Thinking about the brain as an input/output system does make it seem more plausible that the brain is behavior. In saying that I accept that the brain is behavior, I still want to be able to keep the idea of a 'mind', but as something created by the brain. I get very confused when I try to think about/explain this. It seems to me that we can explain the mind as a construct that has been created by our brains. To 'change your mind' on an issue can mean that new input has changed the structure, even in some small way, of your brain, and effects which box input enters and leaves from. Some piece of me hates to give all credit (for lack of a better word) to the brain, because it does seem to turn us into calculating, machine-like beings. However, I do accept it, and it seems to me that it doesn't completely rule out spirituality. Just as the mind can be created by reactions inside the brain, spirituality and the soul can be ideas that are formed in the brain and for whatever reason, can bring a sense of comfort to many people. Learning that emotions are under hormonal control, and therefore under the control of the brain, which in turn interacts with experiences and environment, is a large piece of why I can accept the brain as behavior.
Yep, confusing. But nice wrestling with the whole thing. And what we'll keep doing all semester to see how unconfusing we can make it all. Clearly, "calculating, machine-like" isn't what we're trying to make sense of. Can think of the "mind" both as something which IS the brain AND made by the brain? PG