"More things in heaven and earth that are dreamt of in my philosophy" I have always been able to separate any personal beliefs about God, the existence of the soul, etc. from my understanding of scientific discovery and its possibilities. Therefore, while I can understand the revolutionary nature of the postulate that "the brain is behavior", it is not revolutionary to me; indeed, it is not very noteworthy at all. As one student skeptically proposed in class on Thursday, I do believe that religion and science have historically been two contrary modes of explanation of the physical and inner world--religion explaining what science cannot at any given historical point (I do not think that they have to exist in this way, but that's another story). If I have faith in anything, I have faith in the ability of science to describe our physical world. The inner life of homo sapiens is a part of that world, and I need no spirit or soul to explain to me "consciousness" or "personality".

Therefore, the brain-behavior postulate, which breaks ground only in its denial of metaphysical ideas like the soul, can explain any and all behaviors. However, I feel it necessary to point out that this statement, which sounds oh-so-profound, is meaningless to our understanding of the brain or of behavior because it is so obvious. From where else would objectors have behavior arise? Any objections to it (aside from objections which would expand the statement to "the CNS is behavior" or "the CNS and the hormones in the bloodstream are behavior" or "the CNS, blood-borne hormones, and all genetic material are behavior" and hence remove that rhetorical brevity that so effectively stuns credulous undergraduates) are based in an acknowledgement of the metaphysical. I find the physical world and its products wondrous enough without such metaphysical concepts.

Needless to say, I'm personally comfortable with a position not much different from yours. On the other hand, we're both very much in a minority, not only historically but in present time. There have been, and are, MANY more people who (quite successfully) make sense of the world using concepts in addition to the brain to characterize behavior, and most of our social/moral/legal codes do so as well. For this reason alone, its worth trying to carefully lay out for oneself why one would adopt such a contrary position. Even more importantly, by doing so I (and perhaps you) might learn (from those who have different experiences and syntheses of them) something that would expand my own perspective. Certainly seems worth the undertaking, no? PG