There are times when the body can let the brain down: body over brain. In this way, certain events and behaviors do not make more sense when thought of in terms of the brain. Two examples:

1. My friend and I are walking down an icy road when all of a sudden she slips and falls. She is acting in a certain way, and thus behaving, yet her brain did not control her initial slipping action. It was caused by the little ability that the body had to support itself in those conditions. The reason that my friend lost her footing may be because her brain realized that there was no traction and needed to compensate by slipping. The actual slipping, therefore, is a behavior, but the first moment that led to the slipping is harder to define in terms of the brain.

2. I have always been one to believe in brain over body, meaning that if I can convince myself of something and believe it strongly enough, then that is how it will be. For example, I feel that I am capable of preventing myself from getting sick most of the time because I do not allow myself to feel sick. That does not make too much sense. Another try: I can keep working even when my body tells me that it is exhausted and needs sleep (up to certain point). I thought that my philosophy was destroyed last year when I was told that I might be losing my central vision in my left eye because of macular degeneration. As soon as I was told that it was not macular degeneration and rather something called MEWDS that would get better, I felt my vision improve and also felt little discomfort. The power that the brain has over the body is incredible.

All of this is my starting point for the example that I am trying to present. A teacher of mine from high school is about 50 years old and suffering from Parkinson's Disease. He is an incredible man with a mind that works intriguingly well. Behaviors as a result of Parkinson's include nervous system degeneration. Explaining why these behaviors should happen to someone who obviously does not *want* them to happen to him is impossible. I understand that the behaviors and symptoms that result from Parkinson's are because of the brain. However, I do not understand why the brain loses control of the body. Part of explaining behavior must be explaining why the behavior occurs to one person and not to another. And then why some behaviors are necessary at all. I am confused on this topic. I thought that it was an example of body over brain because the brain loses control of certain parts of the body. Yet, I see how that is not really possible because the brain is always controlling every part of the body. Nonetheless, I think that explaining WHY certain things happen is one of the hardest things to account for and make sense of in terms of the brain.

The brain is behavior?... I am not so sure.

VERY interesting and nicely documented set of issues. Many thanks. Will try and unravel parts of them all semester. Are you sure you really want to think in terms of a brain/body dichotomy? The brain, after all, is a part of the body and Parkinsonism is actually a change in the brain rather than in the body (which does though, as you say, lead to reduced control of something over the body, of self?). On the other hand, clearly behavior reflects an interaction of brain with other parts of the body ... and so might be different if other parts of the body were different even if the brain were the same. That help to at least start sorting things out? PG