Are thoughts/forms metaphysical?

Okay, so I have been thinking about this for some time, and I have been going back and forth between physicalism and metaphysics regarding this. When you think about it, do our thoughts really exist in the usual sense of the word? For example, I am the only one who can read my thoughts. Even if you recorded every exact detail of what was happening in my brain down to the brain waves emitted and the synapses fired, then could you read my thoughts? Like if I am thinking about a unicorn then if you had all the data from my brain, could you then show me that data and point and say “there it is, there is the unicorn”? If not, then WHERE exactly is the unicorn? There is a unicorn, even if just a representation of one somewhere, else how could I picture it? What if I were to think of something which I had never seen before, lets say for example a rainbow colored octopus which had human looking arms with feet for hands instead of tentacles. I could then draw a picture of that and you could say a representation of that exists. But then, where did that representation come from? You could say I took different things from memory and pasted them together to form that, but then what if I said that it was created from some new rough but slippery substance called “flooze” that reflected rainbow colors? That would be something that I had not seen before, or could not have created using memory sampling. Even if I could, where is my memory? Can you dissect my brain and show me where these things are? So where do they come from?

So the main point would be where do thoughts exist? I do not mean what is commonly presumed to be thoughts i.e. synapses and brain waves, but the ACTUAL thoughts as experienced by me or you.

Also, I have noticed that the general consensus on this board is that human consciousness (or consciousness in general) is what creates forms and gives properties to things. Well if forms do not exist outside our minds, then are they real? Do they exist at all? Can you look inside my brain and say “here they are, there are the forms”? If not, then again, where are they? Also, it seems to me that forms exist separately from matter/energy altogether. For instance, when I say “the form of a chair” then I don’t mean a chair. I mean the form that the the group of matter/energy we are referring to as a chair is in. So lets say I went and destroyed every single chair in the universe. Burned them all, broke them into splinters, whatever, and I also destroyed all references to chairs, burned all books with chairs in them, and brainwashed the masses so they would stop thinking about chairs. Wouldn’t the form of a chair still exist regardless? It would have to, otherwise it would be impossible for anything to ever be a chair ever again. You could say the form still exists because I remember it and it is in my mind. But lets say then that generations go by, and nobody makes any new chairs, and everyone completely forgets that there was ever such thing as a chair. Then one day, some illustrious individual decides he is tired of standing and decides to screw some wood pieces together in a form that is comfortable for him to sit down on. Then after creating it, since he has never heard of a chair and has no reason to believe they ever existed he says “I know, I will call it a sitter!”. So now, there is again a chair, but even though it has a different name, it is still the same form.

So then did that form cease to exist then suddenly re-exist, or had it existed that whole time even though there were no chairs or even representations mental, physical, or otherwise of chairs anywhere in the universe? I would say that the former would be true since nothing can be created or destroyed according to the law of conservation. So then this begs the question, where did the form of the chair go during the period when it had no physical manifestation? There is no location you can point to and say “here is the form chair”. So how could it have existed during that time? Perhaps did it continue existence on a different set of dimensions? Is this where thoughts exist as well? Then perhaps this is also why our thoughts give form to the universe. But you couldn’t really call anything that exists in other dimensions “physical” unless it is pan-dimensional. But in this case, the form of the chair and our thoughts are NOT pan-dimensional since they cannot be observed in these four dimensions separate from our minds. But this would also mean that part of our being is pan-dimensional since somehow we would be able to view things from these different dimensions.

Any thoughts?

this is what the evidence suggests…

when a robot recognizes a unicorn, engineers who understand the working of teh robots brain can say, look, that’s where the unicorn image is processed recognized and stored.

our ideas come from somewhere is the assumption.

lets say your neurons get mixed up and you ppercieve of something that doesn’t exist in the physical universe?

Have you ever heard of the missing shade of blue argument?

nobody knows, neurologists and psychologists have high hopes and a lot of work ahead.

an apple des not understand the concept of rotting, but time is a teacher.

Forms, visual and conceptual forms, of which our mind is confronted with are presumed to arise from external stimulus and the state of our brain.

We assume that we percieve something, we assume that the universe exists in some sense of the word. One of the questions i myself would ask is wether of not the physical universe is three dimensional, and that our perceptions of it is not just adapted that way, that we are only capable of sensing 3 dimensions…

Imagine if the universe was two dimensional. We wouldn’t be able to see anything, life would be from the point of view of mario from nintendo, and there would be 360 dgrees of travel. Our mind might have evolved to incorporate this two dimensional existence and create a superficial third dimension which would allow us some sort of specialized perception.

Or we could exist in a universe with many or infinite dimensions, and our perception is limited to just 3 and 4.

The universe is like a complex chemical reaction. Certain ingredients go in, react, and create new particles and new elements all according do their chemical makeup.

Distinctions like chaor, earth or human are nothing more than fleeting observations in a changing and uncontrollable reaction which is our universe.

The chair has always existed in the sense that the reaction which is currently taking place (apparantly) involves numerous chairs. These chairs came into existence and will eventually part from existence, i don;t think there needs to be an “always”

So let me get this straight. You are saying that our brains are like the brains of robots? I think that is false. Robots can’t think. I am talking about thoughts here, not programs. Robots can only do whatever we program them to do. In the case of the robot, it is obvious where the unicorn came from. It was programmed in there. But a robot cannot create any original thoughts. We can. Furthermore, we can read a robots thoughts. The binary may not mean much to most people, but the programming language can be taught just like any other language. Consequently, I have had this discussion regarding AI before many times. I have come to the conclusion that there is no way computers will ever be able to think like we do. No matter how good the programming it is just a fancy calculator and nothing more. Even a chess computer. If I were to play a chess computer and I had the algorithm which it uses to calculate its moves I could predict what moves the computer would make and beat it every single time. It doesn’t think about where to go, it computes it.

I have never heard that, but I am interested.

Everything exists, it is just a question of whether or not the existent in question is real. People perceive things which are not real all the time. Schizophrenics are the best example. I am no expert on the subject, but I don’t think there is any perceivable difference in the brain of a schizophrenic and a healthy person. This is just a belief, but I think they actually hear the voices, and they aren’t arbitrarily created inside their brains. Using the computer example, what happens when the circuits have a glitch in a computer? You get an error message or it crashes. If the brain actually worked like that, then the same thing would happen. Nothing new would be created.

So, I guess you are saying that there is just some code in there that we haven’t cracked yet? I suppose anything is possible, but it STILL does not explain how original thoughts are created.

Yeah, but what does that mean? 1. do they exist? and 2. are they real? I would say yes, and yes. No matter how you look at it, forms have an existence separate from our brains and from the objects which conform to them. If I walk out of the room, my chair will still be in the same form. A chair does not become a table or cease to exist when not being observed. Only an idealist would say any different. Presumably, even if aliens came in the room from outer space who had never seen chairs before and saw my chair, the form would be the same to them. I could later ask them to describe the objects in the room and they could describe the chair accurately to me even not knowing what it is used for. Then I could ask them “can you make another like it?”, and if they knew how to build then they could. Or, lets say that chairs never did exist. Nobody had ever heard of a chair, and nobody had ever thought to make one. So the form was completely unfamiliar. But then perhaps some random event would one day carve the form of a chair out of some large rock and a person might look at it and want to sit on it. The form came into being all on its own in this case. Whether I see it or not, the rock that is shaped as such is still shaped as such. The only thing I do to it is name it. But even if there is no such rock and nobody knows what a chair is, one could be invented. Then all the sudden there would be chairs. So where did the form come from? If it is a completely new form, then how did the brain invent it? Remember, law of conservation: matter/energy cannot be created or destroyed. So if you are a physicalist then you by default must believe that form is made of matter or energy. So forms cannot be created or destroyed.

I can see how sight would be fooled, but how could we feel three dimensions and there only be two? My arm wouldn’t be able to move in certain ways. Furthermore, the planet couldn’t be round. We would end up walking off the edge if it were two dimensional. However, I DO think you are onto something about there being many dimensions and us only being able to see 3 or 4. I think there is a way to see other dimensions, namely ESP. Of course, most people only think of sensing dimensions through sight sound and hearing. I wonder how many dimensions we smell in?

You are looking at chair as an object. I am talking specifically about the form of the chair, not the chair itself. Things can still be chairlike even if we aren’t around to dub them as such. Even if all of the chairs in the universe were to pop out of existence right now, I could still walk up to my neighbor and have a conversation about them (and likely would given the strangeness of the situation). So the form “chair” would still exist. The only way you could argue that could stop existing would be if all the chairs popped out of existence and we all completely forgot about them at the same time, and all the books, statues, images, and resemblances of chairs also ceased to exist. Then you MIGHT say that there exists no form of “chair”. But still, form is certainly SOME THING. Isn’t it? So then according to the law of conservation, form cannot be created or destroyed. We are stuck with the forms we already have, and there won’t ever be any new ones. Even if it seems new, it is only novel to us.

Here, I will use my favorite argument that everything exists to further solidify my point here:

Nonexistence does not exist.
Nothing is nonexistent.
Everything is not nonexistent.
Everything exists.

OR:
Where x = all things and y = the property existence and -y = nonexistence and 0 = nothing. /= means “does not equal”
(-y) /= (y)
0 = (-y)
(x) /= (-y)
(x)(y) x=y

So since everything exists, and matter/energy cannot be created or destroyed. Once in existence, always in existence. Note that this says nothing about whether or not something is “real”. Real being defined as having existence that is separate from human consciousness. Forms are certainly included in “everything” right?

Are you familliar with determinism?

The plans of a chair, or the concept or form, doesn’t need to exist.

But i always had a hard time understanding this question. It’s like saying we would not be able to build houses without the concept of a house, and the concept of a house cannot come from nothing, and had to have always existed, somehow.

when asked a relevant question by a philosophy professor i got confused and said you would need wood to build a house, but the answer she was looking for was “plans”.

And i would stick by that answer… Take the very idea of a unicorn. It’s a combination of a horse and a horn, something we create din our imagination, but just because we imagine something new does not mean that it has “always existed”. In truth the unicorn only ever existed as a ceoncept in our own minds, so far as we know. There is teh question that everything we imagine is just a mix of concepts we jave seen in nature, and in that we cannot be original. I once knew a schizophrenic who wondered if reality was like a computer screen and what you did not see had to load up… Misfiring of the brain could potentially create brand new ideas, our innovation is not limited to mixing concepts we already have.

Say you wiped out all chairs and all knowledge of chair, it would only be a matter of time before someone invents one out of need.

It’s like the pattern in snowflakes or the actions of a programmed robot. Some people theorize that the past present and future always exist andthat we travel through the fourth dimension from universe to universe.

Do you believe in fate?

Do you believe in a soul?

Is there some causal force acting on the brain outside of the laws of the universe?

Can an ant think? can an ant be original?

Can a chimp think or be original?

Can we be original?

Ah, so you are a determinist. I believe in free will, so determinism is out of the question for me. For one, it is a pretty annoying philosophy because it suggests that people are not responsible for their own actions. If we were all determinists then we might just as well decide to all go out and rob/kill people tomorrow and just shrug our shoulders and say “fate made me do it, I didn’t decide”. And then you could even argue that your crime spree was a result of learning that reality is deterministic and that it could not have happened any other way. Judging by the fact that these arguments don’t hold up in court, most people would probably agree with me on free will.

I don’t think that one ant can think or be original, but the colony certainly can. I have had some kind of momentary connection with an ant colony one day, and I realized a few things about ants. Ants are not how we typically perceive them. One ant colony put together forms a single conscious entity. They have no individuality any more then your arms do. To this entity, each ant is like another limb with which it can accomplish things and perceive the universe. I actually work around ants a lot, and there are some things they do that are pretty amazing. Here in Texas we have lots of fireants. When you unwittingly step in an ant mound, fireants will crawl up your legs, but they wont sting until all of them are all over you. Then they all sting at the same time. They are able to do this because they are all one consciousness. They are also way smarter then we give them credit for. All that amdro crap does is make them move. You can ask anyone here. They aren’t stupid enough to give that to the queen at all. But the queen isn’t even the order giver. I think that is a common misconception. They protect her fiercely because she is quintessential to the survival of the colony. Nothing more, nothing less.

Obviously if I think fireants can be original then I think we can and chimps also. But only in the sense that we can come up with ideas/concepts that are new to us. Those ideas and concepts have always existed and always will exist. They just were not real to us until after we were aware of them.

The soul issue I could talk about all day. But instead I will just do a short recap on my beliefs regarding that. I believe that we all have a life force, and life force is what separates living things from non living things. Our life force is our true essence, and once we die that essence can either be reborn on the same level (i.e. as another human) or ascend (i.e. become a higher form of being) or descend (i.e. becoming a lower life form such as an animal). But I also separate the universe into living and non-living matter/energy. Living matter is organic matter. It could be of a plant or animal, or it could be compost and the like. Living energy is organic energy and it can be attached to physical organism or it can be conscious on its own outside of our 3/4 dimensions. Actually, I think time is the one dimension we all share, so really our 3 are the ones in question.

Now as to whether there is a causal force acting outside the laws of the universe I would say no. But I don’t think that we know everything about the universe either, and I am somewhat of a holist, and definitely a pantheist. So I believe that the universe is a living organism, everything is one thing: energy, and that there are conscious, unconscious, and non-conscious parts of the universe like there are of any organism. All of this sounds speculative but I have certain mystical procedures that I practice which I use to experience and control life force. So it is proven to me through personal experience. But this can only be experienced on a personal level. I do also have several logical contentions for these beliefs but that is for another thread. Perhaps the one after this one.

Now regarding the unicorn, yes it only exists in our minds. But it exists. That is because unicorns are not real. But the form of a unicorn IS real. If it were not, I would not be able to draw one. But lets look at the unicorn for a second. Yes, a horse with a horn. But look at the horn. Is it like any other horn you have seen before? If we were just creating it using memory sampling it would look like a deer or elephant horn. Instead, it is straight and spiraled in a fibonacci sequence. So here we have a horn which has never been seen before. Where did it come from?

I kind of look at it like electronic music. Electronic music has a lot of sounds that are unique and cannot be found in nature. But there are two different methods for using sounds electronically. One way is known as sampling. This is where we take a sound that we recorded from somewhere and then load it onto our computer/sampler and then we can speed it up, slow it down, etc. So that is one way to get a new sound. But there is another way called wave editing. With wave editing I can create a completely new sound wave that previously did not exist (at least in appearance). The unicorn horn and the “flooze” of the octopus in my O P are like editing, whereas the combination of horse with horn is more like sampling. But, even before anyone ever thought of a unicorn before, there still existed the possibility of someone thinking up a unicorn, and there is no way to know for sure whether someone did or didn’t. So for all practical purposes the form of the unicorn always existed. If it didn’t there could have never been a unicorn in the first place. If the form doesn’t exist then it cannot be formulated. How could something formulate into a nonexistent form?

I thought I would post this here that I posted in another forum. It really solidifies my point on this subject. I hope someone here can appreciate…

"So I have noticed that materialism seems to be the trend in philosophy these days. As such, there seems to be a general disdain for metaphysics.

Physicalism and metaphysics are supposed to be the exact opposite. But sometimes I wonder. For instance, materialism is really the most accepted type of physicalism, which means that the universe is made of matter. This is logical. But really, matter is made of energy, so it would be more correct to say that the universe is made entirely of energy. I consider myself a metaphysician, yet here I 100% agree that the universe is made 100% of energy. How could I believe that the universe is made entirely of something physical such as energy and be a metaphysician?

It is really quite simple. Not all energy is physical. At least not in the sense that most people mean when they say physical. To get to the root of this problem, we have to define what exactly physical is. Physical would be that which can be perceived with the senses or detected with machinery in our 3 or 4 dimensional reality right? But does all energy really fall into this category? I would say no.

Even if you DO believe that all energy is physical, it would be impossible to provide any supporting evidence for that belief other then the fact that to our knowledge no non-physical energy has ever been perceived. But then that creates a quandary. If something is non-physical then by definition we cannot perceive it. On the other hand, if I wanted to provide evidence of non-physical energy I could. It is not conclusive evidence, but none the less, it is evidence. So this evidence tips the scales and makes it more likely that there is perhaps energy that is non-physical.

So to boot, I like to cite the example of exotic particles that travel straight through matter such as neutrinos. Can something that passes directly through matter and cannot be detected by any conventional means of perception be considered physical? I don’t think so. I think that right off the bat qualifies as non-physical energy. So there is outright proof that not all energy is necessarily “physical”. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neutrino

But that is not the only example I have that provides evidence for the existence of non-physical energy. My next example requires a little bit of a stretch of the imagination, but this stretch is based on a bit of deductive reasoning. So here it is:

Assuming that the universe is entirely made of energy, then we can say that the universe is energy. So where U is the universe and E is energy, U=E. If the universe is energy, then all things within the universe are energy as well. So where A represents the set of “all things” then A=E as well. Now, the set of all things includes thoughts. As such, where thoughts are a subset of everything we can say ($T)(A) (T=E). Now within our thoughts we have the things which we are thinking about. For example, if I am thinking of a unicorn, then it is logical to say that the unicorn exists somewhere within my thoughts. But since my thoughts are energy, then the unicorn must be made of energy as well. So keeping in mind that t = things thought about then we would say ($t)(T)(t=E).

Now that we have established logically that when I am thinking of a unicorn then the unicorn must be made of energy, lets go back to my definition of physical: That which can be perceived with the senses or detected with machinery in our 3 or 4 dimensional reality. So can the unicorn I am thinking about be perceived by the senses or detected with machinery? No, it cannot. Even if you have an exact map of the synapses and all of my brain waves then you still would not be able to point and say “look there is a unicorn”. Now one might argue that science is not yet sophisticated enough to decode the synapses yet, but I disagree. Now, don’t get me wrong, the human brain is AMAZING. Just a quick wiki of "synapses pulled this: “The adult human brain has been estimated to contain from 1014 to 5 × 1014 (100-500 trillion) synapses.” Impressive. That is A LOT of synapses. However, I do not think that the vastness of synapses in our brains should be a problem to decode for the amount of computing power that we have at our disposal in modern times. According to the supercomputer article on wikipedia: “In November 2008, the latest upgrade to the Cray XT Jaguar supercomputer at the Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) has increased the system’s computing power to a peak 1.64 “petaflops,” or quadrillion mathematical calculations per second, making Jaguar the world’s first petaflop system dedicated to open research.”

Okay, so then we could say that at the highest number of estimated synapses in the adult brain, the supercomputer would still do over three times as many calculations in one second for every synapse in the adult brain. But now let’s not get greedy. Since adults presumably have more synapses in their brains, then why don’t we just use a child’s brain? So then lets say a child’s brain has only 100 trillion synapses in it, the smaller number of the range. Then the supercomputer performs over 16.4 times as many calculations every second as there are synapses in the child’s brain. So it isn’t very hard to imagine that at that rate, the supercomputer should easily be able to crack the code which encodes the unicorn in the child’s brain. Long story short, there should not be any problem decoding anything with the amount of computing power we currently have at our disposal. So the whole “we haven’t decoded it yet” argument doesn’t fly in my book.

Now one might also argue that we cannot yet accurately map the synapses yet either. Now I combed over a few neuroscience articles, and I admit they were WAY over my head. But the idea that I got was this: 1. A map of the physiology of the synapses has already been completely drawn out. 2. There do exist methods for monitoring and recording synapse firing (how accurate they are I don’t know). Now I am more sure of the first one since I read a more comprehensive article on it, but the other articles were not in plain English to me. But they DID talk about methods of mapping synapses. I guess to be sure I would have to ask a neuroscientist whether or not they can accurately map firings or not. But regardless, even with JUST the map of the synapse physiology, they should be able to calculate what the encoding for a unicorn would be. Point in case, I could ask a computer scientist what a unicorn would look like in binary language, and he would not have to turn on the computer in order to show me that.

SO, the failure of science to read thoughts tells me that thoughts are indeed metaphysical. But since thoughts are made of energy, then we could say that thoughts are made of metaphysical energy. Perhaps one day science will decode the synapses and prove me wrong, but I do not think so, and for now the evidence is in my favor.

Now, going back to more traditional philosophy, it is our thoughts and observations which add form to the universe. But what is form? For instance, if I am talking about the form of a chair, then I am not talking about the chair itself right? No, I am talking about what makes the chair the chair. So what is form? If I completely destroy the chair, burn it, does the form of the chair cease to exist? I would say no. Because I could make another chair just like it and it would have the same form. So it is not the object which defines the form, but the form that defines the object. Could form be metaphysical too? Perhaps form is made of the same energy that thoughts are made of. Wouldn’t that make sense being that thoughts are what give form to the universe. Remember, the universe is all just energy. So what makes one part of the universe any different from the other. Energy is energy, right? So I would say that it is the form of energy, and the form that the energy takes which makes one part of the universe any different from another part. So perhaps form is a result of consciousness.

Perhaps consciousness is metaphysical itself. Perhaps consciousness adds metaphysicalness to the universe. After all, by spreading consciousness amongst the universe we are spreading energy. It is our thought that a chair is a chair that makes a chair a chair. Chairness is just an attribute of our consciousness as it is applied to the universe. But there is nothing physical about it. Can I touch the form of a chair? No, I can’t. Remember, the form of a chair is not the chair. However, it is logical to say the form of a chair exists within the universe. So WHERE exactly does it exist? I would say it exists beyond the 3 or 4 dimensions that we regularly experience. This, in my opinion is what makes something metaphysical. After all, in order to explain the motions of certain hadrons, we have to assume the existence of 11 dimensions in our universe. And that is just the minimal amount. There could be more.

But what are dimensions? We can say there are for sure at least three dimensions to our universe: Height, Width, and Depth. Time is proposed as the fourth, but that is debatable. But are these dimensions physical? Can you point to a physical line and say “oh, there’s height, I knew it existed!”. No, you cannot. So it only follows that dimensions themselves are metaphysical as well. Perhaps they are the MOST metaphysical out of anything else in the universe. After all, they DO provide the most form, and they have an existence that is beyond dimensionality. In other words, dimensions do not exist in any dimensions since they ARE said dimensions. A little confusing, but it makes sense when you think about it.

So now the only question left is what does form do? I would say form adds meaning to the universe. Without it, the universe would just be an infinite glob of homogeneous energy. And that is why I propose that consciousness is metaphysical as well as form. Consciousness also adds meaning to the universe. So, in a sense, form and consciousness are one and the same. As is everything else in the universe.

Any thoughts?"

Identity supervenes over the metaphysical/physical distinction. Could it be that there is no relevant difference between the two?

I have a thought: Where is the thought without the mind to have it???. We have minds without thoughts, perhaps, but no thoughts without minds… And we have forms, but we cannot show where we have forms without some reality behind them… We cannot, as far as I know, create an idea… God and other infinites are real, on one end at least… There is no basis for Metaphysics… If I understand it correctly, it was always based upon the idea that we are created, and that reality is created by some superior being… In other words, it is a misunderstanding of reality…There is only the physical and the moral, and even the moral is based upon the physical… We may not be able to measure justice, or liberty; but we know that the want of these qualities is deadly, so we form a notion of them, and so with all moral forms…

Nope, I am a metaphysician and I am not a creationist. I am a pantheist. Everyone always forgets about that theology. It is the best one. It makes more sense then any others including atheism (if you call that a theology) since monotheism has obvious flaws in it, and atheism doesn’t really explain anything at all. If you believe that the universe is the higher power, and that higher power is conscious then there is no need to rely on creationism, and there is also another source for thoughts and forms besides the mind. According to my theology the universe has always existed and always will. Time and space are infinite.

As far as morality goes, theology has little to do with it. Really, there are just a couple obvious moral standards to uphold. That which preserves life and makes it easier to live with the least amount of suffering. We all are alive and do not want to die (unless you are terminally ill), and we all want to live without suffering. So we should do that which preserves life and reduces suffering the most. I think if you do that to the best of your ability, regardless of what you think that is, you will live a moral life.

But really, that stuff has little if anything to do with metaphysics. Metaphysical really just means anything that cannot be perceived with the senses. So I could be an atheist, and still be a vitalist. Well if that were the case I would be acknowledging metaphysics since I would be saying that life is something that cannot be perceived with the senses or explained by science. Also, if I am a scientist, and I believe there are more then 3 or 4 dimensions in our universe, that is metaphysics since I then believe that there exist dimensions which cannot be perceived with the senses. I really don’t see how it is that ANYONE can avoid metaphysics. For instance, can you perceive thoughts with the senses? If not, then aren’t thoughts metaphysical? We don’t perceive thoughts, we think them. So then also things which arise from thoughts must be metaphysical too.

it is possible to take electro-chemical brain data straight from brainscans and reinterpret it into information… they did studies where they implanted microchips into peoples brains, and had those chips wirelessly read the data they detected to a computer. over time, the computer was able to “make sense” of the straight neural electro-chemical data (brainwaves) to construct what the patient was seeing at any given time… it was basically like it converted the patients eyes into videocameras onto a television screen.

also, they have successfully beamed thoughts as words directly into the human brain, without using auditory data or sound waves-- they have been able to make people hear voices in lab settings just by using EM brainwave simulations and beaming them forcefully into the head. the patients experienced the sensation of audible voices talking to them.

of course, im sure everyone knows of the study which mapped a chimpanzees brain over time, and used operant conditioning to teach the chimp to control a robotic joystick with his brain alone, just by thinking… i think its clear that thoughts CAN be construed as physical things, fundamentally understood by physical processes alone.

in this sense, are thoughts “metaphysical”? well in the sense that metaphysical just means “real”, then yes, they are real. thoughts represent electro-chemical responses in the brain, a “brain language” which probably operates in a similar way that binary operates in a computer. once we are able to learn HOW the brain uses these signals, we can encode or decode data as we wish, from brain to computer and back again. so it doesnt make sense to view thoughts as anything other than real, existent things-- they are just energy-states, the experience we perceive as the processes of electrical and chemical signals flying across our trillions of neural connections at the speed of light.

Really? Do you have any links to these studies? I would love to see them. I would be very fascinated. Did they really read thoughts from brainwaves alone? I would’ve thought for sure they would AT LEAST have to decode the synapses. However, it does follow that it may be possible for thoughts to exist strictly as brain waves since there is strong evidence for the existence of telepathy which could not be feasibly explained any other way.

I wish I had a COMPLETE understanding of the brain. I could do a lot of things with that knowledge…

ill try to find you some links.

for those that believe that “thoughts” are metaphysical things that exist outside the brain, ask yourself “why do lobotomies work?”

-Imp

Lobotomies don’t work…The brain after lobotomies does not work…Think of all we do out of some gross understanding of reality, when if we had any finess to our understanding, we would do nothing…

that is Imps point: that thoughts are physical entities, existing in and ONLY in the physical brain structures… the fact that we can lobotomise people and completely eradicate or alter their thinking is proof that thoughts are physical things.

at least, thats my understanding of Imps post… if thats not what he meant, then it should be. either way, its still true. there is nothing “metaphysical” (i.e. extra-physical or extra-natural, as those who use the term mean it) about a thought, an idea, or any mental concept, sensation or memory.

Just a tip doood; but it does not matter what they is; and it only matters when they is… Do you really care how sausage is made??? Do you care how laws get passed??? The finer details of how people think is unimportant…Obviously, we can think, and we can imagine, and we can recognize patterns; and as far as anyone can show, we can only think while we live… Now we do not ask why or how muscles contract as a matter of philosophy …Or ask the hows and whys of any other physical or chemical process … Science is philosophy, but what we do is moral philosophy, to better use thought however it is defined…The clock is ticking… It’s an intelligence test…You don’t need to touch every square on the checkerboard to get your king crowned… Pick up any book and read the last page, and if that is worth reading, back up…The worst sort of story is all detail and not conclusion… Don’t worry about how you got there; just jump to conclusions as see if you make it…

Well, in theory: The brain is necessary to materialize the thoughts, just like a computer is necessary for me to post on this forum. So when the brain is broken, then thoughts can no longer materialize. Just like I the computer user communicate input to my computer and it posts that on this forum, our metaphysical selves input thoughts into our brains which get posted in the real world. The computer by itself cannot post anything meaningful on this forum, and my brain cannot post anything meaningful in the real world without input from my metaphysical self.

How do you explain comas? In a coma nothing is wrong with the brain, yet the person in the coma cannot do anything meaningful. Perhaps a coma is the separation of the body/brain from the metaphysical self.

Very often; a coma does reflect some deep damage or trauma… Just because we do not know what is wrong does not mean everything is all right…It may mean we have not figured it out…

Well, no, thoughts don’t exist only in physical brain structures. Thoughts exist in my consciousness. Presumably they exist in your consciousness too. Or did the thoughts you typed above pass unconsciously from your brain to your fingers when you typed them? As you read these words are you not conscious of the images they create in your mind? That isn’t your brain. Most people have never seen their brain, but they have thoughts all the time. Maybe it’s different for you. But I doubt it.

People go into comas just from shock, no head trauma involved.