QUOTES IV

Quotations about
HUMAN PSYCHOLOGIGAL 'INFRASTRUCTURE' and 'SUPERSTRUCTURE' - i.e. about 'the mind-body problem'

HOWEVER MEASURED OR CONCEIIVED, CAN PEOPLE'S PSYCHOLOGICAL DIFFERENCES BE TRACED TO UNDERLYING PHYSIOLOGICAL DIFFERENCES IN THE CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM? INDEED, MIGHT STUDY OF THE BRAIN EVEN PROVIDE A HIGH ROAD TO THE UNDERSTANDING OF PERSONALITY ITSELF? TRADITIONALLY, THE LONDON SCHOOL OF PSYCHOLOGY HAS TENDED TO ANSWER 'YES' TO THESE QUESTIONS. BUT IS THIS TO RISK ABJURING PERSONALITY FEATURES THAT DO NOT YIELD TO EARLY PHYSIOLOGIZING-AND EVEN TO RISK MISSING THE INFLUENCE OF 'MIND' ON 'BODY'?



What is the relationship between people and their bodies (and brains)? How can a person's activities exhibit both 'possession of', yet also 'dependence on', the body and its brain? How is 'the mind' related to the brain? And how do individual differences in personality relate to differences in brain structure and function? Such are perhaps the largest and least straightforward questions of psychology and the philosophy of mind. The mind and the body (especially the brain) exert effects on each other. But how?
On the one hand, a reasonably normal, intact brain provides a necessary condition of the only forms of mentality with which we are reliably familiar. Our minds as we know them-at least via objective, scientific enquiry -seem to be substantially dependent on our brains being roughly as they are. [As to the existence of mentality in any envisaged after-life, we can hardly be said at present to 'know'-or even to have been told-much about what either our minds or our (resurrected) bodies and brains would be like in such conditions. - How old would we be, for example?] On the other hand, there are several ways in which the mind provides a sufficient condition of many physical states of the body and brain: my arms normally rise because I decide to raise them, or because of some larger decision ('to dive into the pool', 'not to appear babyish by using the steps') of which raising my arms is a largely automatic ingredient.
Yet what is the nature of these connections? On the one hand, there are thoughts and feelings, which have the essential property of 'being about something'-they exhibit intension {sic}. On the other hand there exists the realm of matter and purely physical processes-having spatial extension. How can events in these two realms ever 'connect'? The problem becomes no easier when we recall that any 'thought' that just occurred to us has already involved a physical process of an electro-chemical nature-a process that presumably has its own continuing physical ramification throughout the nervous system, with or without further particular thoughts occurring in parallel.
Today there is available a familiar analogy for the mind/brain relation. This is the relation between computer 'software' and 'hardware'. Computer and word-processor users know there is an already strange language (of key-presses) into which they must convert their thoughts and instructions if they are to address a computer satisfactorily; but beyond this are still further translation systems allowing the immediate conversion of these already coded instructions into strings of binary digits (111000100001111010111 etc.). (To code instructions thus mimics the operations of the nervous system itself-for the activity ('firing') of each nerve is basically 'on' or 'off' ('0' or '1') at any one time.)
Nevertheless, instructing a microcomputer is still a far cry from dealing with one's dog. For the computer has 'a mind of its own' only in the sense that it operates (largely obsessionally, for better or worse) within the set of rules with which it appears to have been programmed. No-one believes the computer 'experiences' anything, 'knows' anything (including 'the rules'), 'has inclinations' or 'has opinions'-except in so far as aspects of these processes may have been mimicked into it by its programmer. - Whatever we ourselves may feel if a computer screen displays "YOU'RE INCOMPETENT!", we know this is a programmer talking, not a programme or a computer. Unless self-starting robots are one day programmed with powerful imperatives towards self-preservation and reproduction, with intelligent orchestration of such instincts, and have had the experience of striving to achieve their goals by free-ranging movement around a changing world, it is entirely unlikely that we will credit them with mentality-for all that it is handy to anthropomorphize the programmed computer as 'having memory', 'following rules' and 'needing' particular input at some particular stage of our work with it.
Some of this is a great bother to philosophers, 'cognitive psychologists' and neuroscientists-and to anyone else who is not quite happy to join Aristotle in admitting both mind and matter as fully-fledged realities that, while in some ways interdependent, are not going to be 'reducible' to each other. - As some of the Quotes suggest, much of the mystification of 'the mind-body problem' arises from imperialistic attempts at 'reductionism' or from the 'radical dualism' (involving a complete separation between mind and matter) that invariably culminates in a requirement at some point of a virtually magical translation of mind into matter. (Renée Descartes-normally considered the father of 'dualism'-thought the mind-body interaction occurred in the pineal gland of the brain.) But there is perhaps less of a problem of conceptualisation for the differential psychologist who is interested in explaining identifiable dimensions of human behaviour and experience by reference to underlying needs or abilities. For although computer hardware operations are plainly not characterized by conscious mentality, the programmed computer can be said, without notable violence to ordinary language, to 'possesses' abilities and needs of a kind-even if not of the human kind because of the absence of conscious awareness.
There is thus no need for the differential psychologist to become bogged down in the mind-body problem. The London School has, admittedly, over the years, seemed rather more inclined than have other personological approaches to search for (or at least to hope that others would find) 'brain bases' for personality dimensions; and to strike physiological terra firma may seem a confirmation of the 'reality' or personality differences. However, once it is appreciated that the current physical state of one's brain, hormones and neurotransmitters will itself reflect experiences (past and present), naïve, biology-dependent psychophysiological realism will not serve for long. - In 1991, the 'gay' Californian neuroscientist, Simon Le Vay realized his aspiration to find a difference in brain anatomy between homosexuals and heterosexuals. He had been partly motivated by the wish to prove (to his own father) that homosexuality was 'biological' and not a matter for which the homosexual could in any way be 'blamed.' However, in correspondence in Nature, Le Vay eventually gave it as his (re-)considered opinion that the anatomical difference (in the mid-brain) that he had discovered could in fact have developed in response to experiential differences in early childhood. More important to everyday notions of 'real', lasting, biologically based personality differences are findings of genetic control, and of people's 'environments' and cultures being under their own control. {These topics are considered in Quotes V-though which genes get through to subsequent generations will itself depend to some extent on cultural arrangements and on people's thoughts and feelings. The role of conscious (and perhaps unconscious) thought in personality processes and personality structure is discussed in Quotes VI and XVIII.}


Introducing the mind-body problem.


"The cutting edge of Cartesianism....is a radical distinction between mind and matter. By insisting that the properties of selves [self-sufficiency, ready-made-ness, and self-containedness] are totally unlike properties of material things, the Cartesian makes it hard to believe that a material thing could be a mind."
David BAKHURST & Jonathan DACY, 1988, 'The dualist
straitjacket'. Times Higher Educational Supplement 22 iv.

"By the artificial separation of soul and body men have invented a Realism that is vulgar, and an Idealism that is void."
Oscar WILDE, cited by R.Ellman, 1987,
Oscar Wilde. London : Hamish Hamilton.

"Few things are more firmly established in popular philosophy than the distinction between mind and matter. Those who are not professional metaphysicians are willing to confess that they do not know what mind actually is, or how matter is constituted, but they remain convinced that there is an impassable gulf between the two and that both belong to what actually exists in the world."
Bertrand RUSSELL, 1921, The Analysis of Mind.

"Psychology is necessarily the most philosophy-sensitive discipline in the entire gamut of disciplines that claim empirical status."
Sigmund KOCH, 1981, American Psychologist 36.

"Why is there a mind-body problem when there is no digestion-stomach problem?... Mental phenomena are caused by brain processes.... Mental states are biological phenomena.... They are no more mysterious than life."
J.SEARLE, 1984, Reith Lectures (published in The Listener).

"Man is not an either\or creature. He is a both/and individual, both noble and base, both spiritual and material, both generous and avaricious, both kind and cruel. Through therapeutic intervention he is rendered free to choose. This liberation is the essence of healing."
Lipot SZONDI {1893-1986}.

"Reality is multi-layered and "there is no sense in which subatomic particles are to be graded as 'more real' than, say, a bacterial cell or a human person or, even, social factors". I applaud such robust good sense. A.Peacocke (God and the New Biology, Dent)....inclines to a "qualified identist" position which seeks to recognise a physical basis for mind but also seeks to preserve "the autonomy of man as a free agent"."
John POLKINGHORNE, 1986, New Scientist, 23 x.

"The absence of a mind-body dichotomy [in Chinese philosophy and science] is clearly seen in the traditional Chinese medicine of the literate classes.... Widely differing disorders ('mental' as well as 'physical') would be shown to have a similar type of manifestation and thus receive similar treatment, such as herbal drugs or acupuncture."
H.AGREN, 1987, in R.Gregory, The Oxford Companion to the
Mind
. Oxford University Press.

"Psychology is often seen to lie between biology and the humanities in the traditional academic hierarchy. Biology speaks of the body, largely in the language of causes, while non-scientists tend to use the language of mind and reasons. It is psychologists' uneasy task to mediate between these realms, between the biological discourses of evolution, function, mechanism and physiology, and the political and ethical discourses of persons and acts. Psychology serves, in short, as a sort of disciplinary pineal gland."
Susan OYAMA, 1993, Theory & Psychology 3.





(i) The role of the brain (or 'body') in yielding universal
features of personhood.


"Democritus (c. 460-370 B.C.) thought that those atoms that were smaller, smoother and livelier than others made up the soul, or the seat of human reason.... In his search for one primary substance to which even mind could be reduced, Democritus was the first of many to suggest that, at root, psychology is merely a branch of physics."
Mary S. VAN LEEUWEN, 1985, The Person in Psychology.
Leicester : Inter-Varsity Press.

"For Aristotle, soul and body were not two substances, but two aspects of the real living objects with which the world was populated. 'Substance is the composite of matter and form. Matter is potentiality; form is actuality or realisation....The soul is the form of a natural body endowed with the capacity of life.' ....This was realism, but not materialism, since structures (forms), potencies and purposes were as much a part of the composition of things as matter, motion and causal forces. Moreover it ruled out any simple reductionism, as proposed by the atomists of Greek times, or the behaviourists today, since potencies were as much to be reckoned with as actualities. ....Within this hylomorphic framework, soul manifested itself at various levels, of which Aristotle distinguished principally three - the nutritive, sensitive and rational."
L.S.HEARNSHAW, 1987, The Shaping of Modern Psychology. London : Routledge.

"I am now dissecting the heads of different animals to explain the make-up of imagination, memory, etc."
DESCARTES, 1632.

"....the brain, after a fashion, digests impressions and organically secretes thought."
Pierre-Jean CABANIS (1757-1808). Cited by R.J.Richards,
Darwin and the Emergence of Evolutionary Theories
of Mind and Behavior
. Chicago University Press.

"Experience shows that the problem of mind cannot be solved by attacking the citadel itself-the mind is a function of the body-we must bring some stable foundation to argue from."
DARWIN, 1838, in one of his notebooks.

"The behaviourist, in his efforts to get a unitary scheme of animal response, recognizes no dividing line between man and brute. The time seems to have come when psychology must discard all references to consciousness."
J.B.WATSON, 1913, Psychological Review.

"Recently there has been a plethora of psychological schools striving to explain the action of the mind by forcing it to fit every conceivable theory. Psycho-analysts have ceased to be concerned with the slow investigation of the anatomy and physiology of the brain and have irresponsibly postulated not only the soul and the will, but have invented every kind of attribute for them- complexes, fixations, repressions, libidos. Let us cut out all this and consider what a man's brain actually is: it is a mass of nerve cells and fibres whose function is to co-ordinate the response of the individual to alterations in his surroundings and maintain the chemical and physical balance of his blood, linking up the behaviour of every part of his mechanism with every other part."
J.Y.DENT (Editor of the British Journal of Addiction), 1941,
Anxiety and its Treatment, with Special Reference to Alcoholism. London : Skeffington.

"The mind is nothing but the brain." D.M.ARMSTRONG, 1968, A Materialist Theory of Mind.

"Self-hood is, in a sense, even biochemical. The body's immune system 'recognizes' bacteria, viruses, transplants, and other foreign intrusions, as 'non-self'."
B-A.SCHARFSTEIN, 1980, The Philosophers. Oxford : Blackwell.

"In the May issue of Psychology Today, eleven of "the best minds in the field" describe what each considers to be "the most significant work in psychology over the last decade and a half". The results are astonishing: it would seem that there has been none. "Significant work" implies work generally agreed to be important; but the Eleven Best Minds in psychology agree on hardly anything.... Almost the only recent achievement hailed by more than one contributor is the discovery of endorphins, the brain's natural painkillers. This is certainly an interesting development, but the credit belongs to pharmacologists and physiologists; psychology had little to do with it."
Nicholas WADE, 1982, New York Times.

"....by tying theories about cognitive processes to the functioning of well-defined structures in the brain, one can derive much more testable predictions than would otherwise be possible."
Jeffrey GRAY, 1985, Bulletin of the. British Psychological Society 38.

"....[a 47-year-old Radio 3 producer] was struck by a permanent amnesia under the diagnosis of a viral encephalitis. His effective memory span was reduced to a matter of seconds and he retains no memory whatever of any specific event in the past. Yet his manner and personality appear almost unchanged and his musical ability remains uncannily untouched by his illness."
George HILL, 1986, The Times, 25 vii.

"'Designer drugs', chemical analogues of existing prohibited substances...., have been available in the USA for some years. The best known is 'ecstasy' (MDMA), a less raunchy version of the psychedelic MDA. Said to generate feelings of openness and empathy, it was being used with some success by therapists in the USA until recently outlawed."
T.MALYON, 1986, New Statesman, 17 x.

"....it is time that people stopped talking about reductionism as if increased knowledge somehow subtracted from human dignity."
J.Z.YOUNG, 1986, Philosophy and the Brain. Oxford University Press.

"[The philosopher] Peter Hacker says that "it makes no sense to speak of the brain containing knowledge or information written in its own language". On the contrary, neuroscientists are beginning to give good sense to that statement. Jeffrey Gray has no doubts: "all human languages are stuffed full of rules.... The rules, then, must be contained in the heads of those speakers and hearers.""
J.Z.YOUNG, 1987, Nature 330, 19 xi.

"Philosophers of physics....are expected to know some physics. Why is it that philosophers of mind seem to feel that an afternoon in quiet meditation is a sensible alternative to learning what has actually been discovered about the structure and functions of the mind/brain?"
J.C.MARSHALL, 1987, Nature 330, 19 xi.

"Richard Morris has been building models of hippocampal function. He shows that [the chemical] AP5 [which blocks the NMDA receptor] interferes with the rat's ability to learn the position of an object but not with its ability to learn to perform a straightforward visual orientation task. Morris sees a parallel between the spatial task and 'declarative' learning. In other words, the rat's ability to indicate where something is in space is analagous to the ability to name an object. Morris also sees parallels between the visual orientation task and procedural learning [i.e. learning how to do something]." 'Who knows how the brain works?'
Conference report, Nature, 6 x 1988.

"The outstanding feature of human and primate puberty is the extremely long interval between birth and the onset of sexual maturity. The teleological explanation for such a prolonged reproductive hiatus, in which physical growth is stretched out to a very low rate, is to accommodate the maturation of the large brain and to optimise the opportunities for the transmission of learning and language from one generation to the next. These attributes have enabled man to inherit acquired as well as genetic characteristics. This exogenetic heredity and cultural selection are the key to the success of man in mastering the environment and achieving supremacy over other species (R.V.Short, 1976, Proc.Roy.Soc.London). The critical mechanism on which this strategy of deferred reproduction is based is the brain-mediated inhibition which restrains the hypothalamic drive to the reproductive axis. The limits of variability in the prolonged juvenile period are genetically determined. Within these limits, however, the onset of puberty can be advanced or delayed by factors such as nutrition, energy demands, body size and social interaction."
F.C.W.WU, 1988, in P.Diggory et al., Natural Human
Fertility: Social and Biological Determinants
.
Basingstoke, Hants : Macmillan.

"....the fact that the median age at sexual debut [in Danish girls] closely follows the median menarcheal age indicates that the behavioural aspect of sexual maturity among females is heavily influenced by this purely biological index of maturation."
Hann B. WIELANDT & J.L.BOLDSEN, 1989, Biology & Society 6.

"New techniques of brain imaging allow the correlation between brain and mind to be mapped out in a way which was inconceivable to Sir Charles Sherrington (e.g. 1940, Man on his Nature) or his predecessors. Dynamic studies of brain function allow the psychophysiologist to assert more confidently than ever that mind is a function of brain."
T.D.RODGERS, 1989, Encounter 73, ix/x.

"The more you drink, the more your mental capacities will suffer damage- loss of intellectual sharpness, trouble with problem-solving, with hand-eye co-ordination and memory. If you are over forty, the likelihood of the brain being able to repair itself is progressively reduced."
Ian ROBERTSON, 1989 Sunday Times (Magazine), 26 ii.
(Advising relatively heavy drinkers, i.e. those who drink
weekly as much as 1½ bottles of spirits.)

"....doses of nicotine....greatly improve the performance, particularly in working memory in the spatial task, of the ibotenate-lesioned animals.... We have exactly the same kind of data for animals that have been rendered memory-impaired with chronic alcohol. One should not forget that nicotine has some very useful properties in affecting cognitive performance, as well as giving rise to the dependence problem."
Jeffrey A. GRAY, 1990, in The Biology of Nicotine Dependence.
(CIBA Foundation Symposium 152.) Chichester : Wiley DePublisher.







"[The] sum of productive forces, capital funds, and social forms of intercourse, which every individual and generation finds in existence as something given, is the real basis of what the philosophers have conceived as the 'substance' and 'essence' of man."
Karl MARX, German Ideology.
|
"Both G.H.Mead and J.B.Watson accepted Darwin, and so they accepted that there was both continuity and discontinuity [between man and other species]. It makes a dramatic difference to one's model of man, however, depending upon where the stress falls.... Language, after all, is a species-specific form of behaviour. The social psychology of Mead is more firmly grounded in evolutionary biology than is the behaviourism of either Watson or Skinner."
Robin FARR, 1987, Presidential address to the British
Psychological Society, Bulletin of the B.P.S. 40.

"The ghost has been [driven] further back into the machine, but it has not been exorcised."
J.A.FODOR, 1983, The Modularity of Mind.

"The field of brain and behaviour (neurology) surely has a legitimate place within the world of science, but it is not psychology."
R.RAMSDEN, 1985, Bulletin of the British Psychological Society 38.

"....although the secret of how the brain subserves vision has for some time appeared just round the corner, it still remains elusive. How, for instance, does my brain calculate that my typewriter lies to the left of my gin bottle?"
N.S.SUTHERLAND, 1986, Nature, 31 vii.
(Reviewing S.Pinker, Visual Cognition)

"One of the leading themes of functionalism is the view that there are generalizations about psychological processes-couched in terms of representation and computation-which apply to systems that are built out of very different materials.... Neuroscience can cope with the more mundane operations of the brain, but the higher cognitive functions require a more abstract treatment."
P.KITCHER, 1986, Nature, 31 vii.
(Reviewing Patricia Churchland, Neurophilosophy:
towards a Unified Science of the Mind/Brain
.)

"[The motto of Patricia Churchland (Neurophilosophy: toward a Unified Science of the Mind/Brain, MIT)] might be crudely put as 'if you can't find it in neuroscience, that's because it isn't there'.... it might well turn out, for example, that there are no such things as beliefs and desires, or indeed pains and emotions, since these common-sense psychological categories do not map neatly on to neurobiological categories.... She then consigns most of the best work in philosophy of mind this century (and earlier) to the rubbish heap.... one can only assume that she has succumbed to a severe case of scientism."
C.McGINN, 1987, Times Literary Supplement, 6 ii.

"....Jeffrey Gray, with more modesty than most [neuroscientists] reminds us that we haven't the slightest idea how "the properties of brain actually give rise to the mind."" John MARSHALL, 1987, Times Higher Educational Supplement, No. 784. Reviewing C.Blakemore & Susan Greenfield, Mindwaves.)

"....the notion that frontal lobe lesions are associated with a signal picture called 'frontal lobe syndrome' is, in fact, not supported by clinical experience."
Maria WYKE, 1987, Behaviour Research & Therapy 25.

"Darwin pointed to the importance of biological nature as the basis of society, although it is more difficult to work out the precise connection between human nature and the different forms of human culture. A strong hold on Darwinian theory certainly acts as an effective antidote to the relativism which suggests that each society must be understood in its own terms, and that there is nothing in common between societies separated by time and space. [Thus] some modern neo-Darwinians are....inclined to explain morality wholly in evolutionary terms. Such an exercise is misconceived. Human reason, as a capacity, may be the product of evolution; but it is sufficiently flexible and free-ranging to detach itself from the direction of our natural inclinations. It can even sit in judgement on them. Certainly, evolutionary theory is more adept at dealing with the origin of our natural sympathies and aversions, our likes and dislikes, than in explaining the operation of human reason. Since it is itself the product of the latter, it is wise not to over-reach itself."
Roger TRIGG, 1988, Ideas of Human Nature.
Oxford : Blackwell.

"In the past, psychologists have tried to "account for" human behavior through reductions to underlying biological mechanisms. This Newtonian ideal has not worked, and modern science is pulling away from the efficient-cause bias on which such reductionism ultimately rests.... The author proposes that we distinguish between two realms of explanation-the BIOS and the LOGOS.... It can be recognized that the BIOS is necessary for behaving organism to exist, and thereby to take part in the LOGOS. The LOGOS relies on formal and final causation via patternings and orderings of meaningful relations."
J.F.RYCHLAK, 1988, to 24th International Congress
of Psychology in Sydney (S450)

"One basic theme [of R.A.Hinde's Individuals, Relationships and Culture] is that while biological science has much to offer at the lower levels of social complexity, it has severe limitations at higher ones." J.P.RUSHTON, 1989, Personality & Individual Diffs. 10.

"Could we, if we sieved that [brain] stuff sufficiently carefully, come across consciousness, or thoughts, or subjectivity?.... Descartes and a million others have implied [this]. But to me this seems to be not even a factual but a logical error: rather like thinking that, because mirror images are "in" a mirror, you would only need to slice a mirror sufficiently thin to get a mirror image without the mirror."
D.C.STOVE, 1989, Encounter 73, vii/viii.

"We, that is our brains, are separate and independent enough from our genes to rebel against them."
R.DAWKINS, 1989, The Selfish Gene (2nd edition).
Oxford University Press.

"The only important thing to know about brains is how to cook them."
T.G.R.Bower, quoted by J.R.Morss (Department of Education,
University of Otago), 1989, New Ideas in Psychology 7.

"....if we now find ourselves experiencing ourselves as self-contained, self-controlled individuals, owing nothing to others for our nature as such, we need not presume that this is a fixed or 'natural' state of affairs. Rather, it is a form of historically dependent intelligibility requiring for its continued sustenance a set of shared understandings. It is a moment in a still ongoing historical process and may be reconstituted as understandings change."
J.SHOTTER & K.GERGEN, 1989,
Texts of Identity. London : Sage.




(ii) The role of the mind (or 'intentions' and 'mental
causation') in yielding universal features of
personhood.


"Soul is one of the first existences and prior to all bodies; and more than anything else is what governs all the modifications and changes of bodies."
PLATO, Laws

"The body is the source of endless trouble to us by reason of the mere requirement of food; and is liable also to diseases which overtake and impede us in the search after true being: it fills us full of loves, and lusts, and fears, and fancies of all kinds, and endless foolery, and in fact, as men say, takes away from us all power of thinking at all.... It has been proved to us by experience that if we would have true knowledge of anything, we must be quit of the body-the soul in herself must behold things in themselves."
PLATO, Phaedo{?}.

"The sovereign good of man is a mind that subjects all things to itself, and is itself subject to nothing; such a man's pleasures are modest and reserved, and it may be a question whether he goes to heaven, or heaven comes to him: for a good man is influenced by God himself, and has a kind of divinity within him."
SENECA.

"The minds of men are mirrors to one another."
David HUME.

"Animalism is nothing; inventive spiritualism is all."
Thomas CARLYLE.

"Sublime is the dominion of the mind over the body, that, for a time, can make flesh and nerve impregnable, and string the sinews like steel, so that the weak become mighty."
Mrs STOWE.

"These limbs, - whence had we them; this stormy force; this life-blood, with its burning passion? They are dust and shadow-a shadow-system gathered round our me; wherein, through some moments or years, the divine essence is to be revealed in the flesh."
Thomas CARLYLE.

"Intention may be at issue philosophically; but it is a necessity for the biology of complex behaviour."
J.S.BRUNER, 1974.

"The more practically-minded the human being, the more inclined he or she is to avoid....the irreducible fact of the presence in the human body of an element in addition to flesh, blood and electricity, and so not to think about such a fact.... Such persons deliberately confine the rationalising of things experienced to a narrow range of fact, that is all. But the greater part of humanity is more open and willing to engage with the basic fact of an apparently "immortal" element in itself and to think about it. Its codified speculations constitute the scriptures and rituals of the world's religions."
William OXLEY, 1989, Encounter 73, vii/viii.

"[Julian Huxley, one of the fathers of genetic and eugenic thought in Britain, and the first Secretary-General of UNESCO,] was well aware that man was not 'just another animal' and that human culture added a totally different dimension to the human experience. Some of this is because culture itself provides innumerable new and diverse environments which must act as selective agents. But much more important is the release culture provides from solely biological processes and the speed with which cultural change, as compared with biological evolution can occur. Further, in a sense that has no equivalence in any other organism, human beings can control their own destiny, since they can totally determine natural environments and create cultural environments to their will."
G.A.HARRISON, 1989, in M.Keynes et al.,
Evolutionary Studies. London : The Eugenics Society.






"Opposition to reductionism is now a popular pose among sociologists and people with a rather literary outlook on science."
P.B.MEDAWAR, 1984, Nature 19 vii.

"[Popper and Eccles, The Self and its Brain] are unable to disprove the thesis that behaviour and the structure of experience are wholly determined by the organisation of the brain. The problem is an empirical one and our present level of ignorance does not justify the postulation of a homunculus who looks at the brain and helps it out."
N.S.SUTHERLAND, 1977, New Scientist 15 xii.

"The human spirit is its own greatest mystery."
J.HAUGELAND, 1978, Behavioral & Brain Sciences 1.


"....the "reality" of most of us is constituted roughly into two spheres: that of nature and that of human affairs, the former more likely to be structured in the paradigmatic mode of logic and science, the latter in the mode of story and narrative. The latter is centered around the drama of human intentions and their vicissitudes; the first around the equally compelling, equally natural idea of causation.... we manipulate or operate physically upon that which is in the domain of cause and effect; but we interact or try to communicate with those who seem governed by intentions. Or, as the Navy adage had it, "salute it if it moves, otherwise paint it"."
J.BRUNER, 1986, Actual Minds, Possible Worlds.
|
"Jerome Bruner is to psychology what the Bishop of Durham is to the Church of England: genes, IQ tests and conditioned reflexes are relegated to the past by Bruner just as the Right Reverend David Jenkins urges the modern faithful to dispense with unduly literal, 'cultist' and 'idolatrous' beliefs in the Virgin Birth and 'conjuring tricks with bones'. Bruner is a higher type of environmentalist- the type that disdains the messy effort of trying to prove that environmentalism is actually true. To Bruner, the major realities of the human condition are quite obviously products of ourselves, our languages and our 'speech acts': any heritability estimates, even if they came out at zero, could only sully this great a priori truth....
Bruner's perverse detachment of the human superstructure from its infrastructure does human nature a double disservice. It is not just that we are cut off from our biology and from the guidance of our evolutionary history- serving to weed out the more inane 'constructions of reality' as this history surely does. Worse than that, Bruner's ideas about the human superstructure are narrowly cognitive, rejoicing as they do in the transcendent possibilities only of 'mind'."
C.R.BRAND, 1987, Behaviour Research & Therapy 25.

"....the social structure is [arguably] not at all the gossamer affair that it is sometimes portrayed to be. It has strengths which are all the greater because they are unseen. It may seem odd to claim that faith in a religion, or a code of conduct in science, in the English common law, or the United States constitution rests on habits of mind with a genetic base to them. But, however much it may go against the grain of modern thinking to admit that some of the triumphs of human reason are buttressed by semi-automatic forces, at least it has to be accepted that the triumphs are likely to be more stable if they are."
Michael YOUNG, 1988, The Metranomic Society. London : Thames
& Hudson. (Extract in New Society 84, 27 v 1988.)




(iii) The brain and individual differences.


"....the identification of a low cardiac level associated with stress among decorated [bomb-disposal] operators has been confirmed. Taken in conjunction with earlier findings of a distinctive psychometric profile in decorated operators (R.Hallam & S.Rachman, 1980 Person. & Indiv. Diffs.), the results suggest that, as with fear, there may be consistent physiological indices of courage."
K.O'CONNOR, R.HALLAM & S.RACHMAN, 1985,
British Journal of Psychology 76.

"A deficiency of serotonin in brain neurons has been suggested as a possible factor in depression.... to assess the extent of serotonin uptake in the brain, the level of tryptophan compared with levels of competing amino-acids must be taken into account....
Tryptophan ratios in various countries in western and southern Europe were estimated from the per caput supply of the amino acids in these countries.... lower tryptophan rations were associated with a greater tendency for suicide."
M.KITAHARA, 1986, Biology & Society 3.

"[R.Green, The 'Sissy Boy Syndrome' provides] convincing evidence that prenatal levels of male hormones influence behaviour 'such as timidity, aggressivity, participation in rough-and-tumble play, and interest in newborns (and perhaps in their surrogates, baby dolls)'. We do not know why hormonal levels vary in this way; but these findings strongly suggest that biochemistry is a powerful determinant of how 'masculine' or 'feminine' a boy turns out to be. If these differences are determined at such a basic level, it may explain why psychotherapy is ineffective at preventing the progression from 'feminine' boy to homosexual or bisexual man."
A.STORR, 1987, The Spectator, 7 ii.

"[Children affected by phenylketonuria, primarily involving a deficiency of phenylalanine hydroxylase] are severely retarded, with a degree of microcephaly. At birth they are normal; but their IQ falls off sharply in the first couple of years and then more gradually thereafter. [The first child to be treated with a low phenylalanine diet, after diagnosis at age two, showed a startling improvement.] When, for a short time, phenylalanine was added to her diet again she rapidly reverted to being a blank, dribbling, ataxic, eczematous, miserable child.... Initially the diet was extremely difficult and unpalatable; but over the years the increasing ingenuity of commercial manufacturers and dietitians, together with increasing knowledge of the composition of foods, has made it more acceptable."
Editorial, Biology & Society 5, 1988.

"It is widely held that behavioural planning and goal setting occur in the prefrontal area. Lesions in this part of the brain result in failures of goal-directed behaviour such as finding the solution to finger mazes, problem-solving, and switching from one strategy to another. In addition, prefrontal leucotomies often lead to apathy and inertia {7 refs}."
C.D.FRITH & J.D.DONE, 1988, British Journal of. Psychiatry 153.

"Tabakoff and his colleagues (1987, New England J. Medicine)....found that their enzyme measurements could diagnose alcoholism correctly in three out of four cases. This accuracy level, much higher than in previous studies, implies that natural, individual variation in the sensitivity of [the enzymes monoamine oxidase and adenylate cyclase] to alcohol may be close to the heart of the matter [of the biological basis of alcoholism].... Tabakoff and his team admit that inheritance in only one explanation for their results."
Henry GEE, 1988, The Times, 3 ii.

"Scientists [in Montreal] have identified a brain chemical [cholecystokinin] that causes panic attacks when injected into panic attack patients, suggesting that the substance may play a role in [this] disorder that afflicts 1.2 million Americans."
The Times, 13 v 1988.

"The findings of the U.S. study [of autism], published in the latest issue of The New England Journal of Medicine, suggest that brain damage occurs before birth, perhaps from exposure to a virus or chemical, preventing the brain from developing properly."
Pearce WRIGHT, 1988, The Times, 30 v.

"Olweus has shown correlations of .50 between adrenaline secretion and both introversion and neuroticism....and quite a strong negative correlation has been established between platelet MAO and extraversion in general. The evidence is surveyed by Zuckerman et al. (1984).... The outcome of these studies leaves little doubt that there are important biological foundations for differences in personality, and this fact by itself suggests that genetic factors might be involved in an important way in causing differences in behaviour, with neurobiological structures and secretions mediating this relationship."
L.J.EAVES, H.J.EYSENCK & N.G.MARTIN, 1989, Genes, Culture
and Personality: an Empirical Approach
. London : Academic.

"Mercury can cause mental disorders, the best example of which was the legendary madness of hatters. They used mercury compounds in making felt for hats."
John EMSLEY, 1989, New Scientist, No. 1651, 11 ii.
(Reviewing J.Lenihan, The Crumbs of Creation.)

"Functions of the mind (such as the appreciation of identity [self-boundaries], will, even common sense) hitherto only suspected because of the existence of psychopathological entities in which they were assumed to be disordered, are now given not only psychological status but neuropsychological representation." J.CUTTING, 1992, British Journal of Psychiatry 160.

"[In 1,592 men and women, aged 55-74], serum tryglyceride concentration was related, especially in men, to hostile acts (r = .13) and domineering attitude (r = .12) independently of age, total and HDL cholesterol, cigarette smoking, and alcohol consumption.... A mechanism linking serum triglyceride concentration and personality is hard to imagine."
F.G.R.FOWKES et al., 1992, The Lancet, 24 x.





(iv) Mental origins of differences.


"Pathology has shown cases where an individual has lost the ability to read or write through an injury to the left hemisphere of the brain, but has been able to regain this ability by training other parts of the brain to take over this function.... If the mind can exercise such an influence over the brain {it is as if} the brain is no more than the tool of the mind-its most important tool, but only a tool nevertheless....
Properly psychology does not involve sticking pins into a child and seeing how high she jumps, or tickling her and seeing how much she laughs. These enterprises, so common among modern psychologists, may in fact tell us something of an individual's psychology, but only in so far as they give evidence of a fixed and personal life style. Life styles are the proper subject matter of psychology and the material for investigation; and psychologists who treat any other subject matter are occupied, in the main, with physiology or biology. This holds true of those who investigate stimuli and reactions, those who attempt to trace the effect of a trauma or shocking experience, and those who examine inherited abilities and observe how they develop. In {my movement of} Individual Psychology, however, we consider the psyche itself, the unified mind."
Alfred ADLER, 1931, 'Mind and Body', in What Life Could Mean To
You
. Oxford : Oneworld, 1992.

"....the constructivist view....proposes that personality cannot be seen as having an existence independent of the cognitive constructions of the observer."
Sarah E. HAMPSON, 1986.

"Memories are a person's most durable characteristic. During our lives, every molecule in our body is replaced may times over; we may change our appearance through age or disease, lose access to sight or hearing, and yet, while we remember, we still exist as individuals."
Steven ROSE, 1987, Molecules and Minds.
Milton Keynes : Open University Press.

"....when tested with a range of [food] additives commonly said [by one person in twelve] to cause adverse reactions-but with neither themselves nor the investigators knowing until after the experiment what they were eating-fewer than one in a thousand showed a response. Dr Richard Cottrell, science director of the British Nutrition Foundation....said....[the condition of most 'food allergy' sufferers] was clearly psychogenic....-a real physical response, generated by anxiety or the expectation of a reaction."
Reported in Sunday Times, 3 vii 1988.

"The search for a "scientific" aetiology of sexual orientation is....a homophobic project....Just as scientific inquiries into biological and neurological differences between males and females are starting to fall into disrepute, so, too, will the effort to discover a genetic or hormonal basis for sexual preference eventually come to nothing, not so much for lack of scientific progress (which has never stopped research if other motives for it remained) as for lack of credibility."
David M. HALPERIN, 1990k, One Hundred Years of Homosexuality.






(v) Reciprocal dependency of mind and brain (or 'body').


"[In Plato's Phaedo] Simmias suggests that the soul may be related to the body as the attunement of the strings of a musical instrument to that instrument; but when the instrument is destroyed, so is the attunement."
D.W.HAMLYN, 1988, A History of Western Philosophy.
Harmondsworth : Penguin.

"[For Aristotle], talking of the soul of something is....to refer to some ability of an organism, and not to a 'thing' hiding in the body.... The soul is the final cause of the body, in that it gives it its purpose, thus making it what it is. He uses the analogy of an eye, arguing that if an eye were an animal, its soul would be its sight.... just as Aristotle made the forms present in things, instead of separated from them, he also made the soul, which he said was the form of the body, inextricably linked with the body. The result is a psychosomatic unity, which would find favour with many philosophers of mind today. All the faculties of the soul are, Aristotle recognizes, linked to the complex of body and soul."
Roger TRIGG, 1988, Ideas of Human Nature. Oxford : Blackwell.

"We cannot command nature except by obeying her."
Sir Francis BACON.

"The concept of interaction between biological and psychosocial variables seems to be one of the most frequently praised ideas in psychology...."
K.UNGER, 1984, Science.

"....this metaphor of structure and superstructure is quite inappropriate for the historian, who will be at a loss how to decide if one particular event belongs to the structure, and another to the superstructure. Is Lenin's leadership of the Bolshevik revolution superstructural? Is Cleopatra's nose structural? If changes in the price of gold are structural in sixteenth-century Europe, are they also structural in the twentieth-century world-and if not, why not?"
E.KEDOURIE, 1984, The Crossman Confessions
and Other Essays
. London : Mansell.

"Naloxone {an endorphin-blocker} removed the pain-killing effect of [a placebo, itself given to counteract strong post-operative dental pain]. That means that the patient stimulated his own endorphin production just by believing he had taken a real pain-killing drug (Levine & Fields, 1979). Naloxone also blocks other effects, such as pain relief from acupuncture (Berger et al., 1980). These findings have led many researchers to wonder whether psychological factors such as emotional state, mood, "will to live", and the doctor-patient relationship may not turn out to be as important as drugs in that they promote the synthesis of endorphins and perhaps other compounds in the brain."
R.E.ORNSTEIN, 1985, Psychology: the Study of Human
Experience
. Orlando, FL : Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich.

"The Christian can, I believe, agree with Rom Harré and Paul Secord that one of the significant features of human personhood is "the capacity to monitor control of one's actions.... The person is not only an agent, but a watcher, commentator and critic as well....
our desire to free psychology from the confines of an amoral and deterministic paradigm must not make us revert to an idealistic monism that rejects our 'downward' relationship with the rest of creation. Moreover, if psychology's current paradigm places too little stress on reflexivity, meaning, and the wholeness and integrity of the self, it is also possible for a 'humanized' psychology to stress these three things too much."
Mary S. VAN LEEUWEN, 1985, The Person in Psychology.
Leicester : Inter-Varsity Press.

"Instead of the romantic disjunction between two selves, an ethereal mental ghost and a physical machine, the modern Anglo-Saxon philosophers now present us with a picture of a human being as a self whose mental and physical aspects are intrinsically connected with one another."
Oliver LETWIN, 1987, Ethics, Emotion and the Unity of the Self. London : Croom Helm.

"The long-held view that the cortex is a hard-wired neural machine with its operations shaped mainly by evolution and development is giving way to a concept of basic processes continually modified by feedback and lateral interactions.... It is only now being appreciated that the complexity of cortical function cannot be determined solely by building up from the responses of single units, and that the reductionist approach must be married with the 'top down' analyses provided by ethology and psychophysics."
Jennifer ALTMAN, 1987, Nature 330, 19 xi.

"The brain is the organ of the mind, but the dependence works both ways. If you want to understand the brain, you had better understand the mind."
P.JOHNSON-LAIRD, 1988, Nature 318.

"When two animals are subjected to a frustrating situation, they both show a plasma cortisol peak and they behave aggressively towards each other, if they are taken from two different groups. On the other hand, if they come from one and the same group and, therefore, had prior social interactions, neither of them will show any cortisol peak and they will not show any aggressiveness (Dantzer, 1981, La Recherche 12). The aversive character of the situation may possibly be attenuated by an enhanced release of endorphins due to the previously established inter-individual bonds.... the reciprocal character of brain-behaviour relationships should be stressed. Not only does a blockade of opiate receptors provoke separation distress, but, in return, early maternal deprivation was found to affect the maturation of opiate receptors in the young rat's brain (Olgiati & Pert, 1982, Neuroscience)."
P.KARLI, 1989, European Journal of Personality 3.

"Social practices are concept-dependent; but, contrary to the hermeneutical tradition in social science, they are not exhausted by their conceptual aspect. They always have a material dimension. This is an important consideration, as reflection on the prevalence and impact of the phenomena of hunger, homelessness and war upon so much of human history shows.... The two crude philosophical distinctions, between mind and body and reasons and causes, have done untold damage here. Thus the social structure is embedded in, conditioned by and in turn efficacious on the rest of nature, the ecosphere. At an epistemological level, this means that reasons, and social forms generally, must be causes (as well as effects)."
Roy BHASKAR, 1989, Reclaiming Reality. London : Verso.

"What many people don't realize is that the cause-and-effect relationship in mental disorders is a two-way shuttle: it's not just that an a priori [chemical] imbalance can make you depressed. It's that years and years of exogenous depression (a malaise caused by external events) can actually fuck up your internal chemistry so much that you need a drug to get you working properly again."
Elizabeth WURTZEL (1994). Prozac Nation: Young and Depressed in America - A Memoir. New York : Houghton Mifflin.

"Reification converts a dynamic process into a static phenomenon....{making it} appropriate to seek a single causative agent.... We must abandon the unidimensional view of the causes of human action."
Steven ROSE, 1995, 'The rise of neurogenetic determinism'.
Nature 373, 2 ii.




(vi) The notion of mind as an 'emergent' and 'higher' property
(of brain).


"The idea of emergence is not a novel one. Leibniz outlined a hierarchical organization of entities in which new capabilities come into play at the higher monadic levels. J.S.Mill in his Logic spoke of 'the composition of causes', and the emergence of new properties and laws to generate altogether new phenomena. With the coming of evolution the doctrine took on new significance and acquired an extra dimension. It received support from philosophers like Bergson and S.Alexander, and from psychologists like Lloyd Morgan, who popularized the term 'emergent evolution'."
L. S. HEARNSHAW, 1987, The Shaping of Modern Psychology.
London : Routledge.

"A being of higher faculties requires more to make him happy, is capable probably of more acute suffering, and is certainly accessible to it at more points, than one of an inferior type; but in spite of these liabilities, he can never really wish to sink into what he feels to be a lower grade of existence."
John Stuart MILL, cited by B-A.Scharfstein,
The Philosophers. Oxford : Blackwell.

"....the celebrated English neurologist, Hughlings Jackson (1835-1911), working at the Queen Square Hospital in London....[came to the conclusion that] the brain was organized vertically in levels. Jackson recognized three main levels of nervous organisation: the lowest, reflex level; that of the 'middle centres'; and the highest, voluntary level. The function of the highest level not only included the most complex co-ordinations, but also the control and inhibition of the lower centres. When the highest centres were damaged there was a release of lower functions. In normal functioning, the highest centres were 'protected' and partially insulated from the lower, while in cases of brain damage they were the first to suffer dissolution."
L.S.HEARNSHAW, 1987, The Shaping of Modern Psychology.
London : Routledge.

"In a very real sense the organism effectively transcends physical laws-even while obeying them.... The necessary information [for behavioural novelty to occur is] present, but unexpressed in the constituents. The epigenetic building of a structure is not a creation, it is a revelation."
J.MONOD, 1972, Chance and Necessity.

"Once the elementary, basal needs for sheer preservation are satisfied, the human mind is capable of experiencing a higher set of needs: social, spiritual and intellectual. Among these are the needs for community, for identity and, above all, for meaning-of the cosmos, of existence, and of the human estate."
R.NISBET, 1982, Prejudices: A Philosophical Dictionary. Cambridge, Massachusetts : Harvard University Press.

"With the demise of dualism, and of its two offspring, introspectionism and behaviourism, there has arisen a new form of psychology-broadly 'cognitive psychology'-which attempts to grasp mind and behaviour together. Mind is regarded not as a strange ethereal process running alongside (mechanistic) behaviour, but rather in terms of the organization of particularly 'higher' behaviour, with its basis (in some sense) within the central nervous system."
D.BOLTON, 1985, Bulletin of the British Psychological Society 38.

"Psychology tells a story, and that story follows the course of our lives.... Think of it this way: at the beginning is biology...., followed by the normal processes of socialization and development out of which develops the mind.... Then, our life with other individuals: how we communicate, how we express feelings, how we get into trouble.... Finally, there is the "world" of society and of our adult life. Each state is more complex and filled with more challenges than the last."
Robert ORNSTEIN, 1985, Psychology: the Study of Human
Experience
. San Diego : Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich.

"What is needed is something we do not have: a theory of conscious organisms as physical systems composed of chemical elements, and occupying space, which also have an individual perspective on the world, and in some cases, a capacity for self-awareness.... The strange truth is that certain complex, biologically generated, physical systems, of which each of us is an example, have rich non-physical properties. An integrated theory of reality must account for this.... If and when it arrives, probably not for centuries, it will alter our conceptions of the universe as radically as anything has to date."
T.NAGEL, 1986, The View from Nowhere. Oxford University Press.

"However lofty the superstructure of human nature, its basis is biological."
L.S.HEARNSHAW, 1987, The Shaping of Modern Psychology.
London : Routledge.

"The neural infrastructure of any brain process mediating conscious awareness is composed of elements within elements and forces within forces, ranging from subnuclear and subatomic particles at the lower levels upward through molecular, cellular, and simple-to-complex neural systems. At each level of the hierarchy, elements are bound and controlled by the enveloping organizational properties of the larger systems in which they are embedded. Holistic system properties at each level of organization have their own causal regulatory roles, interacting at their own level and also exerting downward control over their components, as well as determining the properties of the system in which they are embedded. It is postulated that at higher levels in the brain these emergent system properties include the phenomena of inner experience as high-order emergents in the brain's hierarchy of controls."
R.W.SPERRY, 1987, in R.Gregory, The Oxford Companion
to the Mind
. Oxford University Press.

"What makes parapsychology at once so controversial and so important is that it alone can provide the relevant evidence in deciding between an epiphenomenalist as opposed to a radical dualist (interactionist) position on the mind-brain relationship."
John BELOFF, 1987, Behavioral & Brain Sciences 10.

"....how can an individual be both free and determined? David Levy [Political Order] draws on the ontology of Nicolai Hartmann, who showed that real being is composed of a number of superimposed layers. In every case the lower layers make possible the emergence of the higher, and thus limit, but do not wholly determine, their nature."
Francis DUNLOP, 1988, Times Higher Educational Supplement, 22 iv.

"We are beginning to escape from the Cartesian chains in Western thought, by looking at the mind as "what the brain does". (By "Cartesian chains", I mean the implied "mind/body" dualism....) Once this Copernican Revolution is made in Western thought-I shall not say philosophy-many conceptual problems may find their solutions, not least in coming to terms with dyslexia, schizophrenia, and many other human problems."
Robin FRANCIS (Society of Dyslexians, Marlborough), 1989,
correspondence in Encounter 73, ix/x.





"To stop with the blissful word "emergence" in not in itself an explanation"
C.L.BURT, 1961, British Journal of Statistical Psychology.

"[Wittgenstein wrote that] "the sentence, 'A machine thinks (perceives, wishes)' seems somehow nonsensical. It is as though we had asked 'Has the number 3 a colour?'" ....Wittgenstein's point [is not that] thinking is an emergent property of sufficiently complex material structures, whether biological or electrophysical. For it is not as if, once the 'machinery' of the brain becomes exceedingly complicated, a super-physical 'world' of experience springs into being.... ....Clearly, psychological faculties are empirically related to cerebral development, "for the amoeba certainly doesn't speak or write or discuss, whereas we do." Nevertheless, the picture of the mental as an emergent 'world', as it were, is wholly misconceived.... ....the presuppositions and conditions of [the application of psychological concepts] concern issues logically independent of neurological complexity, or indeed of the 'computational' complexity or power of a machine."
P.M.S.HACKER, 1990, Wittgenstein: Meaning and Mind.
Oxford : Blackwell.

"Dualism (specifically body-mind dualism) is regularly characterized [today] as a doctrine that is 'not now available' or 'appeals only to the senile.' The idea that there could be 'deep facts' about personal identity or about morality is said to rest on infantile misunderstandings of 'our' ordinary speech. ....There is no genuine opposition to the [new] favoured creed, since no one admits to understanding what the opposition says. ....One obvious retort to anti-realism is that some things simply cannot be magicked away. If there are any 'palpable untruths' at all, then truth is not determined just by what we say. If anti-realism is correct, 'what is to stop us eliminating death, poverty and unhappiness by conceptual revisions?' (Robinson, 1982, Matter and Sense, CUP)."
S.R.L.CLARKE, 1992, Philosophy 67.

"[Searle's (1992, The Rediscovery of Mind) 'biological naturalism' (a version of epiphenomenalism) envisages 'emergence' of mind from matter] but not emergence as the epiphenomenalist had assumed, i.e. as something radically different from brain processes, but "in the same way as solidity and liquidity are emergent features of systems of molecules." This analogy, however, gives the game away. We have, after all, a coherent physical theory which connects the motion of molecules with such macroscopic properties as solidity, liquidity, heat, etc.... ....there just is no comfortable solution to the mind-brain problem. Weak dualism [epiphenomenalism]....is bound to be paradoxical and counterintuitive while strong dualism [interactionism] remains shrouded in mystery. As for the monistic [materialist] position, even though it has been defended by some of the most powerful intellects of the past hundred years, it must be dismissed as sophistry."
J.R.BELOFF, 1994, 'The mind-brain problem.'
Journal of Scientific Exploration 8.

"Anglo-American philosophy....has tended to concern itself with problems of language or else has embraced outright materialism that equates mind with brain. In either case, evidence for the paranormal is either ignored or derided or shelter is sought behind the barrage of professional sceptics."
John BELOFF, 1996, Times Higher, 26 vii.





Epilogue.

"Of the natural sciences, it is now clear that psychology is closer to the biological sciences than it is to the physical sciences. I would argue, therefore, that progress would have been more rapid had our forefathers taken biology rather than physics as the natural science on which to model itself. Note, for example, the advanced state of present-day neuropsychology and behavior genetics."
J.R.ROYCE, 1987, New Ideas in Psychology 5.

"As the primitive had spiritualized nature, so the psychiatrist now animalizes man. It seems that when we try to explain the human condition, we-human beings-have a hard time finding a happy medium between making too much or too little of intentionality: when we are culturally underdeveloped, we treat objects as agents; when we are culturally developed, we treat agents as objects. Thus, the primitive tries to understand Nature in terms of human nature, while the psychiatrist tries to understand human nature in terms of Nature. In our roles as modern scientists, we have corrected the savage's mistake. Who will correct the psychiatrist's mistake, and ours for supporting it?"
Thomas SZASZ, 1987, Insanity: the Idea and Its Consequences.
New York : Wiley DePublisher.

"Purported solutions to the [mind-body] problem have tended to assume one of two forms. One form we may call constructive, attempts to specify some natural property of the brain (or body) which explains how consciousness can be elicited from it. Thus functionalism, for example, suggests a property- namely causal role-which is held to be satisfied by both brain states and mental states; this property is supposed to explain how conscious states can come from brain states. The other form, which has been historically dominant, frankly admits that nothing merely natural could do the job, and suggests instead that we invoke supernatural entities or divine interventions. Thus we have Cartesian dualism and Leibnizian pre-established harmony. These 'solutions' at least recognize that something pretty remarkable is needed if the mind-body relation is to be made sense of: they are as extreme as the problem. The approach I favour is naturalistic but not constructive: I do not believe we can ever specify what it is about the brain that is responsible for consciousness, but I am sure that whatever it is it is not inherently miraculous. The problem arises, I want to suggest, because we are cut off by our very cognitive constitution from achieving a conception of that natural property of the brain (or of consciousness) that accounts for the psychophysical link.."
Colin McGINN, 1991, The Problem of Consciousness.
Oxford : Blackwell.

"No one wants to talk about nature now. Meanwhile, the entire student population of the world is thinking about nature, the environment, they're thinking globally; but our faculty are off in their little corners talking about social constructionism. They haven't thought about nature in twenty years, okay, they are so behind. You mention the mere word "nature"-"Essentialism!" That's it. What-? I mean-!.... It is appalling, the situation now, that you could think about talking about sex without thinking about nature. That you could claim that you are an expert in gender without knowing about hormones! The contempt for science that's going on among humanists is contemptible."
Camille PAGLIA, 1992, Sex, Art, and American Culture.
New York : Random House (Vintage Books).

"....we can easily be brainwashed [e.g. by Paul Churchland, 1995, The Engine of Reason, MIT) into thinking that the mind-body problem has been solved when it hasn't."
S.HARNAD, 1995, Nature 378, 30 xi.

"[Lauren Ayres' The Answer is Within You] is a very useful book which spreads the message that body and mind are not two entirely separate entities, but that we always deal with a body-mind continuum, just as physicists had to learn the fact that they were dealing with a space-time continuum."
H.J.EYSENCK, 1996, Behaviour Research & Therapy.






FINIS

(Compiled by Chris Brand, Department of Psychology, University of Edinburgh.)

Cycad Web Works Thu Mar 23 04:09:08 EDT 2017 : # 1 : last modified 23/2/117
Chris Brand viewed by user@54.204.129.35