I wonder if you could say just a little more
> about what he means by "mind," in relation to "brain,"
(sorry I missed this)
Great question, but I encourage you to go to the source, since my own
understanding of the relationship between brain & mind is necessarily hazy.
Deacon's examples are illuminating for those of us without background in
neurophysiology. His understanding of evolution & complex systems seems on
the mark; in tune with discussions 'here.'
My best approximation is that he sees brains as he sees minds as the
products of multi-level evolutionay processes, with the more biological
processes being much slower than the social ones. Duh.
I opened the book to an extended explanation of color recognition &
reference, which he gives as an example of *nongenetic* evolutionary forces,
all in the service of explaining structures that appear to us
"What is built into the brain is a rather subtle set of perceptual biases
that have none of the categorical and symbolic properties of words.... even
weak biases, *if constantly and invariably present* can produce social
evolutionary consequences that appear so ubiquitous as to be considered
linguistic "universals" are "only statistical universals, but supported by
the astronomical statistics of millions of speakers over tens of thousands
of years. They are, despite their almost epiphenomenal origin, for all
practical purposes categorically universal.....
"Languages have adapted to human brains and human brains have adapted to
languages, but the rate of language change is hundreds or thousands of times
more rapid than biological change...."
I don't know if that helps. You should read what the horse says.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Tony Whitson [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
> Sent: Sunday, January 30, 2005 7:27 PM
> To: email@example.com
> Subject: RE: One last word on Peirce - signs minds & other implicated
> systems -- LONNNG
> Thanks, Judy, This looks like a book I need to read!
> Before I get to it though, I wonder if you could say just a little more
> about what he means by "mind," in relation to "brain," as when in his
> conclusion Deacon
> " discusses the implications of the "mind virus"
> that we host (language is the virus that has bred itself in the
> human brain,
> ... - our minds are overdesigned to
> ensure that symbols get discovered). "We inevitably imagine ourselves as
> symbols, as the tokens of a deeper discourse of the world. But symbols are
> subject to being rendered meaningless by contradiction, and this makes
> alternative models of the world direct threats to existence." P. 437 "
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