An Explanation Of Hunger: Cannon And Washburn

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Seth Grunert 3/24/2011 PHIL 2130 Short Paper 2 The covering law model of explanation states that any statement can be explained by a set of universal laws. Under this model there is nothing different going on in the human mind then is going on in the rest of the universe. The mind does not have any extra causal powers that cannot be explained by micro physics. Furthermore, the covering law model runs contrary to an emergentist view which states that more complex systems cannot be explained by their base parts alone. In “An Explanation of Hunger” Cannon and Washburn showed that the feeling of hunger could be explained by a stretching in the lining of the stomach. Thus showing that hunger was not an emergent property of the mind but simply…show more content…
A scientific determinist will say that any choice we make is merely an illusion of free will. We see the choices we make as free will because of the inherent complexities involved with the mind. Although we do not fully grasp the complexities of the human brain, scientific determinism states that, knowing everything there is to know about the rules of the universe we would be able to determine what a person was going to do. On the other hand, free-willists believe that humans do in fact have free will. There is some amount of causal powers attributed to the brain that cannot be simply by analyzing the electromagnetic-fields and quarks in the brain. As Broad would say even a “Mathematical Archangel” would not be able to determine a person’s actions based on knowledge of the…show more content…
The more we learn about the human brain the more seams to follow that there is nothing different going on in the mind then goes on in a computer. In my view we get some series of inputs from our external senses and act according to some series of laws inherent to our minds. Already we can interpret the firing of neurons well enough to allow amputees to have movement in their arms again from the electrical signals alone. The neurons fire in a completely predictable pattern, meaning that every time our brain tell our bicep to contract a specific set of neurons trigger the event. More complex patterns of brain activity are not fully understood by science as of today. However, concepts such as pain, emotions, and memories are detectable as heightened levels of brain activities on a MRI. For instance, when you recall the taste of apple pie in your mind’s eye specific sections of the brain will become active. This regularity in the brain suggests to me that the mind is no more special than an advanced touring machine. If we were to determine the “software” running in our brains we would be able to predict what someone would do 100% of the time. While this may never become a reality do to epistemological issues, theoretically i believe it to be valid. Thus if the mind is nothing more than a computer going through lines of code then we would indeed lack free

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