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[ba-unrev-talk] Fwd: CG: Re: "Abstract" and "dimensionality"

>From: "John F. Sowa" <sowa@bestweb.net>
>Following are two articles from today's issue of Science Daily
>that shed some light on what is going on in the brain.  The first
>article is about the areas of the brain that are activated when
>blind people read Braille:
>    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/01/020102080342.htm
>Opening paragraph:
>    "Individuals who have been blind from birth use different parts
>     of their brain when they read Braille than do those who lost their
>     sight later in life -- a difference that sheds new light on the
>     relationship between thought and language."
>The second article is about the effects of that wonder drug
>called the placebo:
>    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/01/020102074543.htm
>Opening paragraph:
>    "UCLA researchers are the first to report altered brain
>     function in people who respond favorably to placebo treatment
>     for major depression. In addition, the findings show these
>     changes are different than those found in people who respond
>     to antidepressant medication."
>What these studies show is that similar effects at the behavioral
>level can result from different kinds of neural processes in
>different individuals.  We all know that what goes on inside
>a computer is very different from what goes on inside the human
>brain, but there is accumulating evidence that different brains
>can achieve similar results with different kinds of internal
>That is an important reason for analyzing the results or methods
>of human thinking in a way that is independent of the terminology
>and mechanisms of the human brain (or soul or psyche or whatever
>other term anyone might care to use).
>The term I prefer to apply to all processes that might be performed
>by the human brain (or the brains of other animals) is "semiosis",
>which is the process of sign manipulation that is analyzed and
>characterized by the field of semiotics.
>All brains and all computers are semiotic processors that take
>signs as inputs and generate signs as outputs.  The study of signs
>and the processes that interpret and generate them can be expressed
>in terms that do not involve any reference to psychology, neurons,
>or computer programs.
>In fact, semiotics is related to psychology as mathematics is related
>to physics.  More precisely, semiotics is that branch of applied
>mathematics that analyzes signs in the same way that the differential
>equations of applied mathematics analyze physical fields.
>John Sowa
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