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fquadri's picture

Descartes and Dickinson and the I function

I think the “I-function” kind of helps Descartes’ argument; it is the part of the brain that acts as the mind (in the sense that the mind is embedded in the brain).  In Christopher Reeves’ sense, the mind was (what controls emotions and the conscience and such) separated from the brain (what deals with the motor functions), making Descartes correct.  Everything that made him “Christopher Reeves,” and was the foundation for his individuality, was in the upper part of his nervous system: what caused him to feel and control. Everything else that wasn’t unique to “Christopher Reeves,” and something that just made him a basic human, was the lower part of the nervous system that controlled his muscles and movements. Then again because the “I-function” is a box within the nervous system, maybe Dickinson is right; after all, thinking is a “pattern of activity across neurons” and what can cause thinking to be different from person to person is the makeup of the pattern itself and how these neurons perform in the nervous system. As you can tell, I’m still trying to work out which theory fits into all of this…

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