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I would like to ask the opinions of the editors of this page: is it all right to add a link to the MSIT (Bush et.al. (2006) "Multi-Source Interference Task" Nature Protocols 1 308-313 ) used in fMRI as a protocol for testing/assessing cognition and attention in normal subjects. --Ancheta Wis (talk | contribs) 19:05, 11 May 2014 (UTC)
This page is an embarrassment. Something NEEDS to be done.
This page needs to be either merged with the Neural correlates of consciousness page (after significant improvements), or simply deleted since it's superfluous anyway. If neither, it needs a very serious overhaul. Let me use just one small paragraph as an example of the absurd style of the entire page. This is the first paragraph under the heading "Conceptual frameworks using the notion":
"The notion of a neural correlate of a mental state is an important concept for materialists, those philosophers and researchers who believe that all mental states are equivalent to brain states. According to strict materialists, all properties credited to the mind, including consciousness, emotion, beliefs, and desires have direct neural correlates. This is also a pragmatic view adopted by a number of scholars. This view frequently depends on considering minds exclusively as sentient knots in nature's causal net."
Honestly? It genuinely seems like satire to me, or like one of the bits of postmodernist nonsense that Alan Sokal savaged in his book Fashionable Nonsense. "According to strict materialists"? Are we honestly at this point? Are we now categorizing logic and reason as just another possible subjective way of looking at the world... equally as valid as any other? If that is the style we're to be using on Wikipedia... then we need to be consistent and go to every single other page (for example Evolution, Electricity, Gravity, Magnetism etc) and be sure to add similar prefaces... in fact, they very likely will have to be completely re-written since most of them have a very obvious "pro-materialist" bias. Also, I quite like the "This is also a pragmatic view adopted by a number of scholars" line... as it implies that cognitive neuroscience "scholars" have taken on the "materialist view" simply out of pragmatism in this case... not because IT'S THE FUNDAMENTAL BEDROCK OF THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD AND, IN FACT, ALL CRITICAL THINKING. Carrying on... a new appropriate first paragraph for the Electricity, in keeping with Wikipedia's apparently new point of view guidelines, would have to go like this:
"Electricity, materialists believe, is the set of (supposedly) physical phenomena associated with the presence and flow of electric charge. According to the strict materialist interpretation, electricity gives a wide variety of well-known effects, such as lightning, static electricity, electromagnetic induction and electric current. This view frequently depends on the narrow view that radio waves are exclusively electromagnetic radiation."
or how about this for the wikipedia Ionosphere page:
"The ionosphere /aɪˈɒnɵˌsfɪər/ is a region of Earth's upper atmosphere, from about 60 km (37 mi) to 1,000 km (620 mi) altitude, where many believe angels live. It is distinguished because it is ionized by unicorn farts, probably. It plays an important part in atmospheric electricity and forms the inner edge of whatever. I hope I've made my point"
Continuing. Richard Dawkins wrote a review of the Alan Sokal book 'Fashionable Nonsense' which I mentioned above. His review can be found here: (http://www.physics.nyu.edu/sokal/dawkins.html) I post that link because anyone viewing it will instantly notice the similarities between this Neural Correlates wikipedia page, and the postmodernist psuedo-scientific obfuscatory nonsense criticized by both Sokal and Dawkins. This article has all the hallmarks of postmodernist faux-intellectual. In his review, Dawkins says: "Suppose you are an intellectual impostor with nothing to say, but with strong ambitions to succeed in academic life, collect a coterie of reverent disciples and have students around the world anoint your pages with respectful yellow highlighter. What kind of literary style would you cultivate? Not a lucid one, surely, for clarity would expose your lack of content. The chances are that you would produce something like the following:"
And then he adds a ridiculous quote from Félix Guattari. But I will add a quote from this page:
"When the full ontological consistence or build-up of the reality variably called mind, soul, psyche, or existentiality is called "consciousness" and deemed to exclusively consist in mental contents associated with and at least partly generated by the brain organ, the notion of neural correlate of consciousness is commonly employed. When it is only the sensations that are held to be produced by brain states, whether exclusively or not (e.g., when sensations are also deemed capable of being generated by the mind reacting against itself), then the notion of neural correlate of a content of experience is commonly utilized. A mid-way concept, not always clarified, is that of a neural correlate encompassing the production of every mental content but not of consciousness itself." — Preceding unsigned comment added by Bzzzing (talk • contribs) 00:42, 26 November 2015 (UTC)
- I don't think the reasoning above is entirely valid: a materialist approach to consciousness raises issues that don't come into play in a materialist approach to electricity, and it is useful to make those issues explicit. However, I will leave the redirect in place, because this article does in fact cover the same ground as neural correlates of consciousness. For this article to be separately viable it would have to discuss something distinct, such as for example the neural correlates of behavior or cognition. Looie496 (talk) 12:36, 26 November 2015 (UTC)
Looie496- The term "materialist" is actually unnecessary, especially when discussing scientific phenomena. Any belief contradictory to "materialism" is, by definition, a supernatural belief. The term is usually used as an attempt to legitimize supernatural beliefs and insert them into genuine scientific discussion. If a person said "I believe that consciousness can't be explained by anything natural and it must be a something outside the body, like a soul", any rational scientist would say "well, that's the argument from personal incredulity. do you have any evidence?". But if the person says "I'm a dualist, I don't belief in that rigid materialist nonsense you scientists believe... qualia, panprotopsychism, the binding problem!", the person sounds much more intellectual, despite still being as wrong as before. Imagine someone inventing a term like "masticationist" for people who believe they have to put food into their mouth, chew it, then swallow it to get the nutrients needed for life. Whereas the "visiotarians" believe that by simply looking at food they can absorb its nutrients. Of course there are also the equally valid beliefs of the "kinovores", who absorb the nutrients in food by touching it; and the "audiovores", who feed by listening intently to their food. "Materialist", just like "masticationist", refers to all rational human beings. Whereas terms like "dualist", "pluralist", "panpsychism", or whatever-ism are all just supernatural, irrational beliefs like the "kinovores" or "visiotarians" in my example. They are by no means equally valid beliefs.
The term "materialist" may have some descriptive value in the realm of philosophy, which is why I said in other talk pages that there should be a more strict delineation between "philosophy of mind" related pages and "cognitive neuroscience" related pages. And I understand the need to acknowledge the fact that there are some philosophers who have unscientific and/or supernatural beliefs about consciousness, but other than that, further mention is really unnecessary. Also, you said: "a materialist approach to consciousness raises issues that don't come into play in a materialist approach to electricity" But as I said, that doesn't matter. It's akin to saying "a young earth creationist approach to archaeology raises issues that don't come into play in a young earth creationist approach to biology" It's an inherently unscientific belief no matter what aspect of the universe you're relating it to. Bzzzing (talk) 15:24, 26 November 2015 (UTC)