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The Theory of Brain-Sign: A Physical Alternative to Consciousness

By Philip Clapson

Abstract

Consciousness and the mind are prescientific concepts that begin with Greek theorizing. They suppose human rationality and reasoning placed in the human head by God, who structured the universe he created with the same kind of underlying characteristics. Descartes’ development of the model included scientific objectivity by placing the mind outside the physical universe. In its failure under evidential scrutiny and without physical explanation, this model is destined for terminal decline. Instead, a genuine biological and physical function for the brain phenomenon can be developed. This is the theory of brain-sign. It accepts the causality of the brain as its physical characteristics, already under scientific scrutiny. What is needed is a new neurophysiological language that specifies the relation of the structure and operation of the brain to organismic action in the world. Still what is lacking is an account of how neurophysiologies in different organisms communicate on unpredictable dynamic tasks. It is this evolved capacity that has emerged as brain-sign. Thus rather than mentality being an inner epistemological parallel world suddenly appearing in the head, brain-sign, as the neural sign of the causal status of the brain capable of being held adequately in common, facilitates the communicative medium of otherwise isolated organisms. The biogenesis of the phenomenon thus emerges directly from the account of the physical brain, and functions as a monistic feature of organisms in the physical world. This new paradigm offers disciplinary compatibility, and genuine development in behavioral and brain sciences

Topics: Philosophy of Mind, Behavioral Neuroscience, Theoretical Biology
Year: 2006
OAI identifier: oai:cogprints.org:5284
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