What we finally did see when we opened the flesh was more and more flesh. But even this amazing discovery which continues to this day – that the
body is capable of everything we once attribute to a ghostly or divine essence – did not redeem it in our mythology. Even now, folks long for
Though I am charged with reductionism, as if I should be embarrassed that I reduce systems to their component parts for ontological purposes, I think
physicalist reductionist conceptions of mind, as for instance the good intentioned eliminative materialists, have taken it too far by equating mind
with brain. No where have we witnessed a brain think, feel and act conscious. Every brain imaging scan is scanning human bodies, not brains; it is
only bodies that climb into an MRI. The respiratory system, the endocrine system, the digestive system, the circulatory system – each and every
systematic component of a living organism is required to produce a single one of its thoughts, feelings or conscious moments, not only the parts that
light up. Why this is not considered, and why the element of mind must be something within the body, and not the body itself, is simply discarded by
mainstream philosophy and cognitive science, save for the growing empirical research in embodied cognition.
But some thought experiments rely on this assumption. The Brain in a Vat scenario assumes that a mind, an experience, and the brain itself can persist
as long as a brain is hooked up to various inputs and submerged in some futuristic formaldehyde, which apparently is a sufficient substitute for the
body. Along these same lines, the Matrix movie, and even some futurists, imply that an experience can be uploaded to our minds via mechanistic or
invasive means. The premises of these ideas, of the mentalism that grips the cognitive sciences, and the entire computational theory of mind itself
– besides being mediocre science fictions – can be discarded as being induced from an assumption, and not deduced from any sort of truth. Like
computational theories of mind in cognitive and AI research, the premise assumes the body is merely a bridge, a middle man, a buffer, a conduit
consisting of inputs and outputs, "hardware", only conveying meaningless data from reality to some imprisoned little element or motherboard from which
meaningful language is expressed. This bridge goes nowhere except to solipsism.
I, in turn, charge them with "deflationism", the attempt to mentally eviscerate and deflate the self, the very object of their rumination, in order to
find the air within, air that they could only hope is in there, thereby concluding that what may be left in this act, if there is anything at all, is
Aberrations of philosophical thought have grown from this polluted soil, from the idea of a disembodied subject, leading nearly all spiritual
The ecclesiastical dichotomy of free-will versus biological determinism require this disembodied assumption in order to make any meaningful
statements. For instance, the irrational fear and fallacy that we are pushed around and determined by our genes, our impulses, or our basest
instincts, are unfounded when we find there is nothing for them push around. We find determinism versus free-will to be a false-dilemma – the
conundrum melts away – when we finally conclude that we are our genes, we are our hormones, we are our impulses, our brains, our organs, and our
base instincts, and not some disembodied entity chained to an organic rack to be perpetually tickled by the feathers of our biology.
Conversely, to think we are a subject in control of the body, as if the body is a mere vehicle, is equally as false. The overuse of the analogy of a
car needing a driver, or a computer needing a user, to imply the body needs a mind, simply does not follow, and is fallaciously assuming the initial
point. That the body is something like a machine which requires an operator is unfounded, based on nothing, and in the end, a poor way of describing
We do not use submarines to describe fish; we do not use airplanes to describe birds; we do not use robots to describe humans. Rather, the roles are
reversed, and we use the principles of fish to imagine submarines, and the principles of birds to imagine planes, and the principles of humans to
imagine robots and computers. To assume the mechanistic view, that the universe is a machine varying only in complexity from clockwork, is gravely
mistaken. Machines have designers, purposes and operators; beings do not.
Where does the mind end and the body meet? A question no mind-proponent can answer.
Why must we "grasp" a concept if a mind has no hands? Why do we "stand firm" in our convictions if the mind has no legs? Why do we "see" thoughts if
the mind has no eyes? Why is a notion "over our heads" if the mind has no head? Simply because our thinking and conceptual systems are embodied, not
disembodied. The body is the consistent metaphor underlying the base of all metaphors.
We are objects, evidenced by the fact that we bump into other objects. Though it seems a convenient and comforting avenue to adhere to the spiritual
idea of "no-thing-ness", such a view is no less spoken by an object that bumps into other objects. Thus, it is refuted the moment it is asserted, and
only through blind faith and attraction can one remain enraptured by it. We have a boundary, a surface, a beginning and an end.
Of subjective experiences, the personal point-of-view in question is the body, which is the point from which we view, smell, hear, feel and persist in
the world. No body is another body, nor can it be another body, and thus one body cannot feel or think exactly like another. The unique point of view
is subjective only insofar as it is an object, with its very own form, orientation and coordinates in space and time that it shares with no other
object. Everything that comes out of that body represents that one point of view of that one object. In other words, there is no subject or
subjectivism, only an object describing itself, what it has seen, felt, heard, etc., in its own words.
edit on 4-4-2015 by Aphorism because: (no reason given)