Neural and Mental

“If meaning is thus neural as well as mental, it follows that a very slight change in an object, or stimulus, may produce an overwhelming difference in the mental response if that change is charged with meaning. The famous telegram argument for animism loses therefore all its force. A telegram ‘our son is dead’ may find the recipient sympathetic but calm. Alter the word ‘our’ to ‘your,’ a trifling change in the stimulus, and the recipient may be overcome with grief. On the other hand, change all the words into French, a large change in the stimulus, and the effect on the recipient is the same as when the telegram was in English. The facts present no difficulty in view of the constitution of the recipient’s mind. The little change of a letter makes an enormous change in the meaning of the telegram. But the words mean the same in French as in English. No conclusion in favour of a mind independent of the neural process can be drawn unless we are prepared to say that a spark should physically produce the same effect when it falls on a sheet of iron as when it falls upon a mass of gunpowder, or that a red ball will not cause the same bruise when it hits my body as if it were painted white.”

Space, Time and Deity

The Gifford Lectures at Glasgow, 1916-1918

by Samuel Alexander

psikoserum tarafından yayımlandı

Kocaeli Üniversitesi Psikolojik Danışmanlık ve Rehberlik

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