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Lecture 2 Neurons and Glia

Lecture 2 Neurons and Glia - Lecture2:NeuronsandGlia...

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9/8/2008 1 Lecture 2: Neurons and Glia Francis Crick's Astonishing Hypothesis ' ...that "You", your joys and your sorrows, your memories and your ambitions, your sense of personal identity and free will, are in fact no more than the behaviour of a vast assembly of nerve cells and their associated molecules.‘ Dualism Rene Descartes (1596 1650) Defended the view of Dualism – the idea that both mind and body exist. Asked, are humans merely physical machines? Nonhumans are robots, reflexive machines. We have material bodies, but our minds are immaterial and non physical
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9/8/2008 2 Dualism – arguments for 1. The creativity and spontaneity of human action Cannot be done by machines 2. What can we be sure of? He believed in a GOD, but how could he be sure there is one? He believed he lived in a rich country, but how did he know he was not being fooled? He believed he had a family, but how did he know he was not being fooled? What if an evil demon has tricked him into believing he is experiencing things that are not real? Dualism – arguments for He believed having a body is also uncertain. The one think he could not doubt was the fact he was thinking. 2. “I Think, Therefore I am.” Having a body is uncertain, but having a mind is not (cannot self refute) He concluded , "I knew that I was a substance, the whole essence or nature of which is to think, and that for its existence, there is no need of any place nor does it depend on any material thing. That is to say, the soul by which I am, when I am, is entirely distinct from body.“ Dualism is common sense Dualism is enmeshed in our Language “my car”, “my child”, “my arm”, “my heart”, but we extend that to “my body”, “my brain”, – as if it is separate. Dualism shows up in our intuitions about personal identity We can imagine that someone can be the same person even if they go radical changes in their body
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9/8/2008 3 Dualism is common sense We can also imagine more than one person in single body Dualism is common sense Most people in the world believe that the self will survive after we die.
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