Atheist neuroscientist: Why mechanist accounts of consciousness always fail
|April 26, 2011||Posted by News under Intelligent Design, Mind|
No, not what you think: More from Raymond Tallis, this time What neuroscience cannot tell us about ourselves (New Atlantis, Fall 2010), debunking “the tropes of neuromythology.”:
So when we are talking about the brain, we are talking about nothing more than a piece of matter. If we keep this in mind, we will have enough ammunition to demonstrate the necessary failure of neuroscientific accounts of consciousness and conscious behavior.
It is a pure dedication to materialism that lies behind another common neuroscientistic claim, one that arises in response to the criticism that there are characteristics of consciousness that neuroscience cannot explain. The response is a strangely triumphant declaration that that which neuroscience cannot grasp does not exist. This declaration is particularly liable to be directed at the self and at free will, those two most persistent “illusions.” But even neuroscientists themselves don’t apply this argument consistently: they don’t doubt that they think they are selves, or that they have the illusion that they act freely — and yet, as we will see, there is no conceivable neural explanation of these phenomena. We are therefore justified in rejecting the presumption that if neuroscience cannot see it, then it does not exist.
Of course, Francis Crick called his idea “You are nothing but a pack of neurons”, the Astonishing Hypothesis.
Tallis castigates those who dump on on free will too.
Hat tip: Stephanie West Allen at Brains on Purpose