Re: Re: [asa] scientific fact vs. ideology?

From: Jack <>
Date: Tue Mar 17 2009 - 13:56:13 EDT
My concern about this type of rationale, is that if you equate brain function with personhood, what does that say about those with severe brain injury?  Are those with severe developmental abnormalities or those with aquired neurologic injury, (a PVS patient for example), less that persons? 

Mar 17, 2009 11:52:08 AM, wrote:
I would be willing to accept the claim that a functioning brain is a necessary but not sufficient condition for thought.  That is a sufficient basis for an argument that before the brain begins to form an embryo is not rational, and therefore not a person, to proceed.
----- Original Message -----
From: Schwarzwald
Sent: Tuesday, March 17, 2009 4:46 AM
Subject: Re: [asa] scientific fact vs. ideology?

I'm pretty sure C. S. Lewis was aware of the great scientific discovery that is 'drinking booze has a noticeable effect on subjective experience and reasoning.' More often, the scientifically inclined just don't know enough philosophy on the point.

Moreover, the idea that dualists of all varieties (or even most) don't see the brain as necessary for many/most mental operations doesn't ring true. Hylemorphic dualists would emphatically disagree. As would, I believe, very many dualists of cartesian, property, emergentist, and other varieties. A functioning brain could be a necessary but not sufficient requirement for thought, and 'the classical physical can do it all!' position is fraught with problems, some of which make the "but what about alcohol?" objection pale in comparison.

On Tue, Mar 17, 2009 at 12:43 AM, Preston Garrison <> wrote:
""matter cannot think.""

It may depend on your definition of "think."  Can computers "think?" They do make decisions.  They can even "appear" to be sentient.  It may be possible to have a conversation with a computer (over the internet) and not even realize it is not a real person.


'm articulating this well...)

There's a flip side to this. Read Dilbert today. Dilbert bemoans the fact that his boss keeps failing the Turing test. When our reason goes bad, do we cease to be human? Is God taking a coffee break? :)

Does Moorad think (by whatever mechanism) that the function of the brain is not necessary for reason? Then why do we get more and more confused as the alcohol concentration in the brain increases? I love C.S. Lewis, but I think he just didn't know enough science on the point.


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