[Comp-neuro] RE: Hilbert questions

Bill Lytton billl at neurosim.downstate.edu
Fri Aug 15 17:48:18 CEST 2008


>  Are there still dualists out there?

no doubt there are; but I'm not one of them

>  I believe that the brain is part of the material world.

agreed

>  I am also not as pessimistic as Bill Lytton is.

Perhaps it is pessimism, but it seems fair to state that there are limits to understanding that
have nothing to do with philosophical bugaboos regarding a thing understanding itself.

We will never fully understand the workings of society or even capital markets, the
'social sciences' nothwithstanding.  There are many independent actors using something that seems
so similar to free will that it might as well be called free will (even if it's just neurons
playing dice).  If nothing else, T Boone Pickens can be run over on the way to a takeover.

Robert's description of the situation in astronomy, which I was unfamiliar with, is another
example.

We might all agree that many phenomenon cannot be reduced to a scalar measure, yes?

Similarly, some complex phenomenon cannot be reduced to a manageable vector;
nor to a knowable vector; perhaps not even to a countable vector?

Bill

-- 
William W. Lytton, MD
Professor of Physiology, Pharmacology, Biomedical Engineering, Neurology
State University of NY, Downstate Medical Center, Brooklyn, NY
billl at neurosim.downstate.edu http://it.neurosim.downstate.edu/~billl
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