“How can the meanings of the meaningless symbol tokens, manipulated solely on the basis of their (arbitrary) shapes, be grounded in anything but other meaningless symbols? ”

  Harnad suggests that the issue lies in symbolic vs. non-symbolic representations. He suggests that a symbol system, defined as a system which manipulates arbitrary tokens according to a set of explicit rules, is purely syntactic and thus cannot capture meaning. According to Harnad, the problem lies in the arbitrary nature of the assignment between […]

Good Starter Biological Model of Brain and Behavior

Beyond the Computer Metaphor: Behaviour as Interaction – Paul Cisek, 1999 Summary We need to step back from the input-output metaphor of computationalism and ask what kind  of information processing the brain does, and what is its purpose.  The answer, suggested numerous times throughout the last hundred years, is that the brain is exerting control […]

“There has never been…any example of an historic medical advance that now is widely accepted without a delay of at least 40 years (usually longer) …”

“There has never been, claims one historian of medicine,1 any example of an historic medical advance that now is widely accepted (like the germ theory of disease, or anesthetic surgery, or disproof of the efficacy of bleeding for pneumonia, or washing hands before delivery of a baby, or widespread antibiotic use) without a delay of […]

Does Our Visual System Work Top-Down or Bottom-Up? Mainly Bottom-Up

It is pretty much anathema to believe that consciousness ans subjective experiences and the goal directed stuff of our brain does not control our behavior starting with the visual system.  Everyone, including most scientists believe that, top-down, the “self” and “higher order concepts” and parts of the brain are in charge.  We have always been […]