A reply to Dr. Ali (Part I)
Abstract thought is qualitatively different from concrete thought. To understand this, consider a chiliagon. A chiliagon is a closed regular polygon with 1000 sides. It is very simple to understand abstractly. However, it cannot be imagined concretely—it’s not possible to form a clear picture of a chiliagon in your mind.
Furthermore, abstract thought is not merely an assembly of a large number of concrete thoughts—you don’t understand what a chiliagon is simply by imaging a series of many-sided polygons approaching a 1000-sided figure. Thus we see that abstract thought and concrete thought are different types of thought.
Dr. Ali seems not to understand this. For example, in the post in which he tries to argue that abstract thought emerges entirely from brain processes, he reproduces a figure from a scientific paper showing the complexity of brain tracts so as to illustrate how he believes that complexity can give rise to abstract thought.Michael Egnor, “What is abstract thought?” at Mind Matters News
Michael Egnor: Now Dr. Ali argues with Dr. Ali I know of no report in medical history of an abstract thought evoked by a seizure or by brain stimulation. Which is odd, if the brain causes abstract thought.
Materialism is an intellectual trap, out of which neuroscience needs to climb Neurologist Steven Novella refutes himself. He first asserts that everything he knows is an illusion. Then he insists that his illusions slap him in the face with reality.
Four researchers whose work sheds light on the reality of the mind The brain can be cut in half, but the intellect and will cannot. The intellect and will are metaphysically simple
Atheist psychiatrist misunderstands the evidence for an immaterial mind. Patients with massive brain damage were shown to have a mental life.
Materialism is an intellectual trap, out of which neuroscience needs to climb . Neurologist Steven Novella refutes himself. He first asserts that everything he knows is an illusion. Then he insists that his illusions slap him in the face with reality.
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