@Faizal_Ali, that is a really well done post, thanks for taking the time.
Excellent job. Would you also be interested in the fish I have right here in this barrel?
Hee hee. “Fish in a Barrel” might have been a better title for the blog.
I hope to take on some meatier subjects, unless I just give the whole thing up. Writing is slow hard work.
I won’t hold against you being on the UoT but I don’t see why you press and stress egnor is being illogical etc.
he simply is saying, what he has documented in heaps of cases/articles, of how the great damage to peoples skulls does not damage thier thinking ability. its in there. its just not coming out. thats the only damage.
One/you can always say AHA where the thinking is evidenced THE brain there is not damahed. thts just guessing. the whole case is that it seems the whole brain is damaged or greatly BUT BINGO there one finds a thinking ability untouched by the damage.
NOW I don’t agree we have brains but that the MIND is just the biblical word for memory.
so any damage to peoples thinking abilities is either the triggering mechanism for the memory or the memory organ(s) itself.
The soul/immaterial, is as perfect in thought as ever. However if the memory is interfered with its like a spectrum of being knocked out.
egnor does a excellent case constantly on the unlikelyness that we are just a sum of a material bits called the brain. i would correct him to reject the brain thing and instead embrace the proven thing of memory. the brain is a old fashioned idea from the last centuries and never proven but just presumed.
That’s certainly a new one on me.
I’ve been reading your well-argued responses to Dr. Egnor’s columns. However, there’s an interesting point he makes about Libet’s experiments which I believe you haven’t yet addressed: Libet’s hypothesis of “free won’t” (which postulates that the immaterial will is free to veto impulses to act that arise in the brain until the last moment) remains tenable in the light of experimental findings, and what’s more, no neural correlate of this veto has yet been observed. Is he correct on this point?
Finally, re severing the corpus callosum: why does this generally not impair the patient’s “sense of self”?
Thank you for your time and trouble.
Libet’s experiments don’t have anything to do with “materialism”. They are generally discussed in terms of whether they show free will exists, and it remains controversial as to what they actually demonstrate about that.
Egnor is again making the strange error of using measures of brain function as evidence for a mental function, and then using this finding to argue that the mental function is not a product of brain function. That’s just very odd reasoning. If extinction of a brain impulse prevents the subject from flexing his wrist, then this demonstrates that the decision to not flex the wrist, at the very least, involves and requires the brain, regardless of whether “free will” is involved. It may be that some additional “immaterial” process is involved, but this experiment gives no evidence for that.
Thank you very much for your response, @Faizal_Ali. I’m not altogether clear on your logic, however. If extinction of a brain impulse prevents the subject from flexing his wrist, then that certainly demonstrates that the decision to flex the wrist involves and requires the brain, but I can’t see why it demonstrates that the decision not to flex the wrist involves and requires the brain, especially when (according to Egnor) there’s no neural trace of this snap decision (which he and Libet describe as “free won’t.”) Or am I missing something?
There is a neural trace of the decision: the cortical readiness potential flattens out.
Another response from the DI:
I respond to Klinghoffer.