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Talk:Non-materialist neuroscience

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materialism, computationalism and scientific neurology[edit]

There seem to be two or three unstated assumptions in the article (and too few references to philosophically astute neurologists who publish neuro research) which is troubling: one is the belief that current neurology either is the result of a "materialist" research program or paradigm or that it is somehow a vindication of philosophical materialism. That there is no need for a "soul substance" in neuroscience is in no way a vindication of materialist metaphysics simply because a scientific "refutation" of dualism does not do the work the authors seem to suppose. If metaphysics is about our most general assumptions and presuppositions with regard to knowledge, values and ethics then it is simply false to think that science without the "soul" and "spirit" and "gods" - whether neuroscience or cosmology - is a vindication of a form of monism called "materialism". It might be sobering to read the work on "scientific materialism" in old Soviet or Soviet-sphere articles as a refresher in this regard. If you take the case of philosophers such as John Searle, you will find a non-dualist who is not a proponent of your claims for computational modelling. The eventual triumph of connectionism, computationalism or some other approach in dominating some area of neuroscience will not likely shed much light on your preferred metaphysics of materialism. If this is not obvious to you, then consider that an ontology consistent with values being real is perfectly consistent with your preferred neuro-scientific leanings (I lean to connectionism) but is not consistent with the monism of materialism. For years it was common to hear assertions made about the General Theory of Relativity which are known not to be consistent with mathematical results - in spite of the excellent confirmations of the theory and those expected from the Gravity-Probe B data. And that includes views expressed by none other than a prominent GTR theorist gone over to neuroscience. It is only recently that neuroscience and neuro-psychology have been openly discussing consciousness, beliefs and emotions and it is far too early to think that neuro-imaging alone will win the day for materialism as an ontology for neuroscience. One non-dualist philosopher with views very close to those of, say, António Damásio, is none other than Heiddeger writing on "Stimmung" - and although not a dualist, Heidegger was no materialist. Some ardent neuro-materialists share the view of metaphysical committments of R.G. Collingwood - views that are not likely to entertain seriously that the vindication of materialism is to come from neuroscience. This century will be the century of biology - and perhaps the century of dark-matter physics. This will not ensure that it will be a century in which materialism triumphs as the metaphysics of science if only because science has thus far required mathematics - and that is a trouble spot for materialist metaphysics. The computationalism of the past few decades has also not been free of philosophical bias - and it may require a change of generations at MIT and Stanford before a shift occurs which reflects the changing currents in mathematical thought. Removing "soul substance" from your thinking will not take you very far and has played a curious role in neuroscience: the aversion to "mind" and its connotations has hampered science by impairing research concerning the very nature of human experience and the critical stages of the evolution of a species capable of entertaining and sustaining science let alone explaining the grave dangers facing science in cultures and societies hostile to scientific inquiry and philosophy. Among philosphers, Susanne Langer saw some of these issues years ago and is a philosopher worth reading in this regard. Various authors have examined the impact of "materialist" behaviorism in retarding scientific research and theory. Medical "materialism" is likely the culprit in delaying a good deal of research including simple reflex learning tests to detect consciousness in "non-responsive" patients. Materialist assumptions may not always have served science as well as you imagine: not in economics and not in psychology. The jury is out on computationalism.

Footnotes[edit]


Buddhism and neuroscience?[edit]

What is the current correlation between buddhism and neuroscience? It seems to me that buddhism, apart from more accomodating views, is an idealistic point of view and rejects materialism and physicalism.

Consider this:

http://kwelos.tripod.com/argumentsagainstbuddhism.htm

What do you think about it?

Is buddhism wrong and a farse or is materialistic neuroscience outdated?

Here is a source linked that accounts against the brain being a machine and a mind its product:

http://seanrobsville.blogspot.com/2009/12/minds-machines-and-meaning.html

Gianga23 (talk) 10:59, 28 May 2014 (UTC)

Sorry, correlation? There's no correlation. Buddhism is a religion and neuroscience is science. Materialistic neuroscience is not outdated. - Grant (talk) 15:19, 28 May 2014 (UTC)
if we regard Buddhism as a combination of a philosophy, psychology and religion, then how much mileage can we get from the first two aspects before we have to start invoking religious faith?
Many people are unaware that there is such a thing as Buddhist psychology. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 16:21, 25 July 2014 (UTC)

Balance[edit]

Rational Wiki will be more persuasive if we present the views we disagree with as fair-mindedly and compellingly as possible - and then demolish them. As a scientific rationalist, I confess I'm a bit disappointed that the contributions I make are simply deleted without explanation by a pseudonymous user. Our critics, presumably, would say they aren't remotely surprised. — Unsigned, by: Davidcpearce / talk / contribs

"the phenomenology of one's mind reveals the intrinsic nature of the physical - the elusive "fire" in the equations about which physics is silent"
It's saying that there is something outside of physics that influences the physical... Physics is the natural science that describes the physical, to say that there is something outside it is, while not outright antiscience, still very much unscientific. Nullahnung (talk) 11:42, 7 June 2014 (UTC)
When a mainstream materialist like Steven Hawking acknowledges that we have no idea what "breathes fire into the equations and makes there a world for us to describe", most of us will assume that this elusive "fire" is devoid of phenomenal properties.
Strawsonian physicalists challenge this presupposition.
But I wasn't seeking to weigh the merits of competing claims about the intrinsic nature of the physical. Rather, I was highlighting how scientific rationalists may legitimately disagree. This should be acknowledged - not suppressed. --Davidcpearce (talk) 12:42, 7 June 2014 (UTC)
(fyi, it's Stephen Hawking, not Steven Hawking)
The question is, why do we need to mention non-anti-science disagreements with materialism that makes no direct attempt to say anything about neuroscience in this article, when this article is about non-materialist neuroscience? It seems out of place, where you put it. Nullahnung (talk) 12:56, 7 June 2014 (UTC)
Also, despite how smart Hawking is, he's not a neuroscientist and doesn't have experience in the area. |₹Λ¥$€₦₦ Red rose 02.svg He ceases to be a wrongdoer. He ceases also to be a creature of moral choice. 13:17, 7 June 2014 (UTC)
If we're going to "demolish" some views that Strawsonian physicalists have, then there's an appropriate way to do so. These points should be introduced with appropriate citations in an appropriate (or new) section in the article (not the lede) and countered there. Adding some view that one guy apparently has without any citations to back that up isn't a great thing to do.
Raysenn also has a point here. Talking about Hawking makes more sense when dealing with things like quantum mechanics or astrophysics. In other fields, it's little else but an appeal to authority. Hawking is a very smart guy, but specific fields of science are tight enough that it's rare for scientists outside the specific field in general to make anything more than broad strokes. If we're going to talk about neuroscience, Hawking isn't a great resource. - Grant (talk) 15:49, 7 June 2014 (UTC)
And similarly, if we're talking about non-materialist neuroscience, including a section about Strawsonian physicalism would weaken the focus of the article that is currently on neuroscience-related non-materialism. Nullahnung (talk) 15:59, 7 June 2014 (UTC)

If there were a consensus to do so, I'd be happy to add a section on Strawsonian physicalism. Either way, we shouldn't give the impression that a commitment to scientific rationalism is identical to a commitment to materialism. Materialism and physicalism are often assumed to be close cousins; but - as the example of Strawsonian physicalism illustrates - this needn't be the case. --Davidcpearce (talk) 20:24, 7 June 2014 (UTC)

The Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society is a peer-reviewed scientific journal[edit]

The oldest and still one of the most prestigious scientific journals. So "Schwartz, J. M., Stapp, H. & Beauregard, M. Quantum physics in neuroscience and psychology: a neurophysical model of mind-brain interaction. Philosophical Transactions of The Royal Society B: Biological Sciences" is a peer reviewed scientific paper. Therefore the distinction between Beauregards's science and philosophy publications is bogus.

https://royalsociety.org/about-us/

I'll wait a while before trying to make a minimal change. Gcolvin (talk) 05:24, 2 March 2015 (UTC)

I made that change, and related ones. Made it more clear that Schwartz et al. is a peer-reviewed scientific paper, so it won't get edited out again. Cleaned up references to Beauregard that should have been to Schwartz et al. Added brief info about Schwartz and Stapp's credentials, as we already have for Beauregard. Chased down the paper by Stapp that Streater was actually criticizing, and Stapp's reply. Cleaned up some links. Gcolvin (talk) 20:27, 27 May 2015 (UTC)

This page reads like a typical staunch materialist rant[edit]

Claims to be called "rational wiki", yet has an undoubtedly bias tone against anything that challenges materialism. Read about the page on Daniel Dennett and he got compared with Russell in the first sentence. LOL!!! What can i say. While i see intolerant dickheads on both sides, I find the other side to have a lot less of them than materialists. Maybe materialism turns out to be correct, but are u idiots who wrote this article SERIOUSLY going to deny property dualism? Even most materialist biologists aren't that retarded. I wont be reading any more garbage from this site. Generic eliminative materialist nonsense.— Unsigned, by: Coping manlet / talk / contribs

kthnxbai.--JorisEnter (talk) 12:49, 5 February 2017 (UTC)
Oh, and before I forget:
"But I thought this was supposed to be RATIONALWiki!" Drink!--JorisEnter (talk) 12:49, 5 February 2017 (UTC)
This was actually the more unusual suggestion that in spite of its name, RationalWiki might not actually be called that. 94.7.174.131 (talk) 14:59, 5 February 2017 (UTC)