36 AM
In article <fa69ae35.0407270148.88c4913@posting.google.com>, Eray 
Ozkural  exa <erayo@bilkent.edu.tr> writes
>"John Hasenkam" <johnh@faraway.> wrote in message 
>news:<41050c89@dnews.tpgi.com.au>...
>> "dan michaels" <feedbackdroids@yahoo.com> wrote in message
>> news:8d8494cf.0407252021.66067bcf@posting.google.com...
>> > "John Casey" <kjcasey@hotkey.net.au> wrote in message
>>  news:<410422ee_1@news.iprimus.com.au>...
>> >
>> >
>> > > So hard to convey a mental concept using words with shifting
>> > > meanings.  Have you ever read the Matter Myth by Paul Davies?
>> >
>> >
>> > This isn't actually related to your question to Eray, but I've always
>> > had the feeling that PD was really just a fundammentalist masquerading
>> > as a scientist. Whadyathink?
>>
>> Well he did win the Templeton Prize, I think that is the name. It was for
>> improving communication between science and religion ...
>>
>> For that matter, I wonder about the real motivations behind Penrose.
>
>Me, too.
>
>He seems to claim the solution to the mind/body for himself. Hence,
>the philosophical arguments based on Godel's results, etc. He's a
>physicist: he will surely prefer the mind to be a wave function,
>rather than a computation which the computer scientists know better.
>
>Regards,
>
>--
>Eray Ozkural

Does it not bother you (even a little) that so many of the people with 
imaginative ideas about "the mind" have such a poor grasp of behavioural 
science?

It isn't that they've studied it and don't *agree*, rather, it 
invariably seems to me to be the case that they just don't get the 
important facts right. Conversely, those who *do* seem to be able to 
give an accurate account of what is the case (whether they *agree* or 
not) don't seem to say the things about "the mind" etc that the former 
group do.

Do you think there might be something to this (genetic fallacy: Ad 
Verecundiam, Ad Hominem)? I reckon the problem outlined above is the 
work of the intensional idioms. Have you discovered what those are yet?

-- 
David Longley
0
David
7/27/2004 5:23:06 PM
On Tue, 27 Jul 2004 18:23:06 +0100, David Longley
<David@longley.demon.co.uk> in comp.ai.philosophy wrote:

>In article <fa69ae35.0407270148.88c4913@posting.google.com>, Eray 
>Ozkural  exa <erayo@bilkent.edu.tr> writes
>>"John Hasenkam" <johnh@faraway.> wrote in message 
>>news:<41050c89@dnews.tpgi.com.au>...

[. . .]

>>> For that matter, I wonder about the real motivations behind Penrose.
>>
>>Me, too.
>>
>>He seems to claim the solution to the mind/body for himself. Hence,
>>the philosophical arguments based on Godel's results, etc. He's a
>>physicist: he will surely prefer the mind to be a wave function,
>>rather than a computation which the computer scientists know better.
>>
>>Regards,
>>
>>--
>>Eray Ozkural
>
>Does it not bother you (even a little) that so many of the people with 
>imaginative ideas about "the mind" have such a poor grasp of behavioural 
>science?

If by behavioral science you're referring to the work of behaviorists,
allow me clarify the problem by rephrasing the question:

Does it not bother you that so many of the people with imaginative
ideas about the mind have such a poor grasp of the work of those
whose only idea regarding the mind is to deny the mind and mental
effects altogether?

Cast in such terms, the only surprize is that anyone with imaginative
ideas about the mind would pay any attention at all to the work of
behaviorists and not that they don't pay sufficient attention to
qualify their opinions as authoritative.

>It isn't that they've studied it and don't *agree*, rather, it 
>invariably seems to me to be the case that they just don't get the 
>important facts right. Conversely, those who *do* seem to be able to 
>give an accurate account of what is the case (whether they *agree* or 
>not) don't seem to say the things about "the mind" etc that the former 
>group do.

If behaviorists deny the mind and mental effects, what other accurate
accounts of what is the case are relevant? You may not appreciate
having the significance of behaviorist science interpreted without
your approval. But apart from denying the mind, you have nothing to
contribute to the subject of imaginative ideas regarding the mind. The
science part of what behaviorists contribute to behavioral science
doesn't show anything except that you can and do train animal behavior
effectively whether or not there are minds and mental effects.

Regards - Lester

0
lesterDELzick
7/27/2004 6:36:14 PM
In article <4104eb29_1@news.iprimus.com.au>, John Casey 
<kjcasey@hotkey.net.au> writes
>
>"dan michaels" <feedbackdroids@yahoo.com> wrote in message
>news:8d8494cf.0407252021.66067bcf@posting.google.com...
>> "John Casey" <kjcasey@hotkey.net.au> wrote in message
>news:<410422ee_1@news.iprimus.com.au>...
>>
>>
>> > So hard to convey a mental concept using words with shifting
>> > meanings.  Have you ever read the Matter Myth by Paul Davies?
>>
>>
>> This isn't actually related to your question to Eray, but I've always
>> had the feeling that PD was really just a fundamentalist masquerading
>> as a scientist. Whadyathink?
>
>I certainly hope not. I find religious fundamentalists as scary people
>in that they are beyond reasoning with. And indeed they operate in
>the opposite direction to the open minded and open ended pursuits
>of science.
>
>--
>John Casey
>
>
>
>
Forget about "religious fundamentalists" - as I have laboured here ad 
nauseam, the pursuit of truth is more often obstructed by folk of a far 
milder ("thoughtless") disposition.

http://www.vdare.com/pb/bell_curve.htm

The nature of that obstruction (intensional opacity) and what it reveals 
is what I've suggested those interested in intelligent behaviour (real 
or artificial) need to look more into. Yet people like Michaels, Zick 
and Ozkural etc. remain (abusively) clueless. These, in my view, are the 
"scary people"! Try to grasp why.

-- 
David Longley
0
David
7/27/2004 6:52:39 PM
Lester Zick wrote:
> On Tue, 27 Jul 2004 18:23:06 +0100, David Longley
> <David@longley.demon.co.uk> in comp.ai.philosophy wrote:
> 
> 
>>In article <fa69ae35.0407270148.88c4913@posting.google.com>, Eray 
>>Ozkural  exa <erayo@bilkent.edu.tr> writes
>>
>>>"John Hasenkam" <johnh@faraway.> wrote in message 
>>>news:<41050c89@dnews.tpgi.com.au>...
> 
> 
> [. . .]
> 
> 
>>>>For that matter, I wonder about the real motivations behind Penrose.
>>>
>>>Me, too.
>>>
>>>He seems to claim the solution to the mind/body for himself. Hence,
>>>the philosophical arguments based on Godel's results, etc. He's a
>>>physicist: he will surely prefer the mind to be a wave function,
>>>rather than a computation which the computer scientists know better.
>>>
>>>Regards,
>>>
>>>--
>>>Eray Ozkural
>>
>>Does it not bother you (even a little) that so many of the people with 
>>imaginative ideas about "the mind" have such a poor grasp of behavioural 
>>science?
> 
> 
> If by behavioral science you're referring to the work of behaviorists,
> allow me clarify the problem by rephrasing the question:
> 
> Does it not bother you that so many of the people with imaginative
> ideas about the mind have such a poor grasp of the work of those
> whose only idea regarding the mind is to deny the mind and mental
> effects altogether?
> 
> Cast in such terms, the only surprize is that anyone with imaginative
> ideas about the mind would pay any attention at all to the work of
> behaviorists and not that they don't pay sufficient attention to
> qualify their opinions as authoritative.
> 
> 
>>It isn't that they've studied it and don't *agree*, rather, it 
>>invariably seems to me to be the case that they just don't get the 
>>important facts right. Conversely, those who *do* seem to be able to 
>>give an accurate account of what is the case (whether they *agree* or 
>>not) don't seem to say the things about "the mind" etc that the former 
>>group do.
> 
> 
> If behaviorists deny the mind and mental effects, what other accurate
> accounts of what is the case are relevant? 

Answer: what behaviorists actually do.  What is irrelevant is your 
conjectures about what they do.

Newsgroups trimmed again.

patty
0
patty
7/27/2004 7:07:18 PM
On Tue, 27 Jul 2004 19:07:18 GMT, patty <pattyNO@SPAMicyberspace.net>
in comp.ai.philosophy wrote:

>Lester Zick wrote:
>> On Tue, 27 Jul 2004 18:23:06 +0100, David Longley
>> <David@longley.demon.co.uk> in comp.ai.philosophy wrote:
>> 
>> 
>>>In article <fa69ae35.0407270148.88c4913@posting.google.com>, Eray 
>>>Ozkural  exa <erayo@bilkent.edu.tr> writes
>>>
>>>>"John Hasenkam" <johnh@faraway.> wrote in message 
>>>>news:<41050c89@dnews.tpgi.com.au>...
>> 
>> 
>> [. . .]
>> 
>> 
>>>>>For that matter, I wonder about the real motivations behind Penrose.
>>>>
>>>>Me, too.
>>>>
>>>>He seems to claim the solution to the mind/body for himself. Hence,
>>>>the philosophical arguments based on Godel's results, etc. He's a
>>>>physicist: he will surely prefer the mind to be a wave function,
>>>>rather than a computation which the computer scientists know better.
>>>>
>>>>Regards,
>>>>
>>>>--
>>>>Eray Ozkural
>>>
>>>Does it not bother you (even a little) that so many of the people with 
>>>imaginative ideas about "the mind" have such a poor grasp of behavioural 
>>>science?
>> 
>> 
>> If by behavioral science you're referring to the work of behaviorists,
>> allow me clarify the problem by rephrasing the question:
>> 
>> Does it not bother you that so many of the people with imaginative
>> ideas about the mind have such a poor grasp of the work of those
>> whose only idea regarding the mind is to deny the mind and mental
>> effects altogether?
>> 
>> Cast in such terms, the only surprize is that anyone with imaginative
>> ideas about the mind would pay any attention at all to the work of
>> behaviorists and not that they don't pay sufficient attention to
>> qualify their opinions as authoritative.
>> 
>> 
>>>It isn't that they've studied it and don't *agree*, rather, it 
>>>invariably seems to me to be the case that they just don't get the 
>>>important facts right. Conversely, those who *do* seem to be able to 
>>>give an accurate account of what is the case (whether they *agree* or 
>>>not) don't seem to say the things about "the mind" etc that the former 
>>>group do.
>> 
>> 
>> If behaviorists deny the mind and mental effects, what other accurate
>> accounts of what is the case are relevant? 
>
>Answer: what behaviorists actually do.  What is irrelevant is your 
>conjectures about what they do.

What behaviorists actually do is deny the mind and mental effects.
What is irrevlevant is your conjectures about the relevance of the
empirical things they do to imaginative ideas of the mind.

>Newsgroups trimmed again.

Newgroups reinstated.

Regards - Lester

0
lesterDELzick
7/27/2004 9:34:38 PM
Lester Zick wrote:
> On Tue, 27 Jul 2004 19:07:18 GMT, patty <pattyNO@SPAMicyberspace.net>
> in comp.ai.philosophy wrote:
> 
> 
>>Lester Zick wrote:
>>
>>>On Tue, 27 Jul 2004 18:23:06 +0100, David Longley
>>><David@longley.demon.co.uk> in comp.ai.philosophy wrote:
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>>In article <fa69ae35.0407270148.88c4913@posting.google.com>, Eray 
>>>>Ozkural  exa <erayo@bilkent.edu.tr> writes
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>>"John Hasenkam" <johnh@faraway.> wrote in message 
>>>>>news:<41050c89@dnews.tpgi.com.au>...
>>>
>>>
>>>[. . .]
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>>>>For that matter, I wonder about the real motivations behind Penrose.
>>>>>
>>>>>Me, too.
>>>>>
>>>>>He seems to claim the solution to the mind/body for himself. Hence,
>>>>>the philosophical arguments based on Godel's results, etc. He's a
>>>>>physicist: he will surely prefer the mind to be a wave function,
>>>>>rather than a computation which the computer scientists know better.
>>>>>
>>>>>Regards,
>>>>>
>>>>>--
>>>>>Eray Ozkural
>>>>
>>>>Does it not bother you (even a little) that so many of the people with 
>>>>imaginative ideas about "the mind" have such a poor grasp of behavioural 
>>>>science?
>>>
>>>
>>>If by behavioral science you're referring to the work of behaviorists,
>>>allow me clarify the problem by rephrasing the question:
>>>
>>>Does it not bother you that so many of the people with imaginative
>>>ideas about the mind have such a poor grasp of the work of those
>>>whose only idea regarding the mind is to deny the mind and mental
>>>effects altogether?
>>>
>>>Cast in such terms, the only surprize is that anyone with imaginative
>>>ideas about the mind would pay any attention at all to the work of
>>>behaviorists and not that they don't pay sufficient attention to
>>>qualify their opinions as authoritative.
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>>It isn't that they've studied it and don't *agree*, rather, it 
>>>>invariably seems to me to be the case that they just don't get the 
>>>>important facts right. Conversely, those who *do* seem to be able to 
>>>>give an accurate account of what is the case (whether they *agree* or 
>>>>not) don't seem to say the things about "the mind" etc that the former 
>>>>group do.
>>>
>>>
>>>If behaviorists deny the mind and mental effects, what other accurate
>>>accounts of what is the case are relevant? 
>>
>>Answer: what behaviorists actually do.  What is irrelevant is your 
>>conjectures about what they do.
> 
> 
> What behaviorists actually do is deny the mind and mental effects.

Well you probably can find instances of them literally doing that.  But 
I seriously doubt that what they are referring to is what you are 
referring to when you paraphrase them as above.  Aren't you not just a 
wee bit curious what they actually *are* saying?


> What is irrevlevant is your conjectures about the relevance of the
> empirical things they do to imaginative ideas of the mind.
> 

I'm not touching that with a ten foot pool.


>>Newsgroups trimmed again.
> 
> Newgroups reinstated.

Newsgroup comp.ai.neural-nets trimmed - come on now, of what relevance 
is this to that technical form ?

patty
0