Postscript to Champlain Heights
Thought is reduced by materialists to activities of the brain, but brain functions can be reduced themselves to activities which are too simple to
accomplish thought and finally to parts within the brain, down to the atomic level, which are too simple to accomplish thought.
Materialists will counter that it is combinations of these functions which are the thought carriers, but are unable to show how this mentation process
The argument becomes circular and one is always left hunting for the material object that "thinks", and yet, being able to reduce even that material
object to combinations too simple for thought.
This leads inevitably to the idea of a "mind", which is different from the body, about which we can determine almost nothing, at this time, as to its
construction or mechanism of action.
But then the whole reductio ad absurdum would begin again as one investigated this "thinking object", "mind", exactly as above.
One is led, logically and rigorously, to the conclusion, not just that the thinking element is not material, in the ordinary sense of the word, from
the grossest objects down to the subatomic level, but that it cannot be material
, since all material formations, in the search for the
"thinker", are reduced to parts the individuals of which, even in combination, are too simple to be used for thought.
Discussing this is like being a dog chasing its own tail through ever tightening circles of self pursuit.
Turing posited a mathematical basis for morphogenesis and one wonders if such an approach might lead to a hypothetical mathematical basis for the
generation of thought.
Some objections come to mind immediately.
The Turing approach would involve a massive number of "thought stutters" and more importantly is a "one way" process.
Also it just doesn't happen fast enough or with the kind of fluidity that one associates with thought. It is more believable in the realm of
morphogenesis over billions of years, in Darwinian fashion, than in the genesis of thought and of thoughts, which are legion and rapidly produced.
One can't really say that Darwinian evolution is accelerating, but it might be. I just mention this in order to illustrate the immense qualitative
difference between evolution of form, which is widely accepted and may be at root a mathematically driven process, as with Turing, and the evolution
of thought, which either appears to have happened at an immensely more rapid rate or, what is more likely, if the result of some mathematical
property, as morphogenesis is posited to be, must have begun at an immensely distant time in the past, before the appearance of biological entities
on this planet
Perhaps thought is not evolving at all or only at a pace comparable with mathematically driven morphogenesis, and it is only thoughts, as
distinguished from thought itself, which are evolving quickly.
If thought is mathematically driven, in the Turing manner, it is still just another assemblage of parts, no individual of which is habitable to the
activity we call thought. These mathematical agglomerations are in themselves particulated. If an agglomeration were habitable to the activity of
thought, we would still be left with the question what part of it is the thinking part.
I think we are led inexorably and logically to the idea that the thinker within is inherently different from the body and brain it inhabits and, even
if it is a "material object", way out of step with them in evolutionary terms.
edit on 23-9-2018 by ipsedixit because: (no reason given)