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Unformatted text preview: 1 Human Basic Action and Biological Foundation By Zhiping Xie [email protected] abstract This paper analyzes the fundamental issues of human actions from the perspective of choice. In an empirical world, humans cannot, and don&t need to, know what everything is exactly, but the relationship among different things. When humans act in some situation, they have to first identify all things related and the environmental conditions, then find out alternative ways feasible for them and choose the best one, finally act in accord with the choice. After one becomes very familiar with a choice, the choice will be reduced to a response. Their identifying and choosing must be based on their knowledge foundation. Their knowledge comes from their experiences directly or indirectly. One piece of knowledge means one link of relationship between two things. Everything a person can identify can activate a fixed set of neuronal pathways (SNP) in his/her brain (i.e., everything can be mapped into the brain as a SNP. And the thing can be physical or nonphysical). When two groups of neurons are synchronously activated there will naturally form some synapses between them. That we think, or perceive, of one thing means that its SNP is activated in our brain. When two SNPs are synchronously activated a link is created between them, which means the person get a piece of knowledge between them. When some SNPs are excited their activation can be passed to some other SNPs via the links between them so that the latter are excited, which means to trigger the memories of things the latter SNPs indicate. Emotion will influence the establishment of links and the triggering one another via the links between SNPs. No knowledge is absolutely reliable, but humans have to rely on it because action following our knowledge is more efficient than action blindly following chance. (JEL: A12, B49) Keywords: human action, biological foundation, choice, knowledge, cognitive neuroscience How do humans act? Many dualists hold that a person has both mind and body which interact with each other (or like what epiphenomenalism claims, that mental events are caused by physical events but not vice versa ), while materialism denies the existence of a nonphysical mind. However, both dualism and materialism need their own metaphysics as their bases respectively. In fact, their disagreement can boil down to the disagreement between their different hypotheses of metaphysics. Philosophers have already created many metaphysical systems. They are contradictory to one another, and no one can find any way to prove the reliability of his/her system. In other words, a claim mainly based on a hypothesis of metaphysics is not reliable. Strictly speaking, nothing is completely reliable, as Hume said. Nevertheless, we needn&t be skeptical like Hume, and modern 2 science is relatively the most reliable. What make science reliable are its empirical base and logical reasoning....
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This note was uploaded on 10/27/2009 for the course MBA 1918272 taught by Professor Peter during the Fall '09 term at Aberystwyth University.
- Fall '09