This remarkable statement that appears to neatly account for the basis for all human action poses a dilemma. For, if one can state and believe in this assertion, then one must attribute the origination for this theory to the brain, which as the statement implies, is and encompasses all behavior. Yet, if the brain is behavior, then in a catch-22 like fashion, we can only think and behave so far as only our brain permits. Thus we cannot truly study the brain if the brain actually leads us into all of our behavior, because our studies would be an output of our brain functions. In essence, this statement does not take away 'free-will', as one student said in class, but it almost puts a limit and a control to human behavior. For example, in investigations of artificial intelligence, we would be able to program intelligence and true original thought (not neccessarily solely quickness in computations and information searching as computers allow us), only so far as we would be able to think ourselves.

In class several students wanted to add to the statement additional qualifications such as, "Behavior is the brain, plus the soul, the environment and input, etc." For me, adding these factors into what accounts for behavior strengthens the statement, because it is difficult to account for all of our complex actions from one physical source.

In the extreme sense, this statement cedes control of human behavior from the person and accounts for it in an object. Yes, part of behavior involves choice and decision making, but there are definite limits to what options the brain sees and processes as thought. This reasoning only strengthens the assertion that this statement places the brain before human actions, leaving us with little freedom of thought and a boundary in undertaking neural studies. However, it can be said that it is quite impossible for any of us to exhause the vast resources for thought in this world, and that this limitation is so far from reaching, that it seems to be almost non-existant.

Very interesting issues. Yes, indeed, there is a "loopiness" in the whole enterprise: the thinking about the brain is being done by the brain, and hence presumably changing the thing which one is trying to understand. And yes indeed, if behavior is ultimately a material assembly, then presumably it has some limitations (though, as you say, we may still find a route to "free will"). I'm not sure, though, that either point constitutes a strong argument against the brain being equivalent to behavior. Both "loopiness" and limitations are characteristics of behavior, no? PG