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"No matter how much you try to ignore something like that, no matter how much you tell yourself that your body is just a subplot in your life, it isn't. It's the main plot."

- Dylan in "Hello Groin" by Beth Goobie (2006) at page 57.

For those who want to go further in this new movement: the extended mind hypothesis or situated cognition, as some call it; i rcommend Alva Noe´s work.

Neverthless, there is a inherent flaw in this whole view.

The brain is an organ which indisollubly integrate in itself information from the inside (inmmunological, endocrinological...) and the external world (sensory feedback...) and even the cultural sphere (symbols, artefacts...) but claiming that is more important the extracortical sphere falls in the paradox of the sesame street sketch: string reminder.

In this sketch, a character attached a string to his finger in order to remember something but if he doesn´t actually remembers for what he attached the string to his finger, any extracortical factor, like the string, is useless.

Morale of the story: the brain is still necessary, even the only thing necessary.

Hey Anibal,

Respectfully, I don't see the flaw. Neither Glannon nor myself nor most of those concerned with neuroreductionism deny that the brain is necessary. The flaw comes in the unjustified leap from causation to ontology (from the premise that the brain is necessary to cause the self to the conclusion that the self is nothing but the brain). Glannon's analysis is simply devastating to the notion that it is our brains alone, disconnected from our social worlds, that produce our conscious selves, our lived experiences. Far from denying that the brain is necessary, his analysis depends upon the idea.

Well, perhaps i build my own straw man in order to destroy it. (There is no black and white)

I just push at the extreme the view to contrast it.

But it could be the begining of considering more factors outside the black box (brain) after too much effort to get in.

It would be fruitless without understanding it properly to get out too soon.

I think is better concentrate all our resources in understanding this complex organ and then to know how it spreads out in the social, cultural... realms.


That's plausible, but I tend to think a more fruitful way of proceeding is to study neither the brain nor its larger contexts in isolation of the other. If indeed our phenomenal selves are the product of a complex, nonlinear dynamical (recursive) interaction between brain, (extra-neural) biochemical pathways, and social and cultural worlds, it is difficult to me how we can really progress far by extricating the organ itself from its context and studying it as such.

Such a method is of course typical of modern science in the post-Enlightenment era, but it is deeply fallacious as a means of understanding our lived experiences precisely because the complex adaptive systems through which we live cannot be broken into its constituent components (because system behavior is the produce of multiple and iterative interactions between attractors and variables).

I count myself as one among a growing number of theorists, both within and without scientific practice, who believe that we cannot adequately account for our experiences without such an approach.

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