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... as opposed to whatever it is that our brains do when they do things.

I do not see the benefit in "explaining" social systems by loose metaphors to one of the aspects of our own biology that we most struggle with understanding, unless deliberate obscurity is the goal.

However, that is an aside ... if it is a loose metaphorical social "Mind" being discussed, then, while it is true:

"Mind" => thoughts/actions

it is equally true that

thoughts/actions => "Mind" ...

... so "Mind" recreates itself ...

"Mind" => thoughts/actions => "Mind"

... and patterns of thoughts/actions recreate themselves ...

thoughts/actions => "Mind" => thoughts/actions

... and the simple externally-driven system turns into the classical living system, open to material cause, but recursively closed to efficient cause.

That is, a concrete, self-reproducing, matter/energy processing system ...

... for which the simple linear mechanical Newtonian causation, in which material, formal, and efficient cause all collapse into a single type of cause-effect relationship, is inadequate.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Wed Jan 2nd, 2008 at 09:51:10 PM EST
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