Monday, February 12, 2018

Give up trying to explain the relationship of mind to brain

I attended a reading group today to discuss two quite technical papers by Georg Northoff. There is a Psychology Today blog, which makes clear that he is trying to bridge the gap between brain and experience. It's all very well to speculate about spatiotemporal psychopathology, but I think Kant was right that the link between mental and physical is an enigma that can never be solved.

Mind is of course enabled by brain, but it can't be reduced to it. Mind and brain need to be understood as a unity (eg. see previous post). Bodily organs are subject to the laws of physical necessity but consciousness is self-organising. An organic basis is, therefore, insufficient for understanding mental activity. Psychiatrists find it difficult to give up the notion that the understanding of mental activity must be derived from the brain. This doesn't make sense because such reductionism leads to the loss of meaning of human action (eg. see another previous post).

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

One of the speakers at the International Conference for Philosophy and Psychiatry is Georg Northoff. Who will be attending? A very small group of self defined 'experts' 'philosophers' and those who are able to obtain funding especially from institutions. How are these arrangements decided? So the cost for 'professionals' from high income countries is 660-760 dollars; for undergraduates 320-420 dollars. Is this a good way to use tax payers money considering that speakers and others''expenses'will be paid In this instance for a conference in Hong Kong. We live in a digital age - these jollies often for the same people who circlate around conferences national and international. A bit of philosophising about the ethics of this would be interesting. What is the definition of a philosopher?