Quotes Regarding the Mind and Body

#1
Hello everybody, or should I say Everymind

I have been a lover of quotes for many years now and have decided to make a thread that provides quotes that is specifically focused on the mind/body problem.
I will kick start the thread with a few quotes and hopefully the Skeptiko community can all contribute quotes they find useful to this thread.
My only request is that people stick to the topic and do not derail the thread with any other content other than quotes. And also please try and cite the source of the quote.

This will help the reader to continually breeze through the thread.

Many Thanks
 
#2
It seems to me immensely unlikely that mind is a mere by-product of matter. For if my mental processes are determined wholly by the motions of atoms in my brain I have no reason to suppose that my beliefs are true. They may be sound chemically, but that does not make them sound logically. And hence I have no reason for supposing my brain to be composed of atoms.

J. B. S. Haldan

"When I am Dead" in Possible Worlds (1927)
 
#3
“Supposing there was no intelligence behind the universe, no creative mind. In that case, nobody designed my brain for the purpose of thinking. It is merely that when the atoms inside my skull happen, for physical or chemical reasons, to arrange themselves in a certain way, this gives me, as a by-product, the sensation I call thought. But, if so, how can I trust my own thinking to be true? It's like upsetting a milk jug and hoping that the way it splashes itself will give you a map of London. But if I can't trust my own thinking, of course I can't trust the arguments leading to Atheism, and therefore have no reason to be an Atheist, or anything else. Unless I believe in God, I cannot believe in thought: so I can never use thought to disbelieve in God.”


~ C.S Lewis
 

Paul C. Anagnostopoulos

Nap, interrupted.
Member
#4
Metaphorical invocations ... often suffer from the weakness of giving such
satisfaction to the human mind that they tend to be mistaken for incisive
and illuminating observations. ---Torkel Franzen


The mystery of consciousness is certainly one of the most persistent
problems in the philosophy of mind. It is, therefore, very unlikely that the
problem is to be solved by the simple application of common philosophical
theses and methods. ---Yujin Nagasawa


Nevertheless, quantum theories of consciousness suffer from the same
difficulties as neural or computational theories. Quantum phenomena have
some remarkable functional properties, such as non-determinism and
non-locality. It is natural to speculate that these properties may play some
role in the explanation of cognitive functions, such as random choice and
the integration of information, and this hypothesis cannot be ruled out a
priori. But when it comes to the explanation of experience, quantum
processes are in the same boat as any other. The question of why these
processes should give rise to experience is entirely unanswered. ---David
Chalmers


Pitowsky Syllogism: (1) We really do not understand the nature of
consciousness. (2) The only thing in the physical world we really do not
understand are quantum level phenomena. (3) Therefore, these are probably
the same mystery.


It does not strike me as self-evident that philosophy provides convincing
answers to such questions, since the words that philosophers juggle are not
the things in themselves. ---Edward T. Babinski


If a man who cannot count finds a four-leaf clover, is he entitled to
happiness? ---Stanislaw Lec
 
#6
We may doubt the existence of matter, if we please, and like Berkley deny it, without subjecting ourselves to the shame of a very conclusive confutation; but there is a remarkable difference between matter and mind, that he that doubts the existence of mind, by doubting proves it. ~ Colton
 
#7
"Where is it that we were together? Who were you that I lived with? The brother. The friend. Darkness and light. Strife and love. Are they the workings of one mind? The features of the same face? Oh, my soul. Let me be in you now. Look out through my eyes. Look out at the things you made. All things shining." Private Edward P. Train, The Thin Red Line
 
#8
"Materialism ends up denying the existence of any irreducible subjective qualitative states of sentience or awareness."

"Dualism makes the problem insoluble; materialism denies the existence of any phenomenon to study, and hence of any problem. "
- John Searle
 
#11
For him who has conquered the mind, the mind is the best of friends; but for one who has failed to do so, his mind will remain the greatest enemy.

~ Bhagavad Gita, As It Is 6.6
 
#12
Last weeks potatoes

So what is this mind of ours: what are these atoms with consciousness? Last week’s potatoes! They now can remember what was going on in my mind a year ago—a mind which has long ago been replaced.

To note that the thing I call my individuality is only a pattern or dance, that is what it means when one discovers how long it takes for the atoms of the brain to be replaced by other atoms. The atoms come into my brain, dance a dance, and then go out—there are always new atoms, but always doing the same dance, remembering what the dance was yesterday.

~ Richard Feynman

‘What do You Care What Other People Think?’ Further Adventures of a Curious Character (1988)
 
#18
The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you.
Don't go back to sleep.

You must ask for what you really want.
Don't go back to sleep.

People are going back and forth across the doorsill
where the two worlds touch.

The door is round and open.
Don't go back to sleep.

-Rumi​
 

Paul C. Anagnostopoulos

Nap, interrupted.
Member
#20
God was always invented to explain mystery. God is always invented to explain those things that you do not understand. Now, when you finally discover how something works, you get some laws which you're taking away from God; you don't need him anymore. But you need him for the other mysteries. So therefore you leave him to create the universe because we haven't figured that out yet; you need him for understanding those things which you don't believe the laws will explain, such as consciousness, or why you only live to a certain length of time — life and death — stuff like that. God is always associated with those things that you do not understand. Therefore I don't think that the laws can be considered to be like God because they have been figured out.
---Richard Feynman
 
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