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← The raw deal of determinism and reductionism

Tyler Durden's Avatar Jump to comment 18 by Tyler Durden

Comment 15 by logicophilosophicus :

Personally I think awareness itself, and probably also volition, will require new physics. I'd certainly regard it as an unwarranted act of faith to assert that the known particles and forces, as of this moment in time, MUST be entirely sufficient to explain free will, intention, purpose, ethics, value and the rest.

There is no need to posit "new physics" to explain awareness.

Self-awareness is a product of neurons within our evolved brains; and in particular, mirror neurons, as discovered by Rizzolati, Gallase and Laccoboni while recording actions in the brains of monkeys.

Here's neuroscientist V.S Ramachandran on the subject:

Mirror neurons are also abundant in the inferior parietal lobule — a structure that underwent an accelerated expansion in the great apes and, later, in humans.. As the brain evolved further the lobule split into two gyri — the supramarginal gyrus that allowed you to "reflect" on your own anticipated actions and the angular gyrus that allowed you to "reflect" on your body (on the right) and perhaps on other more social and linguistic aspects of your self (left hemisphere).

Ergo, mirror neurons, the supramarginal gyrus, and the angular gyrus of the brain are clear physical evidence for self-awareness. Certainly not an "unwarranted act of faith", as it's something we can actually pin-down with neuroscience, so no need for new physics.

Also, the Mirror test is an ideal mechanism to explain self-awareness; as is the ability to switch off self-awareness in the superfrontal gyrus - not an "unwarranted act of faith" - no need for new physics.

See also: work by Binet and Bandura with regard to intelligence and self-efficacy. Certainly not an "unwarranted act of faith" - no need for new physics.

Fri, 13 Jul 2012 13:35:59 UTC | #949050